And When It Rains?

Gardening Vacation 2007 - Wednesday

When you take a whole week off to garden it can't be go-go-go all week long. At some point, the gardener rests. I took advantage of the rain today to slow down and "sit a spell".

Early in the morning I did some general weeding and pruning. Finally, I cut back the butterfly bushes (Buddleia davidii), which around here die back to the ground each year, and I trimmed off all the suckers that come up around the base of the serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora). Serviceberry is one of those trees you can grow as a single trunk tree, like I am doing, or you can grow it as a multiple trunk tree, which is more common around here. Anyway, as a single trunk tree it gets a lot of sprouts around the base that I have to cut back regularly.

And while it rained? I rested some and then potted up my Delphinium seedlings. I'm growing two varieties, Delphinium elatum 'Foeresters Hybrid' and Delphinium x cultorum, both from Hardy Plants. I don't remember ordering the second variety, so maybe they threw it in as a bonus packet? I currently have 13 seedlings of 'Foeresters Hybrid' and 5 of the other. So for less than $5, I could end up with the 18 Delphiniums. Let's hope the little seedlings make it through these next few weeks and grow big enough to plant out in one of the flower beds!

I had another project in mind to do after messing around with the seedlings and tending to the houseplants, if it was still raining, but the rain stopped after a few hours, and I started working on planting the containers on the front porch. I didn't get too far because it was afternoon and I'm more of a morning person. Good excuse, huh?

I wonder if most gardeners are morning people? Especially in climates where it gets hot in the summer, which is nearly everywhere, when else would you get anything done in the garden except in the morning? And morning is the best time to harvest vegetables, before the sun beats down on them and sucks all the moisture out!

Speaking of the vegetable garden, some may wonder why I've not written about it this week. That's because it isn't the focus of this week! This week is about flowers and container planting, and weeding and getting out all the rest of the garden decor. I've already scheduled a four day weekend off starting next Thursday, and that's when I'll work on the vegetable garden.

Yes, this week is about the flowers. I'm sure most of you recognize that the picture above is of a lilac, in particular the buds of a 'Miss Kim' lilac as they were yesterday. Today they've opened just a little bit more and the smell is wonderful. Whenever I walk by the lilacs, I naturally slow down and linger a bit to enjoy the scent. Every garden needs at least one lilac!


  1. Carol: It sounds as though you accomplished quite a bit in spite of the rain! Sometimes it is a blessing especially when the back starts to go. You are right about lilacs. Even though they bloom such a short time their fragrance lingers in the memory. I have the regulars but have been thinking of planting a 'Beauty of Moscow'. It is light pink with a large flower. Maybe this year!

  2. Thank you for the lovely photo of your 'Miss Kim' lilac.

    I love lilacs. But since allergies have come upon both of us here, we can't have them anymore. -sighhhhhhh- I make-do by using Lilac scent, all year round. That does not bother our allergies! :-)


  3. Carol — A month or two ago you northern gardeners were envying us down south whose gardens started blooming early (and who avoided the late snows). Now I'm envying you all your peonies and lilacs. I've never lived anywhere where either of those plants thrive (or even grow) but they loom large in my garden fantasies. Thanks for sharing the picture and I'll keep a good thought for clear skies during the rest of your gardening vacation (okay, maybe with a few showers to give you a break and to water all those newly planted pots and plants).

    — Susan from South of the River

  4. Lilacs are my favorite smell in the whole world. I wish there was a way to capture the scent and keep it year round, but unfortunately I've never found a candle or a spray that was as near to heaven as the real thing. Carol, is there a lilac variety that blooms all summer?

  5. Hey Carol: next year experiment and just let the buddleias come back on old wood. Mine always do, though sometimes it takes awhile (especially with the late snows we had here). Just a thought. Mine are really leafed out all the way to their tips (3.5' branches).

    I'm envious of your week! But not of your sculpture ;O


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