Dear Friends and Gardeners, Dee and Carol, week 14

Dear Dee and Carol,

Whoooaaaaa Nelly! Week 14? What’s with that? It means we have been in the garden for more than 3 months. OK, its the first of June, back it up: first of May, first of April, first of March. I guess we have been gardening for a couple of weeks. Time flies when you are having fun. Speaking of which –

It was so good to see you and spend time with you in Chicago last week. Four whole days of running crazy busy in Chicago trying to see as many gardens as we possibly could in such a short amount of time and over such a huge city area. (Long exhausting sentence and weekend to match). Let’s see: we were in the Chicago Botanical Garden(s), the magnificent Lurie at Millenium Park, the Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Lily Pools,Carolyn Gail’s lovely home and garden, the private-yet-restaurant-related garden of Rick Bayless (Mexico One Plate at a Time/Frontera Grill/Topolambampo), Grandmother’s Garden near the conservatory, and I know I missed some along the way. Whew. I have yet to recover from Chicago but already looking forward to doing Buffalo big time in 2010.

Home again home again. While I was gone, we had a little rain and a lot of sun. This late spring season has been especially kind this year. The garden is lush and green and bursting at the seams. The first crop of greens have all bolted and been pulled to make way for hot summer annuals. I have a long galvanized planter which, in a previous life, was part of a room divider/half wall in my 1959 rancho deluxo house. Flyboy is going to put some holes in the bottom of this funky planter. It measures about 12 inches deep x five feet long x 9 inches wide. The plan is to fill it with potting mix and place it on the side of the house where it will get shade in the hottest part of the day, yet get plenty of morning sun. I am going to plant it with a mix of various salad greens/arugula/basils.

I have to get in an make some room for the Cue Ball, Eight Ball and One Ball zukes. Thanks, Indy, for the seeds. I have just the place for them. I am ripping out a big 4 foot x 4 foot area of orange oriental poppies. They do not belong in this bed and I don’t have to leave them there. The plant was supposed to have been Patty’s Plum and it is so NOT plum. In the same bed, I have another goof up, a huge stand of dirty yellow iris with a brownish purple edge. Now, I love love love tall bearded iris, but this is not a color to behold, so out they come. And don’t even ask me how they got there. It is not a color I would have chosen in a million years. I think they were mislabeled. Off with their heads!

The raspberry patch is on a roll, in a couple of weeks I should be able to start eating them. With any luck at all, they will produce through October. I planted both summer bearing and everbearing in an effort to get a very long fruiting season.

I could hardly find the peas. I knew I planted them, but they have been overcome by the rest of the stuff in that border. YIKES! With almost two inches of rain, just last night,it’s looking green and jungle-y out there. Hell, the Lily pond/reflecting pool was overflowing last night during one especially heavy rainstorm. Things are so wet they are tipping over. And weeds. WEEDS have run amok.

One more thing before I close. You all know my lust for espaliered fruit trees? I have managed to find some more 6 branched/ 6 variety pear espaliers. I have two of the trees tagged at the nursery and hope to pick them up tomorrow or Tuesday. Three of the six pears are: Comice, Anjou, and Bartlett. I am so excited to get them and get them in the ground. For once in my gardening life, I actually know just exactly where they are going to be planted: I have a nice space along my property line/fence where they will be supported yet have great airflow and perfect sun.

So, tah tah for now from the infamous Ranch du Bois. I can’t wait to hear how you are faring in your gardens.