I took these pictures about a week or so ago. In gardening time, a week is equivalent to a year. Flowers come and go with such speed that it makes this gardener wonder if maybe those small purple irises were, in fact, a figment of her imagination. But no, here’s the photo to prove that they did have their time of glory.

Those Irises!

Now I am waiting for the tall irises to bloom. These lovelies must be supported. They are fine until the inevitable June thunderstorm comes and knocks them this way and that. So support them I did, with help from my husband, Clif.

At our little house in the big woods, it is not easy to grow vegetables. (Thus our decision to join Farmer Kev’s CSA program.) Simply put, we have too much shade and not enough sun. Our backyard gets the most, but even then only about six hours a day. I have found a tomato—Juliet—that does well with my part sun/part shade backyard.

The fair Juliet

Also, for some reason, cucumbers really thrive. I have one little raised bed, where I have planted cucumbers and Juliet tomatoes.

The little raised bed
The little raised bed with tomatoes and cucumbers

Herbs also do quite well, and soon I will be planting, in pots, parsley, basil, rosemary, and sage. I have a thyme oregano that wintered over as well as a mint.

This is as good a time as any to make a confession. Notice that I started this post with flowers rather than with vegetables. This is because somewhat ironically—even though I am certainly a good eater, one might even say an obsessed eater—I am also obsessed with flowers. While I am normally a quite frugal person, my willpower is practically nonexistent when I go to our local nurseries, where I pile annuals and perennials in my cart in a way I would never, say, pile clothes or shoes or pocketbooks. I gulp, a little, when the nice man or woman at the cash register announces the total, but I justify the expense by reflecting on how lovely our yard is and how much we enjoy the flowers. Then, if the bill is really high, I remind myself that the flowers are not just for Clif and me. No, indeed. They are also for passersby, who can take in the beauty. Therefore, I am providing a public service, of sorts, by supplying beauty in a world that is often unbeautiful. (Oh, how we justify!)

So in my backyard, in the long, rectangular bed that could conceivably grow vegetables, I have planted flowers. Once in a while, the thought flickers through my mind that I could replace the flowers with vegetables, but then I recoil in horror from the idea. No small purple irises to begin the gardening season? No tall ones, with their sweet but not cloying sent, to soon follow? No red lilies? No sweet William? No humming birds whirring in and out of the flowers? And what about the phlox?

Clearly, the flowers must stay. I have Farmer Kev and the many other farmers who sell their vegetables at the Farmers’ Market in town.



4 thoughts on “MY MAY GARDEN”

  1. It brings me immense pleasure so consider yourself justified!! And I love reading about your garden. Please keep posting about techniques and suggestions!!

    1. Will do! However, sometimes I feel as though I have the worst yard in Winthrop in which to garden, and this brings me many frustrating moments. I have an abundance of dry shade, and hostas seem to be mainly what will grow. I like hostas as much as the next person, but give me flowers!

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