Kitchen Garden Notes: May 18, 2010

another pink moss 2.jpgThe moss rose Gloire de Mousseux is in full bloom.  I didn’t prune any of the roses this winter so they’re a riot of tangles.  This one gets very tall.  I’m pleased it didn’t ball up in the spring rain.

arnica macro 2.jpgThe arnica has just started blooming and I have promised myself not to miss out on harvesting it this year.  I got lots of blooms last year and never managed to get them.  They trickle in for a while then bust out in full flower mode and then are suddenly done.  I’m determined to make an arnica salve from my own plants this year.

favas 2.jpgThe favas are beginning to set flowers.  I wish they’d had a chance to get taller first but I planted them late in the season.  Still, I can’t complain about getting such a great germination rate for this bed I planted.  Almost all of the seeds came up.

pea tangle 2.jpgThe peas are very busy vining up.  I have a perennial problem of not providing support before it’s too late.  This variety is semi-self supporting.  We’ll see what happens.  No blossoms yet.

comfrey 2.jpgThe comfrey plants my friends John and Jin brought me from their own garden were looking dreary for a while but they are definitely digging in and I have a feeling they’ll fill out their raised bed well given the chance.  I’ve been wanting to establish a comfrey bed for ages.  Comfrey is brilliant in a healing salve, chickens love to eat it, and it’s also a great additive to the compost bin. 

*Note: as someone has pointed out, this is NOT comfrey.  Comfrey has bell shaped flowers.  I had not yet bothered to verify it’s identity and simply took it for what my friends believed it to be.  If anyone can tell me what it is, I would love some help identifying it.  It isn’t borage but may very well be in the Boraginaceae family- those flowers look a lot like forget-me-nots  but the foliage on the plant is a lot more like borage or comfrey.  At the base the leaves are quite large and form a big clump.  Anyone know? 

Frost peach 2.jpgOf the three peach trees this is by far the healthiest.  It’s “Frost” and seems to be much less inclined to succumb to peach leaf curl.  It has a few peaches that might not drop.  Fingers crossed!

shallot 2.jpgI took the picture before I weeded.  I let this bed go nuts with weeds but when I was out there yesterday I started pulling them out and saw that most of my shallots had successfully come up.  Only a couple of rotters.  Now that I’ve cleared the weeds they should do even better.  They’re planted in a bed with strawberries.

quincelet 2.jpgThe quince tree has really taken off this year and there are quite a few fruits swelling on it.  I’ll have to keep an eye out because the branches are still thin and might not support too much fruit.  Often a young tree will drop most of its fruit so I’ll just have to keep my eye on it.

Apothecary Rose 2.jpgThis is my Apothecary’s Rose that my good friend Nicole gave me from her own garden.  She gave me several own root pots of them and most of them have survived.  This is one of the earliest cultivated roses and was used (as the name suggests) for medicinal purposes.  It’s a once bloomer that is supposed to set hips really well.  I’m pleased to see so many blossoms in this first year in the ground of my garden.

potatoes and thyme 2.jpg

This is my potato bed with most of my thyme plants.  I missed the opportunity to get an early crop of thyme for drying.  I don’t personally like drying and using stems that have flowered.  However, if your thyme is like mine and you’d like to get a good harvest in a month or so, I suggested giving them a trim now.  I plan to do that for mine in the next couple of days.  I used thyme more than any other garden herb.

The potatoes need mulching but I haven’t got a way to get a big bale of hay to our house right now.  So they’ll just have to wait.

I also managed to get planted seven artichoke plants: 5 Violetta and 2 Green Globe.  I put them in a raised bed that’s 8′ x 4′ which if the artichokes grow well will barely be able to contain them.  I didn’t have another spot prepared for them and needed to get them dug in so it’ll have to do.  I can always transplant them later if need be.

I bought, but haven’t planted, 6 tomatoes: Caspian Pink, Green Zebra, Black From Tula, Pruden’s Purple, Sun Gold, and Striped German. 

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5 thoughts on “Kitchen Garden Notes: May 18, 2010

  1. Angelina

    You’re right. It’s not comfrey. I have spent no time examining it or thinking about it. I wanted comfrey, a friend brought this to me. I planted it. I have no idea what it is.
    Since you apparently know your plants, why don’t you tell me what this is instead of simply what it isn’t?
    That would be helpful.

  2. riana

    hey— i think it’s Hound’s tongue
    Cynoglossum officinale
    Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)
    or one of the varieties of that, very similar to comfrey and call’s chinese forget me nots.
    you can post it on “ID please” on flicrk and all the plant geeks will tell you exactly which one it is. they are really good at it!
    happy mulching!!

  3. Angelina

    Thank you Riana, I’ll try to get that loaded up on the “ID Please” group. I knew there was a group that did plant identification but I hadn’t looked for it yet. I’ll bet you’re right though in your ID.

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