Hello again from Washington State, where summer is in full swing. A couple of 80-degree days have passed, and we’re back to the cool summer I thrive on. This Saturday lots is going on, and readers can view happenings in gardens around the world by visiting the comment section of The Propagator’s Six on Saturday post.
ONE — Because of our cool summers I grow tomatoes and peppers, and sometimes eggplant, in our greenhouse. Sweet and jalapeño peppers are coming along nicely. This year’s five varieties of tomatoes all started from seed are Black Krim, Stupice, Berkeley Tie-Dye, Michael Pollan, and Sweetie. A friend gave me some extra Tumbling Toms she started and they are on the sunny, hot deck — the only ripe variety so far.
TWO – During our brief heat wave, I found respite in the shadier areas of our garden. The black arches currently feature Ligularia in full bloom, shining brightly from their shady haven.
THREE – The orchard is looking mighty healthy this year. The mini fruit has us excited for harvests in the next few months. Picking and processing/storing fruit is loads of work, but the rewards are worth the effort. The small area holds four apple trees, two pears, one Italian prune plum, and one huge Montmorency tart cherry that can be seen behind the pear tree in the photo below. Two young, sweet cherry trees (Rainier and Lapins) up the hill have a negligible harvest this year of maybe a couple dozen fruits total. Bordering the orchard, six redcurrant bushes yielded a generous amount of fruit this week from which I made redcurrant jelly.
FOUR – It’s such a joy to see others’ blog posts with gorgeous rose photos at this time of year, and better yet, to visit gardens with fragrant beauties. Coppertop is not a rose mecca. I have never focused on growing roses, and find it daunting. The only roses here are one Claire Austin I planted a couple years ago and haven’t killed yet, a wonderfully fragrant, white Rosa rugosa, a good number of unidentified hot pink climbers, and a couple of shrub (tea?) roses. One peachy small bush is lovely this year.
FIVE – Hydrangeas are starting to bloom here. I’ve had some success changing the color of these flowers from pinkish to blue over the last couple of years, although a portion of the shrub still produces pink blooms. Based on the general lack of blooms along part of this hydrangea row (six plants, all macrophylla), the soil needs some amending come fall.
SIX – I ended last week with raspberries and will once again. A few early-morning picking sessions have yielded 12 pounds for the freezer and plenty for fresh eating. I freeze them first on old cookie sheets before bagging them so that I can pull out separated berries for drinks, and more. The canes are only about halfway done producing. A bountiful berry year!
This may be my last Six on Saturday for a while. Hosting family visitors and exploring fun spots with them takes precedence over computer time. The garden will become a celebrated, family gathering spot which is most definitely a beautiful thing.