Garden Firsts: Columbine, Iris, Sea Kale, Rhododendron, Roses, and the Portable 2017 Garden

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Stunning columbines this year! It is crazy windy today, so some of these photos aren’t as clear as I’d like. Too pretty to keep to myself, though. 🙂

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Flowering sea kale, is an edible perennial that looks good all season. Even better, you can eat every single part from roots to shoots to leaves to buds to flowers:

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The first of many varieties of irises bloomed today:

This scabrosa rose makes huge hips, but the bees and I love the flowers, too:

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Ever since I was a child, rhododendrons have bloomed on my birthday. This one came a few days early, right behind a pink geranium I’ve overwintered since our time in Madison:

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I’m loving this rag tag, makeshift backdoor planter. I just stuck these pots outside to get them out of the way while moving plants as I made way for those from the blue house. This pineapple sage, red geranium, mystery plant, and ivy seem so happy and spontaneously coordinated, though, that I left them on concrete blocks I needed to move out of the garage anyway:

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Speaking of rag tag, this year’s annuals are very portable. Here’s my non-perennial and perennial cuttings garden, potted up and ready for a late June transplant to our new location:

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So far so good. I needed to empty our Garden Tower for easier moving, and I didn’t want to waste the soil. Ideally, containers begin with fresh soil, but I mixed in Epsom salts and worm castings to add nutrients. Once we arrive at the new spot, I’ll transplant these into 20 gallon fabric bags I bought for tender fruit and berry bushes. It will be a gradual shift to the permanent raised beds, but I got these huge, handled garden bags on a super discount. They and a strawberry filled Garden Tower will allow me to have a productive garden even as I observe the yard for more permanent hardscaping and planting.

At first, I thought I might skip gardening altogether this year, but I just can’t bring myself to do that! I’ve got big plans for edible perennials in our new front yard, and the backyard will have raised beds and container fruit trees and berry bushes. Rather than rush something permanent, I decided to compromise — give myself a fully productive garden in a very small space while I allow the land, shadows and microclimates to inform what happens longer term.

Updates to come …

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