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Clematis in Bloom

clematis

clematis in bloom

This has been a very rainy May, which is great for young plants. Everything in the garden is growing quickly – literally overnight plants double in size. Green is still the dominant color but there are buds and every day a new flower joins the show. Clematis opened up yesterday with one flower – now there are three.

What do shoes and lettuce have in common?

They both fit nicely in this container:

Growing Lettuce Vertically

Growing Lettuce Vertically

I used potting soil. Since the lettuce is separated into various sections it will be easy to replant as it is used. Right now the weather is cool. It will be interesting to see how this method holds up as it gets hotter.

Out in the front of my house I’m developing a rain garden. A rain garden is a collection of plants with roots that are deeper than lawn grass. When it rains heavily these plants keep the soil firmly in place. It is an opportunity to learn about some native grasses. I’ve added a few different kinds of plants to vary texture and color.

Rain Garden

Rain Garden

As the season progresses some of these plants will bloom. This will be a fun garden to watch. And what is a gardening blog without the occasional superstar – the rose! This beautiful specimen is the latest addition to my garden:

Peach Rose

Peach Rose

Who wouldn’t fall in love with this flower.

Finally, here is a bird’s eye view of the backyard garden plan:

Overview of Backyard Garden

Overview of Backyard Garden

There are many wonderful plants that are out of sight but in this image you can see the overall effect that I’m trying to achieve. My goal is to maximize food production but keep everything beautiful. The crops that are growing include: parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, hyssop, tarragon, dill, chocolate mint, chamomile, sunflowers, eggplant, carrots, cucumbers, cantaloupe, asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, lemon grass, cilantro/coriander, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, chives, celery, peas, beans, cabbage, beets, lettuce, chicory, potatoes, raspberries and fennel. The biggest challenge so far is to keep the aggressive plants contained and help the less aggressive plants thrive. I haven’t used any fertilizer yet – only worm compost and coffee grounds. To be accurate I have started many of the seedlings in miracle grow potting mix.

It’s been a long time since I posted anything…

I’m working hard on my garden this Spring. The pond is gone. Why? Many reasons but they can be summed up in a word – my dog likes to eat Koi fish. Without fish the pond is really too much work. But no worries. Soon the space will be home to lots and lots of grapes. Last summer I painted the garage with a mural. It really changed the entire atmosphere of the yard. The colors were dark – and the green plants show up nicely.

back yard patio

The begining of an illusion...

Notice the mural isn’t quite finished. I’m still trying to decide if I want a window into the garage. I’ll finish it this summer. So in the foreground you are looking at parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. They really do fit well together in one container. Only the sage survived the winter and this container was in the greenhouse. The very cold winters are making it hard to save more herbs. The raised beds to the right will soon have cucumber vines, egg plant, beets, and carrots.

spring flowers

another view

The Spring flowers really are spectacular. We’ve had lots of rain lately. The container on the right will grow one very large cabbage plant. Growing food crops in raised beds and containers really discourages the rabbits. The delicate fern in the center just past the logs is asparagus. Every year a few more stalks come up. I suspect it will be ready for harvest next year.


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