Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Garden

Old-Fashioned Iris
Instant Smiles
 My official start of spring is when my iris start to bloom.  After freeing them from the jungle of Bermuda grass, they took off and are rewarding me with an embarrassment of riches.  Most of my iris are named varieties but I have quite a few of the old-fashioned purple and yellow iris that have been gracing yards since the beginning of growing iris.  While they may not have the fancy ruffles, variegated colors and clever names of newer types, they are reliable, very hardy and drought tolerant.  Most of mine flourish with rainwater and no fertilizer.  Yet, as the picture shows they still put on a dramatic display every year.

Potatoes & Carrots
I planted peas, potatoes, carrots and lettuce a month or so ago.  Due to some problems with the drip hoses, the lettuce was disrupted twice and had to be replanted but is finally growing well.  The culinary sage that has been in the ground two years now has flourished and rewarded me with a beautiful display and food for insects and hummingbirds.   Planted last fall the garlic will be ready to pick in a few weeks.  Good thing, I ran out of home-grown garlic a couple of months ago.

This is the time of year everyone rushes to get their summer vegetables in but remember the average frost date is mid-May so don't forget to keep on eye on the weather and be prepared to protect young plants.  Yesterday I picked up a few tomatoes and peppers to go in the garden but will wait until next week to put them in.  Sweet potatoes are also waiting in the wings.  I started mine (well, they really started on their own) from grocery store potatoes.  The roots have really started to grow the last few days with the warm weather.  Sweet potatoes grow well here and boy are they good eating!  I don't have quite the same luck with regular potatoes.  This year though they are looking really good so I have my fingers crossed that I will be feasting on them soon.
Carnival Song
This is the time of year when you know that the garden will be great.  The time before the weeds overwhelm you, when the heat saps your energy and you don't have to even start thinking about what you are going to do with all the extra zucchini.