Visiting A Sweet Potager!

Went to visit some dear friends in Errington, BC, a wee community outside of Parksville, on Vancouver Island.

Of course, fell in love with their potager and had to share with you all! Such a lovely little paradise!

I must apologise for the lighting, however.
As the visit was in mid-afternoon, during the brightest sunlight possible, the pics are a wee bit over-exposed!

Their growing area consists of a 10 x 20 greenhouse, a fruit tree orchard lane, and a fenced in potager with loads of charm and garden goodies! 

 
Dave and Janis have only been at their new home for about a year, and have already started to work on making the garden and yard self sufficient.
They have a gazillion children to feed, only a slight exaggeration, and so the more they grow themselves, the healthier and less costly it is!
Dave is a chef and makes the most amazing meals I have ever tasted, so creates some really fabulous meals with all the goodies that they grow!
 

The greenhouse is 10x20 with 3 windows on either side and doors on front and back of the structure for great ventilation in the summer heat.
Dave placed some wire fencing material in front of both doors
Thus preventing the incredibly large deer family of the area,
from partaking in all the goodies during their walk thru buffet strolls!
 
The wire is simply held in place by two pots on either side...
allowing for super easy entry (for people, not deer)!
 
 
 Inside the greenhouse!
Tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes, melons, and peppers.
All thrive in fabulous, huge 20 gallon pots.
 
Though the larger pots cost more to begin with, please note  ...
The bigger the pot, the less drying out, and thus less BER (Blossom End Rot)...  and other issues...
 Plus, of course, they are re-usable year after year after year.
 
Trust me, you will be glad you invested after you start watering!
As I have been using 3 to 5 to 7 gallon pots, I often have to water twice a day!  
 
 
This is the most brilliant of ideas! A must share!
In the greenhouse, they added wire mesh to the side walls, for all the climbers to grow up!
Cucumbers, squashes, watermelons, and muskmelons ramble along the mesh, thriving in the heat of the greenhouse!
 
A tiny 'Sugar Baby watermelon forming on the vine!
So exciting!
 
 
Fuzzy, wee cantaloupe aka muskmelon babies ... So cute!
 
The tomatoes are all fruiting like mad inside the greenhouse.
These determinate varieties do well in the super large tomato cages!
 
Cucumbers!
They are harvesting 3 or more a day!
Wahoo!

Onions curing in the garden shed
 
Squashes are thriving both inside and outside!
 

The garden fence and the outer perimeter fence for the fruit trees.
 
The outer fence is made out of antique rail posts! They are to-die-for lovely!
 
However, the deer are not even a tad fazed by this impressive fence and simply climb thru the boards.
 The plan is to add some mesh between the fence boards
 to stop the deer from regularly pruning the newly planted fruit trees.
 
The space between the interior and exterior fences is about 5 to 6 feet wide, so the deer will never attempt to jump into that space once the mesh goes up,
 as they need a clearance of about 5 feet before they feel safe enough to jump anything!
  
 
SQUASH
Janis says that they had an issue with BER (Blossom End Rot) on the early fruits (due to the wet and cool spring we had), however, all the new fruits that I saw are looking really awesome...
Many gardeners in our area have complained of this BER issue early on, but now as the heat has come on, the issue has worked itself out...
 
In general, plants such as tomatoes, peppers, and squashes will often have BER on the first fruits of the season, until they adjust to the watering or once the weather evens out...
Therefore, just prune out the early blemished fruit so that the plant will then put it's energy into new and happy, healthy fruit. 
 
Baby butternut squash.
 
Gold zucchini is almost ready for eating!
Yum!
 
 
 
The gorgeous entrance to the potager...
I love this gate and the huge, happy rose bush that welcomes us into the potager.
 
On the right hand side is the enormous grape vine.
 

Lovely weathered gateway to the orchard!
Sigh, garden envy! ; )
 
Watering station #1 captures rain water from the house ....
 
Watering station #2 collects rain from the garden shed...
More garden envy ; ) 
 

 This fabulous grape covered arbour produces loads of red table grapes each year!
 
Just getting started....
 
The super happy 'marigolds' are really thriving!
 
Their young son brought home a marigold from school, one day in late spring.
Sadly, the marigold succumbed to the cool and wet weather we were having at the time...
At the shops, no marigolds were yet to be found, so these brilliant pansies were purchased as a replacement for the forlorn marigold.
Son is thrilled to watch the progress of his thriving 'marigold'!
Nurturing the next gardening generation ; ) 
 Love this!
 
Garden goodies from the fabulous potager of Dave and Janis.
Hope you enjoyed the visit!
 
Thank you for Janis and Dave, for the lovely visit!
Thank you for the garden snoop and photo op.
... and thank you for the, as always, simply superb dinner and visit with you all!
 
 

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