Saturday, May 18, 2019

Feeling Sluggish and an Update


So I thought I would post an update on how the season is progressing around these parts.  One word:  Cold.  I'll add two more words to that:  Windy and rainy.

Some plants, however, are loving the cool weather including the hellebore I purchased at Canada Blooms.  I can't believe that it's been blooming for almost 2 full months now!

The blooms start off deep pink, then lighten as they mature - so gorgeous!

It's been a rough start to the season, weather wise, with relatively few good gardening days.  But it looks like we are FINALLY turning the corner - and I couldn't be more ready.  Sort of.

The past couple of days have been lovely - the perfect gardening weather.  And I've tried to take advantage of it, but I'll be honest.  I haven't been motivated lately as I've been perpetually tired for the past few weeks.  There's nothing going on, really, it's simply a matter of not getting enough sleep.  Why?  Because the kids are going to bed late every night (one of the "ugh" factors of having teenagers, I guess) and I need at least a couple of hours of unwinding afterwards.

One of the only shows that we actually watch as each episode is aired.
There are just too many spoilers to wait until the end of the season
Photo Credit:  Wikipedia

This is when hubby and I get in some tv watching time and then I like to do a bit of reading before bed as well (how much of a "bit" depends on how far past midnight it is 🙄).  Then I have to get up early to get the kids off to school.  Now, if I was one of those 6-hours-sleep per night people, there would be no problem.  The thing is I'm more of an 8-9 hour a night person.  To top it off, I've been trying to cut down on caffeine & switched up my black morning coffee to half-decalf about a year ago.  Not a problem if I have enough sleep, but when I'm tired, it's not enough to rev my engine so to speak.

And that's my tale of woe & why I haven't been raring to go lately.

Now, let's switch gears to what I HAVE done.  All of the beds were "composted" in April (that's my way of saying that I added compost to them 😁) and all they need now is individual amendments depending on which crop they will hold.  The lettuce, onions, kale and broccoli were finally transplanted late last week:

It always amazes me that these tiny, wispy onion seedlings
will turn into globes of goodness by August

Aspabroc

Merveille des Quatre Saisons Lettuce

Red Russian Kale

Of course, the day after I transplanted we had strong winds and rainy/chilly weather.  The seedlings were a little battered, but thankfully, they seem to have pulled through ok.

In April, I had also sown a few squares of spring crops that are now coming up.  These include radishes, beets, turnips, claytonia, arugula and mache.

Baby turnips finally making an appearance

What else?  Well, there is a WHOLE lot of hardening off happening:

The driveway is a busy place these days

In fact, I am hardening off everything that was under the lights, even if it won't be going into the garden until the end of the month.  I decided that it would be easier simply moving all the plants in and out of the garage (based on how amenable the weather was) rather than taking care of two separate groups of plants.  I'll simply not transplant the more fragile ones until the end of the month.

There has also been...drum roll please...a harvest!

First asparagus of the season!

There were issues with asparagus beetles last year and I'm hoping that this doesn't affect our harvest too much - it's looking good so far.

Also on the harvest front - or I should say "possible" harvest front - are the haskaps.  I have two varieties (for cross-pollination) and this is the first year when BOTH of them have bloomed.  The bushes are still rather tiny, but perhaps I'll actually taste a berry or two??

Fingers crossed we get some pollination action on the haskaps this year.

And lastly there's been a *little* bit of shopping going on.  I'm concentrating on one section of the border plus another bed in the backyard that currently has an ash tree that has succumbed to the emerald ash borer and has to be removed.  I was fairly disciplined when I wrote my list, limiting it to these two areas with a total of 29 plants.

Shopping trip number one.  Total haul:  26 plants.

My cart overfloweth…

Shopping trip number two.  Total haul:  30 plants including one tray of succulents.

My car overfloweth….

You would think I purchased everything on my list plus a "few" extras.  You would be wrong.  The number of plants left on my list?  Twenty.  Yup.  47 plants were obviously snuck onto my cart when I wasn't looking 😜.

This weekend looks like it will be quite nice, weather wise.  And I'll be missing it altogether.  In early April, we made plans to spend the Victoria Day weekend with my brother-in-law and his family. At that point, the garden was still sleeping and I optimistically thought "it's only a couple of days".  Well, as it turns out, that's quite a lot of time when good gardening days have been few and far between.  I should have known better.  BUT I know we'll have a great time so I'm going to put the garden out of my mind and not think of what I'll not be doing and simply enjoy the moment.

