Back to the garden at hand: It’s been chilly and rainy here the last couple of weeks; last night our low was predicted to be 39 but happily only hit about 46. Days are in the 50s. Today, though, is shaping up to be sunny and mid-60s, a lovely day for planting out the tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil seedlings, as well as some cabbage and nicotiana (flowering tobacco) plants I bought yesterday, and some Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed) I bought at a plant sale over the weekend, as well as seeds for carrot and radish (both a bit late), more nasturtium, scarlet runner beans, and maybe, depending on soil temp — needs to be 60 or above, which is doubtful — beans and squash. [Update: I checked the soil temps with the soil thermometer and was surprised that the new bed soil temps are 80 degrees! Squash and beans are going in! Other beds are between 62-72. The planter is a bit less than 60, though, so have to wait a week or so to plant into it.]
I also bought the most beautiful seed packets at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens this weekend; they are the Hudson Valley Seed Library art packs, with lovely art on each geniusly created packet. (Click photo to see larger view.)
I’ve got the Good Bug annual blooms that can go out today (zinnias, blue cornflower, sweet alyssum, flax, chamomile, etc.), plus an arugula, and a lemon cucumber, which likely has to wait a couple of weeks (2 weeks after last frost).
And coming in the mail in a day or two are more of the Botanical Interests “Made in the Shade” annual/biennial/perennial flower seed mix — with Chinese Forget-Me-Not, Baby Blue Eyes, Globe Candytuft, Alpine Forget-Me-Not, Sweet William, Yellow Button Daisy, Balsam, Johnny-Jump-Up, Virginia Stock, Siberian Wallflower, Columbine Blend, Shasta Daisy, Alyssum, Blue Pimpernell, Shirley Poppy, Coleus, Foxglove, Mountain Garland, and Baby Snapdragon Toadflax — plus cilantro, dill, and borage seeds, and another seed mix called “Bring Home the Butterflies,” for a sunny location, which includes Mexican Lupine, Purple Coneflower, Mexican Sunflower, Calendula, Cosmos, Balsam Camellia, Pincushion Flower, Borage, Sunset Flower, Parsley, Cornflower, Crimson Clover, Blazing Star, Lance-Leaved Coreopsis, Prairie Gayfeather, Sweet Sultan, Sweet William, Rainbow Mix Aster, Black-Eyed Susan, Dill, Snapdragon, Yarrow, Sneezeweed, Bishops Flower, Lemon Mint, Rocky Mtn. Bee Plant, and Tall Verbena.
Here’s some of what’s going on in the garden besides me planting seeds and seedlings:
* quote from Monty Don in Gardening Mad (1998), about hawthorn: “The raw sexuality of the plant, with its hint of rotting flesh, merely added to the richness of the magic — all life, love and death in one breath of Maytime air.”