Tuesday, June 03, 2008

June: Another Day, Another Epic

After several years of not or barely blooming, our scotch broom - a red/wine colored variety - began to put on a show this morning. It's like a whole new discovery for me, which I guess really sums up how I feel about every darned moment of this time of year outside.

I was up super early so I'd have time to run the soaker hose and do a little spot watering, and still have time to enjoy my coffee in the sunshine, before heading in to what was a full day's work ahead.

The weather's been fantastic and the growth that's happening in the garden is almost happening too quickly to be able to note it all. Those sunflower seedlings are higher than that first fence railing now, thick and leafy and looking like they want to really tower for me. All those flower stalks I mentioned the other day are a little taller, and the foxglove now is showing little flower buds that'll grow as the stalk shoots up.

Some of the roses are already setting flower buds in profusion, as this bush I've trained on the fence is clearly doing. Don't know what color we'll see here, or if its one of those species that trades scent for blooming longer. I do see that there seems to be some leaf-nibbling, but that's insects, not bunnies.

I always hate to spray any kind of poison in the garden, for fear of what it will do to the good insects, but the roses almost require it. I should call around and see which nursery might be selling ladybugs this year.

It was a full day at work today, but a successful one, and with some fabulous weather to enjoy just outside the door at odd moments. Our temperatures got up to 80, not that I was in a position to enjoy that overly much...but I did sneak outside a few times just to look and smell and bask in the sunshine.

I swear, I just love the lighting on the Cape in summertime--sometimes it just gives you that perfect image with lighting and shadow that looks a little like something from one of the Provincetown art schools of the last century.

Embiggen - if you will - the photo below, and then take note of the birds in the lower right--the shadows were too intense for a proper ID without binocs, but the silhouette looks like a heron. Since it's shorter than Old Joe, I think I'll put my money on those being green herons.

This, by the way, is Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich. The parking lot of the marina is also landscaped heavily with rugosa roses. These hot pink single ones are really the ones you see just about everywhere hereabouts this time of year. It's a cross to bear, but we try to cope.

Back home this evening, I found many more dianthus flowers opening, including this magenta one.

I also got this photo of the flowers of the third columbine plant currently in bloom.

These seem to match the second flower from yesterday's post, but I'm not sure if it's a little more purple...and it's hard to know if that's a product of genetics or just lighting.

Hey, big exciting news beyond the dianthus, though: since when I looked this morning, the corn has begun to poke out of the ground in various locations.

It not being a secret garden anymore, I mostly resisted the impulse to victory dance. And anyway, there wasn't time for that...not with a dog to be walked.

Like just about everything else today, it was an enjoyable and visually exciting walk this evening. I use these cool irises from a yard down the street to help illustrate my point.

Knowing they might not be to everyone's taste, depending on your color preferences, I'll also show you the Biggest Rhododendron Ever...well, at least, one of the biggest I've seen. Emily was especially pleased--it's not on our regular route, but it was a nice night for a longer walk!

It's actually taller than the house it sits in front of. I can't help ponder just how long that means this particular plant's been growing here to have reached this size, and I find myself thinking about what the local landscape might've been like when it was new.

In that same area, my nose sudden went on alert as it was tickled with the scent of marine heliotrope (the purple, annual variety recently discussed). I didn't see any of that anywhere nearby, so now I'm wondering what else might have a similar scent.

Perhaps it was this tree with the tiny, jasmine-y looking yellow flowers. Anyone recognize this one?

I want to describe the scent better for you, it has such a strong effect on me, nearly sending me swooning with delight. But scent's a funny thing, and hard to talk about when you're not currently smelling it. I think I'll have to pick up one of those heliotropes and then take some notes while I sit with my nose against the sweet purple flowers. (Oh, the things I won't suffer to make a nice blog post for you people.)

Back in the garden, some of the clover I transplanted in the fall has begun blooming. You can see why I fancy it enough to have brough some along. That's allyssum in the background.

