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June 2020
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Annuals and Veggies and more Perennial Gardening

Like many who had Memorial Day off work, I made use of the holiday weekend to work in the yard.  The window boxes got a fresh coat of paint and their 2009 cargo, courtesy of the Arrowhead Farm and Tendercrop Farm.

window boxes 2009

window boxes 2009

Painting was more of an adventure than you might expect.  First, a minor mishap occurred when I was getting ready to paint.  I shook the can to mix the paint.  Unfortunately the lid was not well sealed.  Red paint sloshed on my shoes and the garage floor – luckily not on the rest of me nor on my car.  Brian, responding to my hollers from the garage,  grabbed a bunch of rags so I could clean up.  If you visit us, don’t worry about what died in the garage doorway – it was just my clumsiness and very messy bright paint.  Second, I decided to paint the window boxes without taking them off.  I was careful and managed to avoid splattering the house.  I had another mental lapse in painting without checking the forecast.  After I finished, I discovered thunderstorms were expected that night.  I imagined red paint streaking down the green siding at 3am when the sky opened and thunder clapped.  Again I was fortunate and the paint did not run; it had dried sufficiently well in the 12 hours before the rain began.  I asked Brian why he let me bumble through such a simple task without pointing out my imminent (and avoidable) pitfalls, and he noted that it was good for me to remember how long these “little chores” take and what can go wrong.  Point taken.  No permanent damage and fresh memories that painting is tedious.

In addition to sprucing up the front, I also got sets for the garden.  I was allowed to do whatever I wanted, which meant we have a new strawberry patch, tomatoes, eggplant and hot peppers.  I planted some snap dragons around the lilac and some cosmos and asters for the back fenceline to fill in the bare patches.  Last year I tried tomatoes there, but it didn’t get enough sun.  This year we have pink, white and purple flowers until we decide what fast-growing barrier to plant as a privacy and noise buffer to our backyard neighbors.  They aren’t loud, but we can now see one another directly each morning as we sit on our respective patios and have coffee.  Better to have a bit of colorful natural screening.

The pernnials continue to grow amazingly well.  The lilac and bleeding hearts are just now fading, the azalea has bloomed out, and the rhododendrons are going strong.  I transplanted lamb’s ear so it has room to expand in front of the lilac, and one poppy survived from last year.  I expect next week the seedum and salvia will be blooming – the buds are set and ready for a couple sunny days to open up.  The lenten rose has its first bloom, only 2 monts after expected!  As the name suggests, this plant typically is the first color in late winter, blooming about the same time that crocuses pop through the ground in March or early April.  This one took a bit longer, but I’m pleased that it is showing signs of health with one single pale pink nodding flower.  It promises to grow into a pretty ground cover in a few years.  Here is a shot of the blooming rhododendrons through our tall bee balm, bushy black-eyed Susans, purple salvia and spikey seedum.

Now you can virtually experience sitting on the swing, looking to the right side of the yard.  Have some lemonade and enjoy the warm afternoon!

Since it took 2 weeks to actually write this post, I’ll also note that we started a “pot luck” garden at church.  The new sign was installed so we could finish the planting.  Various church members dropped off plants and helped plant them.  We also spent time weeding along the driveway and the back of the church.  We pulled a whole bag of little maple trees, bamboo and various weeds encroaching through the mulch and stone.  We still need to tackle the side yard, but in the mean time we’re ready for a church picnic.  Several neighbors stopped by to complement the new sign and the fresh, neat and colorful look to the church.   It feels good to dig in the dirt and it’s satisfying to see the end result.

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