Sunday, May 17, 2015

Second-Year Garden and Next Planting's Wishlist

The vegetable garden is growing nicely.  I have dill and cilantro popping up everywhere on their own, interspersed with lettuces and radishes that I've planted.  The giant plant in the back is lovage, a ancient Roman perennial that tastes like celery and parsley, and grows with no effort.

My currant bush is full of greens, hoping it will produce fruit this year, it was just a baby last year - it has some promising wispy trailers on it.

Strawberries vs mint, who will win?

  Strawberries are flowering.  Mint and chives and raspberries are all perennials and back again this year.  Peas are about 5 inches tall, will need supports soon.  I planted Tuscan kale, watercress, carrots last week.  We went to the garden store for tomato, jalapeƱo, and cucumber starts.  I've never grown cucumber before!  I'm growing the very little ones, to make some cornichon pickles, we'll see how it goes.  Eggplant eventually.  It's not warm enough yet, but it grew well last year.
Cucumber start

Tomatoes and jalapenos.  Radishes and cilantro in the front.

Last year, we had barely enough time to get the vegetable garden ready, but this year, with the perennials popping up, and the self-seeding, I haven't had much to do.  I also was able to use leftover seed from last year, which has grown really well, and I haven't spent a single penny on the kitchen garden this year.  I will, of course, when I head out to get the fruiting starts, but my total kitchen garden financial commitment will be less than $50.

So this year, I've tried to focus a bit more on the pretty gardening.  Last fall, I planted some peach daffodil bulbs in the front yard.  They were more of a pale yellow, but they looked nice for a week or two, although they were miserably sparse.  I want to weave in some Siberian Iris. 

Lilacs getting ready to bloom
Ben's beleaguered grapevine 
raspberries, next fall I will actually cut them down. It seemed so cruel and unnecessary, but they really aren't thriving this year.  They must need tough love.

I planted three neat little bare-root rosebushes that I got for $3 apiece.  The bare-root ones take up to a year to establish, they're sold as little dormant sticks, but are very economical.  They're supposed to make large pink roses, and they already have maroon-colored shoots of new growth poking out at odd angles.  One even has inch-wide leaves!  Maybe I will get just one rose this year?
Pink roses in the front yard, hopefully they will grow and obscure the hateful overgrown shrub

A "Mr. Lincoln" rose for the backyard, and violets

baby Morning Glory plant

I planted some 'Heavenly Blue' morning glories last week, and they are so fast growing that they're already an inch tall.  So easy to grow from seed, those desperate annuals.   I use these to obscure the chain link fence in the backyard.  Ben wants to replace it, but it's a perfectly good fence, and it lets light in.  Our backyard is shady enough already with those giant trees.


I've also planted some 'Elsa Spath' clematis against a little cathedral window-shaped trellis.  I don't expect much flowering from it this year, but I hope for clouds of indigo, star-shaped flowers next year.  

New brick edging

We've edged the sidewalk along the shady side of the rowhouse with sandstone bricks, and our hostas look very lush now.  I've planted some lily of the valley there and mint.  I want some ferns too, but I'm holding out for maidenhair fern, not just any fern.  There's some daylilies there too, but if they refuse to bloom again this year, they're going somewhere else - like out by the car park, haha.  Also, it's not obvious from the picture, but the owners next door have planted over a dozen hydrangea bushes in the fall of last year, and I am sooooo excited for September.  

Front door after the rain.

Here's my wish list for a gorgeous garden.  I favor perennials for their ease, and wispy plants like lavender and anemones.  And I love a trailing climber.  

1. Adiantum Venustem (maidenhair fern): evergreen fern, thrives in shade and moist areas.  I want these spilling over the edges of homemade concrete planters in the backyard, and in large shallow bowls on the entryway table.

2. Anemone coronaria (black-centered anemone): perennial, spreads, prefers moist fertile soil ni sun or part shade.

3. Ceropegia linearis susp. woodii (Hearts on a String)

4. Clematis 'Elsa Spath': Group 2 Repeat Bloom,

5. Cyclamen persicum f. albidum

6. Dicentra Spectabilis 'Alba': Perennial, with white heart-shaped flowers on long delicate stems.  Prefers moist, fertile soil, in partial shade.

7. Dregea sinensis

8. Galanthus 'Magnet' (snowdrop): first of the spring flowers.  Prefers moist but well-drained soil in partial shade.

9. Glechoma hederacea 'Variegata' (trailing nepeta):

10. Humulus Lupulus 'Aureus' (Hops Vine)

11. Ipomoea Tricolor 'Heavenly Blue' (Morning Glory): fast-growing twining annual that is easy to grow from seed.

12. Iris sibirica: rich violet-hued flowers, plant lots.

13. Laurus nobilis (bay)

14. Lavandula

15. Lathyrus latifolius 'White Pearl' (Everlasting Pea)

16. Lonicera x purpusii 'Winter Beauty' (winter-flowering honeysuckle):

17. Nicotiana (Tobacco flower)

18. Osmanthus delavayi

19. Petunia 'Black Velvet'

20. Phaseolus Coccineus (scarlet runner beans):

21. Polygonatum odoratum (Solomon's Seal)

22. Rosa banksiae 'Alba'

23. Rosa 'New Dawn'

24. Thymus 'Silver Queen'

25. Trachelospermum jasminoides:

26. Verbena bonariensis

27. Wisteria x formosa