(Let’s see how long I remember to keep this monthly ritual going. My record is not strong.)
Here’s what’s going on in my patch of land in northern New England as of 30 June 2016. It’s been a month with little rainfall, the 9th month in a row of sub-average precipitation. I am watering my veggies, annuals, and new perennials and shrubs just about every day (or my amazing friends are, when I’m away), and soaking every plant and garden bed about once every four or five days. Rain, where are you? I still have rain in the rain barrels from the 2-hour intermittent thunderstorm the other night, but it’s going fast.
bench garden, with penstemons, anemone, and herb box
patio, weeping spruce, comfrey, anemone, juniper, herb box, shed
dwarf Alberta spruce, weeping Norway spruce, and juniper in between … also a little lemon balm, comfrey, and thyme
harvestman spider on sage in back yard
‘Oracle’ sedum flower … the plant looks awful, the flowers still bloom
persicaria ‘Painters Palette’ and a salvia
veronicastrum getting tall … some buds … should be flowering soon
part of the back border, with angelicas, sedum, phlox, persicaria, willow gentian, miscanthus grass, hydrangea and so on
angelica, filipendula, hydrangea, phlox, etc. in back border
‘Bail Day’ hydrangea … usually just foliage, but occasionally it flowers (later in summer)
a new ‘Bravado’ echinacea given to us by spouse’s vanpool driver
blurry bleeding heart … all the others finished a month ago, but this one persists
tiarella really spreads!
my beloved ‘June Fever’ hosta
All ornamental and probably my favourite space in the yard.
Japanese painted fern
volunteer green hosta, Japanese painted fern, ‘Blue Cadet’ hosta
‘Peach Blossom’ astilbe
Japanese lantern, hostas, Rodgersian, astilbe, et al.
Rodgersia in bloom a few days ago
Mostly ornamental except for sage, lavender, thyme.
border with salvia, dianthus, ‘Jingle Bell’ penstemon, sedums, sage, comfrey, etc.
spreading sedum ‘Spirit’ with dianthus and echinops (globe thistle)
my favourite salvia, ‘Purple Rain’
A mixture of edibles — elderberries, hazelnuts, cucumbers, squash, basil, lemon balm, blueberries, dwarf cherry, lavender — and ornamentals (for us; edible perhaps for someone else) — lady’s mantle, Bowman’s root, bee balm, vervain, crabapple, lilac, echinacea, various milkweeds, zinnias, calendula, amsonia, various phloxes, asters, snapdragons, honeysuckle, Fineline, dwarf Alberta spruce, anemone, bloodroot, masses of violets, Russian sage, crocosmia, gladiolus, hydrangea, rose, holly, daylilies, butterfly bush …
lady’s mantles, Bowman’s root in rock wall
‘Antia Kistler’ phlox, lemon balm, lilac, holly, milkweeds, echinacea, etc.
And some lovely weeds in the lawn:
hawkweed in lawn
self-heal (prunella) in lawn
white clover in lawn
Radishes were pulled out weeks ago for bush bean seeds. Arugula and romaine continue apace. Chard is coming along, as are peppers, tomatoes, and basil. Squash is looking good, but someone ate all the little squashes off one of them. Cucumber lags but I’m hopeful. Scarlet runner bean foliage is always so hardy looking. The peas are the real star here; I planted them on 19 March and they were ready to start harvesting about 10 days ago. Nothing compares to fresh podded peas. I love it that some borage and cosmos plants self-seeded from last year (neither blooming yet, but borage is about to).
squash plant so far uneaten, with five squash on it
squash plant that someone ate
rows of peas
so many peas! this is our second week of them
‘Provider’ green bean seedlings
a lot happening here: butterfly mix seedlings, scarlet runner bean seedlings, a cosmos that reseeded from last year, a new vanilla marigold flower
The fruit trees in the guild are two semi-dwarf ‘Red Haven’ peaches, but they haven’t ever had much fruit in their 5 years here, and none this year as far as I can tell. I used to have three or four high-bush blueberries planted here but moved them this year to more sun in the side yard, where they are thriving. I also moved a very spready tansy to the back-of-the-yard shade, where it’s also thriving; nothing can deter that thing.
What’s here in the guild now are lots of chives and strawberries (very spready), ten or fennel plants that self-seeded, some dill, two male/female winterberry shrubs, a lovely sand cherry, a (new) bog myrtle, ‘Summer Pastel’ and white yarrows, a heather (in its third and final location in the yard), four Asclepias incarnata plants (a milkweed), the ever-seeding lemon balm and anise hyssop, ‘Carolina Moonlight’ baptisias, a bunch of Sweet William flowers (biennial) left over from past years’ Butterfly Mix seeds, some yellow flowers also left over from the Butterfly Mix seeds, and some self-seeded borage; and this year I planted some nasturtium seeds, ‘Provider’ green beans, a little more Butterfly mix, an epimedium, and a tricyrtis (toadlily). This bed has yet to discover its true mission.
Sweet William flowers
harvestman on Sweet Williams
yellow flower from previous year’s Butterfly Mix
green bean seedlings
‘Summer Pastels’ yarrow
row of fennels (fennel is very hard to photograph!)
earlier in the month, with the ‘Carolina Moonlight’ baptisia in bloom
Mostly ornamental, with several leucothoe shrubs, an andromeda, a Nishiki willow tree, a caryopteris, asters, large rhododendrons, peonies, blue baptisias, amsonias, lupines, five sets of hosta trios, four varieties of sedums, geraniums, irises, red catchfly, a few kinds of dianthus, some annuals … and two blueberries, some culinary oregano, and various thymes (culinary and not). A Northern spicebush, two stick-like ‘Roselow’ crabapples, a dwarf ‘River King’ birch, and a small red ‘Emperor’ Japanese maple are in the front yard, along with some sedums and an ice plant near the road. And planted by someone else (besides the large rhodos and peonies) are the tall blue spruces, dark and light orange azaleas, daffodils, Japanese barberry, euonymus shrubs, a tulip poplar, and a nice kousa dogwood shrub.
part of front border
part of front border
‘So Sweet’ hosta, leucothoe, annual cuphea, pasque flower
‘Gold Standard’ hosta, amsonia, geranium, ‘So Sweet’ hostas, and small highbush blueberry
‘Rozanne’ geranium starting to bloom
dark pink peony
light pink peony
‘Hab Grey’ sedum
yellow calendula flower
‘Johnson’s Blue’ geranium
Silene ‘Lumina’ (catchfly)
Northern spicebush (Lindera benzoin), with Japanese maple behind. This spicebush bought locally survived the winter, while the two mail-ordered from the south didn’t.
“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”
― William Shakespeare