Monday, May 31, 2010

What's for Supper?

A selection of greens from the vegetable garden: Red Salad Bowl from Aimers Organics, Cos Lettuce "Marshall" from Suttons, and Black Seeded Simpson from Veseys of Prince Edward Island. Makes a nice presentation and tastes fantastic...soft and buttery, all three. We started some of these early, seeding on March 21st, under row cover.

We laid the asparagus bed about ten years ago, for a family of four. However two of the team are not here eating their fair share)))) so we are struggling to keep up!!

The rainbow carrots are coming along and I am thinning every few days, harvesting tiny colored pencils to munch on while I am "on inspection".

English Breakfast Radish, Red leaf mustard, spinach, chard and beets are growing well. I did not start the Pac Choi from seed; it seems to be struggling but will buck up soon))). The shrub beans are Dragon Tongue from West Coast Seed, but they sure are behaving like pole beans.

Early on in the blog, I commented about planting Egyptian onions to help deter bugs and you know, I think it has worked. The roots of the onions radiate through the soft soil and it smells of onion when I dig. The lettuce is pristine, no chewies at all.

Time to share with friends.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Miss Vicki's 17th Annual Garden Social and Plant Exchange

What a grand day! Miss Vicki has held a Garden Social and Plant Exchange for the last 17 years. I can't believe it...where have the years gone? Slipped away in garden madness I expect))))

Seriously...loads of friends, time to catch up, trade and talk plants..good eats and drinks starting at one. At two..the bell rings and you hustle outside to get those special plants you viewed earlier...lined up neatly and lovely, along the drive and in front of the garage. Sometimes a few very special plants disappear before the bell rings but we won't talk about that)))). Lots of photos are taken, as her garden is full and wonderful at this time of year.

Now a word here about Miss Vicki and her property just outside Windsor, Nova Scotia ...she has almost two acres of land; is a mite of a woman...but a giant of industry. Sure's not all weeded to the nth, and as she says...the plants go in and get watered till the first rain..after that, with her country well, then they are on their own. Best get used to it girls! But she does edge beautifully and you know how I love that))) and there is a vastness of cultivated beauty on her land that is soft and comforting and "old time" if you know what I mean.

You step back.. have a sit ...listen, and are deeply thankful for her effort ...her generosity ....her caring and sharing for seventeen years.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Dearly Departed Tulips

So here is a photo of the little darling...only found in North America I understand..... Chipmunk ZILLA!

And here is just one photo of what is left of my tulips....grumble.. no kitty cat around you see...Riley died last year (((( ...and the Chief just can't run fast enough!!

Woe is me.... but ...but....the little critters are adorable, no question!!

More travels with to the Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal

Annapolis Royal was just the ticket for our British visitor. This beautiful town is celebrating a "300th year anniversary naming of Annapolis Royal", Honoring Queen Anne 1665-1714. The town boasts Fort Anne which was built by the British Army to defend the colonial capital from attack by sea. Although the Fort was a highlight, the true draw was the Historic Gardens. It is early season right now, but still lots to enjoy. Employees and volunteers were out in force, working hard in the awakening rose garden.

The horticulturalist was valiantly trying to carefully prune a huge Japanese Maple which had swallowed up the bed below.

The Laburnum walk was stunning, but the light was too bright to get a "great photo". Fortunately for me, a few laburnum seeds had germinated in the paving stones and I was offered four babies to take home.

Always on the lookout for garden art, and having worked in clay for a portion of my life, the following piece, I thought, was wonderful. For half a minute, I wondered, what a weird looking plant)))).

We will be sad to see our guest leave. It's always a good thing, to get out and about and explore your own Province... local towns and villages... and even better when you can share it with family from abroad.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Where are the Beatles" he asked....

For the past many days, we have been showing and sharing this lovely province of Nova Scotia, with our cousin from England. He has a smile on his face.... many of our towns are named after those he is familar with in England. Liverpool for instance..."where are the Beatles" he jokes))). Well, we couldn't share their music with him, but we could share Cosby's Garden Centre and let me tell you, he, and we..were impressed. The garden center itself is full and wonderful, with a number of greenhouses and an awesome Gunnera of note (not hardy here you know!!!) the owner works diligently to keep this one alive. It is just awakening from it's winter slumber...

In summer, a trench around the Gunnera slants inward so rains fall and fill but in winter, that same trench slants outward to keep the roots from becoming waterlogged, and frozen..sure death. Besides that, the plant is covered, I think, by plastic, and then straw over that and maybe even further measures taken. Now, that's a commitment but so much appreciated by his garden centre visitors!

The highlight above all and without question...were his cement garden sculptures and I mean his..the garden center owner is the sculptor. Pretty awesome heh!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The German Girls are Out and Partying!

They SOOO wanted out!! Their dream came true....roots tucked into chocolate cake soil and bone meal ice cream.

