June has finished, and although the gardener was often distracted by family matters, the garden carried on and charged ahead. Plants have nearly reached the top of the trellises and are spilling into paths. The daylilies are in full bloom mode and deadheading has been impossible to maintain. Just keeping things harvested and preserved has kept one busy. And there is still planting of annuals to continue, as the daffodil foliage disappears and provides space.
We’ll begin a brief tour with the Front Garden, where the “Durango” marigolds have filled out, the iris foliage has been trimmed and cleaned, and the daylilies are competing with the Oriental lilies for best of show. One disappointment…a new daylily planted last year that I was very excited about was supposed to be “Persimmon,” a deep orange, huge spider but when it bloomed, it was a watered-out pinkish lavender. I hate it when that happens…
The Front Island continues with its yellow and white theme. You may notice that the big allium seed balls are finally missing. They were beginning to lean, so I clipped them off and have them drying in the garage. Keep watching…they may be back soon! I’ve cut bunches of feverfew for drying, and it’s still going strong, as well as the reliable shasta daisies. There’s space in that empty front for a few colorful annuals as soon as I can get to it. And sadly, that iris in the front left is now three years old and still hasn’t bloomed?!? This garden does need watering, because we haven’t had much rain all month and the two big trees absorb whatever moisture there is. There were still plenty of flowers. According to the Bloom Journal 116 varieties came into bloom this month in the various gardens.
The potager has required a lot of watering as well due to the combination of raised beds and dense planting, but things are doing remarkably well considering the dry, hot weather we’ve had (not as bad as the Pacific Northwest, etc. but hot for us for June!) Also, the thirteen new varieties added, as well as succession plantings of earlier crops all required watering until they were established and growing. The late strawberries were here and gone quickly, and the black raspberries are not even worth wading through the edges of the woods to pick, so dried up they are. The roses were a delight all month, and of course the Japanese beetles arrived at the very end of June as usual. Cucumbers, summer squash galore, kohlrabi, beets, lettuces, Napa cabbage, cabbage, bol choy, asparagus, snow peas, peas, strawberries, garlic scapes, onions, peppers, cauliflower, fava beans, celery and lots of herbs were on the menu in June. In total, 127.75 pounds of goodness was harvested from the potager. (95.75 in 2020)
I have to say that the “Baby Napa Cabbage,” the “Bossa Nova” summer squash and the “Biet Alpha” cucumbers have joined the “Green Arrow” peas as MUST HAVE crops. I was amazed at how quickly they all produced, and how MUCH they produce. All are so tasty, and have been very easy to grow. The “Reine de Glace” lettuce began forming beautiful heads, but bolted as soon as the heat hit. They are so pretty, I’ll give them another try in fall and also give them an earlier start next spring. Probably won’t grow “Spring” peas once this package of seed is used up…not as much return as “Green Arrow.”
Much of the food was eaten fresh, or given away but 41 packages/jars were preserved, the main things being strawberry jam and frozen peas and snow peas. And, bunches of mints were hung to dry for winter teas.
A couple of events happened in June that were cause for celebrating with a special meal. For the first time Duck a l’orange was made, using lots of celery and thyme from the potager as a bed for the roasting duck. It was delicious, but I doubt I’ll ever go to the trouble of making it again!
The Cutting Garden is really filling in, and several bouquets were made and given away, and some were kept for our own home, including this “French” arrangement made for the duck dinner. The last of the plants were put in, so the garden is jam-packed now and picking a bouquet is easy with so much variety of color and texture. More feverfew, nigella pods and yarrow were cut and dried. Not a clue what I’ll do with them, but they won’t go to waste. Still haven’t cut the lavender, but it’s on the to-do list! The first ranunculus bloomed but were not even worth a photo…only about the size of a quarter and a coppery color…and only two!! The gomphrena, strawflowers, cosmos and dahlias have begun as well.
That’s June in a few paragraphs. It certainly flew by quickly, and was a busy month overall. The gardens continue to be such a blessing and a joy. Now, if we’d just get a little rain….