Garden Daybook 4/30/12

We have passing dark skies and thunder this morning. A soft rain is falling and helping the newly planted onion seedlings gain a foothold in the soil. I hoed the onions yesterday evening and this morning you can see the plants stand up in the rain wet soil. I love to see the seedlings push out new growth. I have high hopes for a good sized onion harvest this July.

This year I am growing Borettana, Red Wing, and Copra onions for storage and Candy onions for summer use. I started the seeds on January 21 and transplanted them into deep flats on February 29. I kept the seedlings safely in the hoophouse until they were planted into the garden about a week ago. This mornings rain, now followed by sunshine, cannot be more perfect.

AND . . .

Finally, a happy Tree peony. We lost one to a rambunctious yellow Lab named Eli, and a second to hungry bunnies late one winter. Warning! Tree peonies need winter protection from the bunnies! I use a ring of chicken wire to keep the bunnies from munching on the stems.

This beauty has taken hold and is thriving. She is gorgeous!! We have counted 36 buds this spring. Tree peonies bloom before herbaceous peonies and I personally think the blooms are bigger. And – – they smell like roses!

Isn't she beautifulA tree peony in bloom is a show stopper. I’ve had someone driving by put on their brakes to stop and ask “what is that plant?” Tree peonies eventually grow five feet tall. I walked in awe between a double row of blooming, mature tree peonies at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania and have coveted them ever since. Tree peonies are not inexpensive, probably $35 – $50 each. But, they are long lived and spectacular in the garden. They are rather slow to establish but once they develop a good root system they cannot be stopped. They like a little shade on hot afternoons but otherwise are very hardy.

End of the day – Clouds, soft rain and 70 degrees. New baby kitties in the second hoop house. The first hoop house over heated today and it looks like I lost about 6 celery plants Darn!!

Hey from the farm, Fran, The Country Cousin

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