Here are three more garden pictures. The first shows how I am protecting the cabbage plants from insect damage. The plants are looking beautiful, so to keep them that way I cut a piece of lightweight floating row cover to the size of the box plus and extra 10" all around. I tucked the cover under the rim of the box and secured it with clothespins. My original plan was to secure the cover with bungee cords, but I couldn't come up with the right combination of sizes. Fortunately, the clothes pins work just fine.
Next is a picture of my sole peony plant, 'Top Brass.' I love how the middle part of the flower is ruffled up like a little top knot. I purchased this plant at a small independent nursery in Galena, Illinois. Have you noticed how few independent nursery/greenhouses there are these days? It seems we lose one or more every year. What a shame.
The final photo is of the flower bed at the garage end of the house. This end of the bed features Dutch iris, Oriental poppies, and perennial geranium. It is such a cheerful little garden and nearly carefree. Last year, before the perennials had grown so large, I filled in the spaces with Sweet Alyssum. I learned the secret to successfully growing Alyssum from seed is to plant them early, and only barely cover the seeds. I believe I planted the seeds in mid-April. The display was just as nice as when I started with bedding plants, but of course much less expensive. I love direct seeding whenever possible -- it just doesn't get much easier than that.