Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Flower Progress

Today's Weather: Party cloudy with a high of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. I saw the sun this morning!

Despite the less than stellar weather we've been having, things are growing around the farmhouse.

In my little corner bed, the Dianthus is doing wonderfully. It's already bigger than it was last year and the flowers just won't stop. They're covered with adorable red flowers and more buds are appearing daily.

Dianthus flowers
In the new shade garden, the five Astilbe plants I planted last year are all growing despite the fact that only three of them did much of anything last year. One is tiny (lower-right) but it is growing. I haven't seen any flower buds but I'll be just fine with nice green foliage.

Hostas and Astilbe Plants
In the past, the wild rose bush on one of the back corners of the house has always been cut to the ground in the winter. Two years ago I didn't and I got some flower buds - but that was it. The buds never opened and just withered away and died.

Last fall I decided to not cut it down again to give it another chance.

I hope it does better this year because this bush is covered with hundreds of buds. I'll have to do some research and see if I should remove some of them to help them flower but it's amazing how many there are.

Wild Rose Bush
Readers of this blog may remember the drama of the Smoke Bush and how it was severely pruned last year after a bad thunderstorm nearly flattened it. Because Smoke Bushes will not bloom on new wood, I didn't get much 'smoke' last year.

Well, this year this bush is going to be one huge poofball. This picture isn't all that great, but like the wild rose bush, the smoke bush is COVERED with smoke buds. It's going to be amazing, assuming the sun will come out and help out with the blooming process.

Smoke Bush, Recovered
At the base of my tomato planter hangers, I planted some Morning Glory seeds. Once again, I failed to follow the directions for the seeds - I did not nick them or let them soak overnight. But, they seem to be doing just fine. The package said it would take 7-14 days for them to sprout. This picture was taken about 4 days after I planted them.

Morning Glory Sprouts
In the middle of last winter one of my sugar pumpkins went bad before I could use it. (It lasted a long while, I just failed to make anything with the gourd.) My compost bins were under snow so I threw it in the corner of the vegetable garden.

It was already pretty mushy when I threw it in (I waited way too long) and by the time Spring arrived, the only thing left was a pile of seeds.

Because of the fact that the snow refused to stop, I never removed them so when the snow finally melted, I already had a corner full of pumpkin sprouts.

I moved the largest of them into the bed and they seem to have survived the transplant. I pulled all the smaller seedlings and tried to remove the rest of the seeds.

Pumpkin Seedlings
Well, I guess some of them got buried in the process because a week later, I was greeted with this sight in that same corner. I think I've hit the neverending font of pumpkin seedlings. :)

Even more seedlings

I decided to try strawberries again this year and turn the middle bed into a strawberry patch. I bought three plants and planted them on the end of the bed. As you can see, they have already provided.
Strawberry...yum
I have also planted crookneck squash, buttercup squash, cucumbers, sunflowers, watermelon and sugar peas. Everything has sprouted except the watermelon (they were old seeds and I only planted them to see if they would take) but everything's going slow due to lack of sun.

Hopefully this won't turn into another 2009 for Maine where all we saw was rain and the only produce that did well was the crookneck squash.

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