Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Best and Worst of My Garden - May 2012

ground cherries 5-30, originally uploaded by Bumble Lush.

Two days ago I was ready to list the ground cherries as a "worst." The seeds I started in April dried up and died during a week when I was out of town. I planted a couple more ground cherry seeds when I got back, and none germinated. I planted more seeds in late April and early May . One germinated, and then I got busy with work, forgot to keep the seed cell moist, and that seedling died. I tried a different container (the black one above), but because it was outside, I'm not sure if what germinated is a ground cherry seedling or a weed. It looks like other weeds I've yanked.

Every time a seedling would emerge, I would accidentally forget about it or go out of town, and it would die. When I was home and watchful, nothing germinated. Frustrated, I decided to plant exactly ONE ground cherry seed smack in the middle of this purple container so I'd know that it is a ground cherry--if it ever germinated. A week or so went by, and nothing. Then I went outside this evening, and there's the seedling, right in the middle where I planted it!! I'm cautiously optimistic about this. I think my "Worst" may be coming around!

mortgage lifter 5-30
Other "Almost Worsts" are the other tomato plants that I started from seed. Throughout May, they barely grew and there were several days that I came home from long 12-hour workdays and just forgot or didn't feel like tending them, hardening them off, watering them, etc. Some days I was too tired to even care that I was neglecting my garden. But then, after work loads eased up last week and I gave them a little attention, they began growing quite noticeably overnight. The picture above is a mortgage lifter and basil I started from seed.

Bumble Lush strawberry patch
berry harvest 5-16
As for the "Best"--May goes to the strawberries. We've harvested four pints so far!

This month I learned about how resilient plants can be, in spite of their sometimes neglectful owners. I thought I'd have nothing but dried up tomato seedlings and zero ground cherries, but I think I'm getting a second chance.

If you'd like to share any Best and Worst happenings in your garden this month, feel free to link up.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

First Tomato of the Season!

chocolate cherry 5-26, originally uploaded by Bumble Lush.

Husband and I spent the holiday weekend in Charlottesville, VA, continuing our self-directed American History tour (will post about that getaway later), but before we left, I noticed that one of the tomato plants has fruit. Two cute little tomatoes have formed on the chocolate cherry tomato plant. We've never grown this type before, and I'm looking forward to tasting them.

I've been taking pictures of most of my veggie plants every week to follow their progress, but sometimes things seem to happen overnight. The weekend was hot, sunny, and humid, and I think the plants loved it. When we came back last night (we were only gone two days), so many of the tomato plants had doubled in size. I can't wait to see how things continue to grow. Maybe my veggie garden this year won't be a total loss.

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Strawberry Season Is Here!

berry harvest 5-16, originally uploaded by Bumble Lush.

It's Year 2 of my strawberry patch, and I've had two berry harvests so far this month. The picture above is a pint I harvested last Wednesday.

First 2012 strawberry harvest
A few days before, I had harvested a half-pint from my patch. We ate the berries as snacks and mixed some into smoothies. The next batch we harvest may have to go into pancakes or a shortcake.

big berry harvest 5-13-12
We went to my father-in-law's for the weekend, and when we got back yesterday afternoon, I noticed more red in the patch. It's raining pretty hard today, but I need to go out and harvest those ripe berries. I'm happy to see that some of them are pretty big!

the biggest berry 5-13-12

My FIL's friend Al (who has an amazing vegetable garden in Oklahoma), suggested that we pinch of the buds during the strawberry plants' first year. This helps establish the plants and encourages greater growth in the second year. I got that advice too late, and didn't snip any buds off last year. But our strawberries this year are bigger and more prolific than they were last year anyway. We love strawberries, and I'm happy to have some home-grown berries to harvest and add a little burst of color to the garden.

Today I'm linking up with Daphne's Dandelions' Harvest Monday and joining others in showing off our harvests.

p.s. A post I wrote last year on how to freeze strawberries.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Hostas' Progress

hostas 4-14-12, originally uploaded by Bumble Lush.

What a difference a few weeks make. These are my hostas on April 14, when the plant on the right started to emerge--much later than its friend on the left. (I was happy to see those little shoots, I didn't think it was coming back).

hosta progress

Here they are just 11 days later, on April 25.

hostas 5-6-12

And here they are on May 6. The plant on the right is fully grown, just 3 weeks after it popped out of the soil. Amazing.

Monday, May 14, 2012

May Blooms

White Azalea Bush, originally uploaded by Bumble Lush.

As I wait for my vegetable seedlings to get growing (and pray that my neglect over the last few weeks hasn't prevented me from having home-grown veggies this summer), I am enjoying a few blooms around my garden.
First up is the white azalea bush, a late bloomer (just like me!)

sage flowers
The sage plant is flowering with some pretty lavender flowers.

pink endless summer hydrangea
blue endless summer 5-13

And two of the hydrangeas have started to bloom: the pink and blue Endless Summers. The Brestenburg variety (not pictured) is in a container. It has buds but no blooms yet...

I'm a day early, but I'll be linking up with Carol's Garden Bloggers Bloom Day meme (at May Dreams Gardens). I'm looking forward to seeing what's in bloom in other gardens this month. Happy GBBD!

Monday, May 7, 2012

'Serena' angelonia

'Serena' angelonia

'Serena' angelonia is a new plant in my garden. Angelonia are often referred to as "summer snapdragons." They are annuals that tend to do better in hot, humid conditions than snapdragons, and my garden tag says it needs very little water once established. 

My husband bought me this plant because he said it made him think of me--my name is Angela and my favorite color is purple.  I like this plant. The flowers are a beautiful shade of purple. I think it'll add nice color variety to my garden, which is dominated by vegetables. This plant is heat-resistant and low maintenance--also just like me! ;)