Tuesday, June 29, 2010

100 Degrees of Miserable

In my last post I said that spring had just arrived. Well, it didn’t like what it saw and headed for the hills. In less than 2 weeks we went from night time frosts to 100 degrees. This is hard not just on me and my handful of readers who politely listen to my whining, but on my poor plants. Instead of showing you the carnage I thought I would highlight some of the plants that can handle our extremes.

June2010 142I have to admit that I was not a huge fan of Black Eyed Susans until I moved here. However, I have grown to appreciate their ability to survive 100+ summers and sleep undisturbed through below zero winters.

June2010 151 Gazanias are annuals in my area (they are perennials in zone 9 –11), but they can withstand quite a bit of heat and sun. They do well in dry soil and require very little water. However, they do occasionally fall victim to rabbits.

June2010 214 And this lovely Day Lily says, “bring it on”. This day lily came in a bag of mixed lilies. I don’t know what variety it is, but I sure do love the vibrant color!

As I was driving home this afternoon the weather man said, “A cold front has blown through and lowered the temperature to 97 degrees”. Seriously? That qualifies as a cold front!

How are your plants adjusting to summer?

To see more gardens, possibly even written without complaints, visit:Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage and Bloomin’ Tuesday at Ms GreenThumb Jean.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hang On, Little Tomato

Spring just arrived a week ago and we are not sure if summer is ever going to show up.  Our weather has had a very negative impact on my warm weather vegetables. Many of the plants are maturing slowly, but I am hopeful that there is enough time for them to produce before our first frost in September. My tomatoes have have had several near death experiences, but surprisingly they are producing fruit:June2010 175Doesn’t that plant look pathetic?

My Oregon Champion Gooseberries are loving the cool weather:June2010 064 That is just one branch and I have four bushes. Gooseberry pies will be on the menu very soon.

The Everbearing strawberries are producing:June2010 172 The first year that I planted the strawberries, the fruit was comparable to store bought fruit and I seriously considered pulling all of the plants out. I let them live and I am very glad I did. Each year their fruit is sweeter than the year before, they produce fruit from May through September, and they have produced enough runners for me to plant several more beds.

Yesterday, I posted about how wonderful a bad memory is because you can surprise yourself. Well, I surprised myself in the veggie garden too! These little babies came up:June2010 176I remember debating whether I should plant pumpkins and I guess I decided to plant them, because I discovered pumpkin seedlings in one of my raised beds. I can’t wait to see what else I planted that I forgot about!

Has your garden been adversely affected by the strange weather this year?

To view more Square Foot Gardens, visit $5 Dinners.

N.B. I stole the title of this post from Pink Martini’s second album, which is one of my favorite CD’s. Nothing like a little Pink Martini to make housework a little more pleasant! :D

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Best Thing About Being Forgetful…

…Is that You Can Surprise Yourself!

This weekend I was doing some weeding and noticed some weeds that looked vaguely familiar. I have been surprised in the past by some “rogue flowers” and decided not to pull them until I had identified them. A couple hours later it dawned on me that they were hollyhock seedlings:June2010 111

Then I remembered that last fall I took seeds from some of my hollyhock plants and planted them all around the yard. I can’t wait to see what colors I planted!

My mature Hollyhocks are several feet high and have developed blossoms, but have not yet bloomed. You can see some of them behind the snapdragons:

June2010 173 Everything I have ever read says that snapdragons are annuals, but I swear mine are perennials. They do not just reseed themselves, they grow in the exact same spot and in the spring green leaves begin to emerge at the base of the “dead” plants (I have at least 50 snapdragons that have done this) in the same manner as my Butterfly Bushes or Russian Sage. Have any of you had this experience? I am in zone 4, so I should be able to kill an annual without much trouble.

The Scotch Brooms have bloomed:May 2010 288

The irises finally began to open:

June2010 054There really isn’t a lot of color in my yard right now as I am between spring and summer flowers, so I have been devoting myself to caring for my vegetable garden and weeding.

fertilizer Friday Tomorrow I will post an update on my vegetable garden, where I was able to surprise myself again! Most of my friends are complaining about their bad memory, but I am finding it perfectly delightful!

Do you grow your own fruits and vegetables or do you prefer to devote your time to ornamental gardens?

To view more gardens from around the world, visit Flaunt Your Flowers Friday at Tootsie Time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stormy Sunset

June2010 021
This picture was taken by my son. He often steals my camera to capture our beautiful skyscapes. I am always surprised with these little treasures when I download my SD card.

This post has been linked to Outdoor Wednesday.

Blooming Baskets

We are mostly between flowers right now. The spring bulbs have died back and the summer flowers are coming in late because of a long, cold winter. So our hanging baskets are filling in the void.
May 2010 118The rabbits eat our petunias and pansies. I couldn’t imagine going a summer with out them, so I plant them in hanging baskets and planters on our patio.
June2010 047I can’t wait until the flowers fill out and overflow their baskets!

The irises are thinking of opening, so hopefully I will have more blooms to show you before the week is out.
To see beautiful flowers from around the country visit Bloomin’ Tuesday and An Oregon Cottage's Tuesday Garden Party.