Sometimes a marigold is not gold at all

The gifts of the lake include a hollow log which has been converted into a planter. The begonias seem to thieve in this location. Behind you can see another grouping of iris, flanked by day lilies. This ifs the first year the iris have bloomed.

It’s time to change gears in the garden as the season moves from the rush of preparing beds, starting seedlings, planting them carefully into larger pots, and gradually introducing them to either the garden or planters, on to weeding, watering, fertilizing, and enjoying.

The hard work of gardening is in the late spring and early summer, a time of preparation and transition.

The planters are all made, the veggies all in the raised beds, and new beds are stocked andgrowing. Now I can take a breather and look around. I see that the

One of the tulip seed pods needing to be broken off

daffodils and tulips are done, so I have been deadheading these, a practice which allows the energy to go to the bulb rather than to seed production. The bleeding hearts have lasted long but are now showing seed pods (this look like little elongated pea pods).

The tomatoes are looking good, and I have been feeding them epsom salts weekly which they seem to like. The ones on the deck (cherry tomatoes for snacking) are coming in to flower, which I find astounding as it seems so early.

Tomatoes in the raised beds get a full day of sunshine to help them grow.

The pumpkins finally sprouted, as did the summer squash and one zucchini. I am debating whether to put in another zucchini seed, but don’t want to be stuck with tons of the veg. Oh, and the two types of watermelon are in the garden (I don’t know what to do with the spares…?).

The other day I was heading down to weed and looked up to see two lovely rabbits looking at me from the lettuce patches. After shooing them off, I inspected and came to understand why I had been seeing minimal growth on some plants – they were being munched as quickly as they sprouted. The next day became enclosure building day, and we have solved the bunny problem peacefully for all. The good news is lettuce and spinach will grow back as long as the roots weren’t eaten, and have already started to recover. I may have to tuck in a few pea seeds to fill in gaps in that patch. Thankfully, they hadn’t found the carrots yet.

I discovered that marsh marigold, although having great foliage and a pretty yellow flower is too enthusiastic an addition to a garden bed, so I started digging it out before it smothers all of its neighbours. I have a feathered poppy I would like to see flourish after a challenging start to its life. Being overrun by marsh marigold wasn’t helping the cause. Live and learn.

This seems to be a great year for iris and peonies. The first peony showed up this afternoon – a beautiful butter yellow single, it is one of my favourites. Iris which haven’t flowered in four years are blooming already, so I am definitely smiling on the morning walkabout. Also it looks as though some repositioned oriental poppies are doing very well and are throwing up flower pods. All of these plants come in various colours, so it keeps the gardens cheerful.

Finally, I was at the garden centre in North Bay (LaPorte’s on Lakeshore Drive) and spotted a lonely little lime three, that has since been adopted and is not living (happily I hope) in the greenhouse here. I also added a tropical hibiscus, a lily, and a bougainvillia to the collection, so my tropical retreat should be well on its way. I will be in big trouble come fall as far as wintering over, but I’ll figure that out in October.

I hope your gardening is going well, and your sprouts have become healthy plants! Until next time.

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