Next week the plan is two-fold:  (1)  Start unwinding earlier by getting the kids settled in at a reasonable hour and (2) temporarily switch to full caffeine (but just for next week!).  I'm hoping that more sleep and a bit more of a charge in the morning will make for a big dent in my "to do" list.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

24 comments:

  1. I've usually found that the weather here isn't far off that from across the pond. Okay, you may have more extremes, the cold weather is far colder than here and the warm weather much warmer but it does seem to follow a pattern but not this year. Our summer seems to have arrived much sooner than usual whereas you're still suffering winter. I don't think we will ever be able to predict the weather, the forecasters never seem to be right. Ahhh, you're into the teenage years now. Isn't it funny how our sleep patterns change according to our children. I'm about to have one of mine returning to the fold after three years at university in a month's time, how we'll get on I just don't know. I know she doesn't really want to come home, and I don't blame her, it must be hard after gaining your independence, but needs must. I don't think she'll be here long if she gets a job but we'll see. The asparagus looks great. It's hard to see things long term when you're planting a crop which takes a few years to mature but you're reaping the benefits now, enjoy!

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    1. I've noticed the same thing about the parallels in our weather over the years. You are so fortunate to have an early start to the season this time round! I can't remember the last time spring arrived early around here - the past few years it seems as if our transition from winter to summer (i.e. spring!) has been delayed and very short, which is a shame as it's by far my favourite time to work in the garden. Yes, the teenage years have started! I think that we are all (especially me!) trying to find our bearings. I'm hopeful that we will eventually figure out a new routine that accommodates everyone. Eleanor coming back home is wonderful, although will probably take a bit of getting used to for everyone. It seems only yesterday when she left for university and you were wondering how things would be now that you had an "empty nest". There may be a few bumps, but I have the feeling that it won't take long to adjust as you get on so well together.

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  2. Sluggish as you may feel, it looks to me that you've been very productive (especially when you factor care for teenagers into the schedule). Our weather has also been unusually cool, although I expect you'd consider it downright balmy. As to your shopping trips, I entirely understand. Actually, I think you did very well in finding nine of the plants you were looking for in addition to those 47 stragglers.

    Enjoy your trip and your visit!

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    1. Thanks Kris - we had a great time over the long weekend :) I'm such a weather wimp and have a rather narrow window of what I consider good gardening weather. I have to say, though, that I don't mind gardening in the heat with one huge caveat...I have to be in the shade. Over the summer you'll often see me "chasing" the shade when it comes to weeding & other garden work :)

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  3. Cold, windy and rainy! No, that's not a good mix!

    The hellebore look nice, what a lovely colour and I love the look of your asparagus, one of my favourites :)

    Enjoy your time away with your brother-in-law and his family.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you Jan :) When it comes to weather, it's the wind that I dislike the most - it not only makes working in the garden difficult, but it's also so damaging to the plants, especially fragile seedlings.

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  4. A harvest already! That's something to celebrate. That must be one of the biggest joys of growing Asparagus--I don't have enough sun, but I enjoy getting it from our co-op food share. My favorite way to fix it is sauteed in butter and garlic. Our spring has been weird, too. Enjoy your trip!

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    1. It sure is! We won't be harvesting anything else for a while yet, so it's doubly appreciated. And that sounds delicious - I normally roast it with olive oil & salt, but everything is better with garlic, so must give that a go :)

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  5. Those sneaky plants jumping into your cart when you weren't looking! They know your garden will be a much better place to live than the garden center. I've been making a minimal effort in my garden this year for various reasons but am feeling less stressed about it than I might have in years past and am actually feeling a bit liberated. We are having colder and wetter weather than normal for this time of year which is making it easier to lie low indoors while a fight a bug.

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    1. I know! Those sneaky plants must see me coming 'cause it seems to happen a lot ;) You know, I sometimes feel that we put too much pressure on ourselves, even when it comes to things we enjoy doing. Our lives are multi-faceted and when one area completely overrides the other, that lack of balance can be so stressful. Giving ourselves permission to "slack off" and not go whole hog can make such a difference. Hope you get over your bug quickly!

