Thursday, June 17, 2010

Garden Thursday

This is pretty much what's going on around here right now: strawberries. Strawberries and World Cup madness. Yes, I admit, I scorn every other sport but soccer. Why, you ask? Do you really need to ask? Good looking, trim, fit, lithe, long-haired men in shorts and tight t-shirts running around looking all Mediterranean and intense and sporty?

Say no more.

Other than that of course we're picking strawberries. And eating them. And making jam. I made 15 pints tonight. I used to experiment with strawberry recipes (Eton Mess, tortes, pies, tartes) but my kids are still young enough that all they really like is a) jam, and b) fresh berries, and c) strawberry shortcake. And maybe some more jam. So that's pretty much all we do with them. Every so often I go a little nutty and make a cobbler.

This is definitely the time of the year when Garden Tableaux are worth bothering about: the growth is lush, everything is fresh and new, and any old pot looks atmospheric shoved up against an old stump.

Witness this tableau. Le Tableau Vert. (that means This looks really cool, don't you think? in French)

Does your garlic look like this? Well, then, that's a good sign. It means that it's doing what it should be doing: ripening. The first time I grew garlic and it did this my initial thought was "$#&@! What the h$** did I do wrong?" I even dug up half of it, to see what was going on under the ground. That's when I belatedly realized that everything was going as it should be. I might have tried to bury it again, foolishly. I know I felt pretty dorky.

Now I can nod sagely and say, in response to my friends' "ACK! THAT PLANT IS DYING!" "Have you never seen garlic grow from beginning to end? This is, my friend, the circle of life."

Ha. No, of course I don't say this. Well, not usually. I'm a little more circumspect. Dignified. Usually.

A new lewisia. Orange! Rare! (oops, I'm sounding like the LEGO maniacs in this house, now, aren't I? "this is a really rare piece!") It fell off the back of a lorry. Couldn't very well leave it there, now, could I?

Here is Sandy's clematis. I'd link you to her blog but she hardly ever blogs anymore.


I've got big plans right now to fell some tree tops and make myself a 4-legged arbour, like one I saw in a garden magazine the other day. I've got a Cabernet Sauvignon grape that I plan to grow up one side of it, and I'm going to move my David Austen The Fairy rose over to the other side, because it was languishing a bit against the pine tree. Actually, I lie: I forgot about it as it languished against the pine until the other day when I was repositioning my soaker hoses and discovered it languishing rather sadly. It was not pleased with me. So I hauled it out of that spot and stuck it where my new arbour will eventually be. As soon as I get Richard to help me, that is. Don't tell him - I need to break these things to him slowly. He has this bizarre idea that his weekends are for relaxing. Ha! Who does that?

By the way, if you're looking for a pretty little creeper for your paths, try this Blue Star Creeper. It's not quite as robust as the usual Irish and Scots mosses, but it's extraordinarily charming. I would have had significantly more if I hadn't though it was a weed a few months ago, and tugged most of it away from these pavers.

Yes, just call me Gardeneri Lame-olei.

Oh, and my lovely little Rosamundi is in full bloom. It's low growing and slow growing, but the bloom is quite arresting. At least, it arrests me. And that bumble bee stuck in the middle there looks rather arrested, too, don't you think? Must have been Pink Flower Day.

Or White Flower Day...?

Finally, a shot of a planter with some petunias in it. Petunias, especially these little multifloras, are quite the workhorse and they usually have some pretty crazy colours on them. That tall spiky thing is a Dracaena. They say they are perennial but I've never had one to overwinter so I'll let you know just HOW perennial they really are another day.


Samantha said...

Wowsa! Look at all your strawberries! Are they all from your garden? They are gorgeous.
Your garden looks amazing, as always.

p.s. your LEGO maniacs sound like my LEGO maniac. There is much excitement revolving around rare pieces - most recently it was a caramel colour brick, and I recall the clone trooper jet packs got a lot of attention too.

sheila said...

They are! It was an initial bumper crop, but I'm a little worried because I should have thinned them and I didn't, and now I'm seeing the gap in that theory (lack of strawberries on some plants & smaller strawberries). I need to deal with my inability to thin. I think it's a pathology.

What is it with these rare pieces? We bought some of the Educational stuff with our SD money and OMG the shrieks of delight at all the rare pieces THERE. It's weird. They're weird.

Erin said...

Those shrieks would be akin to my shriek of delight at finding a rosa mundi here...rare it seems at my garden centres. Must seek out...beautiful! Are they fussy? When I encountered them as a paid gardener, they usually seemed healthy and robust (we never sprayed, if it couldn't thrive Laurie, by lovely boss, ripped 'em out and planted hardier types. Ha!). I have many rugosas, and need more rose drama, low maintenance rose drama!

You have a very pretty, and established-looking garden. Mine is feeling random and not fully plugged in these days, or maybe I'm feeling random and not fully pluggd in these days. Sigh. Someone send the sun and all of its energy, please??

sheila said...

No, they aren't at all, Erin. I did have to seek it out at a Rose Nursery though.

My garden is 2.5 years old - it's all in the photos! I don't takes shots of all the unaesthetic areas, lol, and believe me, there ARE some around (all my hybrid teas). One thing I find wild and crazy is how different out weather is - and yet we don't live that far from each other. Are you in a mountain rain shadow?

Mothering From the Heart said...

Your garden/plants looks lovely! And strawberries already. Mine are just forming. That's what happens when they get only about 4-6 hours of sun on the sunny days. I have a lot of shade, though which comes in handy when it gets hot. And it will get hot, right?

sheila said...

Hi Marty! Yes, it will get hot. Repeat this 2,437 times. Then read the Farmer's Almanac and despair.

Oh, I'm just kidding. I hope it gets hot. But the Farmer's Almanac says we're in for a wet summer. Sob. (by the way, saw you in Thrifty's the other day and mistook you for my friend Camilla - so if you saw a blonde woman and her three kids staring at you oddly that was us).

Mothering From the Heart said...

Next time, come and say "Hi!" What day was that? I am often lost in inner space when I grocery shop so...

Heather said...

Shelia, everything looks wonderful. Those strawberries!! I do want to try Eton Mess this year. I've never tried it and anything with the name mess in it just delights me somehow.

Are you eating your garlic scapes yet? The ones at work are ready, I just have to remember to bring some home with me to eat. Can't wait.

Fiddler said...

Gorgeous gardens, Sheila! The strawberries look positively luscious.

shaunms said...

Wow, your gardens are amazing!

We are still waiting on our berries.

Have you ever tried "moss milkshake" -- we poured it around our newest rocky path, but I am concerned that all the rain may have washed it out.