Guess what I’ve acquired in the last month? UNCOMMON ORCHIDS! I ordered a few online with a friend and I’m enjoying the novelty of something that ISN’T Phalaenopsis! (okay, that’s s bit rude to the others… I also had a Dendrobium and a Cattleya previous to these newbies) Now I have quite a selection to enjoy, and hopefully not kill. So the new varieties I collected are a Brassidium, a Vanilla, a Renanthera, and a Bulbophyllum. None of these are blooming just yet, by the way. But when they do, you’ll hear all about it.
Many people rely on the full moon in June for their tender plantings. Some gardeners say full moon in may. I don’t know who to believe but chances are, it’s just about time for planting anyway, if you haven’t already done it. Of course, you know we live in a wildly unpredictable province. Frost happens unexpectedly, and we all scramble outside to cover our tomatoes. What temperature is your soil? Ever stick a thermometer in there and just check? The warmer it is, the better your plants will thrive once they get planted. You don’t need to follow suit, but I’ve already planted my tomatoes and peppers. Weeks ago. I’m a gambler. The total? 12 peppers and 28 tomatoes. That’s just outside. Inside, there will be even more peppers and a couple of tomatoes, all colors, shapes and sizes. Everything is ready to grow on its own before my next grand adventure to my (gardener’s disneyland) greenhouse inspirational mission in Montreal. I’m going to really visually pick and prod everything I can in their tropical greenhouses (don’t worry, I definitely understand “ne touche pas!”). Anyhow, the vegetable garden has been taking up a huge chunk of my personal time as of late. I’ve already planted 2 rounds of beans. I planted my first lot on May 23rd, and then my 2nd batch on the 4th. I’ve planted my cucumbers and cucamelon, which I am feeling slight trepidation over due to mixed and semi-disappointed reviews…plus it isn’t sprouting as quickly as the cucumber. I’m getting excited as I watch the lettuce explode in growth (leave em alone, slugs!!) and the strawberries are about to bloom.
This year I also attended the Rare & Unusual plant sale at Annapolis Royal. As always, it`s a great show of different nurseries selling their most uncommon wares. This year seemed more intense, as there was a countdown before the ropes dropped around the vendor area, and for a brief moment, I,too wondered if I was going to be trampled? Well, I didn’t this time, but I certainly often felt like I fell underfoot as gardeners sort of indignantly tell me to EXCUSE them. HEY! I might be short, but I’m shopping too!! Anyway, it was all in good spirit. And hey! I took home a Ginkgo ‘Jade Butterflies’, a Sciadopitys verticillata, a white Azalea, some beautiful cultivars of Streptocarpus, a small Saxifraga, a Male Fern, and a White Azalea. It’s a thrilling shopping adventure, the prices are fair, and if you ever get an opportunity to get out to Annapolis Royal for this event, do it!
So yeah, May/June is always the gathering of things to plant, I get very excited about buying. But I’ve been a really good girl this year, and all of my acquisitions, both bought, and gardener-shared have been getting planted pronto! I want to get everything in and enjoyed by July. I’d like to just do minor weeding and some deadheading, and hopefully a little relaxation, as I rarely stop lately.
I also did up a couple of planters already for the summer months. I’m in love with Heliotrope. I want to have it everywhere that I breathe. If you haven’t tried this annual, you’ve got to put some in a place where you will smell it. Yum! It looks good with some Lobularia, and you could also put some sort of red spiller in there like a Pomegranate Punch Calibrachoa.
I’ve got a few more little projects on the side for my tropicals. I’m still pushing to have a fair selection of things to sell in the fall for tropicals, so I’ve been repotting, potting up and dividing a few things that need it. In a year or so I should have a pretty impressive crop of cacti to sell. I may choose to do something special with them, since my personal aim is to create horticultural curios.
Looking back, I think about how incredible it is just how vast a property feels in the dead of winter. You feel vulnerable and exposed. Now, I feel the opposite. I feel cozy, buffered, and comforted by the amount of green being pushed out all around me. I try to put the thoughts of ticks aside, but I haven’t found one on me yet. Oh, and the worst thing to discover as of yesterday? It’s officially deerfly season. Mark that on your calendar. I know I do, I am fairly wary of insects with vendettas. I’ll be doing some different experiments to see what will keep these winged arseholes away, and report my findings in July.
I spent the weekend weeding, adding compost, and mulching to some of the more established beds. The deck looks MUCH cleaner and I feel less angry whenever I turn my gaze to it. There’s still a good amount of weeding to do, but once the mulch is down, I feel as though I can move on to things that require more attention…
…like the rock garden! Which I am quickly filling up with many things which I’ve been both receiving as divisions from orchid friend, and a few impulse buys. It’s starting to look like something. However, it’s still a nasty looking garden, and it would be almost morally wrong to mulch it.
In the Rhodo forest, more things have been getting added in (with minor wildlife edits, as I found someone decided to pull an Astilbe out of the ground at the mouth of the forest). I know I have a very considerate and attentive husband when I come home to find an Edith Bosley Rhododendron on my doorstep, one of the varieties I LOVE, and yeah, I’ve only talked about her for years, but he remembered, and now she’s mine!
And the Goutweed garden? Ugh. I’m still working on that. Up until about 5 days ago, I would have said it was bomb proof, but it’s beginning to stress. I try to just keep my chin up. After all, when I look up, I see a golden chain tree in equisite bloom.
That’s all this week. Looking back, I’d have to say this is possibly my favorite time of the year. Rhodos all blooming, days getting warmer, lush, fresh grass, and plant sales everywhere!
Next week I will tell you about the Mantises… (it’s not a happy ending, or perhaps it’s not an ending?) and I’ll also share some pictures from around the garden in the last little while. Happy Monday!