On Monday I had some photos of a few annuals and herbs, and a couple of tomato plants that I hope to get planted in the next few weeks. When (or maybe if) it warms up, I will get a couple more warm weather herbs and plant green beans as well. Ideally, the weather will cooperate on one of the days of Memorial Day weekend to allow me to do this.
It’s been a crazy spring. It’s been raining just about every weekend–the professional weather folks just announced that we had our 6th rainy weekend in a row.
To top that off, a colleague–my only co-worker–abruptly left our office so I am getting by currently with a part time volunteer. When my colleague announced that she was leaving, I went home and announced to the Spoiler, “well, there goes the summer.”
The next week, my right arm was biopsied and at the end of June I have to go back for another “excision.” It’s not more melanoma so it’s all good but it will put a dent in the gardening, of course. I just need to find a way to get my pond cleaned between now and then.
So whatever gardening gets done, gets done. And that’s really the least thing I have to stress about. Because when gardening becomes a stressor, that’s a problem!
Although the oak leaves are the size of little mouse’s ears, we are still going to get some very cool weather this week. Our average high this time of year should be 70 degrees. Today it won’t reach 60 and tomorrow it might not reach 45.
It’s a bit easier to understand why I joke about “winter and July” being the 2 seasons in Connecticut. Or, as Mark Twain used to say, the coldest winter he ever spent was his summer in Connecticut.
These lovely looking tomatoes are now indoors on my glassed in sun porch. No point in setting them back who knows how long by keeping them out in 40 degrees!
Memorial Day is usually warm enough to plant around here–although the way things are going this year, I may have to wait until July 4th!
Normally this tray of herbs (& a few other things) stays out on my glassed in sun porch. The porch rarely falls below 30, but this year–& during other “polar vortex” years– it does get colder.
I haven’t brought the herbs in before this year and in previous years, I have lost some of them. So this year, I took no chances. I brought them indoors.
Initially I thought that it would be for a night or two. When it became apparent that it had to be longer, I moved them into a well lit place and resigned myself to living with them inside the rest of the winter.
Anyway, at least it’s a fragrant problem to have.
I have posted about herbs for bees before, when I was talking about self-cleaning annuals. But I think this group of plants gets over-looked as a pollinator source and it shouldn’t.
Not only are the blossoms some of the prettiest around (these are chives, from earlier in the season, and yes, they are edible, although you don’t want to put a whole chive blossom on your salad. Better to break it into pieces,) but their colors are the right colors usually for bees and butterflies–purples and blues and whites.
The photo at the top is oregano.
This is cilantro, going to seed and forming coriander seeds.
And sage (mine got too winter-killed to bloom this year) blooms in a lovely blue.
Finally, this is anise hyssop (agastache) which is an herb in the mint family. Most folks just grow it as an ornamental perennial but it can be used for tea if it has been grown organically.
So in addition to growing herbs for use, why not grow some for the pollinators too?
Still too cold for all of this to go out. Brr.
Every year I do a container–or containers–of herbs on the stone wall right outside my kitchen. I have herbs growing elsewhere on the property , although this winter was so cold–and without snow cover when it was the coldest–that I lost a lot of things that had been planted for years–thyme, sage and possibly my lemon balm all bit the dust. At the moment, the only thing that I see coming up are chives and ornamental oregano.
I even lost 2 standards that I wintered on my sun porch and I may have lost my bay plant that wintered there as well– it’s definitely winter burned or cold burned. We’ll see.
So I have some “opportunities. ” I was able to find this nice tender lavender standard (lavendula stoechas ‘Anouk’).
Then I found these organically grown herbs. I was thrilled about that.
Even though none of this can go outside in my climate for another month (with the exception of the parsley, which could go out now if I hardened it off) I think I will plant this all together. The mint will make a nice “spiller,” the standard will be my ” thriller,” and the basil, rosemary and parsley will be the “filler” plants .
This is exactly why I got the 5 gallon fabric pots. This combo will need lots of root space!
If you are growing plants in containers, have you tried the fabric pots yet?
I tried one for the first time last year and I liked it so well that I bought 5 more this year. They have everything going for them.
First, if space is an issue, they are a breeze to keep and store. This is a 5 gallon pot. It folds down to the size of a large, glossy magazine–just about as high and thick. I bought a 5 pack of them. They arrived, folded, in an express mail envelope. Try doing that with any other sort of container!
They’re made right here in the United States, in Oklahoma City, to be exact, by a family company that began manufacturing them for trees.
This is mine from last year, planted with a tomato and some herbs. The tomato grew so well that I eventually pulled out two of the 4 herbs.
This year I am planning to be even more ambitious . I am planning a couple of tomatoes –1 per bag, obviously–& a bag of cucamelons. I will do a bag of just herbs, to give them room of their own. And I have a fig for one, that’s begging for extra room.
So I should have a nice edible garden–if I can get the Spoiler to haul the soil for me. Thanks to Amie, I won’t be moving much.
And I found–& buy–these all on my own. I get no credit or anything else for promoting this product. In fact, I know that there are other fabric type bags out there. I buy these because I like supporting an American company. You can make your own choices.