Saturday, April 24, 2010

Now in bloom at home

I don't know which has been worse: keeping up with the blog or keeping up with the gardens. Work, trips away, and other obligations have prevented me from checking in on the Minton Stable Garden, but using the same varieties of lettuce, spinach, and snap peas growing at home as a guide, I believe that the plot will survive a few more days of neglect. A brief shower on Thursday is better than no water at all. I'm just hoping that the peas are attaching themselves to the supports I fashioned for them and not the strawberries growing nearby.In moments of spare time and dry weather I've been clearing out the perennial beds at home, and it looks like there will be several hours of thinning and digging to do between now and the Perennial Divide, which takes place in a few weeks at the City Natives Nursery in Mattapan. First, I need to scale back the bee balm, seen in the top photo behind my tulips, as it is really starting to take over the front garden, and overcrowding plants may lead to another case of powdery mildew. Until the bee balm come into bloom during the summer, I can get my fix of red from the coral bells.In the shady backyard, the vinca is flowering and spreading, slowly making up for some neglect a few years back (maple seedlings and other unwanted invaders took over).The lamium is spreading outside the raised bed and onto the grass, but it sure is pretty.These last few years I haven't found much for free at the Perennial Divide that I don't already have growing, so I have picked up a native or two from the nursery. This foam flower (tiarella cordifolia) is looking quite at home.

Some of the other perennials in bloom include pulmonaria, lemon balm, and pachysandra, and the hostas, ferns, and lily of the valley are poking out of the ground and starting to unfurl their leaves. After all of the dreary weather and flooding of the early spring, it's nice to see them return. It's too early to tell which diseases or pests will surface from this disruption from the norm, though I've heard we may be visited by an overabundance of winter moths.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Update on my plot

As the temperatures in Boston yesterday escalated toward the 90s, I biked over to my Minton Stable Garden plot in the early afternoon to see if any seedlings were poking through the soil. At first glance, nothing. Then I crouched down for a closer inspection and there, in between the small rocks and stray blades of salt hay and leaves I found them--My lettuce (above) and spinach (below) I had planted on March 28. I photographed them with the same camera I haven't gotten around to replacing (I have been making good use of the crop feature in my photo application to hide the fuzzy left side of my images).And there were the plants that had decided to sow themselves. I had always wanted to grow raspberries, so I kept a few of the volunteers that blew into my plot last year. And those have multiplied tenfold and spread across my plot. Almost as pesky as bindweed, though not as threatening. I'd love to keep them, but they have entered my perennial section and also taking the space reserved for my pole beans. Anyone want to start their own raspberry beds? I have plenty here just for the digging.