30 May 2016

White-Tailed Radish

My inability to grow the simplest 30-day vegetable that school children can is legendary. Every year I look forward to radishes with a sweet crunch and a little kick, and ever year I am blessed with lots of leaves and no radishes.

This year, I dumped a whole bunch of seeds of three types into the front cottage garden. Even with the wet, cool May, there are still lots of plants, but very few radishes. The white daikons produced nothing but long thin roots. The Cherry Belles were not ringing. But I got something out or this batch of seeds.

These were French Breakfast -- an heirloom. Radishes for breakfast? Really? These will go into a pasta salad.

For The Record:
  • Light well-drained soil with a few organic amendments
  • Full sun
  • No fertilizer
  • A few bugs nibbling at the leaves - probably flea beetles

Garden Calendar:
  • Blooming: phlox, coreopsis, geranium, merigold, tradescantia

24 May 2016

How Green My Garden

Very green, with a record 16 days straight of measurable rainfall in May. Cool temperatures, too. You'd think I woke up in the Pacific northwest! I often write about how dead the garden is at this time of year, and the paucity of blooms for May Bloom Day proves it. Even some readers posted comments suggesting I could do better in May -- especially gardening in Virginia.

But spring bulbs and blooms are gone, and the perennials lie in wait. The front cottage garden has never looked so ... green. Everyone is having a grand old time except the peppers.

It is interesting that with a month of more-than-ample rainfall and cool temperatures, annual poppies have taken over. Never before have they invaded my cottage garden, the sidewalk garden, the front bed, the side garden. They are even sprouting up in the cracks of the driveway and sidewalk.

The front cottage garden gets ready. Buds on the liatris, echinacea, and daylily. Look carefully to also see the dying hyacinth leaves, garlic, walking onions, radishes, volunteer dill, pepperoncini, rudbeckia, physostegia, nicotiana, aster, beginning cleome, poppies, and daffodil leaves. One exceptional spot of color is provided by the 'Tiger Eyes' marigold started from seed. What little grass I have needs mowing.

The sloping side garden provided the color on Bloom Day: a few iris, geranium, and coreopsis remain. Phlox is getting ready to burst, and waiting are solidago, daylily, stokesia, russian sage, penstemon, lychnis, more poppies, lily, more rudbeckia, kniphophia, peony, monadra, onions, eschscholzia, opuntia, and echinops.

The backyard has seen the magnolia, dogwood, virbirnum, ajuga, polygonatum, camassia, rhododendron, and azalea all come and go. Waiting are seven hostas, astilbe, hypericum, hydrangea, buddleia, daylily, and native lysimachia. The Autumn fern has begun new shoots to replace the ones flattened this winter. Oh wait! Is that tradescantia starting to flower? Did I mention the grass needs mowing?

Just wait until June's Bloom Day.

15 May 2016

May 2016 Bloom Day

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day
What's blooming in the garden on the 15th of the month

Not much happening this May, so there are only a few photos this month. Instead of photographing the garden, I will be spending time looking through the other blogs. Most of these plants have been featured here before, but there is one new iris.
I helped organize and run a plant swap this spring for our county master gardener group. This bearded iris was picked up there. No name to it, but that doesn't matter. The color is really spectacular -- almost black and darker than the colors my camera picked up.

This is iris germanica 'Clarence' who is actually fragrant, and reblooming.

This is kalmia latifolia 'Sarah.' It is one of the darkest colored mountain laurels with red buds and deep pink blooms.

Geranium sanguineum is an unknown, obtained from a local neighborhood plant swap years ago, and a darn good ground cover. It resembles a magenta version of the popular 'Rozanne.'

Coreopsis auriculata ‘Nana’ -- another pickup from a neighborhood plant swap.

Check out other garden bloggers bloom day photos on our host's at blog May Dreams Gardens.