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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Summer preserves....

Started June 7...
Preserving season is on! I wasn't thinking and pretty much missed asparagus season. Caught some tail end and at least got 5 jars of pickled asparagus. But berry season is on, canned up 10 jars of strawberry jam, 7 jars of mixed berry jam (strawberry, blueberry, mullberry, wild raspberry, red raspberry), and 7 jars of SMR jam (strawberry, mullberry, wild raspberry).

June 9:
Didn't do squat cept wiping down and writing on what I canned Saturday. Cracked my burn open in a couple spots and figured it would be wiser to not make it worse. But glory bee, those jars of jam and asparagus look right fine.
So today I got another section of the FoH garden weeded. Stopped when I encountered a big fat toad scurrying for shelter. Wanted to give him time to move off to other places. Now I'm up to the previously weeded area edge, and it's time to start working on the firmly established weedy area. Thank goodness for several bins of lillies smothering most of the spot! I think I need to get together a few toad houses to stash around the FoH- toads are good luck in the garden and they eat up icky bugs.
Planted in the Red Russian Kale on the sunny edge of the FoH garden, and plopped in Rosie o Day alyssum, a light pink kind, and royal carpet alyssum, a dark pinkish purple kind. I'm not fond of common white alyssum.
Started tearing up the kitchen window plot, and dropped in the Vates kale- still need to finish weeding that spot out so I can put in some carrot seed tapes. Still need to figure out where exactly I want the ornamental kale. I was going to put all the kales along the fenceline down by the garlic bed, but I figure that area might get too worked up later this year dropping in more raised beds. And I think I want the kales closer to the house so they are accessible for picking in the heart of winter.
Got weeding done on the east side of the solarium and planted in canturbury bells among the irises. Pulled out a bunch of Fulva lilly starts, and I know I will pull more before they are all really gone. And pulled up a bunch of Chinese Chestnut baby trees- wish I knew folks that wanted the stupid things, I feel bad just chucking them.
More weeding in the wee folk garden and planted in moss roses. I was originally going to put them in on the trouble hill, but figured they would work nicer in the wee folk garden, and besides, I put the German Chamomile in on trouble hill and I want that to fill in the whole area. I had to do some thinning of violets in the wee folk garden too- they are getting huge! And happily enough, my Milkmaid Nasturtiums are blooming beautifully, I'm hopeful for some nice seed later on this year.

Discovered that I have an unknown iris- I had planted in a few named kinds, hoped they would spring up. But what sprung up didn't match my tags at all.
 Thought it was going to be a Fall Fiesta, which is orange bottom with white top because the bud was closest to that. But what unfurled was this, clearly not Fall Fiesta. But it's ok, it's a stunningly lovely iris anyway.

This popped up from what I dug up and transplanted:
So looks like there are some regular ole purple irises and this stunning thing. I can hardly wait for the next year or two to see what else blooms up!

And ugh, ticks are a mutherfucker this year! Skeeters too. I would have thought that the deep snow and cold would have cut that back, but we had a right fine late winter/early spring with no late snaps to kill the early suckers off. Gross, gross, gross.  But at least the season has been nice for the fruit trees to be well filled with fruit. Blessings come with curses.

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