Early April Growing Update (2015) {outside}

I just wanted to drop in to share a quick update with you on how everything outside has been growing.

Delphiniums

I moved these a few weeks ago, as the patio will be going where they were growing. The long range forcast was looking very good so I went for it, and was relieved last week when I saw them putting on more growth in their new homes. Their new home is a little less sunny, but I think they will still do good. These plants have survived being in the baking sun, and also being flooded.

Lupin(s)

The seeds I sowed last year, survived (and should flower this year with any luck)! As did a bunch of self-seeded plants from my big Lupin that is a deep red. The seedlings were easily moved. The big plant will hopefully survive. I have read differing views on transplanting established Lupins, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I left enough of the tap roots that it can thrive in it’s new home.

Rhubarb

I divided this and only left two small crowns in the fall. AND I moved them to a less desirable new home. They won’t get as much sun in their new home, but I wanted their (former) sunny place for more favourable plants (like the Brussels sprouts). Both crowns are starting to sprout! I won’t harvest from them this year, and just let them build up new roots so they should have a great harvest NEXT spring.

Strawberries

My single surviving strawberry plant from last year, sent out a bunch of hidden runners, and they were all healthy plants. So I moved them to their new home once it was ready, and they seem to be liking the new location. In the house, I have some plants  grown from seed, and a few crowns, so they will go out once it is a little warmer outside. At some point, I would like to have an actual strawberry harvest I can do something with, rather than just have a small snack.

Hollyhocks

I sowed hollyhocks last year, not expecting much. Infact, I thought all the grass that took over my flowerbed had choked them out. But this spring, they poked their heads out and I moved them to their new home to take advantage of their Spring growth. They survived their move, and I should have some gorgeous flowers this summer if everything works out. I will also be sowing some more seed later this spring, for next years flowers.

Chives

These are one of my favourites. Their flowers are amazing. The bees thinks so too, so I am looking to spread more Chive clumps around the yard this year. Even if you don’t really like the flavour of chives (like myself), grow them for their flowers. Grow them for their perseverance! They survive (in an unprotected plastic pot!) the crappiest winters, the hottest summers, and even a terrible flood (just Google 2013 in Alberta and you can read all about our flood). Even terrible hail doesn’t take these things out!

 

That is all for now. I’ll put together an update on all the seedlings very soon! And show you the progress of the backyard. I’ve been taking less pictures than I normally would, because my hands are usually covered in dirt and mud.

 

 

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Backyard Update – May 20, 2014

I intended to work mostly out at the greenhouse on May 12, but instead, I ended up working all morning in the backyard. (I also intended to get this update posted a lot sooner than now, but my amazing boss bought us VIP tickets to go and see Cavalia so I was a tenny bit distracted by that)

I stapled some chicken wire up on the shed for some sweet peas and Scarlet Runner Beans. I intended to do this last spring, and then I tore my shoulder, and any heavy work ended up being pushed aside. I can’t wait to see the shed covered in beautiful flowers (and delicious beans) later in the summer.

The rhubarb is doing amazing. I would guess we can have a harvest in a few short weeks.

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Chives are doing great as well. I am waiting a little longer to put in the other seedling chives and other alliums in until its a little warmer at night.

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You can almost see the Delphiniums growing in front of your eyes. They may end up being moved when we re-do the patio area of the yard… But I hope not. They are very happy where they are.

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I planted my container potatoes that day as well. I just mixed a bunch of them up, so when I harvest them, it will all be a surprise. Hopefully there will be no hail like last year.

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I made a little flower bed around the huge poplar tree in the front yard with rocks we had near the tree. I will wait to put my little flower seedlings out until its warmer at night. I am trying to keep just flowers in there, but I may sneak in some Swiss Chard or Dwarf Kale out there too. I did pick up a pack of Iris bulbs, and stuck them in, so with any luck, they will start showing through anytime now.

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My amazing boyfriend made me a gorgeous Veg-trug style planter, and I can’t wait to fill it with dirt and plant some seeds! Next up, I am trying to get him to build a window box for our bedroom window.

My Lupin self-seeded its self all over my flower bed, and I’m still debating weather I want to let some of them stay where they are, or clear them all out. I have the lupins I started from seed to go in still too, and I think I will keep them all together to get a more colorful show.

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The lilies are also starting to poke through. Which makes trying to get all the grass out of the bed a nightmare. There have been a few lily casualties, but hopefully nothing they can’t recover from.

I planted out some of the lemon balm and spearmint by the shed area also. I’m looking forward to all the drinks and summery dishes I can add them to.

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We are over-hauling our garage at the moment too. I will have shelves to keep all my pots and gardening things in there, and Boyfriend’s tools can be all organized. It will be a much more creativity-friendly place soon, rather than a covered area where we throw everything we don’t want in the house. I’ll share some pictures of the project soon.

Previous Update: April 26

Backyard Update – April 26/ 2014

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While I don’t have much to update here, I thought I would start anyway, since in a few short weeks, everything will be taking off. There are not a lot of pictures to show, but I’ll give you a quick rundown of some of the things going on out here. (Side note- That picture above is my pony. She obviously doesn’t live in my backyard, but I couldn’t resist putting her picture in here to counteract the lack of plant pictures)

Rhubarb – It really started poking thought the ground at the beginning of April. So I took the opportunity and added some recycled potting soil and compost around it. It really needs to be divided again, but I will wait until next year. I have plans to actually use the rhubarb this year (like Rhubarb Barbecue sauce), so I didn’t want to mess that up.

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Chives – I am always amazed at these. Popping up while it is still basically winter. And these ones overwintered in one of our coldest on record… In a pot! I can’t wait for their little flowers – and the bumble bees that love the flowers too.

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Delphiniums – Again, I am amazed at these. They come up early every spring. After spending some time underwater (the grading in our backyard is not well planned), and freezing and thawing and freezing and thawing. They are another favorite of the bees.

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Lupin – I bought this the first year we lived here, thinking it wouldn’t really live past the first year… but it did. And it is thriving! I have even discovered that although I thought I had taken all the seed heads