Twenty plus years ago my friend Debra gave me a pair of garden clogs.
They have red soles.
Not the red soles that a certain designer now temps us with.
No these were red plastic from their turned up toes to their elevated heels.
Not very stylish.
But oh so practical.
They were platforms before we knew platforms.
Keeping my feet high and dry.
Transporting me through the wet grass on my early morning walks to see what’s new in the garden.
They are among the first “garden tools” I owned and have graced the back door at both homes where I have gardened.
Various dogs have chewed on them along the way.
Their cork and burlap insoles were molded to fit the shoe.
Over time they have simply disintegrated.
I’ve looked for replacement soles to no avail.
So now it is time for them to retire.
They have been replaced with a sunny pair of lime green clogs.
Not as tall
On to the next quarter century!
This week has been hot.
Unusually so for the first week of June.
This is when a healthy perennial garden really shines.
First of all it’s June.
And like the old song says “June is bustin out all over”.
The larkspur is the color backdrop in my garden these days.
With its self-seeding nature it lays curtains for small vignettes of color play.
My before mentioned friend Debra visited this week and brought along her trusty camera.
You’ll notice an improved quality to many of the pictures this week.
They are hers.
The truth is my garden is a little out of control.
For some reason I’m behind where I usually am.
No real reason.
My normal ritual once all the planting is complete is to begin at one end of the garden and weed and thin my way to the other.
Not this year.
I go into the garden and just flit about.
A little staking here
A little pruning there.
Then there were all those evening spent picking strawberries and snap peas.
So…I must get back to my routine.
To begin this sweep of the garden I usually take along my wheelbarrow, pruners, wicked EZ digger, and a bucket of some sort for weeds.
Then I start at the west end and
Thin volunteer plants
Clean out around the rose bushes
And generally whack away at anything that is too big or having problems.
This week it was two Aloha rose bushes.
They have had some bug on them every year for the past several years.
This nasty little guy eats the center of each and every bud.
From my reading I think it’s thrip.
I’ve tried organic control.
And I must confess some not so organic controls
Nothing works for very long.
So I just decided I’d cut it back to a foot or two from the ground and see what happens.
I’m not getting any roses from it now so how can it hurt.
I did this earlier in the spring with the rose on the arbor to the garden house.
It’s coming back nicely.
So far disease free.
As long as I’m confessing to using a few chemicals I might as well come completely clean.
There are two problems that I have read simply cannot be fixed organically.
Bind weed grows roots so deep that it cannot be dug out.
It comes back from the center of the earth every time.
I’ve tried spraying it with vinegar .
Nut grass is the other.
If you pull it out – even in very loose soil – there is a little bulb underground that explodes with the force of being pulled up.
When it explodes it makes babies.
More nut grass appears within what seems like seconds.
Sometimes nature really tries my patience.
So in these two instances I am now confessing to using Round Up.
I’m not proud of it.
It’s the only control I’ve found.
Even then it can take more than one round to kill it out.
And…chances are both of these little demons will appear again.
Let’s end on a positive note.
Three years ago I planted Bressingham Blue hosta in my front bed.
They have loved it there.
This year they have gotten so big that they are shading out the Impatiens planted along the edge of the bed.
So…a little pruning was required.
I cut off the front leaves to let in a little sunlight.
They were simply too gorgeous to compost.
So I brought them inside and put them in a vase that had belonged to my mother in law.
We’ve been enjoying this unusual and breathtaking arrangement all week.
It will likely last another.
Remember to drop by your local farmers market this weekend.
Enjoy the week in your garden.