|Foxglove blooming last night|
South central Virginia's temperatures in May are usually a sweet, temperate 70, followed by soaring 80s. This season we had cooler temperatures, a few hot days, and one frost that managed to kill some of my plants. I think I lost most of the sweet potatoes and some of the tomatoes. It's funny, but the cover over the sweet potato bed didn't protect them, but the Yukon gold potatoes growing right next to them are fine. I know that potato plants can tolerate some cold while sweet potatoes can't, but nothing illustrated this for me quite as dramatically as the state of my potato bed in the vegetable garden this week.
This week was the perfect time to host a gathering, and last night I had the honor of hosting the Heart of Virginia Master Gardeners meeting at our home. I'm very tired from the prep work, to be honest; getting both the gardens and the house spic and span took a lot more elbow grease than I anticipated. But as I said to my husband last night, as we tumbled into our recliners, heavy-lidded to relax and watch the evening news, "Look on the bright side; at least we won't have any chores this weekend, and we can relax!"
|The garden last night|
As luck would have it, the downstairs toilet decided to break hours before the group was expected to arrive - nothing like jerry rigging the flapper valve with some twine and a prayer - and the cats were up to their usual antics. We sat on the porch while the group of 25 sat on folding chairs on the lawn. Various members were giving their reports, and Whitey, Shy Boy and Groucho decided to prance up and down the porch. We wanted to scoop them up and get them inside the house so that when our guests left, we wouldn't have to worry about them amidst dozens of cars exiting the driveway. So our guests were entertained by a few minutes of us chasing cats like greased pigs around on our front porch while the poor committee chair tried to report on her group's progress.
The garden is probably at its loveliest now through the end of June. It always seems to be the time when I take the most pictures. The roses are blooming before the Japanese beetles devour them; early spring dianthus and pansies mingle with lavender, evening primrose, Dutch and German iris, verbena, salvia, nepeta and sage blooming throughout the garden. The only lovelier time to me is late summer, when the garden is lush and ripe, and the butterfly bushes and zinnia are blooming. Then the garden is dotted with hovering, fluttering colors as butterflies swoop to feed on the various shrubs.
|Look at the roses now, before the Japanese beetles devour them! Blaze, above.|
Today I am going to spend a few minutes sitting on my new garden bench before the thunderstorms roll in this afternoon. It's time to enjoy the results of our springtime labors before summer's heat drives us back indoors to the air conditioning.