Showing posts from 2012

Gardening Trends 2013

Another year has come and gone, am currently teetering right on the edge between 2012 and 2013....

Reflecting on the gardens and making plans for the year ahead ...

Here, in no particular order, are my predictions for gardeners and gardens in the year ahead.

1. Back to the basics ... growing your own groceries aka kitchen gardening.
This trend is really exciting! With all the worries about GMO's, pesticides and herbicides that cause allergies, asthma, and worse in our children, ourselves, and our pets. Growing your own food ... fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and herbs whether in beds, fields or pots, organically and sustainably, getting back to knowing what you are eating and how it was raised. Many nurseries now carry fruits and veggies that can be grown in pots for smaller yards and balconies, dwarf fruit trees that stay manageable in the city lot, making it an easy option to grow a bit of everything to grow your own. 

My own potager, kitchen garden ... A mix of herbs, fruits,…

Herbal Garden Companions

Companion plants are herbs, flowers or veggies that attract pollinators to your garden, ensuring a larger and happier crop.

They may also be plants that attract the good guys, the beneficial bugs, to your garden, which then either devour or kill the bad bugs.

There are also companion plants which repel or confuse bugs with their scent, thereby keeping them away from your goodies.

And still others are used as traps or host plants for the bad bugs, drawing the bad guys to gnaw on them instead of on your food crops.

Companion planting is also about planting the right veggies together so that they in some way benefit from each others proximity. Such as the Three Sisters Garden plants of corn, squash and beans. The squash covers the ground, keeping away weeds and preventing moisture loss, while the corn grows tall and sturdy, providing a trellis for the beans to clamber up. Beans beans fix the nitrogen in the soil to feed the roots and help to stabilise the shallow rooted corn.

However, th…

Garden Ramblings in December

We have had a very mild fall/early winter... Yes, I am touching wood! 
Though I suppose, officially, winter has not yet begun as of yet... not for a couple of days yet...
Therefore, perhaps we will be super blasted with a tough winter in January. Eep!

The lovely Green Globe Artichokes have very little winter die back, as of yet...
If I were the worrying kind, I would be mulching it up to prevent it from dying off this winter...
However, crazy as I am, I would rather see how it fares left to it's own devices.
Last years artichokes did not survive the winter, so perhaps I am a glutton for punishment?
I prefer to think this years plants are stronger ... so maybe?

Yes, I do realise that there is very little to see here ; )
However, am pretty excited about these guys...
If you remember from early fall, I planted three varieties of garlic....
Only one variety, the Music, has sprouted so far. Not just a wee bit, as you can see here, but they are actually up several inches already....…

Greenhouse Ramblings in December

Jade plants aka Lucky Trees 
In eastern cultures, Jades are known as Lucky Trees, Friendship Trees, or Money Plants. You will often see them by the cash register and/or in the southwest corner of homes and businesses, as a symbol of good luck, wealth, prosperity, and great friendships.

In the western school of Feng Shui, that means the far left corner of the room.

I always have a Lucky Jade in the far left corner of my greenhouse and also in my living room ... I figure one can never have too much good luck or too many great friendships :)

The Begonias, started from seed in early October, are now almost thumbnail size :)

The spring bulbs are starting to pop up in the baskets already ...   likely due to the mild weather, so far.
I assume growth will slow down in January, once we begin to get real winter-y weather here on the coast.

Isn't this charming? The bell flowers in the hoop house, Blue Waterfall Campanula, are still blooming!

A little Bhut Jolokia aka The Ghost Pepper
I h…

Cheap Soil Is Just Dirt!

One of the most asked questions that I get is... 'Where can I buy the cheapest dirt?'

My slightly witty, yet not very popular answer is ....

All dirt is cheap! Dirt is what your dog tracks in on your clean floors, or the kids on their hands, or you on your shoes....

Soil, on the other hand, is what you want!
Soil is what you need to grow fabulous flowers and veggies! Sweet carrots, crisp peas, tasty spuds, juicy beets, ... well, you get the picture.

Two piles, one is great garden soil, one is fish compost : )
Soil is the black gold that you grow your food and florals in, whereas dirt really is... just dirt!

So then, where can you buy cheap soil?
The short answer is ... 'It really doesn't matter ...  cuz there is no such thing as cheap soil!'

Why is that?
Well, sadly, the truth of the matter is ... cheap soil is really gonna cost you...  big time!
Remember grandma's old adage 'Only the rich can afford to buy cheap'? She was so right..isn't sh…

Oh Joy! Happy Birthday!

Soooo. we are about to become parents again... okay, not literally, lol, but new puppy parents!

We currently have our darling Delilah...  aka Little 'Lilah.
She is 3 and the light of my life :)
Little 'Lilah is an American Mastiff, slightly goofy, and very, very sweet. She is eager to please, quick to learn, and loves to meet new people at the greenhouse, especially children.

Sleeping on the job ;) My baby girl does not like to be left behind, so goes where I go... in the greenhouse she sleeps on her old beds that are no longer acceptable for in the house, while I plant and seed.

The new baby is an English Mastiff, and we have not yet chosen a name, nor do we have any idea of her personality traits as of yet.
Cannot wait to meet her in the new year!
Open to great puppy names, if you have ideas.... she will be around 200 lbs at full grown and this light fawn in colour. Yes, a girl ; )

Garden Ramblings in November

This month is crazy weather month with off and on sunshine..
Light to heavy rain days...
Even a few storms and high winds...

Autumn planters still going strong with the Nandina colouring up nicely in the cooler temps!

Pennisetum rubrum ( purple fountain grass) is a total fall favourite of mine, with it's wispy feathery plumes and fabulous colouring. It is a tender perennial, so might not over winter here... however, I shall soon take it in to the greenhouse and see how it fares under cover.

In the potager, though the skies are kinda grey, there are pops of colour... Strawberry beds in fall glory, silvery blue cabbages .... A yellowing Big Leaf Maple leaf on the table...  all chippy in Tiffany Blue ...   
Roses in the garden ... this one is a lavender hued mini rose.

In town by the local pharmacy, this long hedgerow of lovely pink roses is completely covered in buds and blooms ....


Osmanthus aka False Holly also thrives in the cooler temps and lots of moisture of a wes…

Greenhouse in November

All is quiet in the greenhouse...

I have a few cuttings and seedlings on the go....

The mandarin's are beginning to colour up!
So exciting!

Oh no! My poor Echiveria's were getting waterlogged, finally remembered to bring them into the greenhouse.
They are stunning! So gorgeous!
Thriving in a crumbling hypertufa pot ... my first attempt at hypertufa!
I think the actual project turned out all right ...however, think one is not supposed to move the pot around much (as it is soft and will crumble) nor should one put something that is so fast growing into it!

The Alchemilla mollis aka Lady's Mantle is still blooming in this lovely chartreuse green!

The pretty edited out version of potting bench supplies....

How it really looks!
Yep, dog treats for when Little 'Lilah scares away the deer or doesn't drool on the company :)
Spoons for measuring fertilisers, markers, pens, pruners, knives, pliers... so many tools of the trade that are not particularly pretty, but very ne…