Friday, September 22, 2017

The Blueberries have been moved and the new garden defined.

It was a brutal job, what with the dry summer and solid clay, but I dug out the Blueberries and moved them into the new smaller garden. It actually looks better and I have a feeling that they will be much happier there. They will not be out in the centre of a garden in the hot sun. They will get a bit of shade at the roots and coolness from the apple trees.
This is a photo of where they were. They are just on the left of the tire tracks. There are not a lot of leaves on the Blueberries, so they are hard to see. Sad isn't it. They did not do well there. I think it was just too dry and hot with no garden around them this year. To the left, or behind them, are some lavenders that have been moved. The Blueberries were moved to the area just behind the lavenders. It sure looks better now doesn't it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Finally, after a whole summer of hard work....the first grass seed is sown!

I spent the entire summer, about 3 1/2 months, moving a massive amount of wood chips and composted manure using a wheel barrow. I would put it in the wheel barrow and manually pick out the chips bigger than about three inches and all of the sticks...and there were a lot. That is what ended up in the massive pile about 12' across by about 5' tall. Those were hand picked chips and sticks. Then I would move the wheel barrow of good manure and wood chips into the gardens that will remain. OMG I cannot tell you what a sight this is. The first section levelled and prepared, seeded and now watering. {If it looks familiar, this is the area that contained my precious Tulameen Raspberry bed}. I have never been so happy to see a job wrapping up!!

Saturday, September 09, 2017

The massive garden removal, stage one, is DONE!!

For scale this pile of chips and debris that I raked out of the good mulch and manure.....has a leaning wooden platform that is 8 x 8'. That pile is huge. You can see it is at least 12' across.
So, fast forward two weeks and a HUGE amount of green material removed by trailer loads, and I am down to relatively flat and wood chip and plant free soil. It rained today so you can see that the car and trailer did make some ruts. I had to level everything in the next two weeks anyway, so I will do that and get the grass seed spread right on schedule in about a week or two. I must say, this taking every minute I wasn't at work, for close to three months surprises me. It was a long project. After the seeding, I will begin to weed and then spread the beautifully sorted small wood chips and composted material including manure, in the newly formed apple tree garden. More to follow. Here are a few more photos of the yard and a few apples on a tree that we are eating from right now.
Melrose Apples

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Moving the shed...again

I cannot remember the rationale behind moving the shed to the furthest corner of the east yard, but it was not convenient and not my best decision. The garden is about 180 feet across the back. These days I am gardening more in the far west garden, which is the furthest area from the shed. I kept making due with whatever I had handy rather than running back and forth that distance over and over and over. So today, the whole family helped me move it back where it came from. What a bloody job. Seriously. It will NEVER move again. Thank you family, I owe you.






And look, it's MJ the "garden cat in training". She curled up in the shade watching the craziness that was involved in the shed moving. Smart cat. She's a natural.


And the shed is back home!!! I am so glad. I immediately went back to my old routine. At the beginning of my garden day, I unlock the shed and open it up until I'm done gardening. Gosh I've missed that!! {I'll wash that algae off asap.} Again, thank you for doing this for me family!


Sunday, August 20, 2017

The East Garden is getting a huge makeover.

Last year I got a bad case of tennis elbow. It was so bad I couldn't pick up a coffee cup. I'm not exaggerating. So I wasn't able to do ANY gardening until this spring. By then the gardens were full of weeds, the wood chip mulch was lying in piles looking more like piles of sticks in the gardens. And then when you throw in the whole Raspberry patch dying from Root Rot, the east yard looked awful. I have been trying to get it tidied up, but it just got worse and worse looking. So....I have made the tough decision. I am going to return most of the east back yard to lawn. There will be a garden where the Apple trees, lavenders and the blueberries are. So it won't be completely barren.

Five foot tall pile, about ten feet across. To be removed soon. We will be taking a huge load of sticks and wood chips that are too chunky to break down, to the composting facility. I estimate about five to ten yards. And then I should be able to start seeding grass.

You can see the mulch before I rake it out. It is horrible with all the sticks. In the background you can see the latest project on the go. It stopped the garden raking in its tracks. There will be a post about the moving of the garden shed.

This is the old Raspberry patch half raked out. See how much better it looks already.

Allan has harvested the potatoes, so I can level that part of the yard. I've been working hard on that old potato bed for about a month. There was a lot of manure and wood chips there, so it is slow going. There is about ten inches of material to sift sticks out of and move elsewhere. Right now I am moving quite a bit of this scrumptious composted material into my flower border and what remains of the flower border near the potato bed. It will be about half the size it was. I will then take the rest of those nice chips and put them in the veggie gardens.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Black Satin Thornless Blackberry....Dinter Nursery comes through again.

I moved a lovely phlox from next door today. In the hot sun. I shaded it and poured on the water. Where it was, no matter how often I watered, it wilted every day. During the move a couple of pieces fell off with bits of root attached so I took them inside and put them in water to try to stimulate more roots. Then I picked a stem, so it would just look prettier. This is an old Mason jar I painted.
Look, blackberries already!
I spent a couple days on Gabriola Island this past weekend. It was wonderful. If you ever get a chance to visit the island, do it. I visited the garden of my friend Patti. She has a beautiful Black Satin Thornless Blackberry in her garden. It is four years old now. What I loved about it, is, not only is it delicious according to Patti, but there were NO RUNNERS. I once tried a thornless blackberry but it started 'running' right away. I dug it out. When I went to Dinter on the way home, I found one!!! I removed my Niagara Grape vine and planted the Blackberry in its place. Neighbour Judy took the grape vine. I cannot wait to get blackberries. Oh, and the flowers have a violet tint to them. They are really pretty.

Review: The Black Satin Thornless Blackberry is superior to any other varieties we have seen. Hardy in the Midwest and south -- even recommended for northern climate if you are careful to cover with a mulch to protect it during the winter. Thornless Blackberries are extremely vigorous and disease free. Plants will not sucker. Consistently produce a heavy crop. You'll pick 35-40 berries on each thornless stem! Berries are large, attractive and have a luscious flavor. Ripen in early August.

I also picked up another Cascade Delight that I am going to replace the Tulameens with. I don't think I really needed another as Raspberries spread so quickly, but it can't hurt.
I found a really pretty Phlox in pinks. It was an impulse buy. Impulse buys are how I usually find my prettiest flowers.