My mom always had tiny English daisies growing in her lawn. I’ve been wanting to get some for quite a while, not to grow in the lawn, but to grow in the flowerbed. Last week, while visiting a local greenhouse, I spotted this little pink beauty and picked it up.
I planted it under my tool rack in the main vegetable garden. It’s perfect for that location, adding interest without adding any height or getting in the way of the tools. Lately, I’ve been focusing on adding more layers to my garden, high things and low things. This is the perfect low area to add a bit of interest.
Do you grow any plants that you have fond memories parents or grandparents growing in their gardens?
The potager has taken a back seat as I get the main vegetable garden in final order. This garden pretty much takes care of itself. Besides a weeding once a year and a layer of compost, it growing along. The plants are spreaders, creepers, and self seeders. They ebb and flow, creating a drift garden of sorts. Even though this garden is an exuberant mess, it still was in need some some kind of focal point in the center. As I was cleaning up my potted Wisteria frutescens, I realized it would be PERFECT for adding both interest and a bit of height.
I must say, I’m super happy to have this beauty growing in a container. It’s easy enough to maintain (I overwinter it in my basement each winter). Wisteria frutescens is perfectly hardy in our climate, this plant was actually purchased with the intent of training up the lower side of the house. I haven’t quite had time to clear out the spot to plant in, so it grows and blooms happily in this container. It bloomed ealier this spring, but has a few more buds and will rebloom in a week or two.
I may actually leave this particular plant in this container and start more to grow on the house. What a perfect specimen to add interest and height to the potager! As I was looking at this the other night, I decided that growing things in containers and putting them in key spots in the garden would be great way to add focal points.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I planted a new variety of pea, ‘Sienna’ from Johnny’s Seeds. Around here, I’ve mostly grown heirloom peas, so this variety was a first for me. Overall, I’m really happy with it. All the pods came ripe at the same time, allowing me to harvest the entire row, pull the plants, and replace with something else. These peas are kind of like determinate tomatoes, very convenient if you want to process them all at once.
It was nice to harvest all of them and not have to be picking peas every couple days. Processing them all at once for the freezer was also very convenient, no small batches to process every week or so. If you’re growing peas for freezing, I highly recommend giving ‘Sienna’ a try. I also appreciate that they are ready to pull from the garden a month or so ahead of ‘Green Arrow’, which means by the time I’m pulling the other variety, I’m already going to be harvesting lettuce from the space where the ‘Sienna’ peas were growing. If you have a small garden, maximizing space is a great reason to consider this variety.
Are you growing any new varieties this year? Do you love them or prefer others?
Fall Crops Our temperatures are finally getting down in to the twenties,...
Typically, I grow cutting flowers from seed each year. This year my grow light space was limited, so I cut back on the number of annuals I started from seed. I stopped at a local farm stand last Friday and scored an entire flat of cut flower seedlings for $19. Into the potager they went, filling in the empty space with the possibility of future flowers for the table and for gifting.
I scored a lot of different colors of snapdragons, bachelor buttons, scabiosa, and some zinnias.
Do you grow flowers just for cutting? Which is your favorite?
The strawberry patch was in need of removal last year, which didn’t happen because I spent too much time traveling in the spring/early summer. I started pulling the plants last fall, but didn’t get that far. Now that strawberry season it over, all the crowns are being removed to make way for other produce.
We will still have strawberries, they will just be in raised beds in the new soft fruit section of the main garden. I purchased 50 new crowns this spring. We also have a few ‘Old North Sea’ strawberry crowns that will be transplanted and propagated. Next year we will have a small harvest, but the following years should be decent. We are looking to reduce the number of strawberries but add other soft fruits, like red and black raspberries, currants, and blueberries.
Last fall, I curved a stock panel between several pieces of rebar and made an arch to add a focal point to the entry of the main garden. I planted a few perennial climbers on it, mostly clematis, but a grape vine I found on clearance at the end of the season. I knew the climbers wouldn’t grow up and cover the arch this year, so I added gold pod peas and scarlet runner beans for late season color. It also makes a nice place to hang my favorite garden tool so it’s at hand when I need it.
The arch is looking fantastic at the entry of the garden. I also moved an old half barrel planted to flank the arch and planted my horseradish in it. I’ve added various elements around the arch to enhance the area and make it a true focal point to signify that this is the entry to the garden. It’s still young, but it’s really starting to look nice. In a few years this area will be a stunning entryway, especially when the box hedges grow up on either side and the perennial beds fill in behind them.
What kind of focal points do you have in your garden?
It’s Luna Moth season here in Maine, I’ve managed to see four in the past week. Last night, two were on the chicken coop when I went up to gather eggs. I’ve seen them before, but only here and there throughout my life. In fact, I’ve probably seen more this week than I have in the rest of my life put together.
In the North, the season for these beauties is short, only about a week. Did you know that the adult moths don’t eat, they only live for about 7 days. It’s no wonder I’ve seen so many, I guess it’s the season for them to be out making the next generation of moths.
In the past two years, I’ve added 8 clematis to the garden in efforts add levels to the garden beds/borders. I was lucky to find some at a local discount store last summer for $5 each. They grew nicely last year and are starting to bloom this year. One of my favorites is this burgundy one.
It was labeled as an Everblooming Red clematis. I’m not sure if it has a varietal name or not, but I really like it. The color of the flower make it look like it’s velvet. It’s a wonderful addition to the stock panel arch that graces the front entrance to the main vegetable garden.
Summer in Maine is short and sweet, we try to make the most of it by spending as much time outside as possible. The Fourth of July is spent at the lake with our neighbors, swimming, boating, watching the parade, eating chicken BBQ from the local fire dept….a perfect day all around.
What are you plants to celebrate the Fourth of July?