Saturday, April 20, 2019

Showing the Crazy

 ProfessorRoush has missed posting a couple times this week.  I have not been entirely idle in the garden but there didn't seem like there was much to tell.  Some early henbit needed mowing, so the lawn mower was fired up and the mulching plug put in.  I loaded up the trailer and brought home 16 bales of straw to use as garden mulch.  That seems like a lot, but there will be a lot more this year since I'm mulching everything with straw and putting the lawn clippings on the dusty lawn.  And I noticed my Paeonia tenuifolia is blooming and snagged the bumble picture at the upper right.  Notice how full his pollen basket is and yet, he continues to harvest the bountiful yellow pollen in a bee-frenzied fit of gluttony.

Yesterday, I also did the craziest thing I've done in the garden in ages.  While purchasing the straw at a local garden center, I couldn't resist the swan call of these two plants, a Crimson Sweet Watermelon, photo at left, and the Ball 2076 muskmelon pictured below.

 Normally, I plant these from seed sometime in June, but they begged me incessantly to take them home.  I checked the 10 day forecast, saw no nighttime temperatures below 42ºF, and so decided that this year, if by some miracle they survived, I might be able to beat the local markets for homegrown melons and thus not be too late to gain Mrs. ProfessorRoush's admiration and gratitude.  Previously, by the time my seed grown melons are ripe, she has already bought several at the local markets and is sick of them, leaving me dejected and without praise.

Some of the straw went to mulch the garden all around the melons; at least the ground around them will stay nice and moist and cool all summer and I'll be able to avoid weeding among the vines.  If I'm lucky, the straw will also make it harder for the rabbits to find these melons.

Early bloomers continue to pop up everywhere in the garden since the frost has stayed away for a week or more.  My Red Peach is a bright beacon in the back of the garden, a standout in the evening sun.  Alas, last year in a storm, I lost the red peach tree in front of the house, pictured in the link, but this one is doing just fine.

And, to my surprise, I noticed this iris blooming (here, right and below, left) yesterday.  I have it planted in a corner of the vegetable garden, an experiment from when we just moved to the prairie which I never got around to  transplanting into a perennial bed.  I don't know it's name, but here it is, in a hurry to be the first, several weeks ahead of my other iris.

Viburnums are blooming too; at least some of them, but that's another story for a later time.  Check back here soon and I'll tell you that tale just as soon as I solve the mystery of why some are MIA.

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