Sunday, May 29, 2011

may 21, 2011 - chamomile

As has been the case for almost every workday this year, the morning of May 21 was overcast and unseasonably cool. The seeds in our beds seemed to be germinating slowly. The one crop that was obviously thriving was our infestation of chamomile, which threatened to overrun the back of the garden.

We differed in how best to control the chamomile. Some wanted to dig up the plants; others preferred to hand-mow the patch to within a few inches of the ground. In the end, we did a little of both. We tossed the chamomile trimmings into the compost bin, only to find them growing lustily in the bins the following week.

Those who were not tangling with chamomile performed other work around the garden. John installed screen at the back of the shed in an attempt to prevent wasps from building nests inside. John also patched the shed’s roof.

Volunteers weeded beds of flowers and vegetables, including a patch of coriander that had self-seeded in a bed that we had intended for collards.

We decided to plant a bed of beets, turnips, and radishes. We gathered our seed packets and read the planting instructions. This is when I learned that beet seeds should be soaked in water for at least 24 hours before being planted. We had missed that instruction last year—which may explain why we had such poor results. In the end, we planted a few rows of turnips and radishes.

The front garden was in the midst of a palette shift. The garden's first blooms in March and April are Virginia Bluebells. In May, the alliums and chives bloom, turning the garden purple. This year, there seem to be more dark red leaves of the Smoke Bush to form a ground for the purple flowers.
All of the colors in the garden seemed saturated, enhanced by the filtered light from the overcast skies.