Friday, May 27, 2016

Posing poppies and waiting on whirligigs

Well I didn't plan on more flowers after getting the dahlias last month, but there is something so charming about poppies that I find hard to resist. A couple of Iceland poppies from last year did really well with zero bug and slug problem, so I scooped up another Iceland and also several Oriental poppies for variety. They are a pain to photograph in the slightest breeze!

Iceland poppies

Pink and salmon Oriental poppies

As I was saying, I didn't plan on more flowers....and then my osteospermum Whirligig order (from April 9th on Amazon), arrived yesterday in the mail. Hallelujah! It must've literally sailed in on the slow boat from China. I hope these seeds...

...will turn out like these flowers.

That is, if they even germinate in 2-3 weeks.

Today's high: 24°C / 75°F

Friday, May 13, 2016

All we need is warmth and a little more sun

I had high hopes that May's weather would match that of last year with an average 25°C and back-to-back sunny days, but it's not happening this time around. While we did get to finish a lot of little jobs in the garden and the front yard, I have yet to transplant all of the seedlings that are crowded into the greenhouse and getting taller/bigger by the day. We still have to put up hail netting and set up the drip irrigation system, but until that's out of the way there's nothing to do but wait for warmer days.

I'm trying hard to imagine how this part of the terrace will look like in a year (okay maybe 2 years), when it's shaded with grape vines. We potted a white and purple variety at the right corners in order for them to take over the top of the pergola and create a cooler space during the summer months. My father-in-law wasn't too keen on the idea of growing grapes in a pot (they are roughly 80 liters/20 gallon capacity) but that was our only option.

There's so much sitting in the greenhouse that even the herbs need to go elsewhere. We picked these up from a garden fair in Milan: french tarragon, purple basil, thai basil, and lime basil. The guy that sold these said that the lime basil makes a good pesto.

Last but not least, nurseries are offering newer strawberry varieties along with the usual ones and I am all for trying out whatever I can get my hands on. Have you ever heard of a framberry? It's a strawberry that tastes like a raspberry. We shall see...

Today's high: 15°C / 59°F