Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 4/20/15

It’s been a week since I finished the spring planting (well – other than what’s going to go into pots), and it has been cloudy and rainy since. Very dreary, yes, but excellent weather for new seedlings and newly planted seed. The milder temperatures (low to mid 70s) with no scorching sun, plus daily rain (even if a drizzle), have enabled my transplants to adjust perfectly. I haven’t lost a single one! And all of my seeds have germinated or are beginning to poke out of the ground. As Luke Bryan says in his song, “Where I come from, rain is a good thing!”

WHAT’S NEW:

I have lots of seedlings and new transplants, which I will show you in this week’s posts of How My Garden Grows in April. Today, I’ll focus on other things going on in my garden.

Last year, I won an ajuga plant, and I left it in the pot, waiting to transplant it this spring. However, the frost killed it….or so I thought. With the warmer weather, look what was resurrected.

Ajuga - come back to life

Ajuga – come back to life

One of my elderberries is already flowering.

Elderberry flowers

Elderberry flowers

My yard is full of mock strawberry plants. They grow like weeds here, but I don’t mind because the birds love them. They’re fruiting all over the yard now. (The fruit are about the size of your pinky fingernail.)

Mock strawberry fruit

Mock strawberry fruit

My hydrangea are starting to bud.

Hydrangea buds

Hydrangea buds

I planted white and pink astilbe a month ago. The white ones are supposed to grow six inches taller than the pink ones, so I planted them behind the pink ones. However, the pink ones are growing faster than the white ones, and they already have flower buds!

Pink astilbe buds

Pink astilbe buds

The other day, I noticed my raspberry canes are starting to get buds on them. C’mon, raspberries!

Raspberry buds

Raspberry buds

I noticed that my Red Creole onions, which I started from seed in the fall, is bulbing up. (Interspersed among them are Texas Granex white onions I planted from sets in February, so they’re not bulbing up yet.) Harvest will be sometime mid to end of May.

Red Creole onion bulbing

Red Creole onion bulbing

This is my first time growing okra, so I didn’t know what the seedling would look like. It’s a hairy-leafed thing.

Star of David okra seedling

Star of David okra seedling

IN THE GARDEN:

I didn’t realize how much elderberry trees/bushes spread. I have new canes coming up through the grass, four or five feet from the original canes!

Elderberry canes coming up through the grass

Elderberry canes coming up through the grass

While walking around the garden this week, I saw this funky asparagus growing. The spear literally curled and then grew upright. Wow.

Funky asparagus spear

Funky asparagus spear

Remember my Black Krim tomato cutting from last fall? A month or so ago, I had to cut it down into a second cutting. Well, both cuttings are doing well, transplanted into the tomato bed. The original cutting has flowers, so it must be happy. (Sorry for the less-than-crisp picture. It was starting to rain again, and I had to hurry back inside.)

Black Krim tomato cutting transplant with flowers

Black Krim tomato cutting transplant with flowers

The tiny onions I harvested last spring were replanted in the fall. Because this was their second winter, they bolted and now are opening into beautiful allium flowers.

Onion flowers

Onion flowers

My comfrey is now in full flower. I admit, I was a little disappointed because I expected bluish lavender flowers. These are lavender-tinted white. But, they’re still pretty.

Comfrey flowering

Comfrey flowering

Here are the flowers closeup.

Comfrey flowers

Comfrey flowers

Although both my key lime trees are growing back from the root, the younger of my two key lime trees has larger growth…for now.

Key lime tree - new growth

Key lime tree – new growth

For some reason, I missed sharing with you a couple of pictures of birds at my feeder last week. So I’m sharing them with you today.

House finch at my feeder

House finch at my feeder

Male cardinal at my feeder

Male cardinal at my feeder

IN THE KITCHEN:

I didn’t harvest anything this week, but I do have a lot of last year’s garlic left. With the new garlic harvest coming in June, I need to use the rest of this batch soon! So, I tried my hand at garlic soup last night. Let’s just say, it needs a little work. When I perfect it, I’ll share the recipe with you…in plenty of time for this year’s garlic harvest.

What’s going on in your garden this week?

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2 comments on “Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 4/20/15

  1. I removed the 3 citrus trees farthest from the house which had died back over the winter. They were coming back, but from below the graft. Not good. The 2 trees near the house faired better and have flowered. I am waiting to see if the fruit hangs on.
    Suggestion: ajuga likes moist shade. Do you need a ground cover in the front of your shade garden?

    • I didn’t think my key lime trees were grafted, but I’ll double-check that. I know the one tree’s growth is above the soil line. The other tree’s growth is AT the soil line, so I need to check that one, for sure. Thanks for the tip. I didn’t think about that.

      As for the ajuga, it will be going into my new shade garden…once I can plant it (when my nursery order FINALLY arrives).

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