Wednesday, June 06, 2007
My Heart Belongs to Summer
The bearded Iris...A close view proves quite furry indeed!
The Wildflowers.....They are still in great abundance, to the delight of myself, and the many pollinators.
Self Seeded Ruby Gems...These wildflowers were planted in a rather exposed position many years ago. They bloomed reluctantly there for the first year and have now, so many years later, moved themselves profusely to the shade beneath a giant oak much further up the slope!
Baby Persimmon Fruit/Blossoms....I love the brilliant green of the persimmon tree. The blossoms are understated cream colored stars at the base of the fruit. This tree is growing rapidly again this season. I will be pruning it back at the path level as it has encroached into our access. There is plenty of growth up high and ideally, one should prune for a comfortable walk (first branch shoulder or head high) within the orchard.
The Greengage Plum...All the plum trees must be staked, and thinned again very soon for they are all very heavy with fruit, notice the way the branches are drooping down. Plum trees can tolerate and will benefit from removal of up to 70% of the fruit, especially in an abundant year like this. For truly prize-sized fruit, the ratio is one fruit every 2"-4". Ruthless. I give each branch a good shake between now and July sometime, and will manually remove the thickest of the fruit set. Some orchardists use a pole to knock the excess fruit off. Apples as well, benefit quite a bit from the removal of excess fruit. This is the Stanley Prune Plum....After a good shake and a bit of manually thinning.... The prune plums generally, can be left a bit thicker. A few plums may still drop on their own and I will do a final once over in July.
The BlackCap Raspberry...We have an abundant stand of them in the yard and several other wayward clumps here and there. They have bloomed and set fruit in an instant it seems! By the time I trained my lens on them, it seems their bloom was long gone. On to the eating! These are a wild variety of raspberry that normally ripens mid/late June. Very good eating!!
Mulberry...This is the Illinois Mulberry. I highly recommend it. This fruit tree is care free, early to set fruit, needs nothing more than minimal (broken/crossing & for shape) pruning, and has delicious fruit nearly all summer!! This tree must be protected with bird netting or reemay, to discourage the blue jays.
Loving Those Chive Blooms...
Rose. June's flower is the rose, so true, so true. Below, New Moon Rose...
Bearded Iris...In close view: Purple...Below: Random Varieties...Some shots taken at dusk w/flash - weird.
Japanese Iris...These are so sweet and easy to grow! They can be planted out here and there, for a naturalized effect as well. In our area they will bloom without additional irrigation. They are daintier, and more simple than the bearded iris, but they make great cut flowers with their tall stems and multiple blooms.
Columbine and Daisy..No homestead is complete without these two carefree beauties!
Summer Days are here, or so it seemed over the weekend. Last week up until Saturday it was very hot. Sunday started out warm as well, but by afternoon we had a sweet cloud cover and some light breezes. The rain started Monday morning and it has showered on and off until this morning. Even today was blissfully cool, but thankfully, not too windy, my favorite working weather. It has been a blessed relief to have some break from irrigating. The showers will keep the hills 'greenish' for a bit longer, as well. Already, the 'gold' on those hills here in California, is starting to show itself. Long dry summer a-coming. i am grateful for the rain, a great summerartsfair, my family and my pets. (BTW: Snoopy is doing OK. At his "training camp" he has shown his true naughtiness, so at least the trainer knows what she is up against!. They are making some small progress with him. We are so looking forward to his rambunctious return, although Tigger and Buster have really enjoyed the reprieve, showing a much more relaxed mood, and willingness to mingle in the main room. Buster has even gone as far as sleeping in Snoopy's bed!!) xxooJj