Thursday, July 8, 2010

july heat

100 degree days with no rain in sight. It is mighty miserable over here. I try to keep watering to a minimum, but it has to be done to stop things from wilting away. The kitchen garden is playing a waiting game. The tomato plants are happy and robust, but the tomatoes are still green, there are cucumbers on the vine, but still a bit too thin to harvest. Instead I ventured to the market this past weekend. Lots of goodies to be found there and lots of people too. The buy local movement is thriving in my little town.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

june joy

The last few days have been absolutely perfect here in our little town. Temperatures are hovering around 80 F, humidity is low, and the sun is out. The garden is on its best behavior.

This is what happens when you repeatedly complain about not having enough peas.

Rhubarb and raspberry abundance.

A bit of garden whimsy, provided by my mom. We call him Boll, after a Swedish children's story.

Jumble of herbs and vigorous tomato plants = happiness.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


All it took was a bit of whining. Yesterday I discovered that the peas are flowering after all. These beautiful pink and maroon blooms are slowly popping out and hopefully the pea pods will follow. I also have to share a few photos of the peonies. They are gorgeous right now, especially on a sunny morning after a quiet night of rain. Delightful.

Monday, May 17, 2010

mystery x 2

Another weekend filled with garden work is over. Everything is looking wonderful. The lush growth of roses, peonies, ferns, lettuce, herbs, and hydrangeas is currently overpowering the army of weeds lurking in the background.

I have two small garden mysteries to share. The first is the beautiful redbud tree that we planted in the fall of 2008. Last summer it was happy and healthy, blooming vigorously in the spring, leafing out nicely in the summer. I loved its nice shape and its place in the garden, near the "stump" bed in direct sight from the kitchen windows. This year, after a long and unusually cold and snowy winter it appeared to be dead. The promising buds on its branches dried out, and there was no sign of life until early April, when blooms first appeared on the trunk near the ground, followed by new shoots and healthy looking leaves along the trunk as well. The beautifully branched top part is still lifeless. So what to do? Do I cut the dead branches out hoping for the new growth to survive and take over?

Another mystery is this years crop of pod peas. Or I should say lack of crop. The peas were planted 4 weeks ago, and is growing energetically, almost overpowering their supports. But there are no flowers, and therefor no peas... This has never happened to me before. Granted I am sometimes a bit neglectful, and the spot where they grow is not in full sun, but not one single flower? I am puzzled. Right now I think it is the batch of peas that I planted that is defected.

If any of you have an answer or even a suggestion to fix these problems, I would welcome them warmly. More photos from the garden to come.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

best of times

I am in the midst of a weekend devoted to gardening. It has been so long since I really took time to get grubby and sweaty from pulling weeds and digging in the dirt. This is the best of times – bright, not too hot, few bugs. Everything is fresh, green, and blooming beautifully.

The kitchen garden's inhabitants are growing rampantly. The peas that were only a couple of inches tall a few weeks ago, are climbing over their fence. Once budding roses and clematises along the parameter are in full bloom, and tiny lettuce seedlings are becoming vigorous heads.

We installed a fountain in the kitchen garden using an old soapstone sink we bought from the university's surplus sale some years ago and a found rusty old pipe. It is quite magical. Therefore our old adirondack chairs are now moved to the center circle to be on hand for quiet celebrations.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Finally. The sun is out, the air feels balmy, there are birds chirping everywhere, and the maple tree's spent blossoms are littering the streets. Spring is here.

There are no memories of winter left in the garden either. Everything is competing to see what can burst first. My favorite tree – the star magnolia – is in full bloom, its white petals fluttering in the wind.

The daphne is covered in blooms with an infatuating scent. Then there are hellebores, still looking downwards but ready to go.

The lanky camelia is positioned between two windows along the driveway, where nobody can enjoy its picture perfect flowers. I frequently snip some of them, to brighten up the window sill in my studio.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

snow story

Here is our back yard, slightly skewed, by the panoramic view, but nevertheless in its full winter glory. Note were the snow is still lingering – in the kitchen garden – which is supposed to be the sunniest and warmest spot of all. Not any more. The neighbor's trees has grown taller by the years, so part of our potagĂ©r barely gets any sun at all. That's were the blueberries now roam... This spring the garden will move up the hill, with two new raised beds to make room for the sun loving treats.

Monday, March 1, 2010


We've been covered in snow for so long. I am afraid to discover the damage that's been done to the garden. But today the sun is out, and there is a hint of spring in the air. Look what I discovered during my walk-about. The star magnolia almost ready for bloom, stringy witch hazel flowers spreading their heady scent, and the ever cheerful winter aconites. Nature's resilience is encouraging.

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