Sunday, May 31, 2015

Our very old perfect peony has a name!

I have been in love with the peony that our next door neighbours had for decades. Almost four actually. Then we bought the house. When I had Mark excavate the whole back yard for the vegetable garden, I had him work around the peony. These are the first flowers on our 'new' peony. Aren't they beautiful...oh and the smell. Yummm.

I have called it the Ogilvie Peony all these years. The first owners of the house who planted it were the Ogilvies. Recently I changed that to Middlebrook Farm Peony. I do, however, believe it could be Raspberry Sundae. What do you think?

These pictures were taken on a sunnier day than mine were, but the colours are identical. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

My version of mini greenhouses

I was recently pondering the large area of the Back to Eden that I have slated for squash and cucumbers. I envisioned this. I would pull aside all the wood chips and manure to get to the soil underneath. Create a bowl shape that the baby plant could grow in. It would provide shelter from the wind. The side would hold some of the heat from the sun and maybe I could plant a bit earlier. OH!!! If I laid a piece of plastic over the top of the bowl, it would be like a cloche or mini greenhouse. OH!!! I need a raised plastic thingy. Then it would stay covered longer. What could I use? What could I use? Hmmmm. OMG. So I asked a local bakery if they could sell me some of the large clear plastic cake covers they use in bakeries. You're welcome!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Squash's planted and Lavender walk half done

It was the day to plant squash. I planted cucumber, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, Jarrahdale pumpkin, zucchini and seeds from Farmer Dan's Butternuts from last fall soup.

I had five nice sized Hidcote Lavenders looking for a space. I had it in my head that I wanted them in a a little hedge. I lined them up along the squash bed and loved how it looked. So I planted them and because it is such a long stretch, 30 feet, I will need four more. 

I planted another row of Amanda's Quinault Strawberry's. She was happy about that. 

Amanda picked up a few more Hosta's. They were on sale where she works for $3.99!!

Allan was sitting in the shade under the willow. He didn't like it that he couldn't see the big vegetable garden. He said.."I think we should think about taking this part of the fence down". Me-"LET'S DO IT!!" We were on our feet, with a saws-all and down it came. The posts are still there, but it sure looks bigger and more open. The platform is the shed base in the old location. Amanda and I think maybe that shady corner would look really beautiful full of hosta's. It WOULD be beautiful. 

**Bought eight more hosta's. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Garden update in pictures!! aka The eye candy.

Tomatoes still in the greenhouse.
Huge Spanish lavender
Alice statue barely visible
Rainier strawberries
Fort Laramie strawberries
Florina apples

Sage...leaving flowers for bees


Sorbet peony


Potato flowers...aren't they pretty


Middlebrook Farm peony

The front garden. Isn't Amanda's fuchsia basket adorable.
Front garden
Potato bed, new shed location, squash garden and the lavender walk

Fallgold Raspberries. The bees LOVE them.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Can anyone identify this weed for me??

This is the weed from hell. It is occupying a space about 25x15 feet. As fast as I dig, new ones come up the next day. I have been letting them grow for about four days so I could get a better look at the leaves. They are tiny and the odd leaf looks a bit like Wild Morning Glory. I've never had any in my yard so I don't know what it looks like really. Please help me ID it and how do you get rid of it without Roundup. 

The mystery is solved. It is Bindweed. Someone in my vegetable growers group recognised it. As soon as I saw this picture in Google, I remembered the pretty pink flowers in the lawn last year. Right where the Weeds are. 

So I have done a fair bit of reading about bindweed. Pretty, yes...invasive and almost impossible to get rid of, yes as well. I will be chronicling my battle with this horrid weed. Pray for me.  

Gratuitous cuteness...

There you go. Your cuteness fix for the day. Beamer the Garden Cat. You're welcome.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Word Verification until the spammers leave. Hate those guys.

No one hates word verification more than me!! Some of them can be really hard to figure out. So why am I doing this to you? I am getting inundated by spammers. There is one company, CT Limo, who is spamming me all day long and then there are others. So...I am doing this temporarily until their systems realise my blog is not a hit for them. So until then, I'm sorry, please bear with me. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

I wonder what Beamer the Garden Cat is thinking

Beamer the Garden Cat loves being outside as much as I do. Generally, he follows me everywhere. He head butts me when I am weeding and will smoosh his nose into mine when I hug him. I love him.
Sometimes he just sort of drifts off in thought. Like this. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Peter's Honey Fig

I have had this poor fig in a small pot for years. I could never figure out where to put it. Today, in the blistering heat, I was roaming around looking for a stretch of fence that I could let it ramble across like a friends fig tree. Did I mention it was hot! So the greenhouse, now beautifully sitting in the sun, reached well over 40 degrees today with two fans running and misting to cool it. The light went on...people espalier their figs, so I could prune it to go flat against the greenhouse and cool the greenhouse with its nice big leaves all summer and then fall off and let the sun through in the winter. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Almost too hot to garden. Yeah right!!!

I had to cut down the right hand side of the asparagus patch to get wider garden carts etc through. I had to dig up three asparagus and move them. Then topped it with a thick layer of manure. It really is more like compost than manure now. Then I lightly sprinkled some wildflower seeds there. Can't wait to see what comes up. 

Earlier I was working in the garden and I felt hot. Really hot. I went inside and changed into my t-shirt. After about a half hour I felt too hot again. Then I started feeling nauseous. Oh....maybe I'm dehydrated. Went in the house, had some water, felt better, looked in the mirror and this is what I saw. I wonder how purple I was before I cooled down?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Cosmos planting and Sorrel moved to a perfect spot.

My first job in the yard this weekend was planting six Cosmos starts. I love cosmos. I am going to sprinkle seeds too. Then I dug up a Garden Sorrel that was originally along the back fence in deep shade and under a Cyprus 'Hedge'. It would have very limited water and no nutrients, because the hedge was massive. It came out pretty easily and I moved it into the garden next door in the sun and in the bed along the house. I am anxious to make a batch of sorrel soup. Yummm.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Spent Sunday with my Mom and Sister...we went garden centre hopping

On Mother's Day, my sister and I took our mom for lunch and then we hit a couple garden centres. Mom and Jess each bought a yellow Pattypan plant for their container gardens. I started some White Custard Pattypans for Jessie. They are her favorite!!

I got:
2 different types of artichoke
1 lovely light purple clematis
1 Himalayan Blue Poppy
2 six packs of marigolds
2 Blue Hydrangea's flowering and done up with pretty foil for Mother's Day. I know they have been forced, so they may stunt, but I'm patient. I've put them each into a gallon pot with fresh soil. 

I've moved the lime and orange trees to the deck already. I usually move them out at the end of May, but it is just so warm that I'm taking a chance. It shouldn't go to zero. If it got close I can carry them both so I could get them back to the greenhouse. I've left the lemon in there. It is VERY heavy. Today it was getting so hot in the greenhouse the citrus leaves were curling a bit, so I put the shade cloth up already. It is the price I have to pay to have sun in the back yard now. I am NOT complaining. I am thinking of buying a large sheet of burlap and screwing it to the roof on the outside of the greenhouse. I would just need to cut around the roof vent. I think it would work better than the shade cloth with the extreme heat. It has approached 50 degrees and it's still spring. 

First lemons of the year to juice. I juice, then freeze them in ice cube trays. 

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Could you make sense of this drawing?

This is a drawing of a tree. Yup, a tree. Not only that but it is my pruning instruction sheet for my holly tree. What is really funny, was Allan actually understood it and pruned it exactly right!!

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Iris Pallida 'Argentea Variegata'

If you like iris's you will love Iris Pallida 'Argentea Variegata'. Why? Well, it's foliage is variegated. And the smell is like heaven. It smells like Grape Soda or Grape Kool-Aid. Seriously!! It is on the small side so it can go closer to the front of a border where it's beauty and scent can be fully appreciated. It's got it all going on.

I consider mine one of the best plant scores ever. I love it. 

Sunday, May 03, 2015

A kitchen designed for function and beauty

I am in love with our new kitchen. I wanted something pretty and highly functional. I've found that as I am canning and cooking large batches of soup to freeze for winter, not only was the kitchen small and cramped but the sink and faucet were so small that I always had to fill pots with pitchers. So, nice deep sinks and a very tall faucet were in order. I'll just let the pictures tell the story.  

Giallo Ornamental Granite

Here are a couple of pictures taken on demo day. I forgot to take 'befores'. It had a huge peninsula that made the kitchen so small you could not open that dishwasher and the oven doors at the same time. I am sooooooo happy to have the new kitchen.