Is Tom Petty a gardener?

Because the waiting really is the hardest part. I wait in vain for the berries, because the birds will beat me to them. I usually have tomatoes by the fourth of July, but this year's cool weather means it may be another week--and I hope the tomatoes can outrun the funk (early blight or Septoria) already affecting the lower leaves. I am jinxing myself by being pleased nothing has eaten the borlotti beans, because the cowpeas are eaten as soon as I plant them. We'll soon have shisito peppers, the garlic will be dug any day now, and I have a few okra plants underway. It's all a matter of fighting the critters these days.

Bloom Day June 2016

Better late than never, as usual. See what's blooming all over the country and beyond at May Dreams Gardens.

First, the vegetable garden, where flowering leeks, cilantro, parsley, arugula, bok choy, and an amazing stand of celery are attracting lots of beneficial insects. Marigolds add some extra color.

The native plant garden is in its sedate stage--the early spring ephemerals have finished, but the Heuchera and bottlebrush buckeye have not bloomed yet. The oak leaved Hydrangea is putting on a show though--despite rabbit herbivory (hence the fence). 

The flower garden is a total mess. I will likely spend the rest of the growing season/my life rearranging things and pulling Ageratum. The Lauren's grape poppies are my favorite. The Echinacea has also taken a beating from the rabbits. 

The Magnolia is scenting the entire yard and providing some much-needed privacy--money well spent! happy summer!

Other Ortos

I am fortunate to be able to take a vacation every May--usually somewhere in the Mediterranean. Not the ideal time to leave the garden, but who can complain? This year we returned to one of my favorite places on the planet, Puglia (and neighboring Basilicata), Italy. Hiking is always on the agenda--and wildflowers are in abundance in May. Most of the orchids bloom a little earlier in spring, but we saw plenty of these:

I always like observing garden plants also, like this cardoon we chatted with the owner about. I though it was an artichoke and she explained it was cardone.

May Musings

May was a whirlwind, with tons of rain. Here's how things were left before vacation.

Upon returning home, I learned my neighbor did not even have to water once, and the cool weather kept the strawberries from all ripening while we were away. I also learned that rabbit wire does not exclude rabbits. Off to order some chicken wire!

Rose-Breasted Glasses

Well, May flew by, in so many ways. I'm sharing some literal flying, in the form of a new feathered visitor to the garden, these rose-breasted grosbeaks. They must have just been passing through, as after we returned from a 10-day vacation, they were gone. 

Now the show is all about fruit. Robins, catbirds, and mockingbirds are regular visitors to the mulberry tree that hangs over our fence as well as the service berry, whose fruit looks lovely and not fungus-marred this year (perhaps due to the three weeks of rain?). Maybe we will even eat some ourselves.

Soon up, hummingbirds--the native honeysuckle and Salvia are in full bloom and ready for them.