Saturday, June 7, 2014


Beautiful June day today, sunny and in the low 80s.

A perfect day for a tour of 5 wonderful Collinsville, CT gardens with some good gardening friends. A little antiques shopping and a great deli lunch too!
The upper white garden at Riverbend - photo by Judy Butler

My beautiful strawberries, which are coming in bounteously every day now, have no taste. Last year they were intensely sweet with a little tang.

This year they are just as pretty, firm, and juicy, but the taste is watery and bland. Consensus of the gardening group today is that they need more warmth than this cold spring has provided.

Nights have been consistently chilly, and there have only been a few really warm days. Do strawberries need some hot weather or warmer nights to sweeten up?

Here's something good in my garden: for the first time in years the Aruncus dioicus (goatsbeard) looks great. It's at the back of the Birch Garden, under the Orange Dream Japanese maple, and it is big and leafy and sporting big white plumes.

This goatsbeard (great name) was moved multiple times, looking for a spot that it could tolerate without throwing a hissy fit. Every year it shriveled, refused to grow and looked awful. A year ago I moved it here and finally it is happy.

We saw several nice Aruncus plants today on the garden tours, but mine is just as nice now. That's sweet.

On the garden tour we saw places with way too much grass and places that had absolutely no lawn, only sitting areas surrounded by plants and stonework. My garden has both grass and garden, but it's a fine balance between having too much lawn and none.

But in certain lights early in the day or late in the afternoon, the interplay between flat open lawn and garden is absolutely right, completely in balance.

In fact, it's the light at either end of a June day that has all the intensity and sweetness my strawberries lack this year. I can almost taste the light.

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