red flannel pantry

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Archive for the tag “fennel”

mid-May garden tour

IMG_1797Rhubarb will be ready to pick very soon. The pink stalks look gorgeous. I can harvest from only one plant because it is 2 years old. The other two were just planted this spring and thus need more time to set roots and get established.

IMG_1798I expect we will be able to pick some baby greens for a salad this weekend.

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The fennel fronds are vigorous and lush. Their licorice scent carries throughout the garden.

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I thinned the dill and potted some up for friends. Any takers?

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Here is why people should think long and hard before planting bamboo. My poor neighbor innocently planted a bamboo division in a bed near our vegetable garden (see it in the background?). And every year it tries to spread, emerging from the grass like something alien. It hasn’t reached the vegetable garden because every year I dig these rogue bits out of our lawn–they are tenacious.

IMG_1804When given a division of something that might be aggressive and invasive, the best home for it is a pot. This chunk of mint has lived in a pot by the back door for a few years now. It winters over nicely (we are planting zone 6). Because it lives a contained existence, it is well mannered and keeps its greedy roots to itself.

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Lantana, specifically the Dallas Red variety, is my all-time favorite annual. (In areas further south, gardeners can grow it as a perennial–lucky ducks.) My friend, Anne, who works in a garden nursery, tipped me off to this plant. I appreciate when she shares her secrets.

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I like to put it in pots near the hummingbird feeders–the red, yellow and orange flowers act as a dinner invitation to both hummingbirds and butterflies. Lantana has a fresh minty scent, tolerates full sun and dry conditions, and flowers spring till frost. It works well with my low-maintenance approach to gardening. This morning I filled a couple of hanging baskets with my last few lantana plants.

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My white iris are at their peak now. They have a beautiful upright posture and lovely yellow throats. In the early evening, they seem to glow.

mr. toad came a’ calling

mr. toad

When I ventured into the vegetable garden today, I almost stepped on our long-time resident, Mr. Toad. We found him several years ago in the yard and put him inside the fence with the raised beds. As you can see, he’s grown fat eating the bad bugs, slugs and snails for us. He loves the moist, loamy soil.

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The lettuce, onions and carrots are coming along. The radishes (far left) should be ready to be picked by early next week.

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The radishes we planted more recently have sprouted and are making a strong showing.

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The dill is looking good. Once it gets a bit bigger, I plan to try to pot some to share with friends–two full rows were planted and we don’t need that much ourselves for pickle making.

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I felt brave enough to plant the basil–surely we won’t get cold temps the second week of May?!  Last year I put the basil in pots near the house, thinking that it would make access from the kitchen easier. However, the basil languished–and thus so did pesto production. So it’s back in the ground again.

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The rhubarb continues to unfurl its meaty leaves. I have my eye on its red stalks–there will be plenty for pie this year.

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The fennel’s feathery leaves are shooting upward like green fireworks.

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The best news? The tomatoes have blooms!

emerging edibles

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A late-season snowstorm delayed things a bit, but the vegetable garden is back in business.  Asparagus began making an appearance a few days ago.

IMG_1634The fennel has muscled its broad shoulders out of the ground as well.

IMG_1635The rhubarb looks promising.

IMG_1636Carrot, radish and lettuce production is underway.

IMG_1637And the pot-bound chives survived!

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