Six On Saturday — July 14

It’s Saturday, so it’s time for another six items from my garden here on Coppertop Trail. We’ve enjoyed a sunny week, with more sunshine in the forecast, so summer has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest. Visit The Propagator who started all the Six on Saturday fun to view gardens from all over the planet.

ONE – Perfuming the garden beautifully this week are a few large Philadelphus lewisii or native mock orange. These 10-foot tall specimens grow along our fence and are magnets for pollinators. Their sweetness is intense. We have a half dozen Philadelphus, but some aren’t blooming this year due to overzealous pruning.

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TWO – I’m still harvesting peas! I consider it a big benefit of our cool climate. Visiting family generously helped shell a big bowl. This year’s productive varieties are Alaska and Tall Telephone, although I planted them interspersed and really can’t tell which is which. Whoops.

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THREE – This is the season for large mounds of Spiraea japonica to wow us with their colorful flowers and foliage. Around the gardens, from front to back of the house and even peeking out from above our waterfall, there must be close to 10 of the gold-toned variety shown below — maybe Spiraea ‘Goldmound’, ‘Goldflame’,  or ‘Golden Princess’?

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FOUR –  A few weeks ago I wrote of the volunteer poppies springing up from our greenhouse gravel. More peony poppies like this luscious pink are showing up in many spots — returning gifts from seeds sown long ago by someone I don’t know.

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FIVE – Our sunny days with temps in the upper 70s (perfection!) mean the cucurbits are growing at last. Baby zucchini and yellow squash will be harvested this week for the first time.

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SIX – One of my favorite fruits that we grow is raspberries. Our 30-foot trellis supports two varieties and both are ripening very quickly. In the early morning hours tomorrow I will harvest probably five pounds of berries. It’s a crazy great year for raspberries, with robust, first-year primocanes pushing outward past the fruiting, second-year floricanes, despite the severe thinning I did during dormancy to make room. I can’t remember this happening in previous years, and might be attributed to a load of fabulous, local, aged manure we added at just the right time. It could also mean the vole population isn’t as busy in the root system this year. That’s a good thought.

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