The watering season has begun. I spend most of my garden time from now until November watering and weeding. November is when the rain usually returns (sometimes in October), but until then the only natural moisture will be from our coastal fog. The redwood tress love it because they can absorb water through their needles as well as their roots. It’s why you usually don’t see redwoods in the inland areas of the West, no fog. They don’t do well with sustained hot dry weather, although that doesn’t stop gardeners from planting them. Oh oh…I feel a rant coming on and will stop there.
So, on to my own garden. Someone recently commented it looks like an English cottage garden but with native and drought resistant plants. I think that’s a pretty good description of the effect I am going after. There have been a few plantings this month, probably the last until autumn. I’m in love with Geums and they do well here, I put in three more Totally Tangerine plants to balance out the opposite side of the bed. Also planted was a native yellow lupine, so far it is struggling and I hope it survives.
These are views of the two planting beds at the back of the house.
In the vegetable garden I am still harvesting lots of lettuce. The summer squash and bush beans are growing well but no flowers yet.
We harvested our first artichoke.
The runner beans are starting to take off, since these can be perennials in our climate, I put them in a half wine barrel. The flowers are supposed to be a big draw for the hummingbirds.
The 4 wine barrels on the left have new rose bushes, which are now in bud. I purchased them bare root a couple of months ago.
The meadow has really taken off. I did plant a large salvia and 2 plants of Monardas didyma ‘Jacob Cline’ (bee balm) last month. It’s always an experiment to see what will grow, they certainly didn’t thrive in my Oakland garden.
I don’t intend to water it, at least at this point.
May brought unusually heavy rain followed by a heat spell in early June. My rhododendrons were just starting to bloom and unfortunately the temperature was too warm for them to reach their full potential. Many of the flowers dried even though I watered. They were toasted.
The sun and warm weather have given a growth spurt to the dahlias. There were 5 new varieties planted this spring. No flower buds yet but I don’t think it will be long.
I am traveling most of the last two weeks of this month and am dependent on the skill of my house/dog sitter and my part time gardener. Leaving this time of year (even with good instructions and skilled hands) is rough. I’m sure all you gardeners out there know what I am talking about.
Here’s a glimpse into last year at this time, June 2018…no raised beds. I was trying out tomatoes and cucumbers, which did nothing at all. The ravens pecked what few tomatoes developed before they could ripen and the cucumbers immediately came down with powdery mildew. I’ll be doing garden exchanges with folks in warmer microclimates. My lettuce for their tomatoes and cucumbers.
What’s on the program this month? Water, weed and harvest. Thankfully we don’t have any more big trips planned until September.
Have you heard about Wild Garden Seed? They are a certified organic seed farm in the Northwest. Their seeds are from plants meant to be used in organic settings, so their seeds have outstanding disease and pest resistance as well as flavor. I just heard about them and will be ordering some for my fall garden. Up to now I have primarily ordered from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, another organic company with a wide range of unusual and heirloom varieties, also excellent. It’s really fun as a gardener to peruse seed catalogs in print or on line.
I highly recommend both these companies (I do not get anything from my endorsement).