Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Lily Season

It's the lily season all right - both hemerocallis and lilium. This picture shows a combination - a lovely big pink one, planted last year, along with my ubiquitous flesh-coloured daylily which has been spread all over the place.
So, time for a progress report. This summer was great for growing peas, but we didn't actually *eat* many of them, so I am thinking that, as far as peas go, their room is more useful than their presence. In fact I've hauled them all out, and plan to fertilize their spot for garlic later in the fall. Carrots have struggled - they needed to be planted and re-planted several times, and they are still not much of a size. The last ones I planted were the tiny round ones, so I hope they make some size at least. I have gathered all of my plastic tubing from making hoop skirts, and plan to use them to make row covers for the more tender plants. To heck! with running out and covering the tomatoes with sheets every night. I'll just cover with fleece and leave them up. Just have to find the fleece, or equivalent, here.

Still haven't put the ends in the greenhouse - it will have to happen fairly soon, but not just yet, as I think I still need the ventilation. It was quite hot in there yesterday, and I didn't get out there until the evening when I found a couple of plants - a strawberry and a tomato - quite wilted. Hope they are looking better this morning.
Things are a bit disorganized in there at the moment, but once I get the strawberry bed dug and them in the ground and out of their pots, I'll be able to organize for winter. The brown leaves in the lower left of the picture were willow branches, which I left in a trug until they sprouted roots - they are now all either potted up or in a bed in the garden. Roll on willow weaving, etc. next year. Hope this will be a good kind of willow to work with - it certainly was easy to root. 

 The ground cherries are doing quite well, large plants and plenty of little "lanterns" on the branches. They are all still quite green, I don't know if they change colour or not, to indicate that they are ripe. I have actually picked some rhubarb from my one tiny bunch - enough for a rhubarb cake. Apparently you are supposed to leave it alone, that first year. The plant seems fine still, though losing some of the lower leaves. No sign of a seed-head yet. I suppose I should leave that alone, should one develop.

Apparently I have been killing hydrangea slips to no good purpose. I haven't gotten even one of them to root.  I am not going to give up, but I think I should adhere to the rules a little more rigidly - use an inert medium, and do it indoors, covered, with bottom heat. We'll see if that helps. If successful, I may try rooting rose cuttings again! But it is heartbreaking to think of the potential, alas, now lost! I still think I stand a better chance of rooting and growing something that's already shown its survival instincts in this climate - than buying something grown elsewhere.
The gladioli Helen gave me are all blooming like good ones! The first to bloom were a deep pink with white, but it looks like some of the other ones - not yet in bloom - will be other colours, including white. Interestingly, I have learned that it's probably not the best thing to plant gladioli at the north end of a flower bed, as they seem to want to face the sun - and therefore have their backs to you as you stand on the lawn looking at them. Next year, I'll find a spot down on the south corner of the bed and they will face the public!! I actually think they will be perfect there, as there's quite a black spot there at the moment, after all the feverfew and geraniums got chopped down. Back to the vegetable plot for a bit, the asparagus are doing really well. They keep growing new shoots, and some are almost of harvest-able size. Of course I know not to, but I am looking forward to a spear or two next year. After I hauled out the peas, I staked up the asparagus, as the fronds had been knocked over by the wind a bit. We are eating green beans, and I have even found a few yellow ones. And I've put up a bag of greens for the freezer. Raspberries were quite a disappointment, very few berries at all, so they are going to get some fertilizer, soon, and I will get busy and cut down the old canes as well. There might be a cup or so left, and I did get 2 batches of jam made...not so prolific as last year at all. They seemed to dry out quite badly despite the almost constant rain. Maybe they need a soaker hose invested in them.

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