Tag Archive | flowers

May Garden Tour

It’s that time of year when we wake up, head outside to the garden and keep working until the day is done.  Pacing is crucial and timing is everything.  Come on along and see what is coming up and going on in the gardens.

Harry is pleased with the spring picking of parsley. His nettle patch is incredibly verdant this time of year.  Fresh baby nettle tips are tasty this time of year.  It does sting to work with them.  I started out with gloves, but ended up bare handed before I was done preparing the nettle leaves for parsnip curry.

Nettle or Urtica dioica, a prickly sort of friend, up close in glorious green. Did you know nettle is a hollow stalked plant like catnip and hemp?  It makes a nourishing tea and Harry says it has more protein pound per pound than beef steak.  Really, Mr. Brown?

Rhubarb is just about ready for a first picking. Harry’s roses look super. He has been caring for them ever since they arrived in the garden.

Catnip abounds!  Our sweet hillcats, Purrly and Jacqui, love to roll around and nibble on the catnip.  It is a healing herb too.  Catnip tea soothes little ones when they don’t feel good and helps with tummy ache. It also has a hollow stalk stem and is a smoking herb. Folks I know have smoked it to ease out of smoking tobacco.

Another one of Nana’s garden statues. I think the child is waiting for strawberries.  My garden buddy, Andy, said they look good. I’m not sure yet.  Still,  I’m dreaming of shortcake and whipped cream.

They look like bare twigs right now, but they will become Prelude raspberries by next year.  Another addition from FEDCO trees.

Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum is one of my long time favorites. It makes the BEST herb ice tea I have ever had.  It has a sweet licorice flavor and doesn’t need sweetener. A fresh sprig infused in water is so refreshing.

The early lettuce has been outside facing the elements and is fully acclimatized. It’s from the FEDCO organic mix.  I haven’t yet identified the varieties yet.

The first planting of lettuce mix and scallions from under the row cover and greenhouse plastic.  I’ll keep the row cover on to protect my salad greens from flea beetle destruction!

Buttercrunch and anuenue lettuces ready for transplanting.  Greens Mix, Afina cutting celery and celeriac root are ready to go in too.

My prairie rose started with a tiny rooted cane that came up when I was weeding out around the gravestone of my great-great-great-great grandfather Moses Patrick.  I kept it in moist paper towel and plastic bag and was amazed when the first leaf came out.  Bringing it all back home…

The pansies, crazy daisies and alyssum seedlings are used to being outside now. The boxes with marigolds and zinnia still need protection at night.

The hollyhock row behind the pansies was created by digging up hollyhocks that were coming up in other places and planting them together.  I’m sure there will be renegade hollyhocks too!

Close up of the garlic patch.  Our music pink has four giant cloves.  The seed garlic came from Amy LeBlanc’s Whitewater Farm around 2005.  We almost lost it when it was all sold at the Common Ground Country Fair, but luckily our garden buddy Andy had grown out his music pink from seed I had given him.  Most of the garlic patch is braiding garlic.  I like making the braids as gifts for friends and family.

I worked at the  Scatterseed Project for Will Bonsell for a few years. This is a rutabaga variety that Andy has been saving seed from for over 10 years.  I’m hoping to grow them myself this year. (He keeps saying it’s my turn)

Tax day peas are looking super.  This planting is Green Arrow and Topps. There is hope for peas by 4th of July, indeed. We are still waiting for the second planting to emerge.

I’m pretty sure this is St. John’s Wort.  I’m giving it extra love and care just in case.  This medicinal herb makes a lovely red colored oil, that I make into salve for Harry to heal burns, bruises and scrapes of all kinds.

The mighty comfrey growing strong and green.  I found a comfrey friend from central England in this new world of garden blogging. It is a super compost tea for plants.  My method is to fill a bucket with nettle and comfrey, fill it up with water, cover and strain out when it starts to get smelly. Powerful.

Rex is ready to romp!  Patrikyia’s wheelbarrow and the tub are cleared out and reseeded with a shade mix I picked up at Reny’s There is germination and I am hopeful.  It’s under an apple tree and has partial shade, so I  planning to fill with impatiens flowers again.

Another addition from Nana’s garden statues. A saucy faced frog sitting on the shade.

The next three pictures are spring wilflowers: violets, trout flowers and a delightful trillium.

The last hurrah of my sweet petite trumpet daffy dills.

The results of spring transplants from divisions and cutting. Shasta daisies, sedem, Harry’s roses, comfrey, rhubarb, strawberries, hollyhock and sweet William.  It’s been dandelion days on The Hill, the greens of the season on our menu, along with fresh nettles.

And look who I found backing into one of the Rose pots.  This hoppy toad wanted to stay put.  I sang a little song and let toady be.

Lots to do and a short time to get it done…..

But today I am content to be a rainy day woman

End of the Month Garden View: March

It’s the last day of March on The Hill and we are expecting more snow.  The view of the main garden from the upstairs window makes me think getting peas planted by Tax Day might be pushing it.  I still have high hopes.  Peas and larkspur are planted by seed at the same time.  I love the bold blue the larkspur brings to the landscape.  I’m hoping to plant them both in mid April and again at the first week of May.


Taking advantage of a south facing window. Light is at a premium right now. Every available space is filling up with seedlings and transplants. This is calendula. I love its blazing color. If I keep it picked regularly, the blooms keep coming. It will be one of the last blooming flowers in my garden. This is one of three calendula that showed up in one of Harry’s “winter surprise” pots. He will bring in a planter of soil before the ground freezes, keeps it watered and in sunlight and we see what happens! We had calendula, pansies, pigweed and clover this year. I transplanted out the calendula and will see what happens!


I have about 100 seedlings from three varieties of pansies- all from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.  Penny is reputed to bloom all season long.  The fairly colors are unusual for pansies–orange, yellow, blue. Majestic Giants, traditional pansies with extra large flowers and Sorbet, an early flowering variety.   Most of the seedlings will be transplanted into containers for the Green Love Renaissance garden.  I also have a few choice spots for them in the main garden too!


It’s like saying hello to an old friend to go out on the south side of the house.  Harry and I sat outside sunning ourselves in this oasis of ground.  The cold frame may not look like much, but it works really well for the pansies and the onion seedlings.  I won’t start hardening them off out here until this next batch of snow has passed.

I’ve used this method successfully for years. What I like is being able to remove the apparatus and store the until I need it again.  This area is quite shaded when the trees leave out, but right now it is the perfect place for the seedlings that can tolerate some cold.

For materials I used plastic tubing, old tent poles, greenhouse plastic and dimensional lumber from previous projects.  The tent poles are from tents that are missing pieces.  I stretched them out and cut them apart to make “stakes” to poke in the ground.  The black tube goes over the “stakes” and I shoved it into the ground to secure it a bit.  The lumber and plant pots secure down the plastic. It’s crude, but I had a blast putting it together.  The sun was shining as I stood on my little island of soil surrounded by snow.  Sweetness.


I was lifting up a piece of wood to hold down the cold frame plastic and found new baby strawberry plants saying hello to me.  One of my plans is to pot up plants that are already growing around the yard or self seeding in the garden. This is my first challenge I think.  Wild strawberries transplant well and make excellent container plants.  There is no cost for the seed and I can keep the potted plants outside.  I wonder how they would do with attention and care?

Thanks to The Constant Gardener for the inspiration to share an end of the month photo.

“Every so often you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”