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Early June in the Garden

June 9th, 2016

It seems like overnight the garden goes from hibernation to exuberance. I’m continually amazed by the rate of growth in the potager and in the woods. Every day I notice new color in the garden and flowers start to bloom. The lilacs, irises, and wildflowers are starting to fade, making way for the peonies, foxgloves, and hydrangeas.
Early June in the Garden 1
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Early June in the Garden 5
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Early June in the Garden 9
Pink and purple are the dominate colors in my garden, I also have a few white and green flowers in the mix. This is my preferred color range, I’m not a huge fan of yellow, orange, or red flowers, they seem a bit to bracing for me.

What’s blooming in your garden?

A Parade of Flowers

July 7th, 2014

In the little potager behind the house I have vegetables and flowers mixed together. Some of the flowers are simply decorative, others are edible plants that have been allowed to flower in order to save seed. ┬áThis time of year it’s really starting to fill out and look nice, there’s color everywhere you look.
potager in bloom 1
The peony poppies are out in full force adding a pop of color in a sea of yellow mustard flowers and white coriander blooms. These self sow liberally, in the spring I simply pull up all the seedlings I don’t want and leave a few for beautiful blooms.
potager in bloom 4
The ‘Bowle’s Black’ violets are lining one small section of the main walkway, their velvety black flowers are simply stunning!
potager in bloom 2
The tarragon is also throwing up it’s purple spires and the bees are loving it. I’m thinking of moving these to a different location, they’re a little large for the space they occupy. The shape of a tarragon plant is perfect, it’s a little like a cone shaped boxwood. Perhaps a hedge of tarragon somewhere would be nice.
potager in bloom 3
The calendula also seeds freely and I leave in some areas as a cover crop to keep weeds from growing. The flowers are harvested and dried to feed to the chickens in the winter. One of these years I hope to make my own calendula salve, perhaps this fall I will make the time.
potager in bloom 6
Field peas are growing in the newer section of the garden, they were planted with a cover crop mix to smother weeds and improve the soil. Now that they’re blooming it’s time to cut them down to create a mulch. Even in a small garden cover crops can be used.
potager in bloom 7
Right outside the main pathway to the potager the nine bark blooms are fading from blossom to seed. I find the seed balls almost more beautiful than the flowers. I like this dark leaved shrub, it will be moved to the back of the potager so it gets more sun.
potager in bloom 8
The tall spires of foxglove are nearing their end, only a few remain after the hurricane blew through. This one was the last one to bloom. You really can’t beat the tall flowers of this lovely plant.
potager in bloom 9
The carrots are also starting to bloom. These lovelies overwintered in the garden and I’m letting them set seed to collect for next year’s crop. They should make for a good winter hardy crop and keep us eating delicious carrots throughout the winter.
carrot bloom
potager in bloom 5The result of having flowers mixed with vegetables is a riot, literally a riot of color and texture. Here you can see a broccoli plant in the foreground with red mustard flowering in yellow, behind it you can see the peony poppies that seed happily throughout the potager.

What’s blooming in your garden this week?

Wild Foxglove

June 1st, 2009

When we moved in here we had this wild foxglove that blooms along the edges of the woods. It’s truly lovely, I really love the greenish yellow color.
One of the things I really love about this plant is that it’s much hardier in our climate than most other foxgloves. I have grown foxglove from seed several times and they always live for a few years and then they die off during one of our really cold winters. This foxglove spreads every year no matter what kind of winter we have. It’s also much shorter than regular foxgloves, only growing about 24 inches tall.
I keep wanting to save some seeds from it and try to start more of them to plant around the shady woodland edges. The problem is that I always forget to mark the plant and then I can’t find it when it goes to seed. Perhaps this will be the year I will finally remember. If it get some I’ll be happy to share seeds with anyone that’s interested.

What kinds of native wildflowers do you like? Have you ever had success propagating wild plants?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.