Every growing season brings new lessons about the gardening life.
For more than 20 years i've been tending flowering perennials. I've made new gardens and coaxed plants for both sun and shade into bloom. I feel I've gained a modest understanding of what perennial plants– be they peony and hosta, astilbe or geranium– require to grow well.
Even the cold, wet spring we've endured in the north did not worry me when it came to my perennial plants. I know their capacity to overcome difficult conditions.
Hello again. Weather and time have played their part in keeping me away from The Blog Bouquet, but I'm back.
This season, I have felt off balance. The weeks leading into summer were downright cold. The ground stayed miserably cold even after the risk of frost had passed. Peas and beans easily rot in such conditions. Looking increasingly sad, tender vegetable starts were left languishing in pots when they should have been in my raised bed. It seemed planting would go on indefinitely or worse, that summer would never arrive.
Indeed, in some areas of the north, summer seems to have been cancelled. Gardeners I know in the Timmins area are despairing, having faced at least two frosts and the loss of soon-to-be productive plants. Sadly, it is now too late in the season to replant.
This is all very distracting for an inexperienced vegetable gardener. Each rainy day has me wondering what will I harvest this year?
Still, I've had more than one salad with fresh arugula. The carrots and beets are coming along. The beans and kale – which I transplanted as small seedlings as a hedge against foraging chipmunks and crows – are growing ably. The zucchini have set their first fruits; so have the cucumbers as they climb up their supports.
Yes, there is the green exuberance of hostas, ferns and astilbes to enjoy as a consolation. Whatever the season's outcome, I will gather experience– if not ripe tomatoes! I will take what my vegetable garden teaches me.