Thursday, June 14, 2012

First Rose

Terese Bugnet rose

     It's official...this is an early spring. My first rose bloomed yesterday - a Terese Bugnet on the 'Rose Mound'. I'm sure that in other years the first rose has bloomed about two weeks later than this. There are other roses waiting in the wings as well. Many of the roses have been attacked by bugs but I don't care - bloom season is the best.   
     Gardening organically as we do, these are the hazards we have to live with. I am pleased with the variety of ones that are preparing to bloom - the Blanc double de Coubert is full of bud, as is the Snowy Pavement, the Marie Bugnet and the rugosa at the corner of the south lawn area. It is usually the first, so it's nice to see someone else win! And I was sure that the first would be David Thompson by the door, because there was colour showing in the buds last week, but he is still in bud. And speaking of buds, check out the wild rose in the 'Ring around the Rosey' bed! It will be covered come bloomtime. I hope it's out for the party!
My 'wild' rose, full of buds

     There are ripe strawberries in the greenhouse (a few, but still!), and quite a few dry plants - I have been in town all day for the last three days and haven't been able to check on it as frequently as necessary. However, I have today, and several days next week. Gardening will progress quickly from now on. I watered thoroughly last night, and I'm hoping to see a few miraculous recoveries when I go out to the greenhouse this morning.
     I am also under the gun a bit to get my 'outfit' finished for the 'Party like it's 1952' on the 30th. Yesterday I bought the materials to make a 1950s hat - Vogue pattern 8052 - in white organza. It looks like a ton of fun, but also quite a bit of work! I have had my dress cut out for ages - it's a Butterick Retro pattern from 1952.  I'm making the short version, of course. There are a lot of 50s patterns out right now - and of course every one of them suggests that this is not the sort of thing that someone of my shape should wear - the block shape is not suited to this nipped-in waist and full skirt at all. Oh well, it's just for one day! But it won't be, if I don't get it sewn up and finished.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Planting .... and weeding

         The growing season is upon us. I am amazed at the buds on all the roses, though I'm not expecting blooms just yet. The white tree peony is still blooming well, with two out of three blooms out, while the burgundy one has 4 buds, none out yet.  The poor pink one has put on a bud too, I hope it's not the last hurrah before it croaks!
     The vegetable garden gets a bit more work today, and then I think I have to plant it - I'm working on supports for a net for the brassicas - I just have cauliflower and broccoli seedlings so far. I am going to use the plastic I used for hoop skirts - I have set one up using bamboo skewers for bases! and I think I will have to lash a bamboo cane to the tops to keep them from collapsing on top of the plants.
      While I was walking to work the other day I noticed rebar posts under the spruces planted by the new Uni housing - the spruces are big now, and no longer require the supports. I wonder....
      I am expecting a service person from Aliant to see what's up with the internet - so I can't stray far from home. Must get busy, though. The sun IS shining, and there's hay to be made.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Life June!

The newcomer - a rhododendron!

      I have reached the month in which I turn 60. I am quite contented with my life, compared to this time last year - and, in spite of having few dollars in my wallet I am finding life is good. Even great. How unexpectedly wonderful! I have always been a contented person, I think, but I have recently endured a lot of work-related stress and have come through it.  Life begins at 60? Who knew?
     Today I spent mostly in the vegetable garden. We have "boarded  in" three of the five beds, which means that there is more planting space. There are two beds which are - and will be for this growing season - just mounds. However, there are now three beds which are 1 metre wide and 10 metres long. The other two are just as long, but not so wide (yet). Today I specialized in onions - regular yellow, Spanish, and bunching - and I planted out the three pots of leeks which I had raised from seed. The leeks made four rows, each about 4 metres long. Mmm.
     I put all the tomato plants (except the Early Girl ones) out of the greenhouse, as I would like to harden them off. I want them in the ground soon. I have moved the hoops from the asparagus bed so I can cover the tomatoes with plastic and give them some shelter from the wind and a good warm start. We don't have any frost warnings for the next week, so this may be the propitious moment.
     I had planted zucchini seeds in the lasagne bed, and two of them have germinated. I may just put the seedlings I've raised into the other planting pockets in that bed. That will save space in the regular vegetable plot for other things. I put several more tatties into pots in the greenhouse, but I think that the rest will go into the ground. The ones I planted in the ground last week (they were Irish Cobblers) haven't shown themselves yet. We have had a cold and rainy week, which may have slowed things down. I have a few beans, and some carrots, peeking up.  Also another row of something which might be basil. I rather hope not, as I planted more of that today. (I certainly already have the memory of a 60-year-old.)
     In flower news, the white tree peony is blooming! The burgundy one is some days behind, and the pink one is suffering quite a bit - it has not put on growth like the others. It did have several suckers coming up from the root stock, which I have ruthlessly pulled away. I hope it manages to survive.
       I was listening to GQT today, and they talked again about the "Chelsea Chop" - pinching back late-blooming perennials by 1/3 to 1/2 to encourage bushing up. So I did some of the phlox and some of the sedum "Autumn Joy" - they especially recommended it, as it has a tendency to flop over. Mine certainly DOES. I hope this is the cure. I took the tips to the greenhouse and tried propagating them. Not the phlox of course. I have far too many of those.
     I have a three-day weekend, so I plan to garden and sew and generally make the most of it.