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CAROL'S CORNER - Current Observations for the month......June

    At last some warm weather.  What a wet spring we have had.  But the iris seem to have enjoyed the moisture.  Mine all seem to be blooming much earlier than I remember.  There's something else my iris seem to like...less competition from weeds.

    Last summer and again this year, I have taken on the challenge of completely redoing my ten year old garden beds, at the same time as our club took on the challenge of completely redoing the Fort Missoula Public Garden beds.  Our club members can now take pride in the great look of our public gardens, just as I take pride in the remake of my gardens at home.  The finished beds are weeded, with new edging, gravel for mulch, and re-planted.  In my case at home, I installed commercial grade landscape cloth before I put the gravel down, so I'm hoping maintenance will be at an all time low at home.

    And all my iris are either in bud or blooming, and I mean all.  Much to my surprise, even the ones I transplanted this spring to their permanent bed are blooming. I thought I would have a void year when I moved numerous rhizomes last year; some went to permanent beds, some went to temporary beds as I redid several beds.  The only thing I can attribute the massive bloom to is the fact that they were not left out of the ground for more than a few hours, the clumps were divided and are smaller now,  and that they now happily have very few weeds to compete with.  Maybe the moist spring weather was a plus, too.

    But there are two unexplained phenomenons in my gardens.  The name tags, all redone as well when I moved them, seemed to have jumped in front of the wrong iris.  How to explain the name "After Dark" in front of a snowy white iris with an orange beard.  Or to my total consternation, no matter how careful I thought I was in moving them, how did three different iris get together in one clump?  Makes for some interesting blooms in the garden but a lot of frustration when it comes to digging for our annual sale in July and having to throw beautiful blooms into the grab bag because I can't identify them.

    The one nice thing, though, as I grow more mature is even though my back will not hold up as long as it used to, my grandchildren are now reaching the age where they can help.  The down side is I have to pay them to help.  Oh well, five beds finished; only seven to go.

Do you know the difference between a normal gardener and an obsessed gardener?

A normal gardener won't leave town when the tulips are in bloom.

An obsessed gardener won't leave town when the tulips, daffodils, lilacs, roses, clematis, iris, lilies, rhododendrons, asters, peonies or day lilies are in bloom.