Taking advantage of the weather, and the possibility of a few days rain coming our way (with a possible heat wave to follow!), I finally got my tomato plants into their places out in the border. I never mind mixing them right into the flower border--after all, why should I make it difficult for the pollinators by seperating all the plants that need them?

This year, I've got four of them: 2 Supersweet 100s, 1 Burpee Big Boy, and 1 Early Girl. They've been living in the bedroom window for the last week or two and doing quite well with the southern exposure. They've grown strong and bushy and doubled in height.

To make sure that they have a good strong footing against the winds here, I snipped off all the lower branches and buried each tomato deep, so they'll develop a good strong and deep root system off those buried stalks.

On the way home this evening, I stopped at the nursery to look around at what there was. I've been good about resisting temptation this year, but I was looking for some more marigolds of interesting varieties, since they are great companions for the tomatoes and may help to deter the bunnies in concert with the Liquid Fence and all.

I always like these semi-double orange ones on the right--such a terrific color balance against the purples and still not that pom-pom business. And the red/yellow ones to the left, well, they were the only sixpack of seedlings like it...and they were simply too wonderful to leave behind.

I ran out of light for planting, so hopefully the showers tomorrow morning will hold off so I can plant these guys.


EDIT: Hey, it turns out this is my 1400th (!!!) post to the Midnight Garden. Yah, it's true, many of those were single photo posts, from before there was a layout function or I knew how it worked. But still, since I totally missed my three year blogging anniversary at the end of April, I thought I'd mention it.

Really, it just means I'll *never* finish getting all those tags added retroactively. However, while we're on the subject, if you hit the "columbine" tag, you can see examples of the others those new ones might be descended from.


dykewife said...

gorgeous flowers! and congratulations on your 14hundredth entry :)

Butch said...

Congratulations on your entries!! Amazing how all those entries and none of them have been sub-par. This one is another example of your wonderfully, delicious blog.

Our version of Scotch-bloom is considered a weed here in the NW. One version produces a yellow bloom and the other a white one, both producing a noxious smell triggering many allergy attacks to those with pollen problems, including myself. The white bloom smell is like the smell of ammonia and if you get a pasture full of it, your eyes will immediately start watering and you start sneezing. I was driving on the expressway once when these were in bloom along side the road and I almost had to pull over because of the sneezing and my eyes watering to the point where I couldn't see.

The huge Rhododendrom bush is quite impressive! If left unattended here in the NW, they will grow to those huge sizes as well. We have on down by our Fir tree which is huge but not as big or as full as the one you've presented. Beautiful!

Were still waiting for our Iris plants to start blooming. We had a decent rain for the past two days and we're expecting sun sometime today.

Again, congratulations!! I'm truly impressed with your beaufiful blog, Greg.

Greg said...

Thank you, thank you!!

Butch, the scotch broom is classified similarly by some here. Certainly not something they recommend gardening with...though they do so well here, you can see the attraction, and how to convince the nurseries not to sell an easy plant? Obviously, I'm of two minds, myself (we have a couple of burning bushes, too).

Out in the Provincelands (outside of PTown), you can see the yellow ones coming up in unexpected places...and a few *in* PTown are as large as that rhododendron.

They can be a little overpowering when they bloom. I've never had much in the way of allergies, though...perhaps I am part plant, after all...and I sort of enjoy the pungent, dusty smell in small doses.

Bird said...

I had no idea that you could get Broom in any colour other than yellow, that is fascinating! So many beautiful pics I don't know how to choose one to comment on - although I can almost smell the marigolds from here :) Congratulations of your blogiversary, I hope I'll be blogging for as long as you!

Pink said...

i love the photos of the two crows :)

and you know I love ANYTHING pink or purple :)

happy June!

Patrick said...

