It seems summer has finally decided to arrive at last. I just saw my first monarch butterfly four days ago, and three have flown by since then. There are not a whole lot of flowers to meet them though, because all the plant life is a month behind schedule. What a zany spring we have had! Ice storms in April, snow on May 1st, and a hard frost on May thirteenth, just two days before the last frost date! But, the weather is coming along nicely now, and there’s been plenty of rain to get things growing.
I started a lot of plants from seed this year, including zinnia, peppers, eggplant, cosmos, snapdragons, foxglove, and hollyhock. This is a snapdragon:
and one of my cosmos:
I was so excited by these little cosmos flowers. This was my first year of success with starting seedlings inside, and I had always felt a little bit like a cheater buying ready-made plants from the store. I felt like someone who called themselves a baker, yet only knew how to make a cake from a boxed mix!
Then I went to the store and saw this cosmos flower. While the ones I started from seed have flowers the size of my thumbnail, this flower is the size of my palm! I wonder what kind of fertilizer they used?
I guess I’m still a cake mix gardener at heart, because the cosmos and these (already blooming) snapdragons came home with me. : )
More store-bought flowers:
This is a bindweed seedling. My mortal enemy. Do not let their dainty, white, morning glory-like flowers fool you. They spread like mad, have a taproot that resists pulling more than any other weed I know, and climb other plants and strangle them to death. Last year I waged a terrible war against them, turning my back on thistles and crabgrass in order to pull every single seedling and dig up every last taproot. I was successful, for there are no adult bindweeds in my garden this year. I have to remain vigilant, though, and pull at least twenty of these seedlings every day!
The columbine are in full bloom. I have a new one this year, also, as a volunteer made it all the way to blooming. I think it is a cross between my pink and blue plant, for it’s pink with tiny purple veins throughout. It also has a unique creamy yellow trumpet, while both of the other plants have a white trumpet:
The blue parent plant:
More store-bought flowers:
This is one of the pepper plants I started from seed. I have jalapeno, bell, and banana, but I won’t know which is which until they start setting fruit because I mixed them all out of order when I potted them.
The raspberries promise a bumper crop this year. I lost all my 2012 summer raspberries to last year’s zany spring. It was so warm that they flowered in March, and then an April frost came and nipped them.
Beets are my experiment this year. We tried baking some from the store in the winter, and despite the strong, earthy flavor, everybody liked them, even Johnathan! I’m really looking forward to seeing how they turn out.