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 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:


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.


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.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Apologies to all...!

Apologies to everyone that's left a comment that went to my "Awaiting Moderation" folder since this past June...I've just realized that there are 29 comments in there - yikes!!  I feel so badly!

I have always received an email when a comment needs approval as only comments made within one week of the post are automatically published.  For some reason, I am no longer receiving notification emails of comments that need moderation - and I had no idea!  Since I was always notified in the past, I didn't even think to check this folder until now.  I have a feeling this has something to do with the changes I made to the blog earlier in the year so I'll have to look into that.

In the meantime, I'll be reading and publishing all of your comments today....once again, my sincerest apologies about this goof.  I'll be checking that moderation folder much more frequently from now on!


Update:  Mystery solved!  Email notifications apparently changed after the implementation of the GDPR this past May.  Thank you to Jo from Through the Keyhole for not only letting me know what the issue was but also helping me resolve it (check out her comment below for all the details).

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Plenty of Potatoes? Not This Year...

You can often tell how your potatoes are doing by how well (or not) the foliage grows – more foliage usually means more (and larger) potatoes.  This year, the potato foliage left a lot to be desired so my expectations were fairly low.  Still, the actual harvest was (much) worse than I expected...sigh.

Moisture was not an issue as the drip irrigation took care of our dry spell over the summer and, unlike the area where the pepper beds were, I did not mess up on setting the timer during the May heat wave.

Chitting in April

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Back to the Homeland

One thing that many of you may not know is that I was born and spent the first 5 years of my life in Lisbon.  Up to my teenage years, I would go back most summers and spend a couple of months with my grandmother.  My last visit, however, was back in the 90's when my grandmother passed away.

São Jorge Castle in Lisbon

I had been meaning to return but it was one of those things that just kept being put off until “next year”.  And now here we are, over 20 years later, and I finally made it back.

Praça do Comércio in Lisbon