LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 29

Something is puzzling me this year in the garden. In the front yard, the impatiens are insipid, but in the backyard perennial beds, these bright shade annuals are robust.

What could possibly be the explanation? My first instinct was the hot, dry weather and the lack of rain water, but this would be true both in front and back.  Naturally, I cannot remember if I bought these from two different suppliers, but that is possible. I know this because I’ve compared photographs from last year to this year.

We finished a project we’d been talking about for a while, the letters I purchased and stained, declaring to the world that this is Red Oak House, and I think we are both pleased with the result. Now, we can only hope that our Red Oak, the oldest mature Red Oak in Bismarck, continues to thrive. Soon enough its leaves will turn brown. Yup, brown, not red. I’m not really certain why it gets the name “red oak.” I guess I can research that on a slow day. We know this factoid about our tree because the city forester told us.

The monarch butterflies and other pollinators are busily visiting our plants, and the hummingbirds seem to have moved on.

For his birthday, Jim received the gift of a handmade gazing ball. No doubt, we’ll move it around in the perennial bed as it suits our fancy.

Reporting on my experiment with harvesting and planting seeds from my hosta: So far, a failure, but I’ve not given up hope. Perhaps these will emerge in the spring? Just in case, I’ve mapped the area of the garden, knowing that snowbanks will crush the flimsy plastic markers I’ve used.

The crabapple trees are full of fruit, and my husband has a big smile on his face every day, coming in with armloads of tomatoes. That and he is back in the boat catching walleyes on the Missouri River. His tomato count Saturday morning was 1,062 and he made six more jars of tomato juice, bringing his total count for the year to 65 quarts. Can you say licopene?

As if this wasn’t enough, his raspberry patch is producing fruit. He says “if there could only be one fruit, raspberries it would be.

Friday night was what we call “Nothing From the Store” supper. Walleye, beans, baked potatoes, and fresh tomatoes.

Leave a Reply