My in-laws, Vladimir and Marta, were both incredible gardeners and who worked in this yard for more than 30 years. I inherited the garden from them. Only now – with me in charge and everything totally out of control – do I appreciate how much talent they had and how much time and effort they spent here.
Vladimir was a chemist and made his own fertilizers from a supply of laboratory-grade chemicals he kept in the basement. He had refined fertilizers to a fine art and was able to customize them to meet the needs of his plants. One year, when the raspberries were too sour, he made up some custom fertilizer containing the missing elements and by the following year the raspberries were sweet again.
The first few raspberries of 2012 have started to turn red. I have been visiting the bushes every day, to test them as they ripen. Because of the new raspberry posts, I can easily reach all the plants and I am able to do so without trampling or breaking any branches. Unfortunately, the first few have been very sour, perhaps because of a lack of a vital nutrient or the lack of sun this year so far. Last year, our raspberries ended up rotting before they would ripen, and I hope that won’t happen again this year!
Today is overcast and cool. I am planning to pull some of the weeds and grasses from the rock garden, as it is looking overgrown. The surprise flower of the week is a group of yellow alliums, about three inches in diameter on short, slender stalks on the ground.