|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.