I don’t seem to be able to spend much time at my desk these days. Lots of my time is spent in the garden, some in the kitchen, although that also seems to be limited in the summer. It’s too easy to plop something on the grill and make a salad. The first tomatoes are at the market and we will make a meal out of toasted sourdough bread, sliced summer tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, grilled zucchini from the garden, and whatever protein seems available at the moment. Fresh mozzarella comes to mind, beer can chicken, or a piece of fish.
I don’t actually use a beer can anymore, but you could. I found that they tip over too easily and now use this handy grill plate with containers that lock. I originally purchased it from Williams Sonoma, I am not sure if they still carry them.
Anyway, this is supposed to be a blog post about the garden so let’s get on with it.
We replanted the front garden bed after the deck was completed. It will be a couple of years before the small ceanothus and rock rose shrubs hit their stride. Along with them are some Dutch irises and variegated lavender.
By the front steps I planted fuschias (mite resistant) and purple clematis.
The fuschia on the right is Old Berkeley, an heirloom variety and it has really taken off.
The three raised beds that were replaced in the vegetable garden area are doing well now they are out of reach of the redwood roots. The asparagus crowns are showing their ferny beauty. It will be a couple of years before I can harvest the stalks.
We have harvested a few meals of zucchini for grilling.
And the bush beans that were planted three weeks ago are showing signs of flowering in another week or so. I seeded three different varieties.
We hope to finish one more raised (really raised) bed this week. Digging out all the redwood roots, repairing them, raising them a foot above the ground, and refilling them with new soil takes some time. Look at the roots invading this one. They had filled the entire box, breaking through the heavy weed cloth and wire mesh.
My back appreciates them being above the ground.
The flower beds at the back of the house are beautiful, here’s a quick glimpse.
I’ve had lots of cut flowers for the house.
Speaking of cut flowers, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens recently held a cut flower arranging workshop. I hosted and got to attend. The arrangements were beautiful and it was a lot of fun, true artistry was expressed. It was very inspiring. Here are some pictures of the arrangements…
The dahlias are in full bloom at the Gardens and they were front and center in most of the arrangements. My own dahlias are a few weeks behind. Look for pictures next month.
The native bumble bees are everywhere in my garden, they especially love the lavender. The Spanish lavender along the driveway is the first to bloom, followed by the French lavender about a month later. They both teem with bees when in bloom.
You may remember my poor lemon tree that was on the back deck in a half wine barrel. When work started on the deck it was relegated to a spot under the bottle brush tree in the back. The barrel was falling apart and I am afraid I forgot to water it most days. When the deck was completed we planted it in the ground, giving it lots of new soil, water, fertilizer and finally some love. Well, much to my surprise, it is rebounding and shows new growth. I am hopeful it will bloom and produce some Meyer lemons next year. Meanwhile I will continue to give it love.
The pollinator garden also has a lot of bumblebees as well as birds and butterflies. It’s a wild place with grasses blackeyed Susans, Shasta daisies, yarrow of various colors, and assorted natives.
It’s a challenge to keep up with the deadheading, watering and weeding, a busy time in the garden. But I love it.
Lastly, this cloud formation was seen in the sky above the garden. I’m not sure I’ve seen a similar one before.
Happy gardening everyone.