Here comes the sun

Sunday morning we awoke again to rain. A check of the rain gauge indicated we had received an additional inch of rain. Glumly Dan and I looked at one another, contemplating another June weekend in the house.

We puttered around a bit, and then I said, “let’s go to Longfellow’s.” Glum faces became cheery smiles at the thought of strolling through greenhouses full of blooms. I of course had an ulterior motive, Dan has a birthday looming, and I thought this might be a good opportunity to scope out some gift ideas. We were really just going to look — no new plants. Really.

We bought a Silver Speedwell (Veronica incana) for the silver garden, which still has some holes after we yanked out the too-floppy artemesia, and lost several Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantia). According to High Country Gardens Silver Speedwell has deep blue flowers held stiffly on 10” tall flower spikes and blooms in late spring, but with deadheading will keep blooming all summer. Sounds good.

I also added a Salvia verticillata Purple Rain to the cart. I love salvias in general, and this one I find especially appealing, — and I think it will look great against the back wall of our yellow house. There are several more salvias on my wish list, however, and I’m thinking I may need a bed of just salvias. One of my favorite plants of all time is salvia viridis (see it here at Johnny’s Selected Seeds), I just love the colors and it is one of the few plants the neighboring woodchucks did not dine on my first year in the house.

We were good, really, as the only other plant that came home with us were 2 Limelight Licorice (Helichrysum petiolare) plants for the big blue pot on the deck. I love this pot, so I thought we’d use it on the deck this summer before attempting another lemon tree this fall. The pot formerly held a Meyer lemon, which actually did well enough to produce lemons for three years, but succumbed to a combination of scale and spider mites this past winter.

Apparently the shopping was the key to happiness, becasue on the way home, the clouds thinned and the sun appeared. It was still to wet to mow or get into the vegetable swamp, so instead we planted the new purchases, and did some pruning in the front of the house, where the lilacs were too close to the roof and the spent flowers had clogged the gutter. We also pruned off all the dead branches off the bayberry bushes we planted last fall, and which we thought had not survived. Perhaps the abundant moisture of the past few weeks were what they needed, for tiny little leaves are sprouting near the base of each shrub.

The national weather service forecast this week is predicting overcast with a chance of showers every day this week. I hope we see a few more glimpses of sun, so the vegetable garden dries out a bit, and the temperatures warm enough for the pollinators to do their thing with the blackberries. It’s soon to be summer and I have a hankering for blackberry pie.

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