The Weekly Gardener 1



More Rain


More rain this week, a lot of it, actually, so, again, weeding got postponed. One of the hybrid teas turned into Dr. Huey, and how do I know that? Because it bloomed. The hybrid tea that was grafted on it didn't, so I'm wondering how is this bad news. It is true that the root stock only blooms one month a year, but it does bloom.

Anyway, now I have two of them. The other once blooming roses are also in full production mode, as they are expected to be at this time of the year, while the rest of the perennials are gathering up steam for June.

There is a flower already on one of the early tomato plants, despite the late frost that affected them a couple of weeks ago. The peppers look great, this year really agrees with them, they are sturdy and deep green, but no flowers yet.

The herb garden is thriving, the sage, lavender and valerian are already in bloom, the lovage is knee high, maybe it's not too early to start harvesting leaves for drying, after the weather dries up, of course.

I really should have paid attention to the information on the seed packet: the smooth blue asters have passed the four foot mark and are still growing.

The garden is resting before the June bloom, there is not much to see yet, and the cold rainy weather doesn't inspire blossoming enthusiasm.


Gardening Calendar for May

Clematis Jackmanii

May should be a busy month for the green thumb, depending on the hardiness zone. After all the young plants have been safely transplanted in the garden, the annuals have been planted, the seeds have been sown, the weeds have been pulled (well, I haven't gotten to that part yet, but this task is never finished anyway), all the gardener has to do is sit and wait for the results to emerge.

That's not entirely true, because there is so much more to do: the lawn needs treatment and fertilizer, the border plants need feeding, the flower beds need weeding, spent spring blooms need pruning, the vegetables need stalking, you get the idea.

Every year around this time I get the reminder that spacing requirements for plants are not orientative. Everything is packed so tight in the flower bed that it feels like it's going to burst out onto the concrete pathway any moment now, and the competition is vicious.

This is hard to picture early in spring, before the foliage emerges, when there seems to be so much space around the plants that it feels like it's going to waste.

If there are fall blooming perennials that you'd like to propagate, now it's the time to do that. Also, there is still time to plant summer bulbs and corms. I'm still thinking whether there might be any that I'd like to add this year. See? I never learn. There is always room for one more plant.