I usually do a photo shoot in the garden over Memorial Day weekend, so I can measure my little yard’s phenology from year to year. This year everything is SO late, and Memorial Day weekend was so rainy, that it just didn’t happen. I got out there a few times this week, though.
We’ve been getting plenty of rain, and I’ve had no trouble sprouting seeds, but it’s been very cool. The cucumbers in particular (too small to see here, by the chimney) cannot seem to progress into their true leaves, and their baby leaves are covered with white spots. I may not get many cucumbers this year.
Everything else is hanging in there, though, including the rhubarb (foreground) that a fellow master gardener divided for me last weekend. I’m so excited to have finally figured out where I wanted to put it!
In the darkest, shadiest area of my yard, my new-in-2012 woodland garden is thriving. This pagoda dogwood, which the rabbits nibbled down to one bare branch, is on its way to a full recovery. This fall, my shrubs are getting the full hardware cloth treatment, not the cheap version. Note the ferns coming in behind it, too! It took them so long to sprout that I thought none had made it. Happy to be wrong on that.
In my drier, dappled-shade woodland garden, my nannyberry (viburnum lentago) is in full bloom. Gorgeous! This plant is looking fantastic. The two highbush cranberries (viburnum trilobum) also survived the winter and should bloom very soon.
Happy to see that my turtlehead (chelone glabra) is getting larger. It’s never bloomed, but this is its third summer so maybe this will be my year. The foliage of one of my new garden favorites, bloodroot (sanguineria), is in the background.
The best news of all is that, after being mowed to the ground by rabbits this winter, the raspberries (right) appear to be making a full recovery. I don’t know how many we’ll get this year, but if we can protect them this winter, we’ll be back in action for 2014. Also notice the crazy chocolate mint taking over on the left. In this very shady spot on the north side of the house, we planted 6 different kinds of mint several years ago. The chocolate mint was the only one to survive, and now it’s taking over. Fine by me! Ostrich ferns are along the foundation. We just planted them last year and they weren’t quite established enough for me to feel comfortable taking fiddleheads this spring. Next year, hopefully.
Finally, I ended up with this little pop-up garden on the deck, when I discovered that I had no place for basil, cilantro, four homeless broccoli plants, and some lemon balm. We are supposed to get some sun this week, so I expect my cool weather vegetables to really go crazy. And hopefully my warm-weather ones will hang in there.
Bonus points if you can guess why these pots are raised up on landscape bricks.
June 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm
Your garden is looking pretty super, and I loved the tour, plant by plant. What do you use your chocolate mint for? The bricks have me guessing that, like me, you’re short on bases for your pots!
June 4, 2013 at 9:46 am
Nope, it’s to put the plants out of reach of rabbits. But yes, I am also short on bases so that’s true as well!
We dry and use the chocolate mint for tea. It’s fantastic!
June 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm
I have a chocolate mint patch that has become insane, so was thinking we should be using it for tea. Anything special you do to dry it?
June 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm
I try to pick it early in the morning, and aim for a cool morning, preferably before it blooms. I’ll probably harvest some soon. Then I just bunch it up and hang it upside down until it’s dry, then remove the leaves and store it in a mason jar with a fabric cover. Like so:
I also pick more after it’s done flowering in the fall, too.
June 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm