Parker Memo

Farm Update:

Even though we are closed, our work continues. Next years daylily tubers arrived last week and are already in their pots for next year. The boys will divide my Omomuki soon and we will be selling them next season. I have given many away to friends and it is my favorite yellow daylily. All of the daylily for next year are wintered over in cold frames and are big enough to sell and blooming by June.

Left over perennials that did not sell are being taken care of, and will be put in cold frames and covered with foil bubble foil until March when they will be repotted if needed. The big greenhouse and the quonsets have been empty since June and are being solarized, then they are exposed to freezing temperatures throughout the winter. This kills the majority of insects and we start every new year clean.

All of this wonderful, fantastic rain has brought up the weeds and we hoe and mow, another way to keep the insect population in check. It’s so pretty when it’s done. Always keep your eye on that prize.

My newly planted espalier apple trees have caught hold and I will be summer pruning the tall sprouts soon. For those who bought one, count up three spaces between leaf clusters on the stems and cut. This sends a hormonal message to the tree to make fruiting spurs. Please write me with any questions or concerns you have. This is my first espalier experience. It might be good if you used other sources of information as well.

Our container vegetable garden is producing nicely. We have Zucchini, Juliet grape tomatoes, lettuce, and basil. Next year, I want a container cucumber. We just don’t have time to put a veg garden in and containers are working for us.

My garden is an emerald jewel. It is a spring, early summer garden and my blooms will soon be over. The Sophora japonica tree is almost finished and the Caryopteris clandonensis along the walk is in its glory. The garden will then be shades of green and then fall color. I did go visit a garden last week that had orange butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberose, and I was so impressed by its intense orange color I bought three from Osuna for containers. I want them to follow the Omomuki containers.

My frustrations this year have been minor. Floppy rain soaked hydrangea heads, mosquitos in the early morning, and botrytis on my beloved Itoh Peony. Not all of them are affected but I cut the one peony back to give it more airflow. Fortunately, this works and the plant comes roaring back in spring and blooms beautifully.

We hope all is well in your garden and that it makes you happy every day.

Best,

Monika and the Boys

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