It seems I have been reduced to a monthly blog post - a shame, really, because I do enjoy writing - especially about the garden. Perhaps after "Mayhem" things will quiet down a bit and I can focus more on the garden and ponder about it? Truthfully, I don't believe that will happen. The summer season here has become so ... so ... what's the word? Accelerated. Yes, full speed ahead. Lazy dog days of summer? WTF is that?
However, this summer I have a secret weapon: the lake. Time slows there and it's pointless (against nature, against the flow) to try to speed up the pace there. I can't wait to share it with you in future posts but I am apprehensive to bring any sort of "technology" there since 1. dropping my iPhone in the lake while not-so-gracefully exiting my kayak on shore 2. dropping my new iPhone on a rock while marveling at the campfire and shattering the screen. My husband tells me it's "cool" to have shattered iPhone screen - like some sort of badge of honor. Hmmm.
Although, I did manage to pull out a painting from that experience which I hope will be juried into the Thousand Islands Art Center Exhibit "Along the River's Edge" where it will be on display through July 9. Prints, cards, pillows, totes and more are available on this site under SHOP.
Painting on canvas is different from painting on a nice quality paper. I prefer the paper perhaps because it is what I am used to and comfortable with, but it is nice to explore and well, I don't have to worry about framing which is a huge pro. I took a run of the mill canvas and treated it with watercolor ground which makes the surface paintable with watercolors. It takes some getting used to.
But let's talk about the garden. The garden is drenched in rain today which is good because we need it! It is considerably cooler, too - almost worrisome for some of the plants I have already put out in an attempt to "neaten" the house space. Nothing like wanting to be organized and having to depend on very "moody" weather ... I have seedlings potted up and in the greenhouse.
The greenhouse is covered with weeds, again - all the seeds I shook loose in my post-hornet weeding frenzy last Fall - Queen Anne's Lace and Perilla. I am resorting to spraying them with a diluted vinegar/water solution as landscape cloth and stone make for nearly impossible weeding. I would have been better off placing a board beneath the stone. I cannot tell anyone enough how absolutely useless and troublesome landscape cloth is!
I am concerned about the fantastic starts of cucamelon and may bring just those back indoors tonight with overnight temps predicted at 36° F. I think my prized ginger from Logee's, will be okay on the back porch steps close to the house as well as the croton and nerve plants. They will receive the first of the morning sun - if it shines tomorrow. They are in large pots - not an easy feat to bring in and out and in and out and in and out again. Call me lazy. The greenhouse should hold a little heat although there isn't much sun today so I don't want to open the door. The tomatoes I have smartly left inside under the lights. They are coming along so well!
I guess I am in a rambling sort of mood today ... what's blooming already! The Woodland Edge is my favorite part of Spring with its "forest floor" that I am trying to refine with spreading ground covers and ephimerals all the while keeping the dreaded Bishop's Weed at bay. I have introduced some trout lily, trillium, bloodroot and shooting star which aren't quite in their stride just yet but have returned! I also dug up some Dutchman's Breeches from the lake in the area that is to be our "driveway" so in a way, it was merciful. I think he likes it and will take which I read is not very easy to achieve so I consider him, and myself, lucky.
The Bloodroot has passed but the Trillium still blooms among the Summer Snowflake, Leucojum aestivum, and hosta upshoots.
Pretty, all-spring-and-summer-and-fall-blooming Lamium skirts the edge.
The Woodland Tulips, Tulip sylvestris, are drooping today in the rain, but you should have seen them a few days ago in the sunshine ... oh, wait, you can!
I used to have a beautiful patch of Woodland Phlox here but I guess it's been overrun by the Violets. I'll have to try growing it again in Hosta Row. Hosta Row is coming along. I am also trying to weave a network of plants here in this bed that will become a living mulch. It is here where I have planted, finally, Virginia Bluebells, Mertensia virginica. I planted a mail-ordered bareroot but also lucked out and picked up a plant at the Thomas Rainer lecture I attended in Syracuse. I am enjoying his book, Planting in a Post Wild World, tremendously and hope to post about it once I read into it a little further. It is a mind-expander for me much like Douglas Tallamy's books so I find the reading very inspiring.
I also planted Spikenard in Hosta Row - a plant I have been pining for. I hope to show some blooms by Autumn. A tough little Iris given to me by a very generous neighbor that sat in a plastic bag for most of last summer in my shed before being planted has, in spite of my meanness, offered me blooms. I love that they are yellow! I have so much admiration for this little guy right now.
Once again, I am in love with Dogwood. Some call it a weed around here but I always boast about Dogwood - the shrub, the tree. It lends so much to the garden. Winter color, fall color, flowers, berries, bird-appeal ... Cornus Golden Shadows is growing up in Hosta Row along the shrub-sized bleeding hearts. It truly is gold!
Mayapples will bloom this year ... not quite open yet. I am also loving this dainty, little early Anenome Rue, Isopyrum biternatum (I think), that I picked up at the Thomas Rainer lecture as well.
Bear with me, May is a big blooming month and I am happy to share it with all the other Garden Bloggers' Bloom Dayers out there for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.
Aside from the Woodland Tulips (which I find rabbit resistant), I have some "real" tulips out front where Big Fat Rabbit isn't as comfortable sitting around - much like me. It's very social there. And the Creeping Phlox is fairing much better than my extinct Woodland Phlox, in spite of being run over by what I believe were snow mobiles over the winter. Village living.
Serviceberry, Amelanchier laevis, planted in the back yard in the Woodland Edge has just one or two blooms left. In contrast, the Crabapples planted out front sidewalk-side are just bursting. I love viewing the one framed in my kitchen window where there used to be nothing but a view to the street and prior to that, the same sort of trellis you see to the left with the honeysuckle poking through.
It's such a shame that grass has overtaken my front "riverbed." I hope to get it back with weekly weeding this year. I love how it blooms in the Spring. I also love not only the flowers of Pasque Flower, but this bristly burst of all that remains.
I carefully tred the paths of the Potager these days because they are lined with strawberry, violet blooms, and forget-me-nots - so charming!
The blue is just a little brighter on this quaint Brunnera. I have to love what's to come: poppies and columbine! And I don't care if the Echivera ever blooms, contradictory to what's blooming - but it looks great just as is!
Author Kathy Sturr
In this blog I may write about the garden, flowers, plants, and the garden ... mostly the garden, but also new art and inspiration.