Saturday, June 1, 2013

My Garden Notebook - June 2013


Spring has continued on its slow emerging path throughout May with long bloom periods and a consecutive flow of color and beauty. I have enjoyed this spring more than many because it has been cooler, and with that cool weather I have been able to savor so many elements of the garden as the gradual evolution unfolds. When I am outside working in the garden, there is a calm and consistent steadiness to the garden that never makes me feel rushed or as if I am behind. It has been a joy this spring to be a part of that slow and steady flow.





In the past week, the weather has begun to turn warm, hot. We may have a few days here and there of cooler weather, but the inevitable heat of summer is on its way. And with that heat has come the 17-year cicadas. We do not have them in as high numbers as some other areas, but they are singing a boisterous song. By mid-June or so, they will have completed their mating and will die. The birds and other creatures are having a feast on these creatures. I have a few young trees that could possibly be damaged by the egg laying of the female cicada, but I am hoping the small numbers will reduce the chance of any damage to my trees.

stats

Gardening Zone: 7a
May High Temperature: 88 degrees F
May Low Temperature: 39 degrees F
Precipitation: 2.87 inches

wildlife

There has been a whirlwind of activity in and around the garden as the birds are raising young. Over the past few years, I have not had success in witnessing the raising of any American Robins that have nested in my yard. This year was the exception as a family was raised successfully this spring.


American Robin Feeding Fledgling

This is Bubba who sleeps in this drainage pipe by day and emerges in the evening to spend the night hunting and catching insects. He must find quite a lot of food because he is very big.


Eastern American Toad


what's blooming, sprouting

The perennial bed perched on the slope in the backyard is filling in nicely.


Perennial Garden Bed

Soon there will be echinacea blossoms.


Echinacea purpurea 'Kim's Knee High' - Purple Coneflower

Last year when I planted this False Indigo, a rabbit nibbled it to the ground. I am so glad it survived to offer this spring display.


Baptisia australis - Blue False Indigo

The irises have been rather showy this year.


Iris germanica 'Tiger Honey' - Bearded Iris

The primroses burst on the scene about a month ago and are still in bloom.


Oenothera speciosa - Pink Evening Primrose

My clematis plants are relatively young, but with each year there are more and more blooms.


 Clematis 'Jackmanii'

This year I planted various hens and chicks in my hypertufa planter. I like these larger varieties in this planter.


Hens and Chicks - Sempervivum 'Hopewell' ,  'Spring Beauty' , 'Black'


In the containers on the patio, I planted several pelargoniums with a variegated pelargonium and some dichondra and calibrachoa.


Pelargoniums in red with a variegated pelargonium in red with Dichondra 'Silver Falls' and Calibrachoa 'Electric Purple'

I finally finished all of the containers in the front of the house.


Thuja Occidentalis 'Rheingold' and Gerbera Daisies and Pelargoniums



in the vegetable garden

I am harvesting about a cup to two cups of peas a day.


Pea 'Avalanche'

The lettuce is still going strong with no bolting except for the arugula which began to bolt a few weeks ago.


Mixture of various lettuces - Romaine, Red Romaine, Oak Leaf


And soon there will be raspberries.


Raspberry

The spinach is beginning to bolt, but it has been a great harvest. I have picked spinach every few days for weeks. Some was used for dinner. Some was given to neighbors. And some was frozen to be used another day.



Spinach 'Corvair'


One of the most troublesome pests in the vegetable garden is the squash borer which eventually kills my squash plants. I am trying a new method this year by wrapping the base of the stem with aluminum foil to prevent the moth from laying the eggs by disorienting it and protecting the stem of the plant from larvae in the soil. I have never tried this method, so it will be an interesting season as I observe how it will work.


Aluminum Foil Wrapped Around Base of Squash Plant Stem

I am looking forward to tomatoes from the garden.


Tomato - Husky Cherry Red




Tomato Blossom


completed chores


planted remaining annuals in containers
planted gladioli
completed mulching beds
planted bell pepper plants in vegetable garden beds
planted squash, zucchini and cucumbers in vegetable garden beds
set out plant supports for tall perennials
cleared some beds of excess English ivy
cleared some beds of excess Mountain Mint

chores for June

spread milky spore powder
sow green beans
trim Carolina jessamine vines
sow moonflower seeds
sow okra seeds


Rosa 'Angel Face' - Blue Climbing Rose


What's in your Garden Notebook for June?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One of the reasons I have been so busy this month is that I am preparing for an art/photography show in Washington, DC in a few weeks. It has been a lot of work, but I am looking forward to it.

And Beth Akerman, an artist friend of mine, has created another incredible book of art, photography and writing. This one is entitled, How We See It...the nature of our worlds. My photography and writing are included with the work of many other talented women. Again, the profits from this book benefit the NOW Love Your Body Foundation that does so much work to help those with eating disorders.








