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Inside the Deer Fence - June 7, 2010
By Jane Gilbertsen 

Dear Fellow Gardener

Esther Mae, on day 2, walking the tall grass with Momma Donkey. They are both Mammoth donkeys least it be confusing. The Mammoth is an American breed, a combination of the finest breeds of Spain and France. Esther Mae kept me waiting. She was a month overdue following the normal 12 month gestation. This was one of the reasons my vegetable garden is a disorganized mess. The other is, of course, the weather, cold snap and rain. We all have enjoyed the erratic spring. Lest we forget, we are to be grateful that we do not actually have to live out of our garden. We can always go the grocery store when our local crops fail. We are so spoiled but we are growing beautiful grass and wonderful fire fuel.

 Saturday, June 5, was wonderful, glorious warmth and sun. I got a late start on a number of the cool season vegetables. Planted more lettuce, chard and beets. Sprinkled cosmos and bubblegum pink opium poppy seeds inbetween the different vege seed plots, just to make it more fun and beautiful.

I was thrilled to see that the frozen top tomatoes were coming back from below the soil line. I always plant them deep, especially when the stems are elongated due to too much time before planting, not enough light, maybe too much nitrogen. The first and second leaf unions must have been under the soil line thereby giving that area more insulation and a place to resprout. I had already purchased some replacements for the ones the "protection" failed to protect. (The Twisp farmers market vendors were chuckling at all of us rebuying our tomato starts.) It should be a big tomato year between the regrowers and the replacements and the few survivors of the first round. The replacements were already growing out of the fertilizer and nutrients in the seed starting or potting mix. They needed to go in and just before this rain was perfect (I hope).

It is sure hard to be bored when you are a gardener and paying attention. It is the paying attention part that makes the gardening so rewarding and interesting over and above the food. Gardening can and at its best provides an opportunity for "engagement" and "flow" - the keys to true happiness. Anyway, back to just info and news....

The sun made me rush around and snap some shots of what's happening in my garden. Here is the hemerocallis flava (yellow species daylily or lemon lily). I love this one. She has a tall scape and fragrance. Daylilies don't get better than this!

 This is the time of year I have a lot of blue. My favorite, but a color that needs a complementary color to set it off to its best advantage.
The red-orange of the oriental poppy and the true blue of the wild wetland lupine of the Pasayden (seeds taken with Federal seed permit!) are a good example. Both collapse after a major spring showing but they are worth it. Another fun combination is my blue free seeding columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) and golden marjoram. This is a shot of the herb spot inside the deer fence. Although the deer don't eat most of the herbs this mixed spot of perennial flowers and herbs makes me smile each time I come up to weed the veges. The snappy sorrel and rhubarb are going to seed. The rhubarb stalk should be cut down soon to keep the rhubard producing a bit longer. I want to keep the sorrel seeds ripening and seed a bigger patch. Maybe if it stops raining........

Until next time, happy gardening. At least you are not moving sprinklers.
Jun 7, 2010.