Seven Quick Takes: May 23, Garden Edition

1. Now at the end of May, gardening can really begin. I have spent months planning in my head, several mornings at a plant nursery, attempted to grow things inside from seed, and successfully grew things outside from seed. And since the garden is a big part of my summer experience, you, my friends who read my blog, get to see and hear all about it.
2. This week M planted my annuals for me. I have never attempted flowers beyond bulb perennials, but this year I am giving it a go. We are at that awkward tulip stage where the flowers are gone, the stems look headless and silly, and the garden is just waiting for some annuals to flower all summer. 
My neighbor, who has been flower gardening for years and years, told me that I can tie up the tulips with twine or daffodil leaves until they are brown. This way our other flowers can start to grow and get some sun. I did that today while tailor sitting and leaning over my massive pregnant belly (Dr. Bradley of Husband Coached Childbirth insists on tailor sitting). The flowers we planted along the house are: marigolds, lobelia, alyssum, and browalia. My mom used to plant alyssum, and the smell of them reminds me of being a little girl at the local produce stand picking out flowers. 
3. Along the shady side of our driveway, we put in some hostas (which are perennials) and impatiens in from of my daffodils that are refusing to bloom. My neighbor promises me that they take a couple of years to establish themselves, and they do look heartier than last year, so hopefully we will get some flowers eventually. We also have a nice variety of green weeds and helicopter seeds from the maples next door.
4. The seeds I directly sowed back in early-April have really taken off. We had about four nights in April that we covered the seedlings to protect them from frost, but otherwise the weather has been warm enough for them to flourish.
The peas are much bigger than last year, with big leaves, and are shooting up like crazy. No flowers yet. The lettuce looks close to being ready for us to harvest some exterior leaves. The carrots came up. The cabbage and the chard are doing well. And we stuck a cucumber plant in the back corner of the garden that I got from the nursery. Again there are a lot of small weeds that I am too pregnant to bend over and pull up.

5. I had one vegetable impulse buy last week, and that was leeks.

The leeks look like grass. The plant in front is green cabbage.

They will go really well with the potatoes a friend gave us to plant.

I love leek and potato soup, especially in the Fall.

6. I purchased ten tomato plants this year and basil. They are a little small, so hard to see. We still plan to transfer the only from seed plants that have survived inside this Spring, our peppers, when they are a little bit bigger to the front row of this garden box.

Notice the massive oregano plant from last year. What can I make with lots of oregano?

I am excited for pesto and pasta salad this summer. Yum!

7. M aggressively trimmed back the lilac bush bordering our yard this morning, to ensure that our tomatoes get sun. But in the process he uncovered a nest of baby robins.

We are glad that Mama Robin has not given up on her babies even though the nest is a bit more exposed.

And finally, I am linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum!