Saturday, January 19, 2019

New Year, New Perspective


Every year "things" happen that we never anticipated.  Sometimes they are small things, like getting a flat tire on the highway.  Sometimes they are big things such as an unexpected illness or loss of a loved one.  And sometimes they are good things.  From making a new friend to harvesting a bumper crop of tomatoes, there are usually many pleasant surprises to be thankful for...sometimes, we just have to make the time to look for them.

When Tammy sent me seeds for her favourite zinnia, she surprised me with some Tithonia seeds as well.  I was smitten by the towering plants & pollinator attracting blooms and have grown them ever since.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Winners and Losers of 2018


Here we are with one day left in 2018.  It's been one of those years & I'll be glad when it's firmly in my rear view mirror.

In my last post I wrote about what went wrong and what went right this past gardening season.  Regardless of the proportion of each (because no year is all good or all bad) one thing is for sure – the harvest will be impacted.

This year, the losers outweighed the winners by a fair bit…but there were still a lot of winners (hurray!).  The great thing about having a variety of veg in the garden is that a growing season where absolutely everything does badly is a rarity.  Usually, conditions that are not favourable for one type of veg (i.e. peppers and melons will sulk in cool temperatures) are relished by others (lettuce & broccoli thrive when summer temperatures are on the lower end).

Eggplant was one veg that appreciated our hot weather this summer
Pictured above:  Farmers Long

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Look Back at 2018


The year is coming to an end and it’s time to look back and reflect.  What went wrong, what went right (not a lot this year!), and how lessons learned will impact the garden & how I do things in the future.

Harvesting a few tomatoes to snack on 😉

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Garden of Dianne & Dan Latham (aka 'Latham Park')


In the past few years I've been on numerous garden tours, thanks in large part to the annual Garden Bloggers Fling and the GWA conference.  There are many gardens that I have yet to write about - in fact, I still have to go through the photos from this years travels.

Today, I'm going back...way back...to 2016 and the Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis.  My favourite type of garden is a "gardeners garden" - you know, where the homeowners love really shines through - and the garden of Dianne and Dan Latham was just that.

Dianne & Dan's garden, described as a mini-botanical garden, is often referred to as Latham Park.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

End of Season Tasks - What Was Done and What Wasn't


The calendar may say it's still the fall but when I look out the window, I'm seeing a very different story.

This doesn't look like November to me...

Today the temps are supposed to go down to -17C/1F 😮.  That has got to be a record for this time of year. The season has officially come to an end with a flurry of activity....and most of that was done with winter gloves, coat and boots on, something that I always try to avoid.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A (Very) Late Garlic Planting


The fall weather this year has not be cooperating - I can't recall an end to the season quite as cold as this one with zero warm ups.  In fact, this morning, we woke up to a bunch of white stuff on the ground - this is the earliest snowfall we've had in a very long time.

It's late in the season - some may say the season is already over - but several tasks were still on the to do list.  The most pressing of these was getting the garlic in the ground.  I was waiting and waiting and waiting for that elusive "nice" day to get this task done - but I finally realized that it was not going to arrive.

On Sunday, it was just above freezing BUT it wasn't windy and the sun was out.  From the looks of the long-range forecast, this was as good as it was going to get so I decided to get out there and plant the garlic.  I had to do it in stages...prep the bed, come inside for a warming break, plant a couple of rows, come back in - you get the picture.

Had to get out the heavy duty, insulated gardening gloves

The fact that I waited much too long to plant the garlic hit home when the manure I planned on incorporating into the beds was half frozen.  I did my best to break it up and even brought a bucket of clumps inside to warm up for a few hours.  When various members of the family asked what's in the bucket, I nonchalantly replied "sheep poo" as if that's the most normal thing to be carrying around in a bucket, inside the house, in November.  You know you've trained your family well when the only response that generates is an understanding nod 😁

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

More beans please!


It’s been a chilly few weeks here – temperatures have been topping out at 6 or 7C (43F) each day which doesn’t really motivate me to get moving on finishing up the remaining tasks in the garden.   There’s still a small laundry list of things to do before the garden is closed for the winter – cutting back the asparagus ferns, digging up dahlia tubers, harvesting the remaining carrots, chard & broccoli and, most importantly, planting out the garlic.

For those that follow along on Instagram, you know we were getting our front walkway redone.  It was a narrow, weedy mess and on the “to do” list for a few years now:

Before

The walkway was widened and we cut back a lot of encroaching growth….what a difference it’s made!  One of those things that you kick yourself for not getting to sooner.

After

There are a few invasives in the bed on the right hand side, between the house and the walkway, that I’ve been trying to get rid of (periwinkle and self-seeded spirea).  I’ll be laying down black plastic topped with mulch & leaving that in place over the next year - hopefully this eradicates them & I'll be able to remove the plastic and plant some better behaved shade tolerant perennials by the following year.