Thursday, June 18, 2015

Garden Notes With Deb : Farmhands and Flowers


These two cutie pies are my sweet little farmhands. Well, sort of.  Our son and his girlfriend were over last weekend and helped us get started on installing 5 additional 4x12 raised beds for our backyard flower farm. They helped my hubby with measuring the distances between beds and some minor construction.


 Have you ever seen a tape measure like this? Every time we do a project my hubby pulls out some old tool I've never seen before. He must keep them hidden away just to surprise me when the time is right. He paid five bucks for it at a yard sale nearly 20 years ago. How have I never seen this? Anyway, it's 100' long and the handle on the side winds the tape in or out as needed. It worked great for our project and surprisingly the linen tape is still in very good condition. From what I can barely make out of the faded print, this one is a Non Metallic Rule Tape Measure made by the  made by Lufkin Rule Co.     A manufacturing company that came about during the Civil War.


 I love the aged leather-clad casing. I think it would make a great decorator item just sitting on a shelf with some vintage books and drafting props. 

It was pretty light work that day.  Then again, I was just carrying a camera around. The guy's worked out the distances and Tid-bit ( that's my nickname for Zach's girlfriend  )and Max helped with the measuring. 


You can see the zinnias are just abut 4 inches out of the ground now. Soon we'll be neck high in flowers! 

I planted the bed in the front of this photo with the summer annual, cockscomb which I purchased from Bakers Creek Seed Co.They are just starting to sprout.

Source Wiki
The shape and texture  of the large curly flower heads look just like a rooster comb which surely inspired its name. I hope they come up nice and tall. They are supposed to be good sellers at the Farmers Market, and I think they'll be fun fillers too! 


The dahlias are doing very well. I only had a few that didn't come in and I'm not sure why exactly. I need to dig them up and check for rot, mold or insect damage. I'm happy to report there have been no trace of slugs ( yet ) so I haven't had to do any pest control but I check daily because those slimy buggers could show up any minute and make a meal out of those lush green leaves.
 Its always a good idea to mulch dahlias as well. I've adding three inches of mulch to the tops of the dahlia beds. That will keep them nice and hydrated during mid-summer hot spells. 

All of my hydrangeas are loaded with buds right now.  They must have really liked the freezing weather we had this past winter. It's hard to believe this plant was under 6 feet of frozen snow all winter long. It looks so healthy and vibrant. I've also mulched all of my shrubs and perennials so they won't be quite as shocked when the heat and humidity return.


Ah.... what a relief it is to have farmhands and the promise of flowers again.

 
Now, who's gonna help me fill the new flower beds?  Looks like I might have to call on my loyal farm dog if not for muscle, then at least for moral support. He's always smiling and eager to ( get right in the middle of everything and drop his Frisbee at my feet) help. 

How are things shaping up in your garden? June weather has been a little cool and wet in places and that always makes us gardeners/farmers nervous. Rain brings pests and cool weather stunts newly seeded rows of summer loving annuals. Anticipation can quickly turn to anxiety. After all, we can plan, till and toil with every intention of making our garden dreams come true, but we can't control the weather. I have flower farming friends who are waging wars on aphids, and others who are battling too much water due to flooding. Losing plants whether it be a few precious blooms in pots on your doorstep or a field of flowers or veggies is a loss deeply felt to the tender hearted gardener.

  So... I'll leave you with this hope-filled garden quote by Audrey Hepburn.

" To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow" 

I believe. Do you?
Till next Wednesday!

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