Saturday, May 23, 2015

Garden 5.23.15

Finally, an update!  This is how my garden looks today.  Isn't it pretty?  It finally stopped raining long enough for me to mow the lawn. But YAY RAIN! In arid eastern Oregon, any rain we get is good. I haven't had to water anything for more than two weeks.

garden 5.23.15

The garden looks a little different from the last set of pictures I posted, doesn't it?  What a difference 20 days, warm temperatures, and some rain makes!

Here are the west beds.  The greens have gone bonkers and we've been eating big salads every night.  The pak choi is closest, then spinach, and then two kinds of lettuce.  As I mentioned earlier, the pak choi and spinach have bolted and will be coming out soon.  I meant to do that today, but didn't get around to it.  This bed is also full of cilantro plants, self-seeded from Anne's garden last year.  I just left them where they sprouted, and have been greatly enjoying the crop!

The bed behind is the strawberries.  I got a bale of straw this week, and put it around all the strawberries.  The berries were sitting on the dirt before, and I wanted to get a buffer below them so they wouldn't rot.

garden 5.23.15

The strawberries have also been covered with netting now, because...

first ripe strawberry

They are starting to ripen!!  I didn't get the net up quite in time, because the first two berries that turned red got pecked by birds.  Grrrr.  Hopefully those will be the only losses.

Here are the east beds.

garden 5.23.15

Holy smokes look at the peas!  They are almost at the tops of their improvised trellises, and I need to figure out something for more height.  No flowers yet, but getting close.  Mmm, fresh peas.  The onions are also doing great, getting bigger and bigger.

And the back bed is now planted!  There is an Oregon Spring regular tomato, a Black Krim beefsteak tomato, an Amish Paste roma tomato, a Mortgage Lifter beefsteak tomato, and what is likely a lemon cucumber that is a self-seeded volunteer from last year's garden. I put marigold seeds all around the edge last weekend, and most have sprouted.  I also have basil plants started that will go in here, but I didn't get that far yet.

The Black Krim and Amish Paste were bought as 12" tall plants two weeks ago because I was too impatient to wait for my seeds to get big enough.  I put them in the Wall-o-Water protectors for the past two weeks, and they already have flowers.  The Oregon Spring and Mortgage Lifter were started from seed, and are a little farther behind.  They just went into the ground today and are in the Wall-o-Water thingies now.  Next year I'll start my seeds much, much earlier.  The third Wall-o-Water is on the lemon cucumber.

The original three half barrel planters are doing well, though I think they would be happier with more sun.  I've added a thyme to the back planter, a catnip, a petunia, and a Penstemon barbatus 'Rubycunda' to the middle planter (the salvia that I had in there died- it was a mail order freebie, and arrived looking very battered).  The front planter doesn't have anything new to report, but is doing well.

garden 5.23.15

The rest of the deck planters are doing great.  Look how much the peppermint (second square planter from the front) has grown!  I'm VERY glad this is in a pot, and not running rampant in the yard.  I added a 'Doone Valley' lemon thyme to the pot with the curly willow- it's a low creeping thyme and I would love for it to cover the top of the pot.

The strawberry jar, newly planted with runners at the beginning of April, is covered with flowers and green strawberries.  I need to think about rigging up some netting over it.  Soon.  I have lots of birds and some very resourceful squirrels in the yard.

garden 5.23.15

Oh yes, and you may have noticed that I added three more half barrel planters.  I had to, you see, because I have this little problem where I want to buy All The Plants. Tralalala, it's so much fun!

Anyway, the one on the right is the Clematis texensis 'Princess Diana', with chocolate mint, bee balm, and marigolds.  The marigolds are sprouted, but still tiny. The middle planter has a Clematis 'Jackmanii', with a peppermint and marigolds.  The left planter was planted today, with Emma's choice of seeds.  There are four kinds of morning glory (sky blue, dark purple, light purple, red) and three kinds of zinnia (purple, orange, and mixed).

There is also a volunteer peony that is coming up through the deck.  I expect it was there before the deck was built a couple years ago, and is making a valiant effort at survival.  Unfortunately, the flower buds are too big to come through the spaces between the boards.

vining containers 5.23.15

The freesia pot is growing and growing, and seems to have sprouted a volunteer lettuce plant.  Ok then. Not sure where that came from.

freesia 5.23.15

The rugosa roses along the west fence have started blooming.  Very pretty and very fragrant single white flowers.

white rose

So that's the back yard.  While I was taking pictures, I let Coco the house kitty out to explore.  She loves being outside, but I don't let her out unsupervised.  She's an indoor cat, and I don't want her to take off or get a wild idea in her head about hunting.

house kitty exploring the yard (with supervision)

In the front yard, the columbine display continues.  Here are two more color forms to add to the list: very pretty blue and lavender, and deep maroon.



The blue-eyed grasses have also started blooming.

blue-eyed grass

My garden has also expanded beyond my own yard, since a friend kindly allowed me to plant some things in unused spaces of her yard this summer.  So I planted the Basil Annex last Sunday,

the basil annex

And started the Tomato Annex today.  This has six plants in the ground so far, with another six to go.  I did this at the end of the day, and ran out of steam for digging, so I'll have to go back up and finish that off.  Five of these plants are mystery varieties, since I got them off Freecycle and the lady lost the seed labels.  So it'll be an adventure.  The sixth one in the ground is an Oregon Spring (regular slicing tomato).  Still to plant are four San Marzano (roma), a Mortgage Lifter (beefsteak), and another Oregon Spring.

the tomato annex

This is a lot of tomatoes.  I know it's a lot, and hopefully I won't regret it.  I plan on doing a lot of canning and drying this summer.

While I was digging, Emma collected worms.  I love that she's not squeamish, about worms anyway.  Don't show her a spider!

playing with worms

After we got home from the garden annex, I had a couple things left on my list for the day.  I planted a bleeding heart and two larkspurs I got last weekend (see Buying All The Plants, above), and did a couple repairs.

This hose has leaked for the past 11 years, but now it doesn't.  I fixed it- never done that before! Unfortunately, the connector is slightly too big for the hose, and I couldn't slide the middle piece completely in.  Ah well, maybe I'll see if I can find a smaller diameter hose splice.  Or not.  Whatever.  It's secure and doesn't leak, so I'm not too fussed.

Repaired: hose that has been leaking for 11 years

I also re-screened the back door.  The old screen was full of holes, plus the spline was disintegrating and the whole bottom half of the screen was no longer attached to the frame.  So I bought screen, spline, and a spline tool, and fixed it.  I've never done that before, either!

Repaired: broken screen on door


Rachel said...

Everything looks great! and sounds familiar...the first year that I gardened I bought. all. the. plants. too and had a normal garden, a container garden and an herb bed. And then right about september when everything was ready to harvest all at once...well, it was a bit much!

I will say that you showed nice restraint in my herb bed. That bed, where you have 6 basil plants, when I was planting, had 12 basil plants on one side, chives, thyme, marjoram, cilantro...and probably a few more I'm forgetting. yeah, so I don't actually pay attention to space requirements.

so glad to hear of the rain. we needed it. up here, there are fires popping up everywhere with one evacuation already. and it's not even june!!!

Anne said...

I'm tired just reading your accomplishments. It seems sooo early for things to be that far along, but it's GREAT! I recognized your garden annex immediately. Very cool. Funny that the lemon cukes are volunteering. I've not seen that happen before. I love the smell of the volunteer cilantro when digging in the garden! Good luck with all that produce, and see you soon!

Anne said...

Oh, yeah, and I rescreened that back door also. I think it was Bordhi climbing up on it that did it in.... good job fixing it!