June 25, 2019

A Cool Start to Summer

So, we've had some ups and downs this month, particularly in relation to the weather.
Join the club, right? 
While we certainly haven't had the severe weather that many in our country have experienced, we did get 2 nights of frost very late--June 8 and 9. 
I regret to say that I was not prepared.
All of my tomatoes and peppers died--the ones I had in the ground, the ones I had given my kids, and the ones still waiting to be sold. 
That was discouraging.
Going down to the nursery at the bottom of the canyon and spending money to buy more tomatoes and peppers was even more so.

These pansies are loving the cool weather!

Of course, my cool flowers aren't minding this weather--thankfully, that was most of what was really growing. However, the warm weather lovers that were up either died back or just gave up completely.
Cosmos and zinnias, especially.
The volunteer sunflowers that withstood April snowstorms were not ready for such a drastic change in temperature, I guess, because most of them died back as well. They have rallied somewhat now, but it was looking pretty sad come Sunday morning.
Sigh. No-one ever said farming was easy.

Last night, temperatures were supposed to go back down to 37 degrees. Again.
I didn't take any chances this time, and got all the tomatoes and peppers covered.
Just hoped for the best for the surviving warm-weather flowers.

It was about an hour before sundown when I realized how cold it was. I was working out in the greenhouse and my hands started to feel numb. Not a good sign in the middle of summer!
So I checked the weather and sure enough--temps in the 30's forecasted for overnight.
I knew I had to get tomatoes and peppers covered--my kids could not take the disappointment a 2nd time if they froze--and by the time I got them done it was past dark.
Thankfully, the flowers seem to have come through okay without covering.

All of this begs the question, though: when will it truly be summer?
It also reinforces to me that I need to put my time and money towards cool weather flowers, perennials, and shrubs. Basically, everything that won't mind an extended patch of cool weather. 

My cool flowers growing right now:
anemones, poppies, pansies, Bells of Ireland, bachelor's buttons, Queen Anne's lace (ammi majus), snapdragons, dill, feverfew

Peony 'Do Tell'
I've got one of these on each side of the front walkway. I left one bloom per plant to just see what I have in store, but starting next year, I'm going to let them all bloom and start to cut from them!

Perennials in bloom:
catmint, perennial bachelor's button, pincushion flower, peonies
+ yarrow, lilies (almost in bloom)

Shrubs in bloom:
roses, ninebark

I am also getting some perennial seeds started in the greenhouse, in hopes that they'll be ready to plant out this fall and overwinter for me.

In the meantime, the kiddos and I have been doing some work and playing too.
So that has been good.
So far I feel like I have kept a better balance between mothering and working this summer.

Here's to some actual WARM weather now! 
We're ready for it!

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