Cottage Garden Update May 2020

We've been chugging along with our little cottage garden, and I thought I'd share with you a little update on what we've done (and what I've killed) so far.

First off, many of the flower seedlings died or didn't take. They were leggy, and I didn't realize that you couldn't just put them by a window... they needed more light from above them. Next year, better set up or perhaps seedlings instead. The ones that did survive have been planted out, some in a spot where my husband should be able to see from his office window, some in a front garden bed, and some along the driveway.

Next, we have lovely things growing on the patio. Kale, radishes, peas, and sweet peas in pots. A few herbs and a pepper and tomato. I'm keeping those here in case the deer eat the rest of it. The moonflowers got blasted with a frost, as did a few other things, but more is growing here and it's becoming a lovely place to sit. I also put some calibrachoa (from Shoprite!) in a couple of patio pots hanging over the edge.

The side garden: here I've planted a row of strawberry roots which are growing beautifully and will need to be covered with netting when they get larger. They are supposed to be a twice annual fruiting variety, so there is a chance we'll get our first crop in August, otherwise, next year. Behind the strawberries I put lettuce and broccoli early on, so they are coming up now and hopefully we'll be able to harvest some in early summer.

The big garden: This was quite a large project, and one that I sort of dove headfirst in without really knowing what I was getting into. I'm not sorry I did it though, and we have a deer fenced spot that has been mulched, topsoiled, and will need some compost and more mulch in about a week. We've planted cucumbers, celery, eggplant, peppers, cabbage, collard greens, tons of tomatoes, and zucchini there.

We'll see what comes up, and perhaps I'll fill it in with a few seedlings if needed, or I can use the holes as spots to continue our succession planting with lettuce and leafy greens so we have plenty all summer and maybe even some to put away for winter.

The herb garden: the plan is to put some local lavendar in the center, and around the edges I've put basil, oregano, chives, dill, thyme, and parsley. I am somewhat skeptical that some of these will take, so I may replant more later or scrap this plan til next year and do herb pots on the porch.

We also have several plants that were here when we moved in that we are slowly discovering as they come up and getting to enjoy their beauty. The azaleas put on a terrific show, and I have several baby bushes to move to new spots for next year. The peonies are coming up, and I cannot wait to see what color they are when they bloom. We have several dogwood trees and a gorgeous virburnum which I love to stare out at in the mornings.

On things already planted: the pear trees are thriving and doing beautifully. They put out new leaves on their little stems, and trimming them seems to have been the right idea.

Still to plant: more flowers, all the squashes, watermelon, and pumpkins. I chose a few varieties of strawflower to make dried bouquets for winter, and I want to do another round of seeds for the front garden bed.

Will keep you posted! What are you growing that is new to you this year?

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