Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Blooming May, Herbally Speaking!

The Angelica in Bloom!
Dianthus 'Sunburst'
Dianthus 'Sunflor'
'Linear Leaf' Thyme
Comfrey Attracting Bees!
Favorite Ladybug on Joe Pye Weed!
May Means Chives Are Blooming!
And A New Addition to the Garden!
I can't believe May will be over soon!  I have been busy on everything except blogging!  Not sure how to get this blogging motor started!  Maybe I will try once a week?  I think I tried that once before without success!

This has been an outstanding spring here in the 'Burgh!  The Rhododendrons have been spectacular and everything else has as well and as always the weeds are surpassing size and tonnage.  Of course, I was behind last year and it just keeps adding up!  We are moving towards a wild forest like garden in the back.  So the weeds will fit in?

All of the spring herbs are up and turning black from the four-lined plant bug! Ugh!  Our abnormally warm winter hasn't deterred them.  Some of my favorite spring herbs are pictured above.  I also try to use my lovage plant before it flowers in our favorite chicken stew recipe.   I love angelica because it is big and takes up space!  I love dianthus because they are an edible flower and a lot of them smell of cloves.  All of the thymes in flower attract bees.  Comfrey is such a pretty plant in flower.  And of course, chives and the herb omelets begin!  Oh and I almost forgot to share my new favorite foxglove!  Isn't it beautiful?
This Apricot-Pink Digitalis Is My Favorite!
 It is also a good time to get started trimming some herbs to dry them before they flower.  As I was walking around the front garden last week, I noticed that the spearmint is up and looking good.  I will try to get out on Tuesday when it is dry to cut some for drying.

As you can see by the last photo, we have a new addition to the garden, a new arbor for the grapes!  It is long overdue.  It is much shorter than the previous version, but maybe it will be more manageable.  We are also planning to recycle some of the old arbor into features and entrances into the gardens.  So stay tuned!

Tomorrow my herbal companion, Bonnie and I are taking a road trip to Ohio to buy some herbs!  Always an exciting day.  We have a rainy day here at the moment!  I hope you are having a fabulous spring day wherever you may be.  Have finished several cross-stitch projects and that has taken a lot of my time up.  I also have been doing reading about herb garden design and the 2017 Herb of the Year, Cilantro/Coriander.  Hopefully I will get my blogging hat on and will be blogging about those subjects and other topics that have been crying out for attention.  Will talk to you sooner than later!    

Monday, May 1, 2017

All Mixed Up, Herbally Speaking!

The Angelica Is Taking Over!
Not Quite Lemon Verbena! :(
May already here in the 'Burgh!  Just can't seem to find the extra time to blog at the moment.  Everything has just exploded here.  Blooming bushes are REALLY blooming!  Weeds are REALLY big!  And herbs I thought would survive, didn't; and herbs I thought would not live, survived.  The angelica is just big and bigger!  I said to The Herbal Husband at the end of last season that we were losing the angelica!  Not so fast.  It has come back with great gusto, herbally speaking!  It is going to start blooming shortly.

My great experiment with the cover on the lemon verbena outside did not work.  A field mouse or rodent of some kind made a nice little house under the cover and dug up the lemon verbena.  What is coming up in that space is the Greek oregano which is already being attacked by the four lined plant bug.  It has the most damage at the moment.  I have the wild oregano along the driveway and it hasn't been attacked yet.  I give up trying to figure this out!

So I was looking up on the hillside and herbs I thought would come back haven't and I think the chocolate flower that isn't particularly hardy here, did!  Who knew I would be excited about a chocolate flower coming back to life.  We decided not to have much of a vegetable garden and so what is coming up in those beds, wild garlic and onions!  Grass abounds where it shouldn't be.  Deer are making beds (no pun intended) where some of the only perennials are planted!  It figures!  So we have a lot of work to do and if it would stop raining maybe I could get started.

Got caught up with some of my book reading, Laura Childs tea series and Susan Wittig Albert and the China Bayles novels.  Of course the stitching is progressing.  The coverlet is on course to be done in late June/early July.  We are waiting for a big rainstorm to hit later today.  Still have chances for frost!  So if you are in the Pittsburgh area, watch the forecast before planting some of those tenders outside.  Hope you are having a fabulous day.  I will try to blog a bit more!  Talk to you later.