(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.
All ornamental and probably my favourite space in the yard.
Mostly ornamental except for sage, lavender, thyme.
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 …
And some lovely weeds in the 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).
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.
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.
“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”
― William Shakespeare