|Syringa reticulata, Japanese tree lilac|
We use a bunch of season extension techniques at the YWCA Rooftop Food Garden to help us get started earlier, produce later, and keep things extra warm for tomatoes, peppers, or melons.
The carrots we planted in early march are getting big -- row cover gave them just enough protection for the seeds to germinate. The radishes are out and in their place we transplanted 'Golden Nugget' tomatoes, which are staying toasty in the high tunnel under row cover.
|Thanks to Suzanne Fairley for the photos.|
What a fabulous morning for working in the garden - warm with a gentle breeze ....
have spotted Italian honeybees buzzing the Giant Red mustard blossoms - will try to capture in a photo next time .........
the hoop house had semi-collapsed and has now been repaired - soon our eggplant, tomatoes and tomatillos will be enjoying its protected warmth ...
and, in preparation for gardening with the nearby daycare children, two of our beds have been readied for planting
the Russian Blue potatoes have started to flower and the strawberries have started to set fruit - as have the blueberries and raspberries - now if the birds will just leave a few for us!!
May - what a wonderful time of year in the garden
Better late than never - a quick update re our garden activities last Sunday, May 20th ... Nasturtium's are popping out the the earth - we'll soon be munching on fresh strawberries and the potatoes are really putting on some good growth ........... the Red Giant mustard has finally decided to flower - and will hopefully attract benefical insects to deal with the aphids due any time now on our broadbeans ....... more updates tomorrow
and speaking of beneficial insects - here are a few worth noting ......
I'll admit that I have a problem, but if loving you (dear garden) is wrong, I don't want to be right!
|Blah has been banished!|
|Pfitzers, be gone!|
|The super-xeric side yard - who wants bluegrass here?!|
|Honeybee and Geranium|
|Blue grasshopper and little bluestem grass|
|Chef Jim and Dave, a happy "customer"|
The #1 reason why I love my garden: It nourishes my spirit
Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In The Garden : Los Altos, CA
Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX
Mary Gallagher Gray : Black Walnut Dispatch : Washington, D.C.
Deborah Silver : Dirt Simple : Detroit, MI
Debbie Roberts : A Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT
Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA
Andrew Keys : Garden Smackdown : Boston, MA
|Iberis sempervirens . . . indifference|
|Paeonia hybrid, tree peony|
Although classified as a woody shrub, it typically suffers severe die-back every winter (in my garden) then bounces back to form a 3'x3' shrub with these beautiful, 6-7" diameter blossoms. This is one plant in my garden that I'm willing to provide with a bit of extra water. Every garden needs one or two exotic specimens, right? A gift from a gardening friend many years ago, I'm sorry that I can't recall the specific variety.
Update: After doing some research, I believe that this is Paeonia suffruticosa 'Kinkaku' or 'Souvenir de Maxime Cornu'
May is also prime time for Iris germanica, bearded iris. There are two fantastic iris farms in the region where you can see scores of varieties in bloom and place your orders directly with the grower for post flowering delivery. Iris 4 U is in the Englewood area, and Long's Gardens is in central Boulder. Always a fun outing and it's nice to support our local farmers, too. But don't delay, the gardens are only open for a few weeks during the peak blooming season.
|White iris & white flowering Cerastium tomentosum make an elegant and xeric combination.|
|Love the hidden "zebra" stripes here!|
|A great, water-wise butterfly plant. Deadhead for repeat blooms all summer.|
An underused perennial that is also quite drought tolerant is this sweet Verbascum hybrid. It stands about 20-24" tall and blooms for several weeks.
|Brightly colored flower spikes above a basal rosette of coarsely textured leaves.|
Our native spiderwort, Tradescantia occidentalis, adds a col hit of blue and is happy to reseed itself in the driest garden areas.
|This linear, horizontal foliage is a favorite of mine.|
Check out our new compost sifter! These can be simply built out of some old bike rims (remove the spokes first) and wire mesh. A wooden frame fits over the wheelbarrow with casters to guide the rims back and forth, separating the finished compost from the larger particles that need to 'cook' a bit longer.
|Vinca minor . . . early friendship|
Potatoes continue to do well at the Cambie Garden too ........ Yukon Gold, fingerlings, and Russian Blue .......... they are growing faster than we can keep them hilled!!
Potatoes are popping up everywhere at the YWCA Rooftop Food Garden. We've found them hiding among the peas, flourishing in the compost bins, and trying to disguise themselves as strawberries. Our potato bed is already planted with Russian Banana Fingerlings and Yukon Gold, so we've started transplanting volunteers into large pots, wooden planters, and even burlap sacks! Planting potatoes in containers comes with the added bonus that you can start with just a bit of soil (about 1/3), and then add more throughout the season instead of 'hilling up.' Harvest is as easy as turning the whole thing upside-down!
|Notice how these happy transplants are planted into the bottom 1/3 of the planter.|
|Burlap sacks are often available for free - just ask your local coffee roaster!|
|Syringa vulgaris . . . first emotions of love|