May Day

Since we last spoke, I’d say we’ve come as close to spring as we’ve ever been. No. I’m going to be bold. We’re not merely close to spring. It is spring. Right now. Gone, we hope, are the nights where we constantly fret as the overnight low hovers in the upper 30s and we wonder if we’ve made foolish landscaping decisions. Just today, I walked across town because I was delighted to discover that, in the couple of hours since I’d been outside, the blustery, cloudy day had actually become BALMY.

In celebration of this, I’m going to share some pictures I took on a day that is, officially or not, the King o’ Spring, May Day. As it happened, May Day 2014, in my neck of the world anyway, couldn’t have been much farther from spring if it tried. But I took these pictures at the greenhouse with my phone (where else, and on what other device?) and I’ve been sitting on them like a slow, lazy hen on so many cracked eggs. And wouldn’t you know, I found that even though it was gloomy out, these lovely flowers made it anything but, so it was actually quite a cheery May Day.

Also I’ve been busy blah blah whatever still not giving up picture project whatever blah but BY THE WAY, in a few weeks I’m going somewhere TERRIBLY INTERESTING AND WONDERFUL and I hope to share possibly THE MOST EXCITING PICTURES THIS BLOG HAS EVER, EVER SEEN. Crap, I just oversold it. Also, I might try to be “in the moment” or whatever and not take 12,000 pictures so maybe just disregard all that. But maybe don’t.

I haven’t looked at these pictures since I edited them and now I’m chuckling at how much I messed with the color. Oh, Me of a Week Ago! To be fair, though, this is totally how I see the world.

IMAG5747
African daisies!!! (Osteospermum spp.)

IMAG5748
My favorite osteo we carry, the one with the little spoon-petals. I think this cultivar is ‘Purple Spoon.’ (That would make sense, wouldn’t it?)

IMAG5750
I don’t remember what this is, because I’m a complete and utter monster.

IMAG5753
Some Gerbera daisies, three of which I later bought, and am just now remembering have been sitting in my porch for a couple days because I had to hide them from my cat the other night when I brought them in from the balcony (STILL TOO COLD, UGH, NOT HARDY ENOUGH YET, BUT MAYBE NOW)

IMAG5755
Geraniums. I don’t like geraniums that much. They’re fine. I guess. I get pretty offended when I touch one and there’s just a deluge of petals. I really enjoy how they smell, though. I’m not sure why.

IMAG5757
The biggest greenhouse at our greenhouse is not a very big greenhouse but it is pretty precious.

IMAG5759
Florist’s Cineraria (Pericallis x hybrida). These really are true-blue, although it’s always interesting just how ZINGY a blue it renders on camera.

IMAG5704
Here’s a petunia that everyone is losing their minds over right now: ‘Cha Ching Cherry.’ Petunias are definitely at the bottom of my list of favorite annuals, but even I love this damn cultivar.

IMAG5706
Water beads so prettily on some leaves. Like day lilies. And lupines, as in the above picture!

IMAG5707
Some more lupine leaves for ya.

IMAG5714
This is kind of what things look like. This is back in the bulbs section with the irises and day lilies and Asiatic lilies and such.

IMAG5716
The herbs are also back in the corner where the above picture was taken, too, but you wouldn’t know it.

IMAG5719
One of our baby stonecrops, I think, held over from last year.

IMAG5720
A few of our coral bells taken from Tickseedville, population: me. (Actually, I don’t have any tickseed. I had one once, and it died.)

IMAG5724
Beautiful deep-colored foliage of the perennial geranium. Why don’t I have any?

IMAG5728
Coral bell flowers, unsure of the cultivar.

IMAG5729
Coral bell next to hosta.

IMAG5730
Holding raindrops hostage

IMAG5735
What a mighty gob o’ water.

IMAG5737
So many beautiful hens and chicks!

IMAG5738
I keep forgetting what this is but it’s hardy and I want it and I need it yesterday. The purple is so bright, the flowers seem to last a while, and I love the maroon foliage.

IMAG5740
Viola and Pansy Lane

IMAG5743

IMAG5732
The fine foliage of astilbe

IMAG5733
A forlorn, torn hosta leaf

IMAG5760
Closing up shop for the night. Either forlorn or cozy, depending on how you look at it. This is what we have to do the first few weeks the greenhouse is open. I was very happy to learn when I worked last night that we would only be covering two tables that night. Note in the background some faint color in the sky. This was the only non-gray sky we experienced for days and days, and it was right at the end of May Day. HOW SPECIAL.