These German Golds were a sturdy lot! The seeds... well they were eight years old yet every single one germinated! They grew faster and stronger than all the others I started but how will they taste?...that's the question. Will they even make it through the night because if the raccoons smell that bone meal....((((( not happy days!!

The Sweet Peas are growing decently just to the right of the transplants......not growing as fast as the sugar snaps but not too bad! We continue to eat asparagus (on the left) about every two to three days, and greens are doing very well inside the vegetable garden. The long bed is lush and the ladies and gents below can't wait to join in the garden frolic!

....tomorrow go out to play)))

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Thrusting Sum and Substance

For the last three years I have said to myself "we really need to divide those hosta"! The trouble is, there are three of them and it would be such a huge job! Granny Bonnets were dancing around them today (Agulegia); the wild ferns bowed in welcome; and the Lily of the Valley scented their coming. This front bed was cultivated to be "sort of" a controlled wild woodland which suits it's surrounding towering backdrop of natural birch and spruce. The sun was just saying goodnight.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Visit to the Hubbards Market

Haven't blogged for a few days...had a bit of a cold but am on the mend now. So, Saturday morning we set off for the Hubbards Farm Market needing bread & chicken. Came home with three Delphinium Nudicaule "Laurin", which is red..yes, red...and grows about 15 inches. I am anxious to see how well they do here. We also found a four pack of Red Brussels sprouts, but they need hardening off. Another great find was a deep robust rose double Primrose, name unknown. The seller said she paid a lot of money for ten seeds of mixed double Primula and out of those, only this one germinated. I was most pleased to take it off her hands))).

I also discovered at the Mahone Bay Market on Friday, that Kale is a biennial. Well I feel rather silly not realizing that, and now wonder how many other vegetables would be biennial if they survived our zone 6 winter to set seed. I expect now..that would be all of them? ))))

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rhodos Will Always Remind me of Capt. Steele

As the Rhodo's make their show, I am reminded of a visit last year, to Captain Steele's. His daughter drove myself and two young B.C. plantswomen, up up and up the rough and rugged road behind his nursery in Rose Bay, N.S. The woodland was alight with a bazillion beautiful blooms; the beauty of this, I will never forget....and I can't help but believe Dick's spirit lives there.

We were gifted that day, with some of those blooms. I don't think I will ever look at a Rhododendron without thinking of him! He was a master hybridizer and a fine man.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fields of Tulips on PEI

Lucy Maude Montgomery described her beloved Prince Edward Island, in jeweled colors of Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire. Judging by the vibrant fields of tulips we visited on Mothers day weekend growing at Pownal, the description could expand to include gold, garnet, amethyst and diamond. From the highway to the shore, rows and rows of tulips shimmered and glowed in the sun.

Vanco Farms, situated on P.E.I. grow potatoes AND tulips. This is their big season, when moms like myself keep fingers crossed...nothing says spring and I love you, like flowers. Thanks Vanco and dear friends, for my Mother's day field bouquet xo .

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Shocking Beauty

I have a great fondness for purple highlighted with acid yellow, black and mauve and even a little pink thrown in to lighten.

The Rheum Palmatum Atrosanguineum is just "rising" in all her glory.

This is one plant Thomas Hobbs admires in his book..."Shocking Beauty". He states, "it rises from a bed of harmless Forget Me Nots, in Rosemary Verey's garden at Barnsley House" in England. The photo in his book moved me to buy it, although, it doesn't rise to the magnificence it should, for lack of moisture when the season get's growing.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Too hot to work in the garden!

Yes, today I was supposed to work ALLL day in the garden. At about two o'clock, the thermometer in front of the house said ninety degrees. My head was aching, my heart was pounding, my face was a red and sorry I did what any sensible girl would do...had a cold shower and laid in the the hammock with the Chief.

The old plum tree was a mass of bloom, covered with bees, bugs and flitting birds. You can imagine the scent...heavenly.

The row cover has officially come off the early hardy greens; they had a nice deep watering tonight. In a few days, we will put in new seeds and hopefully, in a week, the plants we have been nurturing in the summerhouse can go to the big garden and grow.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bancroft Farm..Garden in a BOX???

So how's this for ingenuity and garden spirit? Bancroft Farm, New Brunswick, Canada, is sharing a new concept for container gardening. Graeme Bancroft constructed small greenhouse boxes, germinated his seeds in soil blocks and placed them all together in the boxes as herb selection or garden veg selections! The only thing I have to do, is take care of the babies till they are big and strong and then, plant them out in the garden. I love it! Easy peesey as they say..)))

Saltscapes was great! Being a gardener, I would have liked more garden content. Jodi was there, and gave a great presentation. There were a few garden booths, and my fav garden fire pit booth, but I must admit, Graeme gave me that spark of green inspiration and hope,... a young man knowing the value of good honest home grown food, and a commitment to making his young farm prosper.