I had an interesting study in contrasts recently. Two customers came to the farm the same day. The first was a woman from Masonic Village. We get quite a few customers from Masonic. We chatted and I was shocked to learn she was 90 years old. Believe me, she looked at least a decade younger.
She talked about taking an art class at the Village. I asked if it was something she had done previously, and she said no, it was something new she decided to try. She was very enthusiastic about her new endeavor and I commented that you're never to old to learn.
Later that day, a nice young couple stopped by. They bought a few plants to make tea. She was very enthusiastic about making her own herbal tea, so I gave her a handout and we discussed the basics of making tea from herbs. I found it so interesting and really inspiring that no matter what your age, you can always learn something new if you have curiosity and the desire to learn. It encourages me to keep studying herbs and plants. I like the late Bertha Reppert's quote when someone asked her if she was an herbalist. She replied, "I am a student of herbs."
The other day, I was again asked why an annual vine wasn't growing. It was described as just "sitting there". Annual vines like hyacinth bean and moonflower are very slow starters. It takes them awhile to get established. They like a lot of water in the beginning - I water mine daily early on. Once the hot summer temperatures arrive, they take off. You can see the growth from one day to the next. So just patient. They are worth the wait.
Annual herbs should be established and you can begin harvesting them. Only remove about one third early on. When they have sized up, you can remove up to one half.
Our plant sale is ongoing. Annuals are half off and perennials are buy three, get one free - mix and match. We still have a good selection so think about filling in a spot in your garden or trying a new variety.
Plants I like:
Reblooming perennials like Jupiter's beard or salvia "Blue Cloud". After blooming early in the season, cut them back hard and they will reward you with a second bloom later in the season.
Late season bloomers like pineapple or Mexican bush sage. They flower late summer up till frost when not a lot is going on in the garden. Anemone is a late season bloomer for shade. It adds color in summer and fall, unlike most shade plants which flower in the spring.
Basil- it's what summer smells like!