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  6. That asparagus is looking good! And I know what you mean about plants sneaking in the cart. MY wife and I decided some time ago we shouldn't go plant shopping together, because we brought home even more than when we went separately. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

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    1. I have to get out there and pick more today as it grew like a weed while we were away. Yes I can relate about feeding each others addiction - that happens to me when I go to a nursery with friends. I always lament that I don't do that often enough, but perhaps that's a good thing, especially for my wallet!

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  7. SO sorry to hear your weather has been awful....a bit warmer here but I am not able to garden due to the incessant rain....we have 2 inches just in the past few hours due to bad storms and hot weather, but temps going back down and rain continuing almost daily. Very depressing when my basement full of plants needs to be planted. I have brought most of mine up too. Glad to see a harvest. I have some lettuces I grew under cover and radishes. Other than that we are so very behind in everything. Wishing you better days ahead in the garden!

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    1. Ugh! That's so typical lately, isn't it? It just seems that we are on a continuous weather roller coaster with either too much or not enough. Good thing you planned ahead and planted under cover! I've been meaning to get a cold frame going for a few years now so that I could do the same thing without having to deal with Agribon (esp. with our winds!), but still haven't gotten around to it. It's probably one of those things that once I do it, I'll wonder why I didn't get to it sooner. Fingers crossed for better days in the garden for both of us!

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  8. I'm hoping that our weather is turning a corner too. Are those haskaps what we call honeyberries? We have had four bushes for a few years and still not tasted a berry.

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    1. Yes, they are honeyberries. Uh, oh - maybe it's a pollination issue? Mine were actually sold as a trio of three varieties for pollination purposes (which is unusual as you normally would only plant 2 varieties of something that needs to cross-pollinate). I'm wondering if they are finicky in that way. Hopefully not, as one of the three ended up dying the first year and I never ended up replacing it.

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    2. When we bought ours they were just sold as honeyberries, no mention of cross pollination. I know some apples need two pollinators. Bramley is one.

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    3. If you don't have at least 2 varieties in the grouping you bought, than that is probably why you haven't had a harvest - they definitely need a companion for pollination (i.e. it's not just a matter of getting more fruit with a pollinating partner, but they won't fruit at all without one).

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  9. Congratulations on a beautiful asparagus harvest! I remember when you started those from seed several years ago. This year, I've started all new asparagus plants, so I have the long wait ahead of me.

    And that is so me whenever I go plant shopping! I intend to buy 5 plants and come away with 30. Typical!

    I'm sorry about the lack of sleep and resulting sluggishness. Kids, eh.

    No idea what a haskap is. :)

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    1. Thank you Jennifer! It seems like only yesterday when I was planting out those wispy asparagus seedlings wondering how on earth these tiny things were going to give me asparagus in only a couple of years. Time flew, though, and here we are - I'm sure it will be the same for you!

      Ha! Such is the gardener addiction :) The garden centers can always tell who we are 'cause we are the ones that go to the front and ask to leave the full cart there so we can go for round two ;)

      Ah - haskaps sort of look like an elongated blueberry, but I've never seen them for sale in a grocery store so have no idea what they taste like (apparently a cross between blueberry and raspberry, but opinions differ on that). Some people love them while others don't care for them...hopefully I'll have the opportunity to judge for myself!

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  10. We are having much the same kind of weather. I remember that I wanted 10p.m. to be time for my hubby and I and that is when our teenage daughter would bounce in wanting to talk. Hang in there. Nancy

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    1. That long, gradual spring transition has been elusive over the past few years, hasn't it? When it comes to kids, young or old, I suppose the key is knowing that these are all phases and will eventually pass :)

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  11. You may be feeling sluggish, but looks like you're getting a lot done. As for GoT, I haven't watched it yet. For some reason I like watching movies, TV shows and so on AFTER I know the ending. Strange, but what can I say? The weather here is much like yours, except that we will have a warm, sunny day immediately followed by a cold, windy one.

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    1. Ha! I get anxious when it comes to endings (or the "can't wait to see what happens next" feeling) too, which is why we generally don't watch a show until the season is over and then watch it exclusively until it's done. Don't know how we did it back in the day when there was little choice but to wait a week in between episodes.

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