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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Friday, May 20, 2011

May 20 Friday Farming

I snapped these photos on Thursday morning, as the weather report called for rain all weekend. Good thing since it's lightly raining this morning. 

Here's how things look from the street:

I've been thinking the last week that our landscaping really needs more bushes in it. I was so distracted last year with trying to grow flowers I didn't really think about bushes, which are usually the background of planting beds.

I'm also beginning to think that all of these spring bulbs make the area look... messy. Lots of spiky leaves going every which way. I realized last winter that we need some type of evergreen in our planting beds too. I'll discuss this more in a later post, since Fridays are all about what's blooming!

Tulip, daffodil, alium and muscari are all blooming or close to it. I'd given the burning bush up for dead, as it failed to turn scarlet red last fall or drop it's leaves. But it's coming back nicely this spring!


Close up!

I'm already planning to reposition many of my spring bulbs. This lonely single tulip doesn't make much of a statement, does it? All of my second year tulips are not very impressive this year. Many of them sent up just one leaf but no bloom. Hmmm...

I think the big green ground cover is either an aster or crysanthemum, either of which are fall bloomers. the veggie plants behind them will hold a jalapeno and banana pepper plant, once it gets warm enough to actually purchase and install those species.

Remember when I thought the muscari was dead? I'm not really sure what happened, but it looks great now!

This little section of the driveway bed is where I've installed the "special" plants like bee balm, lupine and delphinium. The prevailing winds are usually from the west and the house usually protects the house from being battered around in the wind.

Unless it's a 40mph east wind, like we had last weekend. Last weekend's windstorm snapped off many of the about-to-bloom flowers I have on the east side of the house! The wind also blew most of the soil-pep into the lawn, leaving many plants sitting up out of the dirt.

Delphinium, snapped daffodil.

The lupine took a battering but is already rebounding.

Same with the dasies? Poppies? I'm not certain what this plant is, but we'll find out soon. Check it out; a flower bud!

The soil pep totally eroded from around this bee balm, leaving the plant exposed.

Across the driveway, the raspberries continue to grow.

One of the newer sets of tulips is about to bloom.

I can't remember what color these are. Maybe a light yellow?

In DJ's fern gully, plants are coming back. This is a hosta.

And an astilbe.

And a hydrangea :)

The planting bed under the hammock is one of the areas which needs bushes. Here you see snapped over daffodils, tulips, and irises in the background. I transplanted the bee balm from here, and the daylillies are coming back nicely.

Around back the clematis and hosta are returning.

As well as a lilly.

And the lilac!

Thus far the fence has kept the gophers out.

The spinach is up.

And I used grass clippings to mulch around the transplanted lettuces. I learned this method from another gardener-friend-o-mine, who always uses their grass clippings to mulch. This keeps weeds out of the garden and helps the soil retain moisture. The grass gets tilled back into the garden in the fall, adding nutrients.

The Walla Walla sweet onions seem to have taken off.

And the single, sad little broccoli start soldiers on.

Carrots are coming up! I can tell they're not weeds by the repetition in which the sprouts are coming up.

The sugar snap peas are growing well.

I also popped sweet peas into the ground along the gopher fence. They'll be able to trellis up the chicken wire and provide a nice screen to the veggie garden.

Back around front, the bed to the left of the front walk is doing okay. I already have plans to add a decorative grass to anchor the end of the house as well as a evergreen.

Salvia, tulip.

Cilantro. I'm totally going to co-plant this along side the jalepeno and banana peppers.


See, these are the tulips I'm talking about. They sent up leaves, but no bulb stalk. Maybe a nutrient deficiency?

The spirea is coming back nicely. I love the bright colors for spring!

The redtwig dogwood doesn't seem to be thriving. I'm not sure what to make of it. Harlow's "trimming" of the plant in March certainty didn't help.

Daylilly near the front steps is coming back.

And the alium bulbs I planted are doing well.

They're funny plants. Their buds look like this:

Before peeling back to look like this:

More daffs.

If I do rearrange my spring bulbs, I'll to a better job of pairing my spring bulbs to play well together.

See this? It's a poppy! The first I've ever been able to grow from seed. Do I want poppies in this location? Nope. I'll transplant this one after it blooms.

Over in the power box bed:

These first-year tulips are growing well.

And in them are more sweet peas. Once the tulips do their thing the sweet peas will grow up a trellis and add annual color.

I think these tulips are pinks and oranges.

Check it out! Liatris.

Autum Joy Sedum.

This plant is totally dead. To be replaced (possibly this weekend!) with Russian sage.

See? I think we need more bushes.

I tried planting bulbs at the base of my tree, like all of my neighbors. Sadly, these crocus, tulips and alium were whipped by the wind too. I'm not sure they're going to do well.

Up in the hanging baskets:

And what about the seeds I'm starting inside? Well, the second round of marigolds are up.

And I have no idea what this plant is in the foreground. Truth e told, I was so annoyed that I killed my starts by overheating them that I kind of just threw seeds into the seed-started and thought I'd figure it out when they came up.

If I were to bed, I'd guess these are larkspur?

Starting plants indoors, just trying to use the sunlight, doesn't really work for me. I have to transfer them to the front porch each morning. This requires watching to make sure it's sunny out, but not too sunny lest the plants be scalded. And by Memorial Day when my little starts are ready to go outside for good, the nurseries in town have big bushy plants that are miles ahead of mine. I'll have to decide next year if I want to just buy starts, or go whole-hog into this and buy a grow light. They should be easy to come by, since medical marijuana is no longer legal in Montana!

What's on tap for the weekend? Well, given the rain, I'm not sure much. I need to get plants installed in my parents planting bed, asap. I'll probably pick up the Russian Sage and decorative grass I mentioned above while at the nursery. I'll enjoy the blooming spring bulbs while already plotting to reposition them around bushes I want to plant.

The weekend after this is Memorial Day, which coincides with the last frost date in Bozeman. Once we get back from the lake, I'll buy roma tomato, early girl tomato and cherry tomato plants and put them in the garden. I'll also buy bell, jalepeno and banana pepper sets and plant them. The squash seeds will go into the ground at that time too: zucchini, butternut, spaghetti.

I need to re-seed many of the flowers I'm trying to start. The snapdragons, sunflower and ecchinacea haven't shown hide nor hair.

I've watched/ listened to/ read a lot lately about nutrition as it relates to fresh, organic food. It's interesting stuff and makes me think a bit more about if I plan to store some of this harvest. I'll touch on that in another post :)

Happy Friday!

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