My garden still occupies most of my free time. Too bad I have deadline knitting to finish, as I am not getting much of that done. Today is rainy, so I am hoping to knock that out - I need it for a baby shower tomorrow! The rainy weather does give a nice luxuriant look to my garden pictures if you are careful to ignore the fact that the lawn is getting shaggy. I am not so interested in grass.
We are harvesting lettuce, edible flowers, and sugar snap peas. I did not plant any shelling peas, as I have no intention of sitting around shelling them. Too much work for the payoff. We have enough growth on most of my herbs to harvest enough for our immediate needs, although the rosemary is not big enough to even think about. There is enough lettuce to share with our friends. I had to order epazote seeds again, in hopes that warmer temperatures may give me better germination. I added some chamomile to the pot where I am growing cucumbers because I heard it would improve the quality of my cukes. Since this is the first time I have grown any I am not sure I will be able to tell if they are improved or not. The beans have gotten over their early season sulk and ruinous chewing by some mystery creature. Both bush and pole beans are getting ready to bloom.
All the flower plants I have purchased or transplanted are doing well (the Monarda and Four o' Clock maybe too well), but I think ants got most of the flower seeds. Next time I will start them in pots and transplant. I have tried mightily to get money plant to grow in one corner of the garden by transplanting seedlings from the corner where it arrived from my neighbor with discouraging results, but I think it has volunteered in a different corner of the same bed. Apparently it does not care for all day sun. I'll take it wherever it wants to grow. The gladiolas whose return I had not expected are getting monstrous, with lots of little offsets. I can't wait to see if the babies are the same color as the mamas. The flower part of the sunny garden is at the point where it is full, given the mature size of the plants, but looks a little bare at the moment. Some plants are not blooming yet, and all will be much bigger in a year or two. I actually do not have room for any more plants in any existing beds if all of the plants living there now survive. Next year I will turn my attention to the improvement of the shrub border underplantings. That's a large enough space that it should take me several years to exhaust the possibilities. Then I will enlarge the island bed in the front of the yard. Then I will....who knows? There is no end to it!
The holly seedlings I got from Wanda may not survive. I removed one of the seedlings to replace with a nice variegated hydrangea from Inace's garden that was unhappy where it was growing, and did not see any activity on the roots. One of the remaining two seedlings has developed a markedly green stem, so I have great hopes for it. If the one on the other end of the bed survives I will be content. Time will tell.
I think my volunteer fern is Onoclea Sensibilis, Sensitive Fern. It is spreading a little (apparently by rhizome, which gives me more evidence for the identification), so I assume it is happy where I planted it. Shana questioned where I put it, but I let her know that plants will move around a bit to get to a more suitable spot. I planted it in the shadiest spot with the most leaf mold to give it the best chance to take, and it looks like it is moving in the direction of the place I want most to fill. Success! Searching around the Internet has called several ferns to my attention that I wish I had, so naturally I am now imagining where I can squeeze in more ferns. I will probably die of heartbreak of I cannot acquire a Criss-cross Fern.