Not Even Quite Summer ( Officially)

a delicious bouquet of lilacs from our friend George Holmes

a delicious bouquet of lilacs from our friend George Holmes

According to the calendar summer starts officially on June 21st. The kids at school are still waiting for that last bell to ring, for the doors to swing open, and to be let out for their long awaited summer vacation. Here at the nursery, we feel like we’re in the throes of summer. Even if the weather has been on the cool side. Even if it is still officially spring. Our season starts early ( well, not so early this year!), and by this time we have a substantial part of the growing season under our belt. Oh yes, lots more to come. The pace of summer will be with us for awhile. We love the activity, we love chatting with our customers who visit the nursery, we even love weeding! Here are a few photos from around the garden.
Hosta ' Aureomaginata'

Hosta ‘ Aureomaginata’

Peony ostii

Peony ostii

Primula japonica

Primula japonica

Tree Peony ( unnamed)

Tree Peony ( unnamed)

We are bustling along here. New varieties of hosta being potted up daily. The sales area stocked with great native and woodland plants. The vegetable gardens filling in. The studio building is coming along. Our friend Ron has begun building a small cabin on our property, we love having him as a neighbor. He has been excited with the concept of the “Tiny House” movement and is working on his own version. Always something new and happening here at Fernwood! Picture 1151

In The Gardens

Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin

Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin

Finally some rain today and this is a blessing. June has been lovely…warm and dry, with a bit of wind, which keeps the black flies and mosquitoes at bay. No complaints really, but it does mean that we spend a good part of our day watering pots in the nursery. Of course, we set up the sprinker system, but often need to shut it off when customers are here. During the heat of August, they may be asking us to keep it on. Please?! Try and imagine our grown up Fernwood customers abandoning their intent to find the perfect hosta and running through the sprinklers instead. It could happen, and if it does we’ll get photos and be sure to write a blog post about it! Though for today, we will be relieved of this one chore of watering, and the plants will get a good natural soaking.
The ladyslippers are either opening or opened. The yellow ladyslippers always catch people’s eye. They are certainly a favorite and the small ‘slippers’ are unique among flowers. We like them the best in the early morning when the dew is still on them. Sweet. What else is blooming?
Azealea

Azealea

Azalea

Azalea

azalea

azalea

The azaleas are also blooming and gorgeous . Also the thalictrum and a large patch of senecio.
Thalictrum

Thalictrum

Senecio

Senecio

In the vegetable garden, the very last of the carrots were sown…just before the rain. Some winter squash and another planting of greens. The first crop of spinach will be harvested and frozen. Often we make several spanakopitas ( greek spinach pie made with feta cheese and phyllo dough) with the fresh spinach, save one for dinner, and freeze the rest. In mid winter it’s nice to reach into the deep freeze and pull out a greek pie all ready to bake. Picture 935
The broccoli is beginning to form heads and the tatsoi and pak choi need picking before they bolt. In some ways it has been a late spring and the coolness has prolonged the growth of some things….tomatoes and peppers would appreciate a little more heat and a little more sun.Picture 931 In the meantime, we are happy for the things that enjoy the cooler temperatures and we will have to wait for the rest.
One last photo of those wonderful primula that continue to be a showstopper in the bed along the drive. This one taken looking directly down onto the flower……such great patterns in nature!Picture 902Picture 903

Here Comes June

Picture 762These Primula japonica keep company with an assortment of marsh marigold, here in a wet ditch that runs along the driveway. They are just beginning to open up and bring a wonderful splash of color to that area of our display beds. Many of our visitors who have wet areas ( often an unsightly ditch that is hard to plant), comment on how these primulas help naturalize those hard spots. If you visit the nursery, you’ll find some other examples for planting in moist to wet areas. As always, we thoroughly enjoy each new plant that comes into its own as the season progresses. Picture 763