Saturday, May 29, 2010

June TODO List

Here are my things to do in the garden for the month.
  • Plant pumpkins, cucumbers, pole beans for trellis
  • Plant Cilantro, basil, oregano
  • Stake peas and beans
  • Move daffodils and tulips as the foliage fades
  • Take more cuttings for propagation
  • Pinch back mums
  • Mulch
  • Remove spent blooms
  • Gather primula and lenten rose seeds
  • Weed
  • Water

Friday, May 28, 2010

Irises in full swing

The irises are blooming like crazy right now which was not good for the couple days we had 90 degree weather. They just melted away. With the front of cooler weather going through they seem much happier. Some of the ones we acquired from plant sales are blooming for the first time. We especially love a little gem called Dark Vader (not pictured) that smells like vanilla.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Propagation Success!

After several attempts at propagation by stem cuttings, I finally got something other than sedum to root! Maybe it was the timing of when I took the cuttings or the humidity in the mini greenhouse, but whatever it was I am happy.
So what worked? Well the hydrangea both a wild white variety and blue rooted well. The pulmanaria was about 50% and the phlox about 70%. Everything with roots got a new home in a pot under the deck near the rain barrels so I can easily water them. Anyone know if they should still be kept in part shade until they are bigger?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Someone's been eating my columbine!

Here it is all nice and filled out, ready to bloom.

Then these little buggers came along. I think they are sawfly larva.

In the morning this is what my columbine looked like after the had at it.

I fed them to the chickens after hand picking them off the leaves. Revenge! But there are probably still some munching away at it that I missed. I also tried a soap based spray, but seemed to have no effect. Blast!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lily of the valley

I just love how the shadow of the bells came out on this photo. For a lot of pictures I just put my camera down to plant level and snap. It is always fun to see what turns out well back at the computer. After two years these are really starting to fill in.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Problem

Whatever this shrub is, it needs to be pruned back. I have also seen some of these dotting the woods, so it is probably invasive.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


It has been forever since a chicken post. The eight girls that survived the fall culling are doing great. They are still laying between four and six eggs a day. Not bad for some old clucks.

Species Tulipa Saxatilis

These mid season tulips really extend the tulip season. Nice to see blooms while everything else has just finished or is just beginning. These are really cheerful little flowers.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Woodland Path done

The woodland path is done. I have also added all of my wintersown columbine, ferns, jacob ladder, and some bugle weed. Now it just needs to grow and fill in before the weeds do.

Nest to tackle is the space between the woodland path and the pond. Thorny Guy cleared some bucktorn and some black cherry trees. Now I have to remove the other weeds and figure out what to do here. We like that it is more open so that you can see the chicken garden and orchard from the house.


There have only been two lady slipper blooms in the past two years. Looks like this year I will get a third. So excited, I can not wait.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In the Veggie Garden

The veggie garden is shaping up. It could turn out to be the best garden yet (fingers crossed). We currently have more planted now than in previous years. Lets just hope it all comes up and flourishes. This weekend the beans went in the ground.
The strawberries have a lot of flowers. I have not seen any bees though. I had to pinch off the runners that were starting to form. I want more berries not plants.

Adding Hardy Geraniums

Large, rich sapphire blue flowers with white eyes bloom for an exceptionally long time from late spring thru midsummer and then again from early fall until frost. The compact clumps of lacy green foliage provide a wonderful background for these flowers and retain their healthy look all season. In fall, the leaves turn vivid red-orange.

'Samobor' Mourning-Widow
Although not a showy plant this hardy geranium has considerable charm with its upright stems of sombre, almost black flowers. It is useful for planting under trees and shrubs because of its ability to grow in dry shade. It makes good-sized clumps of lobed leaves which are sometimes spotted with purplish-brown.

Geranium endressii 'Wargrave Pink' or Geranium sanquineum

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chicken Garden

Before and after Chicken Garden

The chicken garden (named because it is across from the Corner Coop) has come a long way since last year. It still has a lot of filling in to do, but all the bones of the garden are there.
This garden was just a long thin stretch of over grown garden. It is still there, the current plan is to rip it up and sort through the plants in the fall. We added a walkway and a bench. I found a cheap arbor that is the perfect width. I started some morning glories and moon flowers that I hope will fill it in nicely.

The first idea was to turn it into a herb garden, but it is too far away form the house and the chickens continue to rip up. So now I am thinking more of prairie flowers with the formal hedge and arbor to keep everything. So far there is the boxwood edge, stella-de-ora day lilies, black eye susans, coneflowers, bee balm, daffodils, irises, two alberta spruce, and two spirea.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I have been wanting a moon edger to give the hilltop garden a clean sharp edge. When I saw one at a garage sale for a buck, it was too good to pass up. Thorny Guy even sharpened it for me. It really finishes off the garden. I even added a couple of feet to make it bigger... shhh... don't tell Thorny Guy.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Irises Starting to Bloom

My early irises are starting to bloom. These are Iris Germanica 'Alba'. I can not wait for the rest of iris season, so many buds are forming.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Leopard's Bane

I found a new plant on the property that I have never seen before. It is in the part of the chicken garden that is overgrown and original to the house. Leopard's Bane Doronicum orientale 'Little Leo' is a cute little plant that deserves a new weed free home.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Storm is a brewing

It has been raining a lot this month. Feels like May and April got there months switched. We are also expecting a hard frost in the next couple of days. Need to cover up some morning glories. Any one know if potatoes can survive a frost?

Plant Sales

This weekend is plant sales. Thorny Guy went to Hennepin Tech on Thursday with Inch Worm. Thorny Guy found some Joe Pye weed and Little Blue stem for his prairie. They got me some apple and chocolate mint. Yum!

This morning we weathered the rain and hit the South Saint Paul one. Not much there that I do not already have, but I found another fern, red columbine, and a cute hosta.
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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Soaking seeds

Nicking and Soaking morning glory and moon flower seeds. The plan is to get these to grow up the arches in the hilltop garden and chicken garden. I have always found it hard to grow these in Minnesota. It is probably not hot enough. In Maryland, they thrived and bloomed all the time.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Turkey Vultures

Turkey vultures were hanging out in the front yard today. The left one was enjoying a dead rabbit until I moved to close and scared them away. Their wing span is massive! Later a red tail hawk found the kill and flew off with it.
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