Guess what? It's raining. In fact, it's raining for the 18th straight day here in Tulsa (or am I in Seattle?), which shatters the previous record of 13 consecutive days of rain in May. That's definitely put a damper on gardening. After all, working the soil when it's wet is one of the worst things you can do. It destroys the soil's structure and creates serious compaction problems. But at least I haven't had to water.
I'm back from my crazy media tour in support of National Public Gardens Day. I spent a day in St. Louis at the Missouri Botanical Garden and another day at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The events went well, and I met some great people. The highlight was a behind the scenes tour of the bonsai production facilities at the CBG. Many thanks to the CBG's PR Director Gloria Ciaccio for making that happen. Gloria's my kind of gal -- smart and sassy.
I was so inspired by the bonsai exhibit that I came home and created a new bonsai of my own -- a Cedrus libani called 'Home Park.' Pretty nice, don't you think.
The veggie garden is growing like crazy, and we've been eating lots of salads lately. The cool-season crops are beginning to fade (and bolt), but the warm-season stuff is doing great despite the water-logged soil. Bush beans are nearly a foot tall and just beginning to flower. Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant are doing great. And my cantalope seeds germinated over the weekend.
One plant that loves the wet soil is Iris sibirica 'Caesar's Brother.' I've never been a big fan of Dutch irises, but I do enjoy the Siberian forms. The foliage is thinner and more grasslike, and the flowers are smaller. If you're looking for something to try in a wet spot, Siberian irises may be the ticket. They're hardy to Zone 3, and are also available in white and yellow.
And by the way, they do fine in soils that aren't wet so long as they don't dry out too much. And in my experience, they flower well with only a few hours of morning sun.
Well that's it for now. My next post will be a thrill to all you animal lovers out there. Stay tuned.