Rain Delay

By Roger Erpelding
Contributing Writer

From Sunday, April 27 through Thursday, May 1, we have had a cold and rainy spell. However, gardening season is in full swing, and activities continue.

In between the showers last Sunday morning, we moved seven citrus trees from the sun room to the gardening areas. All of the rain will help wash the winter dust and insects off. We also placed two oleanders on the rocks just behind Beth’s bench, and in front of the south portion of the garden. Before they begin to sprout new summer growth, they will all need a trim job.

When our Bluestone perennials arrived on the 25th, we noticed an additional order form, which involved fall bulbs. I have never ordered from them in the fall, but an initial glance at this flyer indicated that they would have items of interest for me. So, when Hawkeye Bob arrived on Monday night to read to me, I placed this flyer in the stack to be read. Sure enough, they had some of my favorites—yellow Oxford tulips, Delft Blue hyacinths, and Dutch Master daffodils. I Brailled my order list, first writing the catalog number, then the name of the item, and on the right hand side, the price. Beth also wanted some Anchusa Dropmore, which had been in one of her front flower beds but did not survive the winter. I do not know the common name of this flower, but it has blue flowers in a spike form.

Tuesday I called to order. I ordered 3 Anchusa for Beth—a Mother’s Day gift she will enjoy. They will be shipped immediately, and I expect their arrival around May 2. That night while sitting at the kitchen table, I made Dymo tape labels for the fall bulbs, and placed them on the marking sticks.

May Day saw the arrival of two boxes of spring plants. Dutch Gardens sent along some calla lilies, hardy gloxinias, and a sack of double mixed oriental lilies. I will not mark these, as I don’t care what color they are. The callas will be placed in gallon pots, and lined up around the edges of the garden. I have yet to look in the shipping box, as I am hoping for some instructions on how to plant and grow the gloxinias. Mom grew them on the farm in pots, and they never went outdoors. Of course, the lilies will need to be placed in the garden.

Also arriving on May 1 were 12 peppers from Gurney. Three of them are for Beth. I will put the others in individual large pots. I will not label them, as I will know what they are when they begin to fruit. The three varieties are sweet banana, habanero, and big chili. Their fruits will be distinct enough that I won’t worry about it until harvest.

And a week cannot go by without a visit to the local Earl May store. I plan to plant in my large new raised bed this weekend, and I will place lettuce, spinach and radishes in it. They will be replaced with a hot weather crop later on. The radishes are Early Scarlet, the spinach is Olympia, and the lettuce is a mix. These will all be new to me, so I can’t wait to see how they do. I also purchased four Brussels sprouts plants that will be in the garden soon.

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