|July 29 Garden Journal|
A brief thunderstorm in the night, and as I heard it I grinned knowing that the tilling for the addition to the lavender field was all tilled and ready to be rained upon. Now we'll wait and let any weed seeds germinate, then till it again before adding some crushed stone.
I have my two little granddaughters (6 & 13) with me this week, so I won't accomplish as much as usual, but we're having fun. Yesterday we harvested mountain mint and pennyroyal, which Mora thought smelled "wonderful and minty." She was very helpful in carrying the baskets to the barn, so the workers could hang it from the rafters. Of course, before they could do that, they had to take down rows and rows of dried lavender and store it into boxes. The lavender harvest is almost finished, and I've started taking cuttings already. Usually it is so dry and hot in July that the plants don't grow enough to get cutting material until mid- to late August, so this is great. So far, I've done 23 varieties, so I have many, many to go before I've finished. I'm doing extra this year, since I'll be planting the addition next year. I've learned a lot about which varieties I need in quantity, and which only require a half dozen plants since I first put in the field in 2001.
Mora enjoyed picking and eating tomatoes. We still only have the small cherry and mini types ripening. The damp cool weather which has been great for the lavenders has not encouraged the tomatoes to do much, so there are no big slicing types ready yet. So far, my favorite is "Black Cherry" which is exceedingly sweet. The little "Yellow Pear" is ok, but quite tart compared to "Black Cherry," "Santa F1," or "Juliet." Today, after the tour groups leave (we have two today) we will be picking purple beans.
The coldframe is entirely empty now. The next rainy day we get that I am "free" we will spend making hypertuffa troughs, since I have all the materials out. We should be able to make about 25, I think, maybe more depending upon the size. The coldframe works great as a workspace for that messy project, with plenty of space for all of us to work. We did it last year, and it was a really fun, creative day.
It is hard to believe that July is nearly finished. The daylilies will soon be gone, as well as the tall garden phlox. Thank goodness the coneflowers will continue to bloom for a bit longer, and the butterfly bushes are coming on strong now. This is the time of year we are grateful for the annuals, which supply the color until more perennials come along.
I've started collecting some seeds again.....cleome, mustard, skirret. If we get a good soaking rain, maybe I'll find time to dig some plants to pot from the gardens. I'm still behind on that! And, we need to start up-potting some of the plants still in the sales areas. That means they will be up-priced as well, so come get them before we do! That's it for today. Enjoy your gardens....I sure do! Carolee