Monday, June 18, 2012

Backyard Blossoms

Endless Summer Hydrangea 
Howdy friends! Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day celebrating with your favorite peeps!  The Yankee and I have a tradition for Mothers/Fathers day. Instead of going out for breakfast and fighting the crowds we stay home and cook- in for each-other.  This year I made him Cheese and Onion ( heavy on the onion ) Quiche with dried red peppers sprinkled on top and homemade blueberry muffins. Sorry, no pic's we ate it all! YUM! What this has to do with backyard blossoms I haven't the faintest idea. I just felt like sharing!

Snapdragon and Delphinium
Good news on the garden front! All eight raised beds are planted! I  " tucked in " the last of the greenhouse seedlings plus a flat of snapdragons and a few delphiniums Saturday! Whew! What a relief to finally have everything in and growing...

We've had rain off and on the last two weeks which has brought about slugs...but I've managed to keep them at bay with a dish soap and water spray once a week. Little buggers...

Wider View of Cutting Garden. 

 Creating this large cutting garden has been a ton of work ( thank you honey I couldn't have done it without you ) but worth every sore muscle and droplet of sweat. Not to mention it's one heck of a workout! Now that the hard work is done I'm looking forward to watching my Backyard Blossoms arrive!

Since this is my first year I decided to try a number of different flowers to see how they would perform.
Here's what I've planted:
 Cosmos, Bachelor Buttons, California Poppies, three types of Sunflowers, Dahlias, Zinnias, Snapdragons, Delphinium, Parsley, Ornamental Eggplant, Oriental Lillie's, and I made room for some heirloom tomatoes too!

Here's what I've learned:  This was also my first year with the new greenhouse which has been mostly trial and error. Because I didn't start seeds indoors ( with heat and overhead light ) I waited until the end of April to plant my seed trays in the greenhouse. I relied entirely on the warmth inside and extended daylight hours for germination. Somethings did well, others not so much. Some of my Zinnia trays didn't germinate at all so I replanted them in mid May and they did better that time around. Plus, I also sowed one entire bed by seed after the danger of the last frost just to see how it would do...So far so good!I'm already thinking ahead! Next year, I'll plant three times what I think I need to fill the beds just in case some don't germinate  and I'll start some seeds with heat and light ( in the greenhouse ). Once they've germinated they'll stay there until planting time!

Can anyone recommend what kinds of heat mats and growing lights I should look in to? 

The joy of stepping into the cutting garden every morning, coffee in hand and greeting my new garden in progress makes it all worth while... I can hardly wait for the first blooms! You know I'll keep you posted!

What has this garden season taught you? I'm sharing this post with An Oregon Cottage Tuesday Garden Party! Swing on by for more clever cottage gardening ideas!

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