Sunday, July 31, 2011

Garden Highlights 2011

To my few loyal readers out there I apologize for the long hiatus! My only excuse is that I've been doing lots of hiking, and of course, lots of gardening. Fortunately, I've taken lots of pictures to make up for it. Here's a sample of what's been going on in Gretchen's Garden this summer:

That's compost, baby. I did a whole lot of screening and spreading of compost this spring. I have poor soil in several locations in my garden, so my plants appreciate a yearly addition of good compost.

I also spent quite a bit of time installing drip irrigation in my raised veggie boxes and annual beds. So far it's working wonderfully and saving me a lot of time, although I did make a few mistakes here and there. Any of you enlightened readers who have installed drip irrigation will notice that in the picture above I have the drip emitter on backwards. Fortunately, it didn't take me long to figure out why they kept popping off!

I spent time pruning several of my shrubs, although I need to do more....

I pulled up lots and lots and lots of these! My yard was completely weed free for about a week. It was a great week. Now I need to do it all again....sigh.

And now for the garden highlights. I know you all really just want to see pictures of pretty flowers, so here they are: 

Thalictrum aquilegifolium
Snapdragon 'Chantilly Deep Orange', quite possibly one of my favorite snaps.

A new lily variety in my garden - only 12" tall. Always start your lilies from bulb - it's easy, and so much less expensive than buying lilies in pots.
The tulips put on quite a show this year. They look great against my lime-leafed mock orange, which is also a new addition to the garden.
I tried Carex 'Red Rooster' in my annual bed this year and love it!
Dianthus deltoides
A wide variety of kales and lettuces this year. My soups and salads have been fabulous!
Strawberry bed, year 2. Filling out nicely, although I added way too much nitrogen last year in the form of corn gluten. As a result, the berries this summer have been few and small. (My lawn needs mowing, as usual.)
My dahlias are finally starting to bloom, a month later than usual. I've been hearing from people all over town that they are having slow dahlias this year too.
Lupine 'Morello Cherry.' Totally worth growing from seed - it blooms the first year.

I'm loving the addition of a few marigolds to my herb garden this's never looked better.
So there's my garden so far in a nutshell. It's a little messier than usual this year, but it always surprises me how vibrant it can look even when not manicured as it should be.

How are your gardens doing this summer? Any new varieties worth sharing?


  1. PURDY!!! I tried several new flowers this year, though I couldn't tell you anything about varieties. I have a few posts about my yard/garden on my blog if you want to check it out.

  2. I definitely will! I love seeing what other gardeners are up to.

  3. I love the marigolds with the herbs. Is that a thyme they're with? My marigolds turned out *huge* this year--I used 'Inca Hybrid' from Park (I think). I will definitely do that again...

    My husband loves the new hosta 'Fire and Ice,' and I have loved the mother of thyme and creeping baby's breath. At the end of the season, I bought a bunch of liatris, astilbe, and even annuals for a song. $1 for each quart-sized perennial! Unfortunately I still haven't decided where the astilbe should go (I don't really have room, so it's a project), so I hope they don't die in their buckets before I get to them...

    For annuals, I loved the 'Park's Mix' of dwarf snapdragons and their ruffled petunias, especially cherry-something petunia.

    I bought some dianthus seeds, so hopefully those turn out. I really want some. I'm still on the search for the biannual forget-me-nots that you have--they're hard to find, but I really want those blue flowers!

    Thanks for the post! Keep it up! (My mom even checks now, per my recommendation!)

  4. Erin: sorry it's taken me so long to reply to your comment! My computer/browser had decided I wasn't allowed to comment on my own blog for some reason. It seems to like me again, so here we are.

    Yup, it's lemon thyme! I think I like this variety even better than regular thyme, and not just because it's pretty - it has a wonderful flavor.

    Only in my dreams have I found perennials for a dollar, so I'm glad you jumped on that deal while you could! You'll have to let me know how things look this next summer.

    As for forget-me-nots, I believe the type you want is Myosotis sylvatica. They're easy to find up here, as they look almost exactly like our native forget-me-nots, which also happen to be the state flower. For online sources, try or Good luck!