Monday, July 16, 2018

The State of Things...


Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been on top of things lately - my posts are rather sporadic and even keeping up with blog reading has been a challenge.  I've been feeling a bit guilty and decided that, instead of stressing out and trying (unsuccessfully) to keep up, I'll give myself an emotional break and fill everyone in.  I'll still be blogging, I'll still be reading & commenting, but the sporadic nature of both will likely continue for the rest of the season.  And this is why.

Monday, June 25, 2018

A Post-Holiday Update and Harvest Monday!


Some of you may have guessed - or not - that we were away over the past week and a half on a family vacation in Vancouver.  I usually unplug completely when I go away but this time my husband had work to do while we were there so I indulged in a bit of blog reading and writing.

When we returned from our holiday, there were some pleasant surprises, such as the roses beside the house which literally burst into bloom:

Never mind the underplanting of weeds - those will be history in a few days 😉

Monday, June 18, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day


One of the great things about the Fling - I've said this many times, but it's worth repeating - is all the amazing people that you connect with and get to know.  Each time I've been, a few new faces are added to my list of blogging friends and this year, Carol Michel from May Dreams Gardens was one of them.

I had heard of Carol's "Garden Bloggers Bloom Day" but, being a veggie girl, I never thought to participate.  But hey - I have blooms in my garden too - so I made a promise to her that I would join in....and here I am.

Buzzy bee enjoying the blooming spirea

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

HortusTV: TV for Gardeners (plus a lifetime discount!)


In the UK gardening shows are still going strong.  In North America, however, the pickings are comparatively slim...or, more accurately, we are starved.

Remember back in the day, when you could turn on the TV on Saturdays and have your pick of gardening shows?  I'm not talking about the reality shows that dominate the airwaves these days.  I'm referring to shows that actually taught you how to garden - the shows that valued substance over "show" and fabricated drama.  If you're over 40, you know what I mean.  If you're under 40, then let me be the one to tell you that TLC originally stood for "The Learning Channel" - where you actually learned stuff.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard " I had no idea that's what the letters stood for".  It's no wonder.

Learning Channel logo from the early 90's
Photo from the aptly titled article "What Happened to the Learning Channel"

Then there's HGTV - another channel that had fairly good programing at one point until the reality show hordes took over.  In fact, there are so few gardening shows on it now, reality or otherwise, that I'm thinking it should undergo a name change too...that 'G' really shouldn't be there.

You know what the problem is?  These channels are run by executives that HAVE gardeners, not ARE gardeners.  They prefer manicures to dirt under their fingernails and their mandate is fat bottom lines not quality programming.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Something Old and Something New


It's been a busy couple of weeks, both in and out of the garden, mainly because I've been trying to get all of the veg and annuals in the ground as well as keep on top of the weeding.  The garden practically exploded with growth once the weather warmed up in early May - during which time I was away, of course! - so I've been doing a big ol' game of catch-up every since.  I feel as if I'm behind, but in fact, I actually think that I'm way ahead of where I normally am at this time of year as I've been devoting several hours to the garden every single day.

Unfortunately, that also means that I've been neglecting my blog writing and reading, which I'll apologize for - I'm setting aside some time to catch up on that today.

It's been a while so let's start off with a little bit of gorgeousness, shall we:

Bright Lights® Pink Osteospermum

This guy just started to bloom last week and I'm smitten.  I received several new introductions from Proven Winners this year including this African daisy - I can't get over the pale pink/purple ombre colouration on the petals.  This is only the first bloom but I'm expecting great things as it's supposed to be more heat tolerant than other African daisies - I'll keep you posted on how it does.  I'm growing a variety of annuals in pots this year - a first! - but that's a topic for another post.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Harvest Monday - May 28, 2018


It's been a busy time in the garden - our recent sprint from winter to spring to summer has done away with the gradual progression of growth.  Instead, we have had one huge leap from virtually nothing to everything growing like gangbusters.

And the heat!  I feel like the witch from Wizard of Oz..."I'm melting!" - although compared to Dave's upper 90's highs (35C+), we are not too bad off, apparently.

On the harvest front, things are still rather slow.  I harvested from the asparagus beds for about 3 weeks, harvesting rather selectively (i.e. only the thicker stalks) over the past week.  Now I'm going to let the plants do their thing and fern out.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Goings On


Hmmm...what's new and exciting?  Well, we transitioned from winter to summer in 3 weeks for one.  We've been getting highs in the upper 20's (80F+) for the past few days, so I'm trying to get into the garden in the mornings and evenings which, unfortunately, is also when the mosquitoes are out.  I'm not a fan of mosquito spray, as is evidenced by the lack of an expiry date on the can - THAT'S how old it is, 'cause everything has an expiry date on it these days, doesn't it?  The spray has come out a couple of times in the past week though as, in order to keep working into the evening, a little spritz on the arms & neck is a necessary evil.  I don't mind wearing pants (and actually prefer that when I'm constantly kneeling on the mulch), but a long sleeve shirt in this heat is a no-go.

I'm a bit behind when it comes to transplanting, but by the end of this weekend I'll be more or less caught up.  The cucumber, melons, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant are all hardening off and will be in the ground by Sunday.

Final stages of hardening off - don't mind the blur....it was a bit windy today

The beans will also be sown, this being the last of the large plantings.  Other than that, there are a few odds and sods to go in here and there, such as the basil, chard and a few ornamentals, but that's about it.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Harvest Monday - May 14, 2018


Hello everyone - I'm back from my Texas Garden Bloggers Fling adventure and, as usual, a wonderful time was had by all.

10th Anniversary Garden Bloggers Fling in Austin, Texas

The weather was darn near perfect - none of the days were as hot as I expected for Texas.  Our first day was somewhat wet, but it was nothing a few determined garden bloggers couldn't handle.  And overcast skies do make for great photos!

At Diana Kirby's garden - what's a little rain??

And what should welcome me when I returned home?  A glorious sight:

Horrible lighting, I know, but I needed to harvest
& wanted to get the pre-harvest pic 😊

Well, this photo was only taken yesterday as I didn't take a photo of the bed when I returned, but you get the idea.  The harvests have begun!

First Harvest of the Season

A long time coming this year!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Getting Things Done...and Potatoes are In!


The weather has finally improved and I'm now in full catch-up mode.  Not surprisingly, I'm already a bit achy from the past couple of days of bed prep and seeding.  But it's a good kind of ache, so I'm not complaining 😁

At this point, the peas, turnips and beets are in.  Say what???  Did I just say beets?  If you've hung around my blog for a while, you know that I am a self-proclaimed beet hater - or, since I prefer not using the word hate when it comes to vegetables, let's just say that I dislike them.  A lot.

So being a beet "disliker", why do I have them in my garden this year?  Well, because I received a few packets of beet seeds from Botanical Interests, of course!  Can't resist free seeds, even if they are for beets.  It's also Year of the Beet so I consider it perfect timing for giving beets a chance to win me over.

They look so pretty - I really hope my taste buds agree

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Icy Mid-April Update


Well, here we are in mid-April…or are we?

Our driveway (aka the ice rink)

Icy Sedum

Can't deny the beauty, though

We just came through 3 days of hibernation.  There was on & off freezing rain the entire weekend, culminating with an ice storm that started on Sunday evening.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Spring? Hello...anybody home?


This spring weather, if you can call it that, is driving me a little crazy.  We are looking at low, single digit highs around here which, for my friends in the US, translates to temps in the 30's & 40's.  I've managed to get in a couple of hours when the mercury crept into the upper end of that range but my time outside was cut short by bouts of rain.

1st task of the season is removing the protective layer of straw from the beds

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Planning for 2018


Spring is taking it's sweet ol' time getting here this year.

It's still too cold to do anything outside - my thermometer reads -5C/23F right now - and the ground is still frozen solid.  The weather should start to turn soon, though - I have a feeling that I'll be out there by next week (hurray!)

Front walkway on March 13th

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Peppery Starts


2017 was a disappointing year for many veg in the garden, not the least of which were the peppers.

The season started off well – in fact, the pepper transplants were the largest and most robust that I had ever grown:

Pepper transplants in 2017

Friday, March 9, 2018

Onions - Three Little Changes


It's the beginning of March, so it's no surprise that the basement grow area has been a busy place lately.  Peppers, eggplant, Browallia, Echinacea, lemon bee balm and a Baker Creek freebie called “Love-in-a-Puff” have been sown.

I’ve also started on the onions & shallots.  This year, I’m only adding one new onion variety to the mix:  Patterson.  William Dam describes this variety as "similar to Copra but with larger bulbs and healthier foliage".  It also says that it's a replacement for Copra which is being discontinued (although I have a feeling they are referring to not supplying it anymore rather than that it’s being discontinued in general).  I am growing Copra this year as well so it will be interesting to see how the two compare.


Monday, February 26, 2018

Brightening Things Up

The new URL is up and running & hopefully all is going smoothly out there in cyberspace.  The thing with tech is that, more often than not, you don’t find out that there’s a problem until after the fact.

I’ve been getting myself organized over the past few weeks – my basement growing area has been sorted out (after being a right mess for most of the winter), seeds have been ordered & received and I even have some green poking out of the soil:

Onion seedlings coming up - this year I'm only starting a small portion in February,
with the majority being seeded in March as part of a timing experiment

There's one change this spring that I am particularly excited about.  My grow lights are undergoing a bit of an upgrade.

Monday, January 15, 2018

A Little Change


I’ve been contemplating a change for a while now.  Not a radical, alter my whole life sort of change, but a small “this has been bugging me for a while” change.  To my name.  No, not MY name – I am and always will be Margaret – but the blog’s name.

“Homegrown – Adventures in my Garden” is a friend that I’m reticent to let go of, like an old pair of shoes.  Well, not really an “old” pair, as far as blogs go, since it's not even 4 years yet, but more like shoes that are well worn in.  And comfortable.  Very comfortable.  I did a lot of umming and ahhing over this blog’s name over the past few months - should I, shouldn’t I - but ultimately, I decided to take the plunge.