Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Idyllic Scents and Colours

My yard smells beautiful this year.  The lilacs are really pumping out the scent, and the frequent rains keep everything fresh.  My peonies are adding beautiful colour as well.

I don't think I've posted a photo of my lilac tree before.  I think it may need to be pruned?  I don't know anything about lilacs - my parents planted it.

I got this peony plant at Canadian Tire a couple years ago.  I am not sure of the variety.

An iris, planted by my mom.  My Auntie Mary says my mom was really frustrated that her irises never came up or bloomed.  Well, they do now mama :-)  (There may actually be an upside to not being as obsessive about weeding as you were!)

And these peonies were planted by my mom as well:

Gardens are a LOT of work, but certainly worth it.  Don't you agree?

Monday, June 27, 2011

My "Herb" Bed

Two years ago, I moved my herb bed frame out of a shaded area of the garden and into the sun.  I spent some time figuring out how to deter the dogs from walking on my plants, and how to pretty the whole thing up.  I blogged about that project in a serial extending over Part One and Part Two.

Since then, the bed has become nicely established.  It is surrounded by yarrow, which is threatening to take the whole thing over, but I do love my yarrow, so I'm not pulling it out (yet).  This year, for the first time ever (cue drum roll please!) two of my perennial herbs survived the winter.  I'm not sure what I did differently.  My Auntie Mary warned me about planting peppermint because she said it would be invasive, but I've had to replant all mints annually.  This year, though, my spearrmint and my oregano (!) both survived the winter.  The chives are also doing well in their converted canner planter.  I stuck a few more herbs in there (trailing rosemary, chocolate mint, and another oregano plant, which I bought before I realized last year's survived).  I always put some flowers in for colour too.

The view from my deck:

Quadrant 1 is mostly herbs.  Top row:  oregano, rosemary.  Middle row:  chocolate mint, petunia in shoe.  Bottom row: spearmint and another petunia.

Quadrant 2: snapdragons in the upper left; yarrow on the bottom left, chives on the right.

Quadrant 3 is mostly flowers, with daisies (which also survived the winter) in the basket on the left, yarrow in the bottom centre, and my new oregano plant on the right.  Snapdragons here and there for colour.
Quadrant 4:  the yarrow took over one of the herb containers, and scarlet runner beans are planted at the base of the trellis.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

And now for the Veggie Report ...

My veggies are coming along nicely.  We've had a good mix of rain and sunshine over the past few weeks.

I went a little crazy with my tomato purchases this year.  I have no idea what I was doing but I ended up with way too many tomato plants.  I have 17 planted and I sent 5 home with my Auntie Mary this morning. I know I have Lemon Boys and Sweet Millions, but there are at least two other varieties out there.  Will make a note the next time I go out (it's currently raining).

In addition to my usual bed of tomatoes, I stuck a row down the centre of this bed as well.  Those are beets on the sides.

National Pickling cucumbers.

Patty Pan squash (also known as Sunburst or scallop squash).

Kentucky Wonder pole beans and zucchini.  I have two beds planted like this - one with Gold Rush zucchini and one with black zucchini.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Crop Circles and Roses

I finally came in at 10pm tonight.  It was a lovely night - lots of light and not too hot; made good progress on my weeding.  I think I may have stayed out there too long though.  Someone (I'm guessing his name starts with "G") made himself a comfy place to sleep in my flower bed:

My own little crop circle!  How precious.  (Insert heavy sarcasm here.)

Those flowers may have taken a bit of a beating, but my Therese Bugnet rugosa is going gangbusters.  I bought it in August 2009.  It's quite well established and needs very little care.  I highly recommend it for Zone 2-3 gardens.  The Persian Yellow that I bought last year didn't put out shoots this spring.  I replaced it with another Therese Bugnet ($16 at Canadian Tire!).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My own Little Garden of Weedin'

I took time off work in early May to get some yard work done, but that didn't work out very well.  I got my cast off on May 2, and it took a full week before I could walk without crutches.  Then it was a matter of being able to stand or kneel for more than a few minutes at a time.  I'm walking well now, but I have a lot of catching up to do with the yard.  In the meantime, I started selling homemade dog cookies and dog food at the Farmers' Market every Sunday.  I've been spending my Saturdays baking and my Sundays at the Market.  My garden has been sorely neglected.

I'm reluctant to post pictures that would showcase my weeds in all their glory, so let's just do close-ups for now.  Therese Bugnet rose bud unfurling:

Chive flowers.  These are edible and surprisingly hot!

A peony bud ready to pop.

Yarrow buds.

The hanging basket I bought my mom for Mother's Day is flourishing.

The front yard is doing very well this year.  Most of the gout weed died off last year due to some mysterious disease/fungus thingie.  It came back, but in the interim, I think the other plants had a chance to get better established.  Usually you can't see the ferns for all the gout weed; and I noticed an iris blossom out there today.

If it wasn't for the weeds, I'd be pretty happy with how well the garden is doing.  With the veggies, my beans, zucchini, and cucumbers are all sprouted; and I'm sure I saw a few tiny beets popping out here and there.  All my seedlings (patty pan squash, several varieties of tomatoes and herbs, and flowers) are doing well too.