A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Friday, July 01, 2005

Choices

Be careful what you wish for. The weather gods heard my complaints and have now given me a choice, either blistering heat or pouring rain. Since I can't tolerate the heat, I am learning to garden in the rain. My neighbors must think I have taken leave of my senses. Actually rain is a good time to transplant. I am still moving things around and discovering what doesn't like to be moved around.

Calendulas do not like to be transplanted. Too bad because I have a bumper crop of them from seed I planted this spring. The seedlings are much too close together and there is plenty of room in the Yellow/Orange garden to spread them out. I transplanted about a dozen as an experiment three days ago. They are still drooping. The Tri-Colored Daisies do not mind being transplanted. They were being overshadowed by the innumerable calendulas and a branch from a Blaze rose. I moved them to a more open spot in the bed where they should get a lot more sun. They look quite happy in their new neighborhood. In the same bed, the Persian Carpet zinnias have begun to bloom.

Right next door is a very pretty grouping. I used to plant nasturtiums, Double Dwarf Jewel Mix, an heirloom variety, in the Yellow/Orange garden. They did so-so. This year when I enlarged the beds, a large space was created in front of the daylilies. I planted the nasturtiums in that space to fill it and to add color when the daylilies had finished blooming. The nasturtiums germinated better and grew better than they ever have before. And now they have begun to bloom while the daylilies are still blooming creating a lovely spot of color. I am still puzzled as to why just a few feet made such a difference.

The Green Garden has been markedly unsuccessful this year. The green (which looks more white) miniature rose has been the lone bloomer. The lettuce I planted got to be about 1" tall and stopped growing. Only about three green zinnias germinated. The Hens and Chicks did only slightly better. On a happier note, I have a lot of Green Apple columbine seedlings so next spring I should have lots of green columbines. And the Bells of Ireland germinated and has been growing well. It doesn't seem to mind being transplanted so I have been able to spread out the seedlings that were crowded.

My biggest surprise was the Fairy rose which produced its first flower! I've never seen one in person, only in pictures. I wish I had a better camera so I could get a better picture of it. It is incredibly small, only about the size of my thumbnail. It has perfect miniature petals that don't even look real. Unfortunately, it has no scent.

I have been rejoicing over the Zephirine Drouhin. A few weeks ago, I was doing a Happy Dance when it began to finally sprout some leaves. Then one morning I noticed something had chewed all the leaves off. At first I thought it would just sprout some more leaves, but it did nothing and I was sure (again) that it was dead. I don't know if it has been the heat or just a tough old heirloom's determination, but all of a sudden it has sprouted leaves and branches. Every day there are more. I think it's going to be okay.

3 Comments:

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Sabine said...

I like gardening in the rain, as long as it's just a drizzle and not a downpour with thunder and lightning. It's the best time for transplanting and the mosquitos stay away. And I'm all muddy anyway, so a little more muck doesn't hurt!

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger homuncula said...

Lovely fairy rose! I have 6 bushes of fairy roses, most are several years old and covered with flowers. Just lovely!

 
At 11:35 PM, Blogger Sylvana said...

I've done some gardening in the rain; that's part of the reason I have rain boots for garden footwear. The only problem that I run into is that the shovel handle gets all full of mud and becomes quite slippery!

 

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