All this extra time at home has many benefits, one of which is well-weeded gardens! Gardeners everywhere seem to be celebrating their abundant time in the soil by posting more frequently on garden blogs. I’ve had a hard time keeping up with all the blogs I follow, but I enjoy seeing updates of spring blossoms. Meanwhile, hellebores and daffodils here continue to delight us, and a couple dozen peonies are stretching upward.
Although I haven’t spent much time writing during this slower, more isolated time, the garden projects taking place at Coppertop this spring have reached epic proportions! To begin with, Hubby, who rarely sits still, has added something like 12 cubic yards of compost to beds and borders in the last month and a half, while building some completely new beds and extending quite a few borders. Meanwhile, he is teaching high schoolers online, although this week is Spring Break. New beds mean new plants, and that’s my favorite part. Nurseries and garden centers here have remained open, deemed essential for the supplies they carry for livestock and gardens. I hope to write about many new plant additions as they take shape and begin to bloom.
Today my major task is to document what I’ve been growing from seed since January. An inventory of plants. Some order and security and balance in this off-kilter time. I’m gradually unplugging germination mats and moving a third round of seedling trays into the greenhouse from their birthplace in the garden shed. Something that has enabled my growing this year is the use of an adjustable pump sprayer to keep plants watered. So easy! While I clear out the heated shed, the 5-week-old chicks keep me company.
Besides starting plants to add to existing garden beds here, I’ve started hundreds of seedlings for two particular events: Our daughter’s August wedding and an upcoming plant sale. The pandemic has put our May master gardener plant sale on hold. I’ll be hanging onto the perennials I started for it, but 10+ trays of tomatoes and herbs will be sold to other master gardeners and proceeds will benefit our educational endeavors. Our family is still hoping the wedding can take place here at our Washington State home in August, but that is in the air as we wait out COVID-19. The bride and groom, bride’s sister’s family, and much other family will need to travel from the the east coast and California, and safety is paramount.
Back to the cataloguing task at hand… my inventory. Besides giving me a sense of order, making lists definitely assists me when I look back on previous years wondering “What was that gorgeous basil I grew in 2017!?”
Still under lights in the shed are cilantro, cucumbers, gomphrena, two varieties each of zinnias, stock, and phlox, and three varieties each of snapdragons, salvia, pumpkins, and beans.
The greenhouse is getting full. This year I’ve grown six varieties of tomatoes (Oregon Spring, Polbig, Siletz, Stupice, SuperSweet100, and Sweetie) and four varieties of basil (Genovese compact, Thai, Mrs. Burns’ Lemon, and Holy/Tulsi).
On the top shelves are those trays of basil, trays of borage and dill, sunflowers (Panache, Italian White, ProCut Red, ProCut Plum, ProCut White, and tithonia or Mexican sunflowers), white and blue polemonium (Jacob’s Ladder), two varieties of scabiosa (pincushion flower), two varieties of nasturtium, a few colors of anemone coronaria, three varieties of lupinus, white and apricot cosmos, dusty miller, and digitalis (foxglove) in need of potting on.
Besides those trays of tomatoes, the middle shelves are the temporary home of vegetable trays (both homegrown and purchased), extremely healthy fava beans, hollyhocks, peach and white digitalis, love-in-a-mist, some very sad-looking delphiniums, begonias that have yet to show themselves, and teeny aquilegia sprouts (I almost gave up).
The ground level hosts dozens of 1-gallon pots containing older or divided perennials including liatris, aquilegia, astrantia, eupatorium (Joe Pye weed), salvia, physostegia (obedient plant), sedum, crocosmia, various lilies, plus some sweet peas awaiting transplanting.
Whew. Glad all’s accounted for. Now to get back into the garden. Some days I find myself wishing for a magic wand that I could simply point to make these plants hop into the soil all by themselves. 😉