I am joining in the following:

Helen of The Patient Gardener hosts End of Month View. This monthly meme is where garden bloggers share their garden views for the end of the month.

© copyright 2013 Michelle A. Potter

60 comments:

  1. Your garden looks beautiful and delicious :) I'm interested the see how the use of the aluminum foil will turn out. Hopefully that will take care of the problem. I'm harvesting tons & tons of apricots. I'm giving so many away and yet I still have more than I can handle. It is definitely not a bad problem to have but its kind of been a chore to pick, bag, and find them a home! Have a nice weekend!

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    1. I hope the aluminum foil will work, too. I will let you know how it goes. It sounds like a wonderful harvest...I love apricots.

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  2. I just picked a bunch of spinach today, too! This is the first year I've planted it, and I think next year I'll plant twice as much. Basically carefree, and my kids have been eating it straight out of the garden! (If I had known that was going to happen, I would have planted it years ago!)

    I'm hoping for peas in the next few weeks.

    Take care,

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    1. I love spinach. As you say, it does not require a lot of care once planted. I end up freezing a lot of it for soups later.

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  3. Lovely captures from your garden.
    This is such a good hobby, I always wanted to spare time for this, but failed.

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    1. Thank you, Indrani. The garden is always providing inspiration.

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  4. Isn't it amazing how quickly the garden recovers from winter and suddenly everything is blossoming. The garden is looking lovely and so neat and tidy. Your photographs are superb as ever. E.

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    1. I love that spurt of growth in spring. It does seem like a miracle.

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  5. Your garden is way ahead of mine, it is a promise of things to come (I hope) for me. Your planter looks lovely, great contrast of foliage, and the toad is amazing. We have blackbirds nesting in our garden, the fledglings left the nest last week and I kept coming across the little bundles of fluffy feathers and small eyes in sheltered corners. They are all flying properly now and looking almost grown up, it happens so fast.

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    1. I love discovering bird's nests. It is like finding a gift. I hope your garden is growing and growing.

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  6. Your gardens are beautiful. You must have the green thumb, both the flowers and veggies are wonderful. I love the shot of the robin feeding its young and the cute toad. Lovely images, good luck with your photography show. Have a happy weekend.

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    1. Thank you, Eileen. The garden is always showing me special moments. The show went very well.

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  7. This is such an interesting post; Robin feeding its baby, Bubba the obese, beautiful garden and lawn and those tasty-looking vegetables. Besides the photography is top-notched.

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    1. I really appreciate it! The garden is full of surprises.

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  8. I read about Bubba before I saw his photo. So, as I was wondering "what" he was, I was so pleased to see him as I scrolled down through your post. :) Your garden is in perfect condition! How wonderful that spring happened gradually for you. Ours has occurred in fits and starts of winter, then summer, then winter, spring, and back and forth again. Hopefully, things will stabilize for the summer. I really enjoyed this post!

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    1. I have had springs like that, and I know it is difficult. I hope things have calmed a bit.

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  9. Loved reading your garden chores completed and to do in June with the beautiful gardenphotos, but the magnificent photo of the cicada, the toad and the robin feeding its baby are just wonderful. I wanted it here to be a bit warmer it is still 9 degr. Celcius a bit cold for the time of year.

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    1. Thank you, Janneke. June is a month of so much life in the garden.

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  10. First congrats on being part of what looks like an amazing book..

    Your photos are beautiful...simply stunning.

    Jen

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    1. Thank you, Jen. The book was fun to be a part of.

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  11. I'm glad your Baptisia made a recovery, it is such a great plant, and will get very substantial with time. Mine is just starting to bloom.

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    1. I had seen Baptisia in other gardens and wanted to add it to mine, so I am very glad it is doing well.

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  12. Where to start...congrats, congrats, congrats Michelle. Your photography is indeed art! Now for your garden....I love your patio and the veg bed is incredible. Cooler spring here means a slow start so now when things are kicking into high gear with blooming so are the weeds...hot and wet here right now. Keep us posted on the show!

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    1. Thank you very much, Donna! The show was a wonderful experience. It was nice to talk about my work. I hope there will be more.

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  13. Looking good - very good! You're clearly a gardening star! :)

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    1. Thank you, Aaron. I have been doing it for a very long time.

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  14. I love the idea of the squash protection...I lose my zucchini every year. I'm going to give the aluminum a shot. Thanks! Your photos are gorgeous. I sat out on the porch trying to catch a shot of Robins feeding their young and they never warmed up enough to my presence. Guess I'll have to work up to that.

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    1. I am hoping the foil will work. It is my first time trying this, so only time will tell. I have to sneak up on the robins. They can fly away so quickly.

