After a week away in Florida, I returned to discover that the garden has exploded with flowers and vegetables! Roses, Foxglove, Poppies and Delphinium rule the flower beds while various Lettuces, Spinach, Turnips, and Peas are all ready for harvest in the Potager. We have so many Peas clamoring up one trellis that their weight has caused it to bow and break! We have some Strawberries ripening too, although they need just a little bit of sun to adequately sweeten. Here are some of my more recent photographs taken this week and the week before last.
I hope everyone is enjoying our last few days of Spring.
Love these Dutch Iris living under the Lilac tree!
My Foxglove have vigorously self-seeded over the years and I have many new plants. I'm a sucker for the ones with white flowers and ruby throats. I've also planted a new 'Apricot' variety this year, but haven't had any blooms. What varieties do you like best?
The 'Pacific Giant' Delphinium have bloomed at long last. They are about 8.5 feet tall. I can't believe it! These plants are about two years old. The secret is apparently Western Oregon weather and fish emulsion. I also periodically treat the plants with a fertilizer made from decomposed Comfrey leaves. I learned this trick from a book written by Tasha Tudor!
This 'Jackmanii' Clematis has survived being pecked to near death by bored chickens, two deep freezes, and three separate relocations by a fickle Cottager. Here, it proves it can be both beautiful and robust in a new, permanent location at the front of the house.
In our front bed we have a 'Midnight Blue' Rose. I love the colour but it lasts only about a day before fading. That and a scraggly growing habit appear to be the trouble with some of the hybrid varieties. I've been saving all of our rose petals for tea and beauty products, but have also made attempts to make my own rose oil. Here is a nice page with instructions for making Attar (oil) of Roses.
A nice shot of the Kitchen Herb Garden as it stood on Monday. Lots of Oregano coming back, and the Sage plant has become enormous. It and the neighbouring Spanish Lavender are constantly covered with bees. It is good to know that I'm supporting our local pollinators with all of my purple plants!
Speaking of purple plants...I love this newly purchased Centaurea which I thought was perfect for a Cottage Garden. Much to The Husband's chagrin, I have a nasty habit of buying whatever catches my eye in the nursery with no idea of where to eventually plant it. I believe this specimen will be going in the side yard with my Poppies and 'Fairy' rose, but we'll see.
This handsome devil is a 'Blackie' Fuchsia. I'm attempting to find a nice, shady area to plant him directly, but this is proving to be difficult. I've seen some specimens in Portland which have established themselves as shrubs. I'd like to do the same, but need to find a good spot for him, pronto! I don't seem to have much luck with Fuchsias, but they are inexpensive and attractive enough that I remain an eternal Pollyanna.
These 'Granny's Bonnet' Columbine really give you a lot of bang for the buck. They've been blooming non-stop since March and make for lovely border plants. They are tall and leggy and need staking, but will eventually hold one another up like drunks at a bar. I'm collecting the seed pods for friends.
I love my Peony Poppies, although they are short-lived. Most of them need to be staked. I'm growing Purple, Red and White Peony Poppies.
In the Potager, we have Spring veggies galore. Right now we are overrun with Peas and Lettuce!
Asian Mustard Greens.
Fava Beans, Garlic, Tomatoes and Nasturtiums live in this bed.
Amaranth, or something similar to it has naturalized in the backyard from spilled birdseed. This does not please The Husband.
We are growing Purple Peas as well!
No Cottage Garden is complete without fruit trees, so we've purchased this espaliered tree which has six varieties grafted to the stock! Among them are Red and Yellow Delicious, Gala and Granny Smith. I can't remember the others, but seem to remember them being Oregon heirlooms.
These are our beets and shallots.
One of two pea obelisks.
This bed has red and yellow onions and a nice Jerusalem artichoke in the middle. I'm having remorse over not containing it in a pot. Oops.
Green onions and Cauliflower.
We have been getting so much rain that toadstools and faerie rings are popping up everywhere in the lawn.
And we've been getting a few new visitors who seem to enjoy the refuge of my Hollyhocks!