The days have already warmed up and my gardening is mainly done before 10am! Summer has arrived early by most people’s estimate but we are getting early summer storms to keep the lawn and perennials healthy for now. The new garden has lots of interesting plants and one that I have waited to bloom is a hedge of abelia. This is a summer flowering shrub that really does not make a great hedge because all the flowers are put out on new stems that make the whole thing a little untidy. The flowers though are pretty and attract bees so I am trying to keep the hedge clippers away for another few weeks!

Abelia hedge

Abelia flower

Most of my gardening this year has been in containers and I decided to most flowers and vegetables from seed. I am trying some of the new Burpee 2017 seeds like the Strawberry Blonde Marigold and Orange Troika nasturtium. I was a little worried about growing the nasturtium in full sun as the leaves are variegated but they seem to be holding up well so far.

Strawberry Blonde Marigold

Orange Troika Nasturtium

The veggie garden is also in containers this year as I had problem finding a source for lumber and bulk compost for some raised beds. The simple cloth bags come in a variety of sizes to fit a lot of veggies in a small space. There are two larger beds which are about the size of a child’s paddling pool and several smaller ones. In one of these large beds I am growing onions and potatoes, and the other has beans and sweet corn. The smaller ones have tomatoes, watermelon and summer squash. I am also using a vertical system which has containers arranged up a pole. Each of these containers are detachable so I planted tomatoes early and keep them close to the house when cold nights were forecast. They are all now poolside and getting full sun and I noticed this morning that the first tomato flower is just forming!

Soft containers with melon

First tomato flower