Thursday, June 18, 2015

Irises, peonies, mock orange and beans

We're just coming to the end of the iris season. The blooms have been spectacular but the sheer number plus the shadows cast by the boulevard trees make it hard to get a clear picture of how many blooms there are. Hundreds and hundreds along the front and side of the property.

All of these came from a few plants I inherited (maybe 8) about 10 years ago. I have given lots away as irises multiply. I've already flagged about a dozen that need to be removed this summer (they tend to spread into the veggie beds) so if anyone needs some... .

Around back the chives are flowering (to the delight of the bees) as are the mock orange bushes.

The veggie beds are mostly boring at this time of the year. The recent rain has really helped increase the size of the plants.

Both the walla-walla onions and the bush beans are starting to look more like real plants. All around the veggies are thousands of elm seeds (they look like oatmeal flakes) that will need to pulled out as they germinate.

The elms seem to be responding to the drought by heavily seeding. Not as crazy as 2007 (when we had drafts of seeds in the backyard) but enough to require a lot of energy removing before they sink a tap root.

Around the side, the peonies are also blooming. These tend to be among the last of the large perennials to flower and are lovely.

And the violets are now responding to the additional moisture.

I have a long weekend of weeding ahead of me as rain and houseguests pushed things back. I also received a huge bag of rhubarb from my dad that I will need to can this weekend.


  1. I also have never-ending amounts of weeding at home. The community garden plots at AU seem to be fine, but at home I have Creeping bellflower absolutely everywhere. And one spot is half-covered in a carpet of what I think is chickweed. The chickweed, at least, seems to have kept the moisture near the ground so that the carrots had time to germinate, but separating chickweed from carrot seedlings was a nightmare!

    1. Oh, creeping hellflower is a terrible thing! I am still waging a war against it despite years of digging out its roots and pulling its leaves as soon as they sprout. It is in with the strawberries (where the leaves are just similar enough to make weeding slow work) and the rhubarb (which hides the bellflower leaves). Good luck!