Monday, 30 April 2012

Springing Forth With Bulbs

Spring Planters are really 'springing forth' ...






















Loving the flowering bulbs, tulips, daffs, muscari, etc... bringing in loads of colour as the gardens and flowers awake :)


Sunday, 29 April 2012

Greenhouse Open

So, the greenhouse is now open for the season...

Just my luck...
the previous two week-ends, while I was still closed, the weather was spectacular 
this week-end.... cool and grey and rainy :(


Whew, what a time I had getting things ready...
there has been much rain, so things are soggy in the yard....
but never-the-less, spring is most definitely here
and we are ready to rock and roll...


Special Six Paks....
Patio Pak- Perfect for all your salad fixings for those with limited growing space
Colourful Pak- Heirloom tomatoes of different colours and sizes.. you gotta try this one!
Pesto Pak- Basil lovers dream package
Taco-Salsa Pak - Everything you need for the perfect salsa! 
Tomato Variety Pack - Paste, Cherry, Mid and Beefy!
Early Pak -  All hardy and heirloom varieties that ripen in less than 65 days!


Sooo many varieties of delicious heirloom tomatoes, completely organically grown, sustainable practises used always, and bio friendly pots!


Roses, perennials....


Deciduous Rhododendron. perennials in bio-degradable fibre pots...


Moss baskets for sun or shade..



I LOVE geraniums...


Herbs....


Rosemary

This Geranium is known as 'The Waspinator" and actually works really well at keeping them at bay!
 If a wasp nears me as I sit outdoors, sipping wine on the deck
I simply give this plant a quick shake to emit the fragrance...   and the wasp leaves!


These pots are ready to plant up ... 
Last  'official' ;) frost date in Nanaimo was April 28th...
so we should be good to go with planters and pots pretty quick!

Btw, custom planting is available at the greenhouse :) 



.... and what would this blog be, if I did not post any Little 'Lilah pics ;)


Need shade, any shade!


More soon!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

April Ramblings...

Wow, April already, and going by fast...

This month, besides all the spring yard chores, I have been working busily in the greenhouse and the hoop-house, trying to get everything transplanted and ready for spring opening.


Once again, this year, we are a few weeks behind the norms with our temps and sunshine, and so the gardens and trees are coming to life a wee bit later than usual..

However, as nature begins to awake and unfold, it is truly a sight to behold...

The daffodils...

Although, I think this morning's chilly +3C had the poor bees in a bit of a stupor.



Ornamental Cherry trees are abloom too...

The edible sweet cherries... not quite yet... soon though!

Muscari naturalises...




More tulips...



The hummers are back :) 

These were my winter planters...
When I planted them up in fall, with Christmas in mind
 I popped some tulips bulbs under the Heather and red-berried Holly...

Those tulips are almost ready to open..
The planters look re-newed and fresh, though I haven't done a thing...
and, thankfully, will get me through till the tender plants are available for summer planters.  


Back In The Potager...

All the potatoes are in... planted 5 different varieties, so there will be an abundance of spuds ...
Okay, so, I admit, I may have gone a wee bit overboard... a fairly common occurrence around here ;)

This year, I am trialing two early varieties... Sieglinde is a smooth, thin skinned potato, making it great for those early baby spuds, resistant to wilts, scabs, etc... and a great keeper. Russet Norkotah is a great baking potato and a really good keeper.
The mid-season selection is Red Chieftan, perfect for boiling, baking and making fries, also a good keeper. We have grown this one before and found it pretty tasty, producing a great yield of fair sized, round-ish spuds.
Kennebec is my mid to late trial, a white heirloom, great for fries, and it also stores well, if kept in the dark to prevent greening.
Followed by the Russian Banana Fingerling's.. a tasty, waxy, little yellow heirloom, perfect for salads, our family favourite...  always the last to mature.

For the first time in years, I am not growing the Norland, a nice, sweet, round red spud.... not a good keeper though. It was not available at the time of my spud hunt :( or I would have had 6 varieties!



I use the trenching method for my spuds...
Dig a deep trench... pop in the spuds, about 8 to 12 inches apart... cover them lightly with soil...
Then just keep adding soil into the trenches, onto the spuds, as the green tops grow.
Until the trenches have become the 'hills' and these 'hilled' rows you see in the pic, have become the trenches.


My markers :).... The variety/name of the spud is marked on the front and the type of spud in back... Early, Mid or Late.
Just in case I forget.... I always think I will remember everything but you know how that goes in reality ;)



Mammoth Red Rock and Golden Acre Cabbages, have been transplanted into the raised beds... amongst the spinach, lettuces and winter onions.
Rhubarb is coming along really nicely this year...
As it is now going into it's 3rd year, I am hopeful
perhaps enough to bake a strawberry rhubarb pie..  or two?

Radishes and greens with the peas...
The lettuce is in the middle and the spinach at the back, as they like cool weather... this way, as the weather warms up, the peas will be tall enough to provide them with some relief from the sun and heat
Peas, radishes, lettuces... and a whole lot of thinning out to do...


Hmmm, I had best get at it pretty quick! (spinach)

Scallions amid the strawberries.... 


Oreo kitty and the garlic....


The new Purple Asparagus shoots, planted just last spring, are pushing through..Yay!

 
The herb bed coming alive.....


This year, I am using this really amazing Companion Planting Chart that I found on Farmer's Pal

I carry it on my clipboard as I head to the potager, along with my seeds, plants, and garden plan.



I have always practised companion planting and find this chart so easy to use...
It's easy to carry along, too, so that if I were to change my mind about a planting combo ( happens often, lol)
while I am knee deep in soil and seeds...
I can quickly check to see if my new idea is compatible... without having to run inside to check the computer, my go-to source ;)


Happy April Everyone!




Monday, 16 April 2012

Greenhouse Ramblings in April

OM Goodness, Opening time is almost upon us, and there is so much left to do....

Hubby has been working on getting the nursery area up to snuff ..
Ordered in some great soil to fill in the new U-shaped nursery garden bed. This bed is huge!
Now that the soil is in, we are mulching the 'floor', planting the new bed, finishing the pergola and putting beds around it too....



The rose bed?....
Pergola is almost ready, with raised beds on the sides for me to plant  up with either grapes or climbing roses...
hmm, which will it be?

This nursery area will be all ready by opening day next week, promise! Come on down to see how it all turns out :) 

The cukes...
 4" square pots for the slicers and long English style
Pickling cukes in extra large and deep 6 packs.

Tomato 6 packs are available in so many different great combo's...
From Early Pack, Salad Pack, and Colourful Pack to the Determinate Pack
Check here to see the packs on offer...
Otherwise the tomatoes are sold in 4" round bio-degradable rice pots
They all look great!
The herbs... Rosemary available in these gorgeous Terra Cotta's
or in 3" round poly pots....
Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Cilantro, Borage, Salad Burnett, Roman Chamomile, Lavender, and Lemon Grass also available.  

The heirloom HOT Peppers ....
They too, are coming along great and will be fabulous this year!

 Purple Tomatillo's ....Hard to believe that those little seedlings will soon be...

These stunningly cute tomatillo's :)

The rose trees aka Standards are looking amazing and are full of flower buds...


 
The 'Waspinator"
A Geranium that repels wasps AND looks this awesome!
One of my favourites :)

Coloured Jute twine....
I love to use different colours and to be a wee bit 'outside the box' :)

There would be so much more to show you, but you will just have to come for a visit...

but... I'll try to do an up-date in a week when everything is retail ready!