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  • Pegi

Joyful Chaos

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

There is just a lot of happenings that happen at this time of year. The list of things to do is endless. The garden looks different every day. As we tackle one project three more pop up that need attention. It is like a kaleidoscope of changing colors and designs. The peas are up about 8 inches in the veggie garden. It is a really nice stand and with last night's rain and the lovely spring weather I expect them to take off. The spinach did not come up well but there is some. The lettuce we replanted, and that is promising. But the arugula came up with gusto. We have been harvesting asparagus every day for the last several days. Four or five spears a day is enough for our family but local farms are selling Jersey Fresh asparagus in abundance. Teejay sent me this picture of how he is displaying it at Katona farms in Chesterfield and I must say it looks like a work of art. My favorite way to serve it is steamed with melted brie cheese poured over the top, but almost any way is a treat. I had it at a restaurant breaded and deep fried til it was crispy and that went down very easily.

We have transplanted a lot of the seedlings into individual cups and moved them outside. With this warm weather they are doing well but we still have to watch out for cold nights. I didn't check one night and lost a few tomato plants. Luckily, there were more in the greenhouse's so it was an easy recovery but I won't do that again!!

Also doing well are the potatoes. They are all up and looking robust. The enormous extra effort we put into double digging that bed seems to be paying off.

The herb garden is doing well. But for the second year in a row the rosemary did not survive the winter. I have a well established plant in the greenhouse that is the main ingredient in a garlic, rosemary, salt rub. I use it when I want a really yummy loin of pork, which is an easy meal and a family favorite. Nevertheless, I planted another one along with parsley, in the same bed as we have mint, thyme, sage and chives. The chives are about to burst into bloom. I love the purpley pink sputnik flowers, but even better they are a gorgeous addition to a salad with mild chive flavor.

Blooms Bursting Out All Over

Flowers are out there yelling "Look at me! Look at me!!" There is so much to admire. Unfortunately, the daffodils really took a hit with that 90 degree couple of days. So most gave up but a few of the latest to bloom came into their glory. This is my favorite:

Something different is this Fritillaria persica. A little pricey for sure, but not a flower you are likely to see in the average garden. Tulips are a draw for deer and many gardeners have given up on them as a result. Deer tend to avoid the Fritillarias due to their weird smell. So they can be a great addition to your daffodil garden since deer leave them alone as well.

The flowering trees and shrubs are also vying for attention. The Redbuds are really spectacular this year. This one has been in front of the Ocean Grove house for a few years. The variety is Lavender Twist. Last spring we pruned out a lot of dead wood and reshaped it a bit. Back at Tiny Farm we have several seedlings of redbud planted

here and there since they are excellent understory trees. But at the end of the season last year one of the big box stores had quite a few of the Ruby Falls variety. This is a dwarf weeping small tree with burgundy purple foliage. Mature height is only 6-10 feet and 5-6 feet wide. That is a perfect size for Tiny Farm and at that time of year they were practically giving them away. It has not disappointed:

I think the branch structure on this beauty is particularly spectacular.

The magnolias are finishing up now. I think the hot weather and the surprise late frost didn't do them any favors. But after they seemed to be finished my yellow

magnolia decided to take center stage. This one is called Butterfly and is not as brilliant yellow as I would prefer, but it is still quite a splash of grace in its more quiet way. The yellow buds open to white centers.

Two other woody ornamentals are at their peak. The hawthorn really intrigues me since it is one of the plants that we salvaged in the back yard. It took me a while to identify it and when I did we decided to move it. I'm glad we did because it is rewarding us with the best display yet.

Also blooming now is this dwarf Fothergilla. It is one of the blue leaf varieties. There is just a hint of blue to the foliage. I do appreciate the smaller size but the larger varieties also have larger flowers. And while the flowers are lovely, a key attraction is the fall color which can be spectacular.

In the greenhouse things are showing off as well. Finally the Amaryllis have decided to wake up. This is much later than usual. I really do not have a good explanation for why they are so late but five or 6 have decided to bloom at the same time so I can only assume

it is something environmental. And the orchid cactus is blooming for the first time.

Finally, this little orchid blooms two or three times a year and the flowers last a long time, so it is almost, not quite, blooming continually. It makes me smile.

The Plant Exchange

The plant exchange is May 27. Same program as last year. Bring a food item to share. Finger food. Cheese cubes. Those little hotdog things wrapped in a tiny bun. Small bunches of grapes. Apple slices. Popcorn. Cookies. Cupcakes. Watermelon wedges. But I can say last year we had the most amazing selection of desserts. I think I might have been heading for a sugar coma. Those lemon bites that came in the round plastic tub were amazing. I couldn’t eat just one. Or two. A bit more of a balance though might be appreciated. Bringing plants to exchange is the fun part, but you can also bring tools, clay pots, seeds, vases, garden decor, or anything you think might be useful in the garden. We will have some drawings. Tommy will play some music. If you can come early to help let me know. Or the day before. Or the day after. The event will run from noon to four. If you have a lot of stuff to bring I suggest you bring a table. I will have a quite a few out but the plants tend to overflow onto the ground. I have been starting seeds and propagating plants in the greenhouse. Dug out a bunch of cannas. They will be out as well.

Just a reminder that if you missed any of The Garden Show broadcasts, but would like to hear them, they are now available on the website archives. The show can be heard on 95.1 FM every Sunday from 10 AM to Noon. You can also stream on But even more amazing is that you can tune in via your telephone. This connection is not internet streaming (of course you can do that) but just a phone call from any telephone, landline or mobile. Dial 518-737-0158 and join us.

If you have questions, you can send them here to the website or save them to call into the show. That number is 908-448-zero-95-1 (908-448-0951). It is a tricky way of getting the place on the dial imbedded into the phone number. Talk soon.

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