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Good morning, and things are really cooking now!  Welcome to Saturday Morning Garden Blogging.

Exciting weather events here on the Colorado Front Range.  Early in the week we were unseasonably, and unreasonably, warm.  On Wednesday, although our official high (taken at DIA) was 89°, in Denver proper we topped 90°.

A sudden change came with a cold front — which brought hail, thunderstorms and tornados north of Denver.

As the air temperatures even out, the threat of extreme weather is lifting.  The weekend calls for temperatures in the 70s, with possible thundershowers in the afternoon.  But, I think, no more tornado watches.

The heat early on in the week really got my compost bin cooking, though.  On Monday it registered 165°, the hottest I've ever gotten a compost pile to cook.

And the tree peony bloomed.  I've been afraid we'd get hit with hail before the bud opened, but I lucked out.  Gawd, it's such a fantastic flower!

Cross-posted at Square State

With the passage of the last average frost date, I'm starting to wind down the extremely busy time in the garden.  Over the week, I planted out the eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchetta.  I also planted a new type of summer squash, Lebanese Clarinette — we'll see if we like it.  From what I've found online, it's a very highly-regarded variety.  Besides, who can resists adding "clarinets" to the "little trombones" in the garden symphony?

A few of the winter squash — delicta and sweet dumpling — finally sprouted, but aren't planted out, as they've yet to grow their first true leaves.  The corn is laid out on damp paper towels, waiting for me to do the final prep of the corn patch.  The corn seed hasn't sprouted yet, so I've a couple of days to get that done; perhaps I'll have it planted by Monday, which will end the active planting phase of the veggie patch.

The snap peas have just started to blossom, meaning that I'll likely be able to serve some at the next
Garden Blogging Garden Party and Meeting of the Colorado Chocolate Fountain Caucus.

And yet another new iris has bloomed, along with the deep purple ones we've had for many years (pictured further down).

Wednesday morning was quite cloudy, perfect for putting the begonias in the hayrack planters in my shady corner garden.  I'm very pleased with that area of the garden: the violets are filling in beautifully between the redrock pavers, soon to choke out all the weeds that also try and sprout there; both astilbes managed to make it through the winter, as did both ferns; I caught the autumn clematis in time to direct it's growth towards the rose arch, rather than clambering over, and hiding, the hayrack planters.

On Sunday I put together a living wreath of lobelia and impatiens.  It's quite heavy — surprisingly heavy — so today or tomorrow I'll have the Mister figure out what kind of stout brackets will work to hang it on the blank spread of fence which faces the stairs going down from the back deck.  I have to do something there — I can't plant, as there's a paved area there (necessary for drainage).  I could do potted vines, I suppose, but I really like the idea of a living wreath.  The plants have had a week now to settle their roots and are starting to put out new blossoms (yes, I was a good girl and removed all the blooms so the babies could concentrate on growing roots).

I've a few more annuals to get potted up, and I'm going to put the leftover lobelia in the dahlia pots, filling in and providing color until the dahlias bloom in couple of months.  Hell, it's such a great idea that I'm thinking of getting some more wave petunias, or perhaps some verbena, to mix in, too; they'll look great trailing over the edges even after the dahlias flower.

I'll also get the Mister's advice and assistance on putting some sort of hook system on the outside edge of the rose arbor.  Another one of those cases of face-palm genius: using Velcro garden tape to lash rose canes one at a time to the arbor is a painful and time-consuming process; I saw a bungee cord lying about and was inspired.  Why not use thin bungee cords to hug the canes close to the arbor?  But, I need something to hook the bungees to — cup hooks?  Giant pound-in staples?  I dunno.  The Mister's memorized the contents of the hardware store (indeed, he's moved large portions of the hardware store into our basement!), so will likely know just what I need.

There are just a few plants left to get into the ground: a handful of gladiolus bulbs, two dianthus that arrived yesterday from Logees, and one last penstemon.  After that I can concentrate on clearing off the front porch and putting away the early-season gardening detritus.

That's what's happening here.  What's going on in your gardens?

Originally posted to Franklin's Tower on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:59 AM PDT.

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