Monday, 28 May 2012

Late May Ramblings

Holy Moly, this month has just flown by...

We have had quite the lovely spring this year, thankfully! and all has grown well and prospered.

It's looking a little bit empty in here....

At the greenhouse, Nitty Gritty Greenhouse, of course ;)
I continue to sell heirloom veggies, lovely roses, and hardy, deer resistant perennials.
Much of the stock has been moved outdoors to harden off, while I slowly prepare the greenhouse and hoop house for the summer growing season.

Soon, they will house these 5 gallon pots of tomatoes and cukes plus 3 gallon pots of pepper plants.

Not sure what Little 'Lilah is thinking about these squashes?
Probably that they look fabulous!
Thye are ready to be planted out now that the garden bed soil has warmed up to the perfect planting temp...

Once again this year, I have a great selection of heirloom pumpkins...
Cinderella's Carriage, Sweet Sugar Pie, Blue crown Prince, Howden, Wyatt's Wonder, etc...
as well as Butternut, Tromboncino and Spaghetti squashes.

The tomatoes that were transferred outside to the pergola area are fully hardened off now and really thriving!

The pergola also seconds as shade for the fuchsia baskets as there are little to no shady spots in the whole yard, let alone the greenhouse area.. eep, poor fuchsias!

What a great boon this lovely pergola has been... thank you to the hubby :)

The Azaleas are all abloom and smell heavenly... these ones flank both sides of the front stairs so that we can really enjoy the sweet fragrance!

The Lavender is budding out...

Every one of my Japanese Maples began life at the potager as 'The Thriller' in a container garden, going with the Thriller, Filler, Spiller method of container gardening.
In fall, they were then transplanted to the back garden, where they grow and thrive, and I then get to begin afresh with new container ideas the following spring!

And in the potager...

The Red Mammoth heirloom cabbage has just exploded with growth. Yum!
I think that I have mentioned before that I like to grow all my veggies closer together than recommended?
This way, as they begin to size up, I can start by picking every 2nd plant throughout the season, thus allowing some of them to get to full size, yet allowing me to harvest and enjoy fresh veggies all summer long.
I see some great slaw coming on!

The hummers are enjoying the red and white Verbena basket paired with this stunningly beautiful new feeder. When I pulled my old feeders out of storage, one was fine and good to go while the other was cracked all the way thru and would no longer hold the sugar water. In desperation I ran to the local feed store and happened to find this lovely feeder! I am thrilled with it as I love pretty and flashy garden accoutrement once in a while, lol, and so am grateful and happy that the hummers also love it ;)

Happiness is... volunteer plants!
This is Borage, a lovely herb with gorgeous blue flowers, a real draw for the pollinators. It has self seeded throughout the garlic bed!
Borage is great in drinks and salads with a lovely light, mild cucumber flavour, but I love it most for it's colouring and the fact that the bees absolutely adore it!

This is how beautiful the Borage will soon be! Is that not the loveliest blue hue you ever did see?

This Kale has quadrupled in size in just a few weeks!

Love the tranquillity of my 'Birch Corner'. I have a bit of a 'thing' for birches... the white of their trunks, the peeling bark, such gorgeous trees!

I'm thinking there's going to some strawberry and rhubarb pie very soon!
You all remember that I have 3 strawberry beds, eh? They all look like this right now!
Yikes! Looks like a few pies plus some jam, too!

Despite a couple of cool nights, for the most part our weather has been lovely this spring, and the tomatoes in the garden beds are thriving and flowering!

The 'Minnestoa Sweet' Peas are flowering and so we will soon all be enjoying fresh, spring, shelling peas... the pups love peas!

I finally!!! remembered to stagger the pea plantings this year, so will have this second batch coming up after the first one is  finished! Yay me!

Lol, pretty self explanatory... fresh lovely radishes for supper tonight!

The herb bed is lush with fresh new growth!
Chives, marjoram, thyme, parsley,tarragon and sage....
Mint is grown in a pot, as it can be very invasive in the garden!

These are my favourite tools, aside from the garden fork, and here they hang, in the shed, seeing very little action this spring!

I fully believe that the more you turn, rake, hoe, and disturb your soil, the more weed seeds you bring forth.
So, just top dress your beds with compost or manure and let the earth worms do the will have a whole lot less weeds to deal with. It truly works!

However, if you do need to use these tools, they are both Winged Weeders, and, I think!! the best 'hoes' on the market. They slice the weeds off at the roots with an easy back and forth movement and so the weeds just drop and wither away, easy peasey!

These potatoes have been topped once with garden soil so there is no longer a trench, the entire bed is now level. However, it will soon be ready for the next 'topping' and so, will no longer be level....
You'll remember that I use the trench method with the potatoes, meaning that I dig a trench about 6 to 8 inches deep, plant the potatoes about 1 to1.5 feet apart, and cover them with 4 to 6 inches of soil.
As the tops poke through the ground about 6 to 8 inches, cover them with soil till just the tips of green are showing.
Repeat this process one or two more times, till the potato trench has become a large mounded hill and the trenches are now between the rows of spuds instead.
Then we wait for flowers....

You'll notice that I have not yet chic-ified the very shabby and no longer chic, table and chairs ...

Truly, I am not dragging my heels! Alas, I have been unable to decide exactly how far I want to go with this whole re-chic-ifyng process. Do I go the whole hog with a thorough sand and new paint job from scratch, or just clean up the bigger flakes and remove the icky black mould?
Sigh,  .... and so, they also wait :)

I have recently planted the pole beans, corn, and some summer squashes from seed.
The cucumber, pumpkin and winter squash plants will wait another week or so, till I am sure of the night time temps.
Is best if the night temps are, for sure, 10 C or more.
The corn may need to be re-seeded, time will tell, as it also likes warm soil to germinate well. However, I like to push the envelope a bit ;)
I used to work at a large greenhouse/garden centre in central Alberta, owned by Lois Hole, the guru of gardening. Mrs Hole was known for saying 'Go For It'. Take a chance, worst case scenario, you replant, best case scenario, earlier fruiting! Me, I always 'go for it'!   

... and Little 'Lilah reminds you all to enjoy life and ..breathe :)

June Garden Ramblings

We have had a very dry and hot month of May but there is hope on the horizon, rain seems to be forecast over the next few days. Fingers ...