The Garden State

The New York Times has written an article on gardens in the Garden State. Of the five, I’ve only been to one (the one the author called the least interesting), and that was for a plant sale at the beginning of my gardening days. What I remember most is the pineapple sage plant we came home with that grew to shrub size and bloomed a fantastic red in the fall. Unfortunately, it was an annual.

To be honest, the article wasn’t that convincing, but I’ll still aim to get to Freylinghuysen and the New Jersey Botanical Garden this year.

In the meantime, my town’s garden tour is tomorrow. I like that it’s free! And not about magazine-ready gardens! Hope there’s something like this near you.

First Day of Summer Blooms

It is too hot! I can’t believe I am hoping for rain to cool things off! As long as it doesn’t rain on Saturday, when my town is having a garden tour. I’ve put in our flowers and vegetable beds, weeds and all! I’m glad to see that there are many others listed that aren’t designer gardens. The Brit will check out the others while I stay behind to chat with visitors. Wonder how many will come?
Among the blooms I noticed today are two roses from the $1 clearance rose we bought at Lowe’s two years ago. It’s still small, but I am just delighted that we have two blooms. So I had to photograph them in case the deer discover them tonight!

I’m hoping the crocosmia will be blooming by Saturday. What do you think of my artistic photo? I’d never noticed this color pattern.

I’ve also noticed my globe thistles (not quite sea holly but am definitely warming up to their texture) and a second patch of them and a small, fading yellow version of my red-hot pokers. (The red ones already have a line waiting for divisions!)

Radishes and Chard

We’re starting to harvest from our square feet (being square-foot garden adherents). Asian snow peas, white heirloom radishes from the sister-in-law’s seeds gift, giant Swiss Chard leaves (never has this kind of success with them before), plus arugula, various salad greens and broccoli raab that has seen better days. (We ripped it out tonight and replaced it with water spinach seedlings we bought at our Farmers’ Market. What’s water spinach? We have no idea!)

Who Was Nibbling Here?


Something has gotten into one of my tomato beds and nibbled at two plants. Bet it was the same animal that attacked the ones on the deck that I haven’t planted.

Mr. Groundhog, you may soon be sorry! Especially if my plants don’t recover quickly.

Yes, I’ve got deer netting surrounding the raised bed. I bet this animal crawled in where it’s a bit loose on the bottom. I’ve tried to tighten it up. A lesson to me not to cut corners!

Changing Scenery

This is how the front walk looked a week ago:

Front walk around June 6

And this is how it’s looking today, as the red-hot pokers fade and the shasta daisies start blooming:

When I came back from London just over a week ago, I thought my desire for “exuberance” had gone too far and that it was looking … well, overgrown. But as I tied the sprawling daffodil foliage into neat bundles, I realized there was plenty of space between (some) flowers. And even more space when I pulled out a few weeds that snuck in.
This weekend, I noticed how one spot close to the door needs filling in. The Brit put in a few nicotiana, but they will take time to grow. In a few other spots, I tossed in some cosmos and sunflower seeds that needed using up, but that will take even longer.
I just got some new plants through Bluestone’s 50% off spring clearance sale, including some cool-looking rudbeckia like this one, called Cappuccino:

And this interesting Solar Eclipse:

Maybe they’ll do the trick. I just hope the deer don’t munch them. Black-eyed Susans aren’t deer-resistant, but the clumps of more established ones are untouched. These seem a bit more established than some that have self-seeded, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Foiled Again!

Once again, our strawberries were reaching that state of perfect ripeness. And once again, some critter (we suspect the squirrel) got to them first. Clearly our system of surrounding pots with cages and covering them with netting won’t work unless we tuck every corner under the pot. Maybe this is where upside-down planting would work? Or would squirrels nimbly scale the pole?

Our other animal invasion was a turtle in a tomato bed who snapped when the Brit attempted eviction. Perhaps it was a mom laying eggs? At any rate, the turtle is gone, with little damage to the bed.

On a happier note, a lovely photo of our front path over Memorial Day weekend: