Monday, July 28, 2014

A perfect use for those water bottles...

Horizontal branches bear more fruit than lateral. So a lot of people pull their dwarf tree branches down using stakes. I recently saw a picture in Pinterest of someone using water bottles instead of stakes. I got my hands on some bottles and and here is the result. I also pruned my cherry tree slightly. I plan to use Paul Gautschi's pruning technique, but it requires the weight of the fruit to pull the branches down. I can't imagine a cherry crop that heavy. I hope I'm wrong!!

By the way, look how most of the back yard is wood chips now. I have had to take a breather, literally. I'm not sure but I think maybe the wood chip pile steam I've been breathing in may actually be mold spores or something like it, and the cough I can't shake may not be a summer cold. It hasn't stopped me completely, but I really watch the wind direction and am never downwind. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dinter Nursery...I cannot get out without buying something!!

Allan and I recently went to Gabriola Island. If you haven't been there, it is really worth the trip. Beautiful. On our way home we pass through Duncan. Just south of Duncan...Dinter Nursery. I always stop there. I got a beautiful pink and a purple phlox. I am always looking for pretty plants for the bees. I have been looking for a heavily fringed Shasta Daisy. They only had a couple, but now I have it. I'm usually quite a purist with my plant choices, but this is a Daisy I cannot resist.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Super cool mulch moving tool...thank you Dad

As you know I've been moving about 24 yards of wood chips. I've discovered certain things about shovelling wood chips. You can't jam a shovel into a pile of chips. You need to slide the shovel along the ground. If it's packed down, it can be too heavy to move. So I needed something to pull the mulch from the top over the front. Then loose and fluffy, it is easy to pick up. I tried every tool but settled on my garden rake. Then PING a light went on and I remembered this beautiful old potato rake I was given for Christmas this past year by my Dad. It was his fathers. I brought it out. I had forgotten how heavy it was. And the tines are sharp. It is the PERFECT mulch moving tool. Thank you Dad, I will cherish it for the rest of my life. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Weighing down your fruit tree branches.

I was on Pinterest recently, my guilty pleasure, and saw this picture. I have been looking everywhere for something to weigh down my fruit tree branches, as apparently horizontal branches bear way more fruit. You can totally adjust the weight of the....well, weights. You're welcome.

Monday, July 21, 2014

It's not a farm...but my gardens/yard just doubled in size.

It has been quite a month. My gardeners assistant and I have lived in the same house since 1979. 35 years!!! So we are pretty new to buying houses in this millennium. Well, we've done it. We are going to miss our next door neighbour terribly, but we did buy her house. It is to provide rental income when we fully retire. An added bonus is that my yard size just doubled. We are taking down part of our fence and making a walkthrough area. I guess I need to explain that. In September, my son Noel and his wife Amanda and her father are going to rent it. Amanda is a gardener too and great lover of blueberry plants. I am going to carve the nice sunny back yard up to put in a large garden. Not in raised beds just an 'old school' large garden with rows, like my grandparents had. Once it is perfect, I'm going to carve off a garden for Jess and Amanda, and of course they can have some of our veggies. I am pretty excited!!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The wood chips going to good use!

I am loving the way the back yard looks. I am spreading about 17 yards of wood chips all over it. I am finished with lawn. Of course I'll keep it at the front for the neighbours, but the back......gone. I am burying it under very deep mulch. I felt sorry for Allan having to mow around raised beds and fruit trees...but more importantly I have an issue with lawn in general. Water, fertilizer, herbicide {not in ours, but generally speaking}....and for what? If I am going to water something, it needs to be food or a very beautiful flower for the bees and butterflies, not lawn!!

The mulch makes the whole yard look like a garden. Any area can easily be cultivated once the mulch breaks down and starts to break up the clay. Garden of Eden style. 

Honey Berries (haskap) planted up in larger pots and tomatoes staked.

My cousin Tia has arrived with her husband Owen from Inuvik for a visit. She brought me two Haskap plants. I had wanted two, but just hadn't run into any anywhere. Oh yayyy!!!
I ran to the shed and planted them up into one gallon pots. Thank you Tia and Owen.

I planted my tomatoes in the hoop house earlier this spring. They have grown quite a bit and look really nice. I decided to use the PVC poles I have, as stakes. They are perfect for this. I just pushed them into the soil and zip strapped them to the hoops. This picture was taken a few weeks ago. They are quite a bit bigger now. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Thank you for dropping everything to help us Scott.

On the peninsula we have an arborist Scott. He owns Scotty Tree & Arborist Service and supplies me with wood chips for the garden. Allan and I got in way over our heads with some tree cutting and after two full days of working our asses off in the hot sun, called Scott to see if he could chip everything for us. He and his crew dropped everything on a really hot day during the dinner hour and saved the day. 


I cannot thank them enough. Yet again. I highly recommend this very professional company when you need help with your trees. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gardener's in Inuvik are pretty creative

My cousin lives in Inuvik. I immediately felt sympathy when she told me that she is a budding veggie gardener. Shows how much I know!! Inuvik has an old arena that has been converted into allotment gardens. The roof is acrylic panels. Here are some pictures of her garden. I no longer feel sympathy for her...I'm in awe.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The Back to Eden Garden just kicked into high gear....(On hold, will commence in the fall)

I came home today to this!!! How lucky am I? This, my friend, is about 15-18 yards of wood chips. I need 32 to 48 altogether for the large Back to Eden garden I'm building. Scott of Scotty Tree Service dropped this off for me today. So now, thanks to Scott, we can move forward even quicker than I had anticipated. There is another 12 yards coming Saturday. I will be posting a series of Back to Eden Garden posts. I am going to detail every step. The creation of the garden, the planting, the aging of the mulch, the growing, the fruit tree planting and pruning...everything. 

Because the garden project is on hold until fall, these wood chips can now go into my own back yard to eliminate all grass, making every inch available for garden if I want it. And at the very least it will break down into beautiful black loam that will be full of microbes and worms. Perfect.