Sunday, June 29, 2014
Lastly, our three Romanesco zucchini plants are producing very well straight out of the gate. So far this past week, we've picked about a dozen. I hand pollinate the female flowers each morning to ensure proper fruiting. Within a day or two of doing so, they are generally ready to pick.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Every year, I debate whether or not to grow them. Generally artichokes only start producing buds in their second year, but can easily be coaxed to flower in their first year if started early enough indoors and then exposed to cool temperatures for a minimum of 6 weeks. Most of my neighbors were astounded to learn that you could even grow artichokes here in New England. You can indeed. Unfortunately, they will never become the majestic plants you'd see in say the fields of California. When I visited the vegetable gardens at Colonial Williamsburg a few years back, I was amazed by how tall the green globe artichoke plants were and how each plant had at least a half-dozen flower stalks - something I can only dream about in my own garden. I've never been able to overwinter my artichoke plants successfully here in our Zone 6A climate. And at best, I'll get between 1 to 3 decent sized artichokes from each plant - not a very good return for the effort involved. Still, they are strikingly beautiful plants that can add a great deal of interest and impact to both an edible garden and ornamental bed. So I'm sure this won't be the last time I'll be growing them.
Monday, June 23, 2014
To extend the harvest, I only grow varieties that produce plenty of side-shoots after the main crown has been picked. Give the plants some protection and you'll be harvesting fall broccoli well into November here in New England.
Friday, June 20, 2014
|East Garden - June 2014|
|Circle Garden - June 2014|
I planted purple asparagus crowns in the great border in early May and they seem to be coming along well. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to harvest a small crop next spring. I think the mature plants also add a lot of texture to an ornamental bed.
|The Great Border - June 2014|
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
(PS - To the mystery blogger - I will keep trying to find you, but if by any chance you find this post, please reach out to me and I will certainly give you proper credit for your wonderful design!)
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Admittedly, I've spent more time these past twelve months thinking about flowers then I have about vegetables (mainly because I've had so little experience growing them). There's just so much to learn and I still feel as though I've only cracked the surface of it all. In many ways, this experience has opened my eyes to a how vast and challenging a passion like gardening can be. There's always something new to learn and many more plants to discover. But at the same time, it's really about the process and finding those aspects of gardening that really appeal to you. Otherwise, it can become quite overwhelming. For instance, based on my childhood memories, my father was a great lover of showy vibrant bedding plants. I, on the other hand, find myself more attracted to traditional cottage garden plants, particularly those that still resemble their wild cousins in many ways and can grow with a minimum of care. While I want my garden to be colorful, I also want it to be serene - a place that invokes a particular mood based on the season. Ultimately that is what I'll be working towards in the coming years.
But today represents another milestone in a way. Earlier this year, I must have started at least a couple thousand flowering plants from seed, most of which are perennials. As many of you are aware, many perennials don't flower the first year, so starting them from seed can require a great deal of patience. However, some do. And my newly-planted cottage garden saw its first perennial bloom today - in this case, a rather demure yet graceful white dianthus. A lot of planning and hard work has gone into our garden thus far and we're getting started. However, I'm really looking forward to all of the future flowers that will surely follow this one.
Monday, June 9, 2014
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
I noticed that the first nasturtium flowers are blooming. I've never had much success with them in the past. But they seem to off to a rather good start this year.