Garden log, 5.12.14

It’s so hot outside. At 9 p.m. it’s still nearly 80 degrees F (26.6 C), and it’s early May. After dinner, I went out to water because everything looks desiccated and weak. What will August look like?
Almost all the bearded iris are spent, but ‘Carolina Darkness’ is just coming into bud. I think this will be the last one to flower this year. Had three Iris germanica flower this year for the first time: ‘No Count Blues,’ and two more, pictured here, whose names I do not know.

Iris germanica 'No Count Blues'

Iris germanica ‘No Count Blues’

 

I will try to find them out from the American Iris Society website.

The other summer plants are beginning to assume their places on the stage: Joe Pye weed, which I feared had succumbed to the long winter, is now 18 inches high. Kniphofias that did not have flower buds three days ago now have large, cone-shaped flower structures coloring up, soon to burst into flame. Fat yarrow buds sit atop foliage three feet high. I pinched back the oregano growing in the herb scree by the street, but no one could ever tell.

The flower structures of Kniphofia look like bottle brushes or Christmas trees.

The flower structures of Kniphofia look like bottle brushes or Christmas trees.

Picked a handful of peas this morning and again this evening, but with temperatures like this they won’t last much longer. It’s a shame, because this is the first year I’ve grown peas and gotten any harvest to speak of. The physalis (ground cherry), on the other hand, has doubled in size in the past few days and I expect it to only go on a tear from here. Lettuce got sunburnt on Saturday and has spent the time since under some shade cloth. I have tiny cucumbers on very small vines.

Tiny pickling cucumber forming.

Tiny pickling cucumber forming.

 

 

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Garden log, 5.6.14

Iris ‘War Chief’ and ‘Helen Collingswood’ bloomed today. Pruned two boxwoods out of seven–the two I thinned last year are looking robust again and benefitted well from a good gutting. It’s a big project to get through the boxwoods, so I’ll try to tackle them bit by bit over the next two weeks. Buds forming on the Phlomis russelliana. In the veg garden, tomatoes and peppers are taking off, especially jalapeño and anaheim peppers.

Garden log, 4.14.14

After four or five days near 80 degrees (26C), everything in the garden has exploded. The daffodils, which like a long, cool spring, expired in the pseudosummer of last week. Pollen rains down constantly and blows in great clouds, like photos from the Dust Bowl, except yellowish green. The weather report calls for lots of rain tomorrow, and perhaps a freeze tomorrow night. I must dig out the plastic sheeting to protect the tomatoes I spent last week planting.

But iris season is coming. My first blossom of ‘Eco Easter’ appeared today. Flora Weather, I hope yours are just as pretty! Enjoy them.

Iris 'Eco Easter'