Guys, I think I'm a failed seed-starter. I've repeatedly read that starting seeds indoors in Montana with just the sun won't work. I've tried for two years to prove otherwise. Sometimes being stubborn doesn't work.
See my snapdragons?
And the marigolds I'm supposed to transplant outside on Sunday?
And the purple basil?
The larkspur is supposed to go outside shortly too.
Yeah... seed starting fail. I see a grow light in my future, though I'm not sure where we'll set it up in the house. I'll figure that out in January.
Anyway, outside, things are inching along. On Wednesday I cut the larger tulips from outside and displayed them in a vase in the kitchen. They were getting beat to all hell from the wind. Now I have one tulip and a bunch of alium left out there.
The irises I transplanted, as well as the mystery plant from Jane, seem to be doing okay.
Near the kitchen bed (more on it's transformation tomorrow), the irises and Black-eyed-Susan are doing well.
As is the "Twist and Shout" endless summer hydrangea. The local nursery folks were really surprised when I told them I'd overwintered a hydrangea here. While last year's stems aren't doing anything, the new growth from the root ball is reassuring.
And hey, a bud!
Have I ever mentioned DJ's "fern gully"? He installed a bunch of ferns, hostas and moss plants in the corner near the rain barrel. The area doesn't get much sun, and is usually pretty wet. We thought this plant was dead, but check out the fern unravelling!
This is an astilbe:
I.... don't remember:
Along the driveway, the delphinium is recovering from last month's wind event.
As is the lupine:
And I think we're about to have a poppy!
The bee balm is doing okay. It needs to have soil pep worked back in around it, after the wind blew it all away. This bed is up for reworking this weekend. All that muscari will be uprooted and transplanted.
The idea of this driveway garden is for the area to feel lush and pretty as you drive into our garage. From top to bottom, you can see a clump of tulips and allium, then iris stems, then where the grass starts a clump of raspberry sticks. Eventually we'll have to stake those, but I think we're a few years from big enough plants to worry about. Below the raspberries is a salvia, then a decorative grass, decorative grass and an aster for fall color.
To the left as you drive in, the bed will be reworked a bit too this weekend. Mostly pulling up spring bulbs and reinstalling them in larger groupings for more effect. The bright green plant is a burning bush; I love the lime green in the spring! The other is a crysanthemum.
You might have noticed a green speck in the pepper pots behind the crysanthemum! Yep, I planted peppers and tomatoes on Wednesday, June 1. Here's a Hungarian wax pepper:
And a cherry bomb bell pepper:
I've got a lot of irises around our house. They're planted at the base of each porch column, as well as in the other flower beds. The first round came from my parent's lake place, and were thrown in the ground the fall we moved in. The second round came from our friend Shannon, who needed to thin hers out last summer. I think it takes a year for the iris corm to get established, and maybe they bloom well the second year? Because only about 20% of my iris corms are pushing up bulbs, though it's early still:
I'd planted a pot of pink coneflower on the front porch. I've tried starting this seed indoors, and outside in the ground, to no avail yet. It finally germinated in the porch pot this week.
Aliums and irises:
To the left of the front steps, with a spirea front and center:
Here's a game, in this pot, one of these plants is not like the other; which is it?
Hey... a bell pepper plant amongst the spinach!
The plan is that we'll eat off the spinach while the pepper plant grows. By the weather is warm enough to make the spinach bolt the bell pepper plant will have grown tall enough to shade the plants anyway. Companion planting.
Also companion planted is another bell pepper plant with the over-wintered cilantro. This cilantro has me convinced about experimenting with seeds this fall. Usually one plants seeds in the spring, but I think this fall I'll scatter basil, oregano, and other herb seeds in the herb bed right around Thanksgiving. The seeds will stay cold enough to not germinate and we'll see if they pop up of their own accord in the spring. Trial and error, right?
The power box bed has tulips up in it. Beneath the tulips are sweet pea seedlings. As the tulips die back the sweet peas will take off. I need to pop a few more sweet pea seeds out there this weekend.
This daylilly is doing well. I can't remember the genus.
The transplanted bee balm is really doing well!
And the decorative grasses we planted are doing well too. Russian Sage is between the boxes, a reed grass to the top right, irises and Autumn Joy sedum.
I planted a coneflower (prairie fire?) on the western edge of the power box bed last year. They made great flowers for cutting into the fall, but I cut the plant back pretty harshly. And then stepped on it this spring, turning out what little remained of the plant. I thought I'd killed it. Again, I'm amazed at a plant's ability to regenerate itself.
The first round of gladiolus corms have sprouted! And in the background you can see the red twig dogwood that Harlow "trimmed"; it appears to have leaf buds!
Overall front. You can see the new reed grass I added to the far west side of our porch.
Around the back porch the garage bed is full of plants.
This lilly has been stepped on more than a few times too, but appears to be doing well.
As is the hosta, clematis, and sweet peas I planted at the bottom of the clematis.
This lupine was protected from the east wind of a few weeks ago, and is doing well.
Out in the garden, I'm waiting on the carrots to get a bit bigger before mulching over them. I watered them right after taking this picture.
I did mulch in around the other more established plants after DJ mowed the lawn on Wednesday. see this lettuce? It looks like something's been munching on it! I can't find a hole in the gopher fence, but...?
What's with the grass clippings you ask? A friend of mine taught me to lay down grass clippings around your plants as mulch. It helps the ground retain water, keeps weeds down and then gets tilled into the ground at the end of the growing season to add nutrients. And yep, those are tomato plants. Thus far I have a juliet tomato, early girl tomato and Roma tomato in the ground. I need to buy a cherry tomato this weekend.
I hold off on mulching a space until the plant is kind of established.
Sugar snap peas, GROW.
No sign of potatoes, corn or squashes yet...
And finally, the lilac bush is doing well:
Overall, things seem to be doing okay. We've had a wicked wind over the last month. It dries out the plants, but brings very little rain. I'm not sure what the deal is with our weather. It's supposed to hit 29 degrees tonight (buying heat cones today!), and then be in the 80's on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Yippee for nice weather, FINALLY!
To do's this weekend:
- Rework driveway bed, move spring bulbs, bury sprinkler line, spread soil pep.
- Rework bed to the right of the front steps, move spring bulbs, install evergreen?, bury sprinkler line, spread soil pep.
- Plant more sweet peas!
- Buy/ plant eggplant, cherry tomato
How's your garden growing?