Thursday, June 19, 2014

Back to Eden style fruit tree pruning

I love Paul Gautschi's way of pruning fruit trees. After watching his pruning videos, I ran straight out with my pruners and saw and started cutting. All in all I am really happy with it. I can see that I did it right and when it bears fruit it will take on the classic Paul style of drooping bent branches. They really look like Halloween trees to me. I love them. 

Lesson learned...get a super sharp pruning saw like Paul's. Mine really ratched parts of my tree, but it will heal.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Chased down a tree chipper....and now the wood chips are spread around my yard.

I heard the familiar whine of a tree chipper this morning. I quickly had a shower, got dressed and went out to explore. I found the tree service on our street. Down around the corner. I headed right over and found the owner...."so....what are ya gonna do with the wood chips? Any chance I could have them?" I'll be darned...a full six yards of wood chips dumped in my driveway. It took a LOT of shovelling and wheel barrows full to move it around the yard where it needed to go. I'd say about 50 wheel barrows full. Then to spread them. I am utterly exhausted! 

Thank you Scotty Tree Service!! I appreciate it more than I can say.

The fruits of my labour. Wraps back to the shed and the whole front garden is about six inches deeper than yesterday morning. The blueberries are well piled with chips. They are going to love it.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Front yard vegetable gardens. What a great idea!!

In cities and towns everywhere, people are ripping up their yards, both front and back. They are bringing in compost, manure and mulch....and now and then running afoul of bylaws and their enforcement. This garden is in Drummonville Quebec. It is exquisite, but bylaw enforcement ordered it removed. Long story short, they protested and went public. Gardeners from all over the world wrote letters of support for the front yard gardeners. The city backtracked and eventually decided to rewrite the bylaws and asked the homeowners to participate. Way to go Drummondville!



    Completed. Isn't it lovely. 

    And one more illegal garden. This one in Florida. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Have you seen Back to Eden?

A friend kept telling me I just HAD to watch Back to Eden. A documentary about gardening. Paul Gautschi gives much of the credit for the garden to the Creator, as the system was perfect before humans decided to make gardening civilized.  It is a great film about mulch gardening. You know....wood chips.

    Paul in his garden.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for the free online video.

I was quite enamoured with his method of pruning the fruit trees. So much so that I went outside and stared at fruit trees. I settled on the Shiro plum. I had let it grow and fill in. It was a lovely tree. I felt fearless. I grabbed my saw and pruners. I cut and cut and cut. Until the light was dimming. It was such fun. I had never felt confident with fruit trees. I do now.

    One of Paul's amazing fruit trees. 

Monday, June 09, 2014

My peony and the parent plant....?

Here is a picture of this very old peony. I came by it about 25 years ago...I won't say just came into bloom.

Here is a picture of the parent plant, located in my neighbours yard. Mine seems somewhat double, but nothing like this !!

This just doesn't make any sense to me at all. 

Sunday, June 08, 2014

I'm very anti Monsanto...imagine how embarrassing this is.

I bought this sprayer. It was literally the ONLY one I could find. It is to spray my vinegar weed killing solution. I feel like I need to face the word Roundup away from the neighbours. God forbid!! is actually the sturdiest and best sprayer I've ever used. Damn!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Tomatoes...planted AND covered

I got home from the store and headed straight into garden clothes and out the back door. I planted my tomatoes in the hoop house bed. Got them in and tied to the frame. The wind really felt cool. So, even though I had yet to have anything for dinner and well after 7, I decided I should dig out the plastic and throw it over the hoop house to keep them a bit warmer. That left the ends open. Oh crap, that north wind is cold. Ran to find the frost cloth/remay to cover the north end. And the clips, where are the clips?!! so.. I made three trips to the shed, locking it each time as I was pretty sure I didn't need anything else....uh, yeah, right.

Look where lavender number six ended up. You can NEVER have too many bees.

While I was at it, I decided to throw some frost cloth on the pumpkins and Butternuts.

Crude, but it'll do the trick.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Hidcote Lavender hedge

I bought six little Lavender Hidcote a while back and they have been growing like crazy in their little pots. I love lavender hedges and that was the reason I bought six. I have been struggling with location. I have tried everything I can think of. I was tidying around the strawberry bed while preparing for garden expansion and this came to me. What do you think? Cute?

All lined up in their little pots. Can you spot the tape measure?

All done!!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Pink Flowered Strawberry exceeding expectations

Look at how many strawberries are on the pretty plant with the pink flowers. I have decided to transplant it later in the season into a large pretty pot so the berries can always hang like this. I love it. 

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

And just a year ago I couldn't grow a nasturtium.

Last year and the year before I tried to grow nasturtiums for salads. They were so so. Pale leaves and maybe eight inches across at best. I honestly thought it was the variety I had chosen. I spread a lot of compost in the greenhouse beds this past winter. I planted lettuce, which you can see in the bed behind the nasturtium. Isn't it lovely. It is so delicious. Anyway, in the compost were seeds of tomatoes, dill and this one nasturtium. A seed from last years mini's. It is now about 4 by 3 feet. And you can see how many flowers. They are VERY spicy. Seeds from this baby are a must. 

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Black Eyed Susan's are a favourite of mine

I have been looking for a Black Eyed Susan for a couple of years. Not sure why I couldn't find one...they are pretty common, I thought. My sister took me out a couple weeks ago for my annual birthday day out with her. It was so wonderful to hang out with her for the day. During the course of the day, she bought me two Black Eyed Susan's and a beautiful bright pink flowered strawberry basket. So beautiful. And a pretty geranium.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Spanish Lavender for the honey bees

I grow a lot of lavender. It is pretty but I really grow it for the honey bees. Wherever I need pollination, there is a lavender. They seem to know the minute it flowers. This old, large Spanish Lavender is the first to flower. The bees absolutely love it. The plant is right outside the greenhouse door to bring bees right to the door and then there are flowers on the inside to bring them in to the tomatoes, or citrus, or whatever needs bees!! There were bees all over it but I think I only managed to get three in these pictures. They're pretty zippy.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

A full day of labour. Gardens can be that way.

Isn't the garden getting so pretty. I just had to boast.

Time to start building the new section of the garden. Most of the grass you see in this backyard will be gone soon. I weed whacked, put down cardboard and then spread a VERY thick layer of manure. Lasagna garden style. In this picture the area looks about six by four feet. It is actually about 14 feet and ten wheelbarrow's of manure. 

The garden is starting to surround my favorite Japanese Maple. 

The last of the horse manure has been spread. I raked and tidied. Then I took the loppers and cut back the trees at the side so we can walk around without getting poked in the face by holly or fir!