It is still very cool here now. Last night I fired up the pellet stove because I was freezing! Still cool enough that I planted Larkspur today. It is one of my all-time favorites. I love to dry it and enjoy it all winter.
I don’t always have luck growing it. The first time I tried it there were masses and I was full of confidence. I’ve never had it grow so well as it did that one year a dozen years ago. I should try planting it in the fall sometime. (Note to self–add that to the “fall chores” list!) This variety is Choice Mix Giant Imperial Larkspur from Swallowtail Garden Seeds.
I just rebuilt one of the two front deck gardens and I put lots of seed in there, around the perennials I had replanted after dividing. There may not be much room for larkspur when the other things get going. There are delphiniums, clematis, lupines, columbines, Autumn Joy sedum, blue flax, and many tulips and grape hyacinths. Then again, it will take a season or two for things to recover so perhaps the larkspur will fill in.
I also threw some seed in the “ant bed” garden. Another bed I rebuilt this year. It had been taken over by ants several years ago, so I couldn’t weed, so then it was full of weeds and just a mess. I originally thought I’d try to coexist with the ants, they weren’t too bad. But then there were so many! And they wouldn’t let me work on the plants there! So I spent the last two years (last year was a concerted, huge effort) trying to kill them. They are indestructible. Yes I tried borax. I tried everything except a professional exterminator. Normally I try to avoid poisons and if I had known I was going to be the one to surrender I would not have done what I did. Anyway, I worked on it when it was cold and the ants were deep. I pulled the rocks out (it was originally a rock garden) and we mowed over it. I didn’t really try to save any of the plants since I was in a hurry trying not to wake the biters! Then layers of cardboard, deep pads of straw, then manure, compost, peat moss and potting soil on top. I put a bunch of iris there, more blue flax, and lots of the bulbs from other divisions. More Autumn Joy too, one of the easiest and rewarding plants I’ve known.
By the back door in the corner by the pantry I’ve made a little square bed beside the big bed. About two feet square, next to a long raised bed where we grew peas last year. Last year I tried to grow a small watermelon in that spot and planned to train it on a trellis, but it didn’t have enough time to make a melon. Anyway I was going to plant something for the kitchen there because it’s so convenient but I decided I need beauty more than easy greens (because the greens in the freezer and the ones farther out in the garden are pretty damn easy) so I am putting in some larkspur there too. And I will put something else with it. Oh I know! I just had to run out and do it. So there’s a row of larkspur and a row of stock. Another one that I should try to plant in the fall. Not sure if there is enough time for it. I’ve never been able to grow it from seed before, but always optimistic I am trying it again. The variety is Ten Week Bouquet Fragrant Stock from Renee’s Garden. Will see how it goes. In front of that, a little scatter garden seed mix so if all else fails there will be some guaranteed colors there where I need it, where the gaze falls looking out the kitchen window while doing dishes. I see there are poppy seeds in the scatter garden mix and I am always throwing poppy seeds around anyway, they must be my other all-time favorite too ha ha!
The new neighbor fixed the fence next to our shed beside his driveway. The previous neighbor’s pit bulls had destroyed the fence, dug a huge crater and burrowed under the shed too. Anyway the fence is fixed and I built another small bed beside the shed. This shed is next to our house and is where we store our pellets for heat. The new bed there has an angle, part is along the fence, and part is along the shed. I planted a packet of Pattypan squash, a mixture from Renee’s Garden, which had seeds from “Sunburst,” “Starship,” and “Peter Pan.” Hopefully it will be warm enough for them when this cold front goes away! I will train them on the fence and make sure to feed the neighbor!
I also put out some delicata that I had started inside earlier, unfortunately did not have the patience to harden it off so it will be lucky if it does anything, but again, I have miracles happen in the garden every day! I had 5 or 6 Velvet Queen sunflower seeds left from last year so stuck them in, and a few scarlet runner beans and a sprinkle of scatter garden seeds around the edges. I think it’s going to be lovely and productive. I put lots of manure to feed the squash. Actually Mike put the manure, he was such a great help hefting the bags for me.