Bzzzz May 15th, 2011

Way back in 2007 I cat­a­loged nine months of pho­tos in the potager. I spent the next three years kick­ing myself for for­get­ting to do it again. I would get so wrapped up March cleanup, April and May plant­ing, June main­te­nance and, well, life that I would for­get all about tak­ing those doc­u­men­tary photos.

I man­aged to get out there on May 1 and take the first of this year’s over­head potager pho­tos. Two weeks have passed and a lot has hap­pened since these pho­tos were taken (thank you Mother Nature!), but you’ll have to wait until June 1 to see!

May 1 out­side the potager

Look­ing back and 2007 has reminded me how use­ful these quasi-time-lapse pho­tos are. The two back­yard zelko­vas that were planted ten years ago have reached a size to pro­vide plenty of shade to sit under dur­ing the hottest months.  We expanded the daylily bor­der out­side the potager, although it hasn’t yet been planted with annu­als this year. Shrubs, includ­ing a wil­low, but­ter­fly bush (‘White Splen­dor’?) and ‘Wine and Roses’ weigela have also been added out­side the fence to soften the over­all look and help the potager blend more nat­u­rally into the sur­round­ings. This is the year of the flow­er­ing shrub! At last count we have added seven new ones.

It’s hard to believe that ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ wil­low stan­dard started life here as a small 4′ tall tree in a con­tainer on our back patio. It grows so vig­or­ously now that it’s dif­fi­cult to keep in con­trol and requires a tall lad­der to maintain.

May 1 in the potager

The shaggy, hard-to-manage ‘New Dawn’ roses were removed and more of the gar­den has been given over to peren­nial crops and fruits to reduce the need for annual plant­ing. The ‘Jubilee’ straw­berry bed was installed and has proven to be an excel­lent invest­ment, pro­vid­ing a boun­ti­ful flush of straw­ber­ries in spring and a smaller, but steady, crop until fall. The herb bed had got­ten so over-run I moved it to a new loca­tion last year to start over and added a tuteur with a ‘Clair de lune’ clematis.

We have a fusar­ium wilt prob­lem in the gar­den, so it’s no longer a place where I can grow toma­toes. The hunt for a tomato home is now an annual event and, I sup­pose, will be the moti­va­tor to dig new beds. It’s no small mat­ter to dig new beds here and requires a man with a pick-ax and a strong back, a truck­load of leaf com­post and a lot of iced tea. I sus­pect that one sum­mer I will just cover every­thing up with plas­tic to solar­ize the soil and take a cruise around the world or some­thing while it cooks.

May 1 in the wood­land garden

Back in Jan­u­ary we had some under­growth cleared from the east side woods to start a wood­land gar­den. Harry has spent a good amount of time dig­ging up roots and elim­i­nat­ing poi­son ivy, get­ting his first-ever, dime-sized poi­son ivy rash in the process. In the com­ing weeks our home-from-college son’s job will be spread­ing a nice layer of stone dust that I hope will become the bed for a nice layer of moss.

So there is install­ment num­ber one for this year’s time-lapse jour­nal. June, here we come!

(Note: Click on the photo to see a larger version.)

Posted In: Gardening, Gardening Life

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Bzzzz May 12th, 2011

Weed­ing, water­ing, digging…You’re bor­ing, mommy.

Can’t you throw some­thing for us to chase? Or bet­ter yet, can’t you open that jar in the kitchen with the liver-y, smelly treats? We’ve been good girls.

Posted In: Dogs and Cats, Gardening Life

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