Dear Carol and Mary Ann,
It was nice reading your letters last week and seeing that both of you are now, in spite of the weather, getting some garden projects done. I’m surprised that Mary Ann seems to have the harshest climate when hers is a hardiness zone between mine and Carol’s. It must be that mountain range surrounding her property.
I think I made some progress this week on the entire garden including the flowers and the vegetables. Spring is such a blur with all the clearing, planting and feeding that I forget. Bear and I sowed some seeds for beets, lettuce, snap peas and spinach. She is a great help in the garden, making tags and sowing seeds while I pull more Bermuda grass and get the beds ready for her skillful hands.
I still have one type of lettuce coming in the mail and another bag of potatoes, which I will plant a bit late, but not everything goes according to plan at Rosehaven. The onions are up displaying their emerald green hair. The sight cheers my heart and reminds me of my first garden mentor, Grandma Nita, who always planted spring onions. Meanwhile, the ‘Black Seeded Simpson’ lettuce is making a lime green ground cover for Dr. Carl Whitcomb’s ‘Pink Velour’ crapemyrtle. I have different crapemyrtles planted in each of the beds because they add much needed color in the middle of summer. I’m sorry you two can’t grow them. They really are bright spots when not much else is blooming.
I spent the rest of the week cleaning up and clearing out. I did not get the roses or daylilies fed. Perhaps this week.
My indoor seedlings are progressing nicely, but I have a confession. I am not a very attentive seedling mother. The other night, I was getting ready for bed, passed the grow lights and nearly jumped. The seedlings were MIA. My poor, frazzled brain went back to earlier in the day, and (gasp) I’d left my young seedlings outside. Fortunately, they were in the shade. but some of the tomatoes are showing signs of distress. The peppers and eggplants are made of sterner stuff. Good thing I did better with my own children.
To tell you a little more about the garden itself, the diamond shaped bed on the right with its four triangular corners came straight out of an issue of Kitchen Gardener magazine. Dang, I still miss that publication. I cut my veggie garden teeth on it, and it formed my ideas of what was possible when you combined vegetable production with structural beauty. In fact, I’m working on an article right now for the Oklahoma Horticulture Society’s spring issue of Horticulture Horizons about that very thing. Anyway, the climbing rose on the arbor at left is ‘Cl. Old Blush’ and it used to be the entrance to the garden. The tall tree in the center is a pink crapemyrtle of unknown lineage. Someday, it will grow so tall that the surrounding area will be in shade.
When I ran out of room, HH made a mirror image of the garden on the far left. Over half of that garden is in shade, so it isn’t good for vegetable growing. So, the following year he added four long beds at the ends of the pyramid gardens, and we enclosed the entire thing in split rail. We also ran a length of chicken wire all around the bottom of the fence to discourage rabbits. I noticed the other day that some of this needs to be replaced, but so far, I don’t have any rabbits this season. They are a problem more at the beginning of the year than later when they have plenty of food. We have deer too, but they seem content with eating the peaches and apples in the front yard. We think it is because of the woods nearby.
Looking at the top photo, I can see the chairs at the end of the garden where ‘New Dawn’ resides need to be repainted. I may paint them blue this year for fun. Purple would be fun too, but perhaps too distracting.
The diamond shaped beds are pretty established with perennial and annual flowers and shrubs, so I don’t plant many veggies in there. The long beds are now full of early spring crops, but then, I will shift those out and plant the other heat-loving vegetables after the last frost date. I think I also need to move some of the tomatoes from their cells into larger quarters this week. We’ll see how much I get done. My mom may have surgery, and we are meeting with her doctor tomorrow. Also, Bear has her first double digit birthday this week on Wednesday.
Till later, ta-ta.