Friday, July 31, 2009

Buried Treasure?

I was doing some much needed weeding this morning - and boy was it ever needed as I uncovered a whole plant that I didn't even realized was flowering!!

I'm not fan of the solid throats on daylilies, but all in all, I guess this one isn't so bad.

And I can't believe that it was blooming under all those weeds.

I bought it this spring thinking it was going to look like this. They don't even look similar! Maybe it grows into its color?

I thought it would be tall, so I planted it to the back of the border - it's short. There wasn't much truth in that tag!

The form of this lily is its true saving grace - it is beautifully compact. Just like I like them!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Food Gardening Update

Those who follow my gardening escapades here know I have several large flower gardens, but I hardly ever talk about my food garden. This is the year of food gardening for me. I spend more time in my vegetable garden than all of my flower gardens combined. I have even taken up a vegetable garden in a friend's backyard down the street.

My first harvest of the year was June 22 from my strawberry patch. I use strawberries as a border plant in my main garden. These are Honoeye. They have great flavor, but aren't consistently sweet. When they are sweet, they are the best strawberry around for fresh eating. They are always great for preserves.

On June 24 I had my first major spinach (Bloomsdale), lettuce (speckled Romaine) and broccoli (Packman) harvest.

And the Early Girls were setting fruit.

By July 09 we built an extra raised bed and a squash trellis to get even more out of our vegetable garden space. As you can see, I pack a lot into a little space. Each of these beds is 4'x16' and are loaded with more plants than some would dare put in twice the space.

In the first - the Broccoli Bed: 4ft of curled vates kale, 8ft Bloomsdale spinach, 10ft mixed lettuce, 8 Packman broccoli, 10 mixed pepper plants, 4 Early Girl tomatoes, 4 mixed tomatoes, 2 spaghetti squash, 2 zucchini, 12 garlic, 16 Maxibel filet beans, 4 rutabaga, 40 sweet peas, and basil plants here and there.

In the second -the Garlic Bed: 3 yellow summer squash, 18 Maxibel filet beans, 12 rutabaga, 45 garlic, 8sqft of volunteer American Flag leeks, 6 mixed tomatoes, 24ft various peas, 16ft large leaf basil, 1 volunteer broccoli, 4 turnips, 1 sweet pepper, and some spinach sprinkled here and there.

In the third -the Squash Bed: 2 Triple Treat pumpkin, 2 Table Queen acorn squash, 2 buttercup, 2 butternut, 6 edamame, 16ft Detroit Red beets, 16ftblack-eyed peas, 10 sweet yellow onions, 10 rutabaga, 15 large leaf basil, 6 shallots, and tons of volunteer lamb's quarter (which not only are an edible weed, but are high in nutrients and are darn tasty!).

By packing in the plants I reduce space for weeds, cool the ground, and reduce water loss. I had a goal this year to have enough to bring some of each to our local food bank. I am definitely meeting that goal. It's not only great to have somewhere to go with all my extra, it's great to know that I am helping others.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


My garden usually looks like hell around this time of year and there's usually not much blooming, but amazingly it looks pretty good and there are tons of things blooming! There's a lot to look at, so I'll keep the words to a minimum.

"Lipstick" alpine strawberry

Balloon flower

Armeria (new to my garden this year)

"Red Shades" bee balm and mullein

native Blackeyed Susan

"Carefree" rose - truly is carefree

cutleaf sumac

"Montana" centaurea - seeds out well for naturalizing

"Prairie Sunset" heliopsis - prone to aphids, but a little soap water does the trick!

echinacea - planted these from seeds 10 years ago and they have been slowly taking over ever since!


"Elodie" double lily - they survived the move!

"Golden Queen" globeflower

"Gold Flame" honeysuckle

hoary vervain - native

"Italia" lily - These are one of my favorites! Fortunately they also are multiplying since I can no longer find them offered.

These were labeled as "Latvia" when I purchased them, however, after further research, they are not. So, if anyone out there has a clue as to what they might be, please let me know. They are very dark red on the petal exterior and a glowing red/orange on the inside. Very nice. Plus they have nice form and are very sturdy - no staking needed.

Common mullein - volunteer

"Molten Lava" lychnis

"Miss Wilmot" cinquefoil

"Pewter Moon" heurchera - still blooming since last GBBD!!

"Parker's Gold" achillea

pink catchfly - volunteer

"Queen of the Prairie"

red bee balm

Rattlesnake Master - native

"Zebrina" malva

"Zagreb" coreopsis

white rose campion

Volunteer sunflower - I planted sunflowers about 10 years ago and have never had to plant them since. Every year I just go around the garden and move the volunteered seedlings to where I want sunflowers.

Zucchini flower

Angelique lily - very scentastic!

Rudbeckia hirta - volunteer. I love these flowers and look forward to seeing them every year. They are biennials that re-seed moderately. I have about a dozen seedlings waiting their turn next year. I can't wait!!

Street-side view

patio view of main garden
(not every flower seen here is from this garden as I have four other major gardens in my yard).

Let's thank Carol at May Dreams Garden for creating and hosting Garden Blogger Bloom Day every month. It's fun and interesting to see what every one has blooming -- and sure makes shopping for new stuff easy! ;) So hit the GBBD link and find out what's going on.

BTW - I had started posting this on the 15, but due to some technical difficulties did not get it finished and live until the 19th.