Congratulations, my friend, on your 1400th posting; as Butch said, they have been a delight through and through. I too have been luxuriating in the sense of things changing rapidly every day. I'm sure similar things happen in urban settings for those who know how to see and appreciate them, but I've not yet learned that knack. I only seem able to note such changes in the natural world. Even in the dead of winter, I love how exactly the same walk will be a whole new experience from one day to the next. I've taken the same walk (near my home) several times in the last three weeks, and have been flabbergasted at the transformations, made all the more dramatic by the fact that at least THREE days have passed between walks usually. Yesterday I saw -and smelled- fields of clover that I SWEAR were not there on the 31st.

Greg said...

Bird, thank you for your well-wishing! Now that I've had a chance to visit "The Birds of the Meadow", I too, hope you'll be blogging for a good long time!

Pinks, aren't those crows great? I have a special place in my heart for them...plus seeing them on the beach made me think of the story of Raven and the Man Who Sits On the Tides.

Patrick--it's SO fast, it really makes your head spin...or maybe that's the allergic reaction and I'm too dense to realize! The clover *has* started blooming just in the last day or so.

I'm not sure what you mean about similar things in the urban setting--isn't that what you're noticing with the clover? Or do you mean new billboards or highrises appearing, or cranes tumbling down and taxis careening...? I suppose, since those are products of people, and people are technically a part of the natural world, it's all part of the fabric...but I just don't know.

MartininBroda said...

1400, that is a lot of work, I am a little bit too tired trying to be original or witty, but I am grateful
if I remember, I went through your garden, terrible English, I know.

somewhere joe said...

You don't look a day over 1399. And Greg I just want to recognize the inspiring sacrifices, the assault on every sense in you body, that you've made to bring us this awesome midnight garden of horticultural delights, a true flag in the blog bog. Wit, wisdom, a feast of flowers and beyond, we raise our watering cans, and some of us our hoses, in honor of your 1400th blossom!

The dianthus is very pretty. Does it smell of clove? I love the chocolate iris, beautiful brown velvet. Two people, two crows, one heaven and earth.


Greg said...

Thank you, Martin! And thanks for the tribute, Joe! It's been three years of mostly great fun (no garden venture is without the occasional disappointment, after all...), and it's gone by pretty quickly! It's more fun having you all along for the ride these days, of course!

But hey now, celebrating's all well and good, but let's be discreet with those hoses, shall we? ; )

I remember someone telling me only the white dianthus are scented, but the next time we have a dry day, I'll get down there on the ground and see if I can detect any fragrances to tell you about!

Jess said...

Amazing how the posts add up. I'm well on my way to 1,000 posts. And your posts are usually such colorful, enjoyable things! Just think of all the beauty you've shared!

Jeremy - Pittsgrove Farms said...

Congrats on the 1400th! As you probably know, I am a new reader but am glad I found your blog. It is always a pleasure to read and pictures are always professional and insightful.

Love the Rhody... Ours has been chopped to a tree, it took a little time to grow on me but now I really like how it looks and provides shade to my ferns and hostas.

Cheers to the milestone!

Patrick said...

Oh, I just meant that there are people who can take the same city walk every day, and have it be a brand new experience, the way revisitng a walk in the woods is for me. I don't have the same knack for *seeing* on a city street as I do when I'm among growing things; the changes have to be pretty drastic (and thus not that common) for me to notice them. I'm not really making any claims about what is or isn't natural, just about what catches my eye.

Greg said...

I'm the same, really...it's the natural things I'd notice still about a walk through the city...like what business set out a container of flowers, or whether or not I could smell the locust trees above the smell of exhaust, et al.

Hope you will find some ways to stay cool in the coming heat wave this weekend! Cool movie theatres, snorkeling in Central Park, maybe a subway ride to the beach at Far Rockaway...well, maybe not snorkeling. ; )

lostlandscape said...

Cool! 1400!! Sounds like a good reason to go out and buy yourself a few more special plants--way more fun than retagging a few hundred old posts. Congratulations!

Greg said...

Thanks, Lost! I did retag a few more, anyway...