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Well, we’re well into summer and it’s still a very busy year. In most years, summer comes as a slight lull in gardening activity, but I’m afraid this summer is as busy as spring was. We had an unusually long, chilly, and wet spring and that held everything back by at least two weeks. As soon as the weather warmed up to something like normal, everything took off…including the weeds. I’m only now catching up with the weeding, the deadheading, and the pruning. The compost heap and bins have never been so full. Annual sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus) and couch grass (Elymus repens) are especially bad this year.

Of course, all this is on top of the usual gardening tasks and life in general.

To make matters even more hectic, the back walkout needs repairs. The guy I contacted to do it got held back by the weather (as we all were), so what was supposed to be finished by the end of June, won’t be started until mid-next week (hopefully). Therefore, for over two weeks now, all the furniture (and more importantly, the potted plants) that normally live on that porch have been scattered around the place. In other words, getting in the way.

Anyway, it’s not all doom and gloom. Now that I’ve cleared out a major area at the front (of crappy landscaper foundation planting and this year’s thistle crop), I can finally look forward to planting that space up. I think planting up a new flowerbed is exciting for any gardener, especially those of us who use mostly perennials and don’t often have the opportunity to start from scratch. It’s a hot, sunny, rather dry area (the house faces southwest), and I’ve already got a couple roses and some irises for that spot (roses and irises already in that area love it). I’ll underplant the roses with some native wildflowers: long-leaved bluets (Houstonia longifolia) and wild lupins (Lupinus perennis). I’ve had all those for several weeks now, and they’re probably a little fed up of being in their pots. I haven’t had huge success with lupins in the past, but maybe third time lucky.

I need to clone myself.

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