It's Wednesday and time to wander down the garden paths.
The Tree Peonies were ravaged by deer and rabbits during the winter and since they bloom on old wood I have very few blooms on my four Tree Peonies this year.
Usually after the Tree Peonies stop blooming the Herbaceous Peonies start to bloom.
Several colors of Aquilegia (Columbine or Granny's Bonnet) are blooming in different places all over the flower gardens. I started these perennials from seed several years ago. I just love the delicate flowers.
The lilacs are blooming too and the air is filled with their fragrance. This one was destroyed several years ago when a big tree fell on it. I took a cutting of it and finally it has bloomed this year. Lilacs bloom on three year old wood.
I have other lilac bushes that all need a trim. Most of the lilacs are up too high now for me to cut for bouquets. There are several purple varieties out front that bloom one right after the other. This white one near the back fence line at the edge of the flower garden came from a cutting I took from the homestead my great grandfather settled. The farm had been in the family for over 100 years when my dad's generation sold it. I have wonderful memories of summers spent there as a young girl and this lilac reminds me of good times.
I have read there are several different ways to prune lilacs -- cut away a different third of the bush every year for three years or cut to the ground and wait three years for blooms. Not sure which method I will try but I think I should have been pruning in April before they bloomed.
Lilies of the Valley bloom just outside the back door and the fragrance is wonderful.
The Camassia (Wild Hyacinth or Indian Hyacinth or Quamash) are starting to bloom. I planted the bulbs in the fall. They are native wildflowers so I planted most of them in the new native wildflower garden in a wet shady area but since they like moist areas I also planted some in the flower garden next to a little pond where they add a nice splash of blue.
I also planted some Foxtail Lilies last fall and so far I'm not impressed but maybe I will be later when the buds open.
The Hosta leaves are starting to unfurl. I bought a whole bunch of Hostas with different leaf colors and patterns over 20 years ago on clearance. I have divided them several times. They add color to the shady areas.
The Allium seem to magically move around the flower garden so I never know where they will end up. I was reading about Alliums last year and was surprised to learn there are so many different varieties prized for their blooms. I may have to start a collection!
The last few years I have not seen any Star of Bethlehem flowers but this year they are everywhere. Normally I think deer and rabbits eat the flower buds and that is why I rarely see the flowers.
That's it for now in the flower gardens now into the veggie garden...
I planted my potatoes on Good Friday and I think I have 50 potato plants now of two different varieties - Yukon Gold and Kennebec.
Now it is time to start mounding up lots of dirt around them.
Following the rows of potatoes are several rows of carrots and beets. After that I have rows of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts I started from seed in little milk jug greenhouses on the deck (winter sown).
I put a piece of old plastic drain pipe around them for awhile to keep rabbits from nibbling. I leave a few plants in each row without pipe around them and if they don't get nibbled right away then I know there probably aren't that many rabbits around. That also means the barn cats are earning their room and board.
We have been eating asparagus two or three times a week now for several week and have had our fill as have family and friends who like asparagus. We don't like to eat it frozen or canned so have now quit cutting spears.
And guess what!!!! I have lots and lots of strawberry blossoms!!! Remember a few weeks ago when I stuck plastic forks all throughout the bed? Well, those forks must be keeping plant and blossom eating critters away for now although when I was weeding around the bed the other day I kept hearing a squirrel scolding me. I think the squirrel thinks I was trespassing in his or her strawberry bed.
I planted the onions around the same time I planted potatoes. Some of them we will eat as green onions and others will make some nice onion rings later in the year. We like onions in almost everything but our dessert.
I also have lettuce, mustard greens and radishes growing. The spinach was old seed so I don't see much of that germinated. I also have snow peas and sugar snap peas growing along the fences. Our last frost date is May 15 so after that I will be planting tomatoes and peppers started under lights in my sewing room and will plant seeds of a couple of types of beans, cucumbers and squash.