Busy, busy

The chamomile needs to be harvested!

It’s been a little crazy around here lately. Suddenly the temperatures rose, the soil warmed and it was perfect weather for planting all the crops that have been languishing in pots and flats: melons, tomatoes, peppers, squash, etc. BUT, the deadline for the plant sale was fast approaching, so labeling and tidying plants for sale had to take precedence. AND, my daughter and son-in-law from Florida/Italy came for a brief visit before they head across the pond for months. SO, my mother wanted to have a family dinner while they were here for all those who’ve had their vaccinations, which meant lots of cooking, prep, and travel time.

My daughter pitched in and helped prep plants and label for the sale. They wouldn’t have all been ready otherwise. She left the day before the sale to visit other relatives in southern Indiana, so I did all the loading and unloading. In total, there were 583 plants and if you look at the photo above, you’ll see the few plants that didn’t sell in crates on the left. Some plants had to go into crates, so they could stack in order for them to all fit into the pick-up truck. As it was, it took 2 full loads, plus D ended up having to fill the back of his SUV with strawberry planters, a couple of tables, a chair, and a bag of bags. All of the strawberry planters (8) sold in the first hour, which was aided by the fact that several had ripe berries on them. Those were simply all the runners dug from the paths in the potager! All the elder shrubs sold quickly as well, as did all the plants with blooms and my miniature hostas. What didn’t sell well? White flowered plants (but everyone wanted blue or purple) eggplants, winter squashes, garlic chives, thymes, and tomatillos. We also had way too many tomato plants, but were short on peppers. I’ve made lots of notes for next year.

Loved, loved the white alliums in the Front Island!

I should have gotten out to take a photo of the white alliums while the viburnum snowballs were still pretty. Now they are brown, and if I had time, I’d clip them off. When the “Bright Gem” tulips, with their soft yellow blooms were still flowering, this bed was especially pretty. It’s so easy to miss those moments of glory, isn’t it?

My new favorite Iris, “Parisian Dawn.”

I’m trying not to miss the iris show, because some like the one above are blooming for the first time in my gardens. These came from Schreiner’s and were planted in late summer of 2019, but they are worth the wait.

Iris “Lace Legacy”…a soft orange sherbet with a bit of whipped cream on the falls and a bright orange beard, also from Schreiner’s. Notice the cracks in the ground, and all those little weeds, which tells you how behind I am in both weeding, and that I have not begun mulching at all this year!

I haven’t had a lot of iris because of borer issues, but I decided to add some to help fill in that “after the tulips are done” gap, especially since the cold temps in May the last few springs have delayed getting the annuals into the ground.

This big, bright orange iris is a standout in the Front Garden…no memory of where it came from or when!

And just so you don’t think all my irises have to be orange, here’s one that bloomed last year and is far more abundant this year.

There’s a dozen of these blooms in the potager exterior border right now.
And this one is on the Fairy Slope, next to the finishing bloom spikes of tellima.

Yesterday, I was finally able to begin planting in earnest, but there’s still lots to do. I stopped after seeing the forecast for rain, and ran into town for a load of mulch, and spent most of the afternoon spreading it on all the bare spots in the potager’s paths.

The Deck Garden has really changed in the past week!

The “Tiger Eye” sumac is leafing out now, its chartreuse foliage echoing both the “Gold Moss” feverfew front right, and the “Angelina” sedum far left edge center. The biggest change is the “May Queen” shasta daisies that are once again filling the gardens with happiness. They are so reliable and easy, and make a great cut flower. I cut these when they were already fully open, and they’ve still lasted a week in the vase. Don’t look at all the brown tulip foliage that needs to be removed…I’ll get to it eventually, along with trimming out the finished dwarf iris stalks. One job at a time…

Bouquet made for my daughter’s visit…Iris “Old Gold,” “American” columbine and “May Queen” shastas.

Now, you’re all caught up news-wise, and I’m off to clean the strawberries I picked last evening, and then since it’s raining I think it’s a good day to clean the Lady Cottage. It’s full of frost covers that need to be folded and stored away, (SURELY, we’re done with them for this season!) the seed packages that have just been left on the table need to be properly returned to the seed box, and I need to catch up the Bloom Journal and planting map for the potager. At least I won’t have to water!

Hope you are having a productive week, filled with blessings and joy. Hugs!


About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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6 Responses to Busy, busy

  1. Jo Shafer says:

    Ah, those ruffled irises are so thrilling! I used to have a number of those in my garden but I think something ate the tubers.


    • carolee says:

      Off and on over the years, I’ve given up on irises because of borers. But, right now I’m certainly enjoying their filling the gap and they look great in bouquets with the “May Queen” shastas and blue salvia spikes. You may want to give them another try, too. The reblooming varieties are becoming more available now, and in more colors so there’s another burst of color in late summer, if one is lucky!


  2. Peg says:

    Your irises are simply stunning!! Gorgeous pictures. Sounds like the plant sale was a success, and I understand why the white flowers were left behind…I prefer the flowers with color too!


    • carolee says:

      I love color, but I think a white flower here and there makes the other colors “pop.” And, white goes with everything, so if I’m short on color for a bouquet, white always matches. White looks so good in front of dark shrubbery, or dull paint. It’s not my favorite, but I sure wouldn’t want to be without it!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. LizzieBird says:

    Those pink-yellow-orange iris are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

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