A mixed bed in all it's late summer glory

A mixed bed in all it's late summer glory

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Flower Bed Fail

Did I say it was a decent growing season? Did I say that June is often a bit wet? That was June 5. It has gone too far now. June has been mainly dismal, cold and sopping wet. 

Things in the main veg garden are delayed and suffering as a result. I finally got the pre-started pole beans in today, the first day of summer. I almost hated putting them at the mercy of slugs and voles.

My main grief in the veg garden is the carrots. This is one crop I got in timely and with great care. They were seeded in the double fortress, filled with sifted soil and compost. They were planted square foot style: poke small indentations and put in three or 4 seeds, using the plants' permanent spacing. It took a bit of patience but I did it. The rains came, the carrots started coming up, hope was high. 

Then they disappeared. Tiny stubs can be detected if one looks closely. SLUG was here. Same with much of the spinach and lettuce in the greenhouse. Same with a whole tray of sweet basil.

Between the various varmints and the lousy weather, is it my imagination or is it getting harder to grow anything? Our intrepid local farmer grows award-winning carrots in a clearing in the forest called Twin Lakes. She has not been able to plant yet. The ponds are reclaiming the territory.
Other gardeners commented that they have depleted their seed stash because they had to re-seed several times after the slug had their way.

All this is  Force Majeure. Disappointing, but one carries on. I blame myself for the disaster that is the big sunny flower border. 

In mid June a perennial garden is supposed to be peaking. NOT. I usually have lots of  lupines. They are around in the wild and semi wild, but the ones in the big border have disappeared. 

I was counting on Siberian Iris. It has been lovingly tended last year. Ha. The whole clump showed one flower. In contrast the clump by the dwelling, in desperate need of being dug up and replanted, is blooming its heart out. Go figure. 
Echinacea has been disappointing. I suspect I need to start a whole fresh batch from seed. These guys are 20 years old. Some of last year's smaller plants are nowhere in sight, the sturdier ones were badly deered.

I could have transplanted several large lovely plants into the bed. It could have been full of iris, purple bell flower, big yellow day lily, Shasta daisy, bi-coloured monkshood and foxglove.  

Instead most of the above are close to blooming in the wild and in the temporary beds that are meant for the herb collection, and perhaps some salad beds. Much of the big bed is bare, and overgrown with the scourge of creeping Veronica. To think I invited that little pest deliberately! It is quite pretty in spring but it is just too invasive. It forms mats that prevent more desirable plants, like cosmos, feverfew and echinacea, from self-seeding.

I just did not get it together. What I needed was a few weeks with nothing else happening, and my full level of energy.
This year my energy comes and goes in unpredictable ways.*

Instead priority was given to potting up plants for the farmer's market and taking care of the greenhouse and top garden. Something had to give, and that something was beauty. I am sorry now. I ended up missing the early markets  where people buy plants anyway. I made enough to recoup the cost of potting mix but that's it so far.

Can being a vendor be an addiction? I so love being there, behind a table with glowing plants, hanging out with my market buddies. It brings in much needed money, but it is 
my social fix of the week as well. 

Oh well......In the meantime the lack of energy has been explained by a malignant colon tumor. The medical mills are turning. We'll know more next week.  So once again, this will not be the year of the perfect garden, alas.

I am focusing on the greenhouse, which is delightful, and the small flowerbed right by the house. There are lots of pretties in containers too. It looks like we will have another bumper crop of raspberries. Anything else is a bonus.

*Post script.
It turned out I had severe anemia caused by colon cancer. Now there is a good excuse.


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