It’s unexpected, I know. There is a lot of red in the raised garden this year. I wanted it to be very colorful so that as my baby starts looking around and playing in the garden it is delightful and bright and full of birds. The only thing it’s missing is black hollyhocks and they can be added. My seeds didn’t come up, I guess they are too old. If anyone has ‘The Watchman’ or similar I’d love to trade you for some.

I planted ‘Moulin Rouge’ sunflowers, ‘Porcupine’ calendula and cardinal flowers. The ‘Maroon’ sweet peas are blooming and will soon be joined by royal purple ‘Grandpa Ott’ morning glories. I wish I could use the sweet peas for my sister’s wedding later this summer. I’m going to arrange the flowers but it’s far away from here. They are a luscious, dark purple and just slightly fragrant.

The ‘Empress of India’ nasturtiums are back again. They are reseeding themselves nicely and draping over the garden wall and they will be welcome as there as many years as they like.

The yard came with a rag-tag assortment of opium poppies that we’ve allow to reseed and selected for the dark red with black centers. This year they are all red and I’ve been a little more generous about letting them fill in gaps – there are more gaps this year. I’ve gone from gardening 10 to 20 hours a week to about 20 minutes a day, if I’m lucky!

The red raspberries are producing wildly this year. Like my baby’s cheeks, they are attracting a lot of attention and I’m trying not to be nervous that passersby will pick too many. Tasting is fine. I taste when I’m out and about. We’ve been harvesting a bowlful every day but I discovered picking raspberries with baby on my back isn’t safe as he reaches for everything now, including the prickly canes.

I’ve been so excited about my ice cream maker. When the strawberries ripened on Sauvie’s Island we picked a few boxes and make a yogurt-based sherbet that was super easy and turned out well. Next project is red raspberry sorbet. It has a few more steps such as making simple syrup, but is also pretty easy. I’ll let you know how it goes.

The ‘Montmorency’ cherry, my baby’s tree, is doing very well too. Last year it grew two little tart cherries, this year there were about 50. Not enough for a pie, but so pretty. Maybe I’ll combine them with some other red fruits for a jelly.



About Mulysa

I love my work as a landscape designer and artist. When I'm not planning homesteads or working in the studio, you'll find me hiking, photographing, gardening, baking, cooking vegetarian meals with friends, reading and working on sustainability issues...with my baby on my hip in Portland, Oregon.
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