Spring is slowly giving way to summer here, though our temps have been moderate for May. I’m happy to bypass the heat waves, but it is strange.
We spent the three-day weekend working in the garden, with breaks for meals and a night out. It remained overcast most of the time, so the work was comfortable.
I’ve been cutting the California poppies back to the ground and collecting and drying a few seeds for next season. For the most part, the poppies self-seed, but it’s nice to have backups just in case. The same applies to our sweet peas and the nigella, or love-in-a-mist.
Now that I have room in the curb garden, I planted Mammoth sunflower seeds. I found these clever domes online to keep the seeds underground until they germinate. Otherwise, the squirrels eat them as fast as I plant them.
Sunflower seeds don’t do well when started indoors, so covering them is the best solution. Ironically, I noticed what looked like sunflowers already growing in the box. They seemingly popped up out of nowhere, but given our rain, they may have been lying dormant for some time. Of course, that doesn’t explain how they survived foraging squirrels, but I’ll take it.
I planted a packet of forgotten cosmos from my seed collection. Some seeds do well even when past the use or sell-by date, so I hope that’s the case. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Most of my gardening time in recent weeks has been spent digging out once-charming now-invasive violets. When they initially appeared in the garden, I thought they were derivative of annual pansies. We don’t generally see wild violets here in San Jose.
It was, however, a surprise to read on a couple of blogs that wild violets are considered weeds. Now I know why. They’ve spread all over the back garden, growing in clumps under other plants. Like a lot of weeds, they propagate in a variety of ways, and they protest removal from the ground. I have a system: pull out fistfuls of large clumps, then go after the remaining roots. I dig out the small seedlings using my garden fork since the seedlings have shallow roots. I’ve been clocking the time spent removing these invasive plants, and as of this writing, I’ve spent eight hours digging them out. Can you imagine?
As Mike is fond of saying: “Job security!” As if anyone could fire me from this passion. Another day, another weed equals more time in the garden.