Last Saturday, Janna and I drove the 30 minutes from our house near downtown Columbus to Baker’s Acres, a nursery northeast of the city in Licking County. I went to find some tomato, eggplant and pepper seedlings that I might not have found at the closer-in garden centers. I was a little disappointed because they didn’t have any of those out yet (too early, they said.) But I think this year is exceptional so far – no hard freezes since March 22.

Anyhow, we’ll definitely be back in a couple of weeks – but this was still a successful trip. We ended up getting mostly non-edible plants, but we did get some more additions for the food garden. Most grand among the purchases was a beautiful lilac bush – it’s about three feet tall, and cost only $35! I love lilacs for their scent and their lush, leathery leaves, and my aunt had a huge hedge of lilacs against the side of her house. Smelling that scent takes me right back.

Lucy and the New Lilac Bush

We also picked up two pots of Grosso lavender for in front of the potato box, a dozen sprouted strawberry crowns to replace the duds among those we already planted, another rosemary plant and three cucumber plants. I was lucky, because they were just setting out the cucumber, squash and zucchini seedlings as we were about to leave. The cucumbers are a pickling bush type, lemon (a yellow, round type,) and a standard burpless variety. I’ll plant these and the three I grew from seed in the next week or so –  maybe on a trellis. Last year, we planted out cucumbers in a Topsy Turvy, and they did really poorly – tiny bitter fruits. Hopefully, the richness of the soil in the raised beds will keep us rolling in cukes through September.

After Baker’s Acres, we stopped at Lowe’s, and bought a few more plants – a couple new rosemary seedlings, two eggplant, four assorted peppers, and two pink peonies in addition to two anemones on remainder.  The eggplant seedlings are quite a bit more robust that my pathetic seedlings, so they should be good to plant out soon, even though we’re not techincally past the final frost date.

Sunday, Janna and I dodged rainshowers to get out plants in the ground – we potted up one of the rosemary plants, and put the other two in the herb bed. We planted the lilac in the back corner of the yard to mirror the other lilac in the other corner. We planted the peonies in the back bed, flanking the hydrangeas that are coming back really well. While I weeded, Janna mixed up some annual and perennial seeds and sprinkled them near the cherry tree to make a cutting garden this summer. All in all, a very productive garden weekend!

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