But the people's (okay, so one person's) will must be obeyed so here I go. From the right angle and with the right amount of cropping, my garden looks good. I've fallen in love with the horsemint/bee balm pictured at the top of the post. It showed up uninvited but has managed to make itself a star due to its pretty bloom and its lack of needed maintenance.
I grew this snail-topped mullein from seed Link Davidson gave me after I told him how much I liked the patch of them he had.This nearby lambs-ear is trying to bloom. I don't really care if it blooms. I just like to rub its leaves. I find it soothing.
Elsewhere in the garden the squash are blooming.
And I guess this as good an opportunity to segue into the less pretty part of the garden right now. Yes, the squash is blooming, and I think I at least temporarily thwarted the squash vine borer, and yet I have no squash growing. None. Well, there was that one that stopped growing once it was the size and shape of my pinky toe, but I'm not counting that one.
And then there are the tomatoes.It's too early for me to assess whether the fish heads et al have helped with my yield, but I do know that I had a lot of sizable green tomatoes that I watched over daily. Until the squirrels and birds stole them all. Fortunately, Renee of Renee's Roots had just written about her struggles with the squirrels and her solution: bird netting.
I love to have a solution but setting up bird netting sucks. It catches on everything. Installing netting is definitely an Advanced Relationship Activity. I would not try this if you are newly coupled or married. You need at least one or two failed home improvement projects under your belt before you tackle this one, unless you want one of you to end up wrapped in netting and tossed in the alleyway.At the very least, ensure that both you and your spouse did not miss lunch and weren't an hour late for dinner. Unfortunately, the way we installed the netting is making it difficult for me to harvest tomatoes and to squish leaf-footed bugs.
So I am thinking of redraping the netting today. If you hear
And now I move to the saddest area of my garden: my newest garden bed. I had the highest of hopes for this bed. It's the only one where I actually bought soil.
A few weeks ago my black-and-blue salvia looked this:Now it looks like this:I have no idea what's wrong with it, but seeing how unhappy so many plants in that bed are, I'm blaming the soil.
My beautyberry emerged from dormancy only to die in the last few days.
And now my back-up beautyberry, which I got just in case I killed the first one (did I force the issue?), looks to be on its last legs. The chile pequin is really not thriving either. Just this morning I noticed that the pineapple sage has bit the dust.
I am beginning to wonder if growing perennials is worth the emotional toll. Maybe I should have just stuck with vegetables. If you manage to keep a vegetable plant alive for three or four months, you're a genius! (or at the very least, a master gardener).
With perennials, the expectations are just so much higher. You're supposed to keep the plants alive, like perennially. And that just seems a wee bit unreasonable to me.
Vegetables and bugs seem like a better fit for me.