Saturday, May 27, 2006

Summertime and the Living is Easy

90 degrees today. It is hot; humidity is high. "Hello Summer, welcome to my corner of the world. "

So far this month it has been dry, only 2 inches of rain for me. I was graced by one-fourth of an inch last week. I keep a rain log on my calendar.

I water the seedlings and freshly sowed seed. The container gardening I do, also needs to be watered, sometimes twice a day. The Heathers will need to be watered until they are established.

For the most part I fill my watering can and hand water.

I use the water from the rain barrels when there is some. The doughnut sprinkler comes on for when I need to put down an inch of water at a time. When it is dry like this I use it about once a week. I set the timer so I can do other things while watering. I keep the water pressure low so the water goes down on the ground rather than evaporate into the air. We have enough humidity.

The robins love the doughtnut sprinkler. Like small children they run in and out of the spray. Once I move onto another spot the robins find worms in the freshly watered ground.

We do not water the lawn. We grow a multi-cultural lawn so the early, cool weather, grasses give way to the clover and more drought tolerant species that make up our lawn. The spring grasses will go dormant until cooler temperatures and rains return.

It is summer.
Some years we have wet summers. Some years it is dry.
This looks to be a dry one.

The spring flowers are fading and some are setting seeds. I begin checking the plants I want seed from so I can Winter Sow them come December. Last year I saved seed for beginning gardeners and friends who would enjoy something different in their gardens. These made nice gifts. These pink bleeding hearts are easy to Winter Sow.

Often my gardens look "messy" as the flowers fade and turn to seed. I do remove the spent blooms of bulbs and other plants I am not saving seed from. The poppies are almost over. The seed pods are forming. I will gather the seed for poppy seed on muffins and for sowing. The pods will be used in Fall flower arrangements. The daffodil greens are ripe now so I can remove them.

As the spring flowers fade
the summer flowers begin to bloom.
The parade of flowers continue all year, now that the December blooming Heathers are here. I work to have continuous bloom in every bed. Some plants are tucked under other plants. Some will outgrow their neighbors and be the star for a month. These Asiatic Lillies are brillant. They will stay in bloom for about a month.

Other plants will go dormant

or die back until next year. These Sweet William were winter sowed three years ago. I save the seed and do a batch every year. They are bi-annuals. They come back for a couple of years than die off.
I planted the new seedlings around the daffodil's after blooming.

I stagger the sowing time of some seed so that I have flowers when I need them for the house. I am waiting until the middle of June to plant zinnias. I like them in August bouquets.

Some plants I grow for winter bird food.
I do not gather their seed. The finches like the cone flower seed and we enjoy watching them in January take seed from the flower heads.

We also have our vegetables. I am working on growing at least one food for us in every bed. This project will take a few years to find the right food for each type of growing condition I have.

The miniature eggplant arrived yesterday.

I am hoping for a cloudy,
cool morning to plant them out.
Since these will stay small
I can plant them in the front yard
near my miniature herbs, my Fairy Garden.
As I learn how the eggplant grows I will try to save seed and winter sow. I hope they taste good.

The Winter Sowed tomatoes are blooming. My plan is to have fresh red tomatoes for the Fourth Of July.

Caring for the plants is easier when we have rain. Once again I need rain.


Q said...

Oh, how sweet of you to treasure the egg shells. They are so pretty. Putting them in your Lobelia is a grand idea.

If I was able I would do the sort of roof that would run the rain water into some sort of holding tank. I have seen rain chains that one could hang to help direct the rain water. For now I have to be content with two rain barrels,knowing that lots of water just goes into the storm drains.

Q said...

Never have I heard a bunny sneeze but I bet it is way cute! You made me laugh, bunny sneezes. I will continue to laugh too every time I see a bunny now!
I have never grown Lobelia. I would think the bunnies would enjoy the tender flowers. They like all sorts of tender flowers and leaves!

Q said...

It is always a delight to hear a plant speak. So many plants want to come home with me too.
I love the zinnas! They love the heat too. I save the seed every year so I have lots of seed to plant when spring flowers are over. I like the seed over the bulbs. Marigolds too are reliable.
Heliotope is a sweet charmer. Will you bring her in this fall or save seed? I do think she would grow fine by a east window.
Having flowers and plants about also brings a happiness to me.
When some sort of emotional event occurs I find flowers comforting.
The red geramiums in the window boxes say, "Summer" to me. I have wintered them over in the past and depending on space will determine if I do again this year. My husband enjoys the blooms in the winter. They smell nice too.
I bet your husband will love the beauty of the flowers. How kind of you to fill his life with flowers.