Friday, April 19, 2019

Before the Rain Set In...


They say April showers bring May flowers & we are certainly getting our fair share of rain.  We did have a few good days this past week, however, and I was busy getting the garden ready for planting.

Raindrops on spruce trees...

The task that was at the top of the list last week was spreading compost on all the beds.  Since I get compost in bulk using a utility trailer, it's a job that's dependent on the weather, as is the task of getting it from the trailer onto our beds.  Thankfully, I was able to finish up yesterday before the rains started.

Other than plant specific soil amendments such as manure,
the beds are all ready to go...

I still have about a quarter of a trailer full of compost left which is destined for the asparagus beds & fruit trees, but that will have to wait until the rain lets up.  In the meantime, the trailer has traded places with my car so it's safely in the garage waiting until our next dry day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Getting Started....


This past Saturday, I spent an entire day in the garden....hurray!  Spring-like weather has been a long time coming this year.  It was a lovely day with no wind (which is always a biggie in my books when it comes to comfort) - perfect for getting out and doing a few things in the garden.

The ground is still rather soggy and there are sections on the north side of the house where the snow has not completely melted away, but we are getting there.  The first task on my list was removing the straw from the garlic and asparagus beds & I managed to get this done…sort of.

We had quite a lot of freezing rain and ice buildup this winter and that was evident when we peeled back the top layer of straw….the bottom layers were encased in ice and frozen solidly to the bed.

Each bed was left with a few inches of straw, frozen to the bed

I removed what straw I could & the rest of the ice will hopefully melt over the next week or so as we are expecting temperatures to be above freezing on most days.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Starting Ornamentals and my "No-Plan" Plan


Each year I add a few new ornamentals to my seed starting list and 2019 will be no exception. 

Ornamentals on this years list that I’ve not grown before include:  Honeywort (Cerinthe major), Craspedia (Pycnosorus globosus), Celosia, Ageratum, Annual Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila muralis) and an annual grass “Frosted Explosion” (Panicum sp.).  All of these were received as sample packets at various events I went to last year.

Celosia 'Asian Garden' baby

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Sowing Has Begun!


Here in Southern Ontario, the majority of veg seeds don’t get started until mid-March/April.  When it comes to peppers, however, I typically sow them in mid-February, as they can be slow to bulk up.  In addition, pepper seeds can take a long time to germinate so I try to give myself a bit of a buffer, just in case there’s a problem and I have to resow.

A pepper harvest from 2018

This year, however, there is zero buffer.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Canada Blooms 2019


Each year, Toronto hosts the largest garden & flower festival in Canada and 2nd largest in North America – Canada Blooms.  This year, the theme was “It’s a Family Affair” which was reflected in the numerous kid friendly areas and playstations, as well as the garden designs that encourage time spent outdoors with the whole family.

Giant "outdoor" games drew in both kids
and those that were still kids at heart

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A Seed Diet


In my last post I mentioned that, in an effort to achieve a better balance, I was going to re-evaluating what I grow, specifically when it comes to the veg garden.  Although I would love to grow everything (and numerous varieties of everything!), I simply don’t have the time to devote to growing more than what we truly need.  Well, to be completely accurate, I do have the time but would prefer to spend it on other things such as hanging out with family and friends as well as simply enjoying the garden instead of being in a constant frenzy to get things done.

'Black Knight' Scabiosa from Botanical Interests
This was one of my favourite 'new to me' ornamentals grown from seed last year

Just because you CAN grow it doesn’t mean you SHOULD grow it.  Have I said that before?  Numerous times?  Yes??  Well, it bears repeating anyhow, so there 😏

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.