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  15. Every one of your pictures tells a beautiful story. I do hope your foil works but they also will lay on the stems so you may have to check for their eggs. I am having my best squash year ever and I put it down to having covered the beds for 2 years. No overwintering in my soil! At least for this year. Or it may just be a different year for them. Hope you get your chores done. I need to write mine down but it might take a book!

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    1. Thank you! I am hoping the foil works. You may be right about covering it up the stem. This will be an experiment, and I may change things next year. And I have often thought of covering the beds...glad to know it works.

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  16. Your garden looks awesome! I liked the designs you made with all the flowering plants. I have no particular plans for June, but I am going to fully start gardening after the hot season is gone. I have a problem now - a white icing sugar looking thing fell on the tomato plants first and it is spreading. i suppose it is aphid.. but have no idea what to do.

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    1. Glad to hear you are getting into gardening. It may be aphids. I have not had problems with them on my tomatoes. I think the praying mantis gets them.

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  18. wow you have a magical garden....I could just live there and be so happy :))). And also your tomatoes look amazing, mine are so small

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    1. What a kind comment! Thank you, unikorna!

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  19. IT all looks wonderful. I just love June with the promise of summer and all the early perennials performing.

    I'll be curious to know if the foil works on the squash plants. The borers are such a problem here I don't grow squash anymore

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    1. I am hoping the foil works. I get a nice crop of squash, but later in the season the plants wilt and die.

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  20. Your garden looks magical - I think Mr. Toad agrees. Congratulations and good luck with exhibiting your photos.

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    1. Thank you! The show was a wonderful experience.

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  21. It all looks so beautiful! I especially love the false indigo -- so good that it survived! Your veg look delicious, too. Yum! ~Angela~

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    1. The False Indigo is one of my favorite plants. It has my respect for its survival.

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  22. What a fantastic photo of the robin feeding its young! We had a Mourning Dove's nest close enough to the ground that the grandkids could see it--they were fascinated by it, needless to say. Your vegetable garden looks great; it's so far ahead of mine--all the rain we've had delayed all my planting. Thanks for the great tip on the aluminum foil; squash borers and beetles are always the worst pests in my veggies, too, that I'm willing to try about anything to keep them away. Glad your baptisia survived that pesky rabbit!

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    1. I don't often get the chance to capture those moments, but I am so glad when I do. I think the plants appreciate a more slow growth versus the fast growth when it gets hot.

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  23. Everything looks so beautiful and so healthy!

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    1. Thank you, Jayne. Things are looking good in the garden these days.

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  24. Everything looks so beautiful and so healthy!

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  25. Michelle,your June garden notebook is interesting. I see the tomatoes are healthy and has dark-green leaves. What variety are they? Mine are smaller and only started blooming. The spinach is too tasty!
    I'm sure you'll be successful in the next show!

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    1. I have several Roma tomatoes, some cherry tomatoes, an Early Girl,and a German Johnson. Thank you, Nadezda.

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  26. Congratulations on being part of the book, your photos are so amazing :-)
    Loved the shot from your garden with the hammock, it’s nice to see a wider picture of your garden. And the picture with the toad is amazing, Love it!
    Take care, Helene.

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    1. Thank you, Helene. It has been a lot of work, but I enjoy it very much. Bubba is still having a feast.

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  27. I love the photo of the robin feeding it's chick, it's just wonderful! Your garden is looking great with lots of lovely flowers and vegetables. I'm looking forward to my tomatoes this year too, they've just been potted on are looking promising.

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    1. I went ahead and potted one of the cherry tomato plants because I had no more room in the garden. They are already fruiting.

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  28. Where will your work be exhibited? I'd love to come see it! Everything looks so robust and healthy, especially those tomatoes. I like your tin foil idea. It sounds like it will work well. :o)

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    1. Thank you for your comment. The show was on the 7th, and I will be sure to let you know if I have a show in DC again. The tomatoes are doing very well....I am so glad.

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  29. Love that cement planter with the hens and chicks. Lovely touch. Spring has been cool here as well and like you I'm enjoying the extra time it has given me. I'm slow to get my garden chores done this year but the lack of heat has given me a little breathing room.

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    1. I know what you mean about the breathing room. That is another thing I have liked about this spring is having all that time to get things done.

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  30. I love the set up in your back yard with the beds and the hammock! It must be nice to get lost there with a good book. Great pic of the robin, must have taken you some patience to get that picture right.

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    1. We have enjoyed that space very much. The hammock was a gift from me to my husband who enjoys resting on the hammock in between yardwork jobs.

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'I see trees of green, red roses, too
I see 'em bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world'
--What a Wonderful World

Thank you for visiting The Sage Butterfly blog. I enjoy reading your charming reflections very much. Have a great day!

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