Friday, May 21, 2010

Photos from May 2010

I'm glad that I had the opportunity to take these photos last weekend when the sun was still shining. This past week in Portland has been characterized by the type of weather we typically see in February; strong winds, chilly rains and hail! Such is Spring in a marine climate.  Despite all of this cold, the plants in the garden appear to be enjoying themselves. As of last week the Roses, Delphinium and Strawberries have begun to bloom! This is all very exciting.

Here are a few shots of the Herb Gardens. They are really beginning to take off now that it is warming up (slightly). We've recently mulched the ground in an attempt to conserve water throughout the Summer months. I've had a lot of Borage volunteer itself in both beds, and I asked my husband not to weed them out because the bees love it! I've recently begun referring to Borage by its alternate name which is 'Bee Bread', which is fitting.  We've planted a few new herbs this year which are Clary Sage, Fenugreek (Bird's Foot), and Egyptian 'Walking' Onions. Photo 6 in this series shows a 'Walking' Onion growing in front of a Hyssop plant.Those plants are characterized by their funky growing shapes.

The front Potager really seems to be thriving. I've several varieties of 'Cut and Come Again' Lettuce and Spinach growing and I think it is absolutely gorgeous. We are growing Cabbages in some side beds in addition to Chives, Garlic and Turnips. Those Pansies have been in the beds since January and are already self-seeding! The Peas with Pink and Purple blossoms are my Schweizer Riesen heirlooms. This garden garners a lot of positive attention from our neighbours!

I'm exceedingly fond of our 'Pacific Giant' Delphinium and have little shame in sharing this enthusiasm with others. Notice in the top left photograph in this sequence the height of the plants near the window. At last count, they were over 7.5 feet high and are still growing! The secret to this success appears to be ample daylight and lots of fish emulsion. Once they bloom, I will have photos taken of me standing near them for reference. The pale blue flowers are 'Galahad', while the deep purple are 'King Arthur'.

All of our roses began to open at once. This is a photograph of our 'Midnight Blue' roses which are in the front bed. They have a sweet, spicy scent and are a glorious purple. Here is what they look like in bloom:

My pink 'The Fairy' Rose blooms non-stop and never disappoints. I love how dependable it is in the garden. 

The Black 'Baccara' Rose hasn't bloomed yet, but is a luscious, deep red.

Our 'Night Owl' climbing rose lives in a semi-neglected part of the yard where I am attempting to coddle it and train it over a storage shed. These are a deep purple with a bright yellow 'eye'. Despite the fact she lives in dry, rocky soil, she appears to be quite comfortable where she is. Sometimes I'll get a cracked egg from the chicken's nest and I'll smash it on the ground near the roses as a sort of nutritional amendment. The nutrients positively benefit the plants and they appreciate the added calcium from the shells.

Our Rhododendron is also blooming.  It is probably the same age as the house: 74 years.

There are a lot of happy plants in the front beds too, just growing in and doing their thing!

The Bumblebees love our Comfrey and we are getting Strawberries!

Here is a shot of some of the things growing in our freshly tilled and expanded side flower bed. Our 'Granny's Bonnet' Columbine are blooming near the roses and poppies. I've grown a lot of the big bomb 'Peony' types that Tasha Tudor was so fond of.

There is a lot of action in the backyard Potager as well! We have a lot of peas, favas, and more coming in.

We have many herbs volunteering themselves such as Chamomile, Lemon Balm and Thyme. Also: we have Figs!

And Limes.

And kitty cats. 


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Your gardens are amazing!!! Sweet pea blooms already and Delphiniums that tall, I'm jealous! I bet your neighbors love to see your garden. Our neighbor has a plant that I've been trying to id for a long time and now I see it's Comfrey.

Urban Cottager said...

Thanks Catherine! That means a lot coming from you! Your garden is so glorious!! The Comfrey is a pretty hard-working plant. I once read that it is a cure-all for finicky livestock and makes a great tea for respiratory problems. Additionally, you can make a potent compost from it by submerging a handful of leaves in some water and leaving them to rot for a few weeks. It stinks to high heaven, but is chock full of nutrients which the plants love!

Jenni said...

Wow and double Wow! Your cottage gardens are delightful and an inspiration! I love all the intricate beds and pretty rock work!

Anonymous said...

You manage to squeeze lots into a small space. The pictures of the delphiniums are beautiful.

Diane said...

Your gardens are beautiful. I just planted some 'King Arthur' in my new border. They had buds when I brought them home from the garden centre and now they are blooming even though they are still only about a foot tall.

Great blog and garden. Keep up the good work.

Happy Gardening, Diane

Antique ART Garden said...

Great garden, I also try to do cottage style wayyy over here in SC. Check out my blog when you can. You may want to enlarge your type, it is very small to try to read. Good luck !! Gina

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

What a beautiful garden. I am loving all of the purples and Lavenders. Your Delphiniums are so tall. I think I really need some Fish Emulsion for mine. LOL! I thought my Rhododendron was old but yours has mine beat. You garden in the Potager looks wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Hi Urban Cottager, Your gardens are fabulous, despite all this UNfriendly garden weather this year. I don't grow many veggies but my neighbor does and she says they're really struggling with all the rain.

I see you already have me on your sidebar. Thank you. I don't know how I've missed you but, no more. Your blog is total eye candy. I also love your chosen background and header--a delight.

And, you're an Oregonian! :)

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