After a week of much-needed rain, we had a glorious weekend. Which means that I was able to get my hands deep into the garden. Plants are growing, but there's a lot of tidying up that needs to be done. It's also really important to just take time to look around at everything. I planted this California native Douglas Iris the year we bought the house, and it has only just now bloomed.
Our hop vines are doing remarkably well. One plant has already grown past the roofline of our garage.
The Scarlet Runner Beans are also growing like crazy. The Purple Royalty beans took a beating when the darn hens got into the garden and tore them apart. I need to find a moment to buy more seeds. I also need to find a moment to plant the Trail of Tears beans before they die of neglect in my seed trays. And the less we say about the chard starts, the better. Sigh.... I don't have a lot of luck starting seeds. They get going, and then something always happens, and things go awry.
Our green onions are attracting a lot of bees. We've been treating these as a cut-and-come-again crop, slicing them off, rather than pulling them up. If we leave the roots in the garden, they seem to re-grow, which is entertaining. What can I say? I'm easily amused.
The cherry grafts seem to have taken. I've got a cherry tree that I bought on craigslist. It was supposed to be a Lapin cherry, but it's clearly just some rootstock.
It produces tons of tiny fruits, that are so terrible-tasting that nothing can make the flavor go away. Robb and I both have eaten exactly one of these fruits.
What I'm not sure about is if I should strip them off the tree, once it develops leaves. There's a lot written about how fruit production saps strength from the fruit tree, so perhaps getting rid of this inedible fruit might be beneficial to the tree. I dunno. To my way of thinking, this falls into the category of folk wisdom that's often repeated, but does not ever come with any scientific backing.
Our persimmon tree is blooming. This is the type of flower that only shows itself to a quiet eye. These blossoms are very subtle, and I just love them. This tree was a wreck when we bought the house. I'm still amazed that it is as productive as it is.
And speaking of "wrecks," here's our infant fig orchard in our tiny side-yard. The largest tree is Jesús, the neglected tree our neighbors gave us back in October of 2011. Poor Jesús still looks rather crucified, but is carrying a small crop of fruit already. Of our five varieties of figs, three are already fruiting.
In some ways, I'm very happy with how the garden is going. In other ways, I'm deeply frustrated by my inability to ever make things thrive or look really nice. It seems like the best I can ever say is "well, it's so much better than it was when we bought the place."
For a look at really splendid gardens, do check out Daphne's weekly collection of garden blogs.