All of these late pictures are from odd-numbered days because I hate them

I owe pictures from other days, all of which tend to blend together when you take pictures of the same kind of thing every day. I seem to remember setting a goal for myself to photograph something memorable each day. Were the zinnias that memorable on seventeen separate occasions? No. No, they were not. On the other hand, the idea of having a post devoted just to zinnias on a given day made more sense in light of another original goal: taking roughly 1 (one) picture each day. Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaa. One. The upshot is, you have been and will continue to be bombarded with a ramshackle documentation of the same plants from bud to bloom to long, slow senescence.

Funnily enough, on July 15th, I only took one picture. And what a picture it was, too. That’s later in this entry.

July 13th pictures:

These are all from the shade garden and the regular garden next to it. (Oops, sorry to imply that you’re irregular, shade garden.)

An uncharacteristically pink echinacea

Continue reading

July 8th pictures: What to do with a three-pound zucchini, and scenes from the garden

The other day at the farm, they discovered a monstrously large zucchini (3.75 lbs if I remember) that had gotten looked over during previous harvests. They weren’t going to sell it, so I — given that I had just made some zucchini bread the other day, and had been relieved to get rid of that batch of zucchini, and was already kind of sick of zucchini bread — decided the wisest thing to do would be to take the nearly four pounds of zucchini. So this morning I made zucchini muffins. (I thought I’d really take a walk on the wild side after zucchini bread.) I also made this zucchini and corn recipe which is meant to serve as a low-sodium alternative to salsa or a low-fat one to guac. It’s not that I’m genuinely worried about finding replacements for those things (I’m probably more likely to actively search for delicious fatty and sodium-laden recipes than to actively avoid them); I just thought the recipe might be good. I’m eating it right now, as a matter of fact. The verdict is…I like it! I would just be more generous with the lime and cilantro.

After the photographic evidence of these dishes, I have a few pictures of the gardens as a whole. Not the isolated chunks I’m more inclined to parcel out to you as close-ups and macros. No, the gardens are looking quite spiffy these days, in my opinion, and I thought they warranted more context right now.

1. The muffins

Continue reading

July 2nd pictures

I probably don’t need to mention that it’s hot here. It’s hot everywhere. We broke a heat record today, but I remember I heard something about Atlanta breaking a record the other day (106 degrees), and you know, some states are on fire, or battered by thunderstorms and without power. Soooo. I guess we have it pretty good here.

I couldn’t really hack the heat, though. I fell asleep in the pool for a while and that was a trip. But then I woke up and took these pictures and all the plants were starting to get sad and thirsty but I tried to fix that and I saw some cool things.

1. This swallowtail (I think that’s what it is, I know pretty much nothing about butterflies) was on a total nectar bender. Also very skittish. I was happy to at least get a few semi-clear shots of it.

Continue reading

July 1st pictures

1. For Layla, life is a tragedy of epic proportions.

May 20th pictures

Today a lot of things finally got planted, transplanted, sown, weeded, etc. I should mention that life in the garden has become fully 146% better now that there are now several new lengths of hose and a hose cart that excludes the need for me to water everything with like 20 consecutive trips back and forth from the spigot to my plants with the two watering cans. Huzzah.

1. My friends the maple samaras are lording it over everything right now.

Continue reading

May 7th pictures: some vegetable garden follies

Today I made a little teepee for my peas. I made it out of buckthorn. There’s a lot of that in our woods — it’s very invasive and consequently difficult to get rid of — so given that we have ample supplies of buckthorn, much of it about the right width for my purposes, and given that it needs to be taken down anyway, I thought buckthorn saplings would be as good a choice as anything for the material. It’s not terribly sophisticated. I lashed the saplings together with twine. It didn’t go very well because I don’t know how to lash and I’m impervious to internet instructions, and many of them are quite bad to begin with. But I sort of did it, and then I just slapped a big old double knot on it at the end and called it a day.

I also sowed carrots, basil, anise, beets, chives, onions, nasturtium, and peas today.

1. It’s a little lean-y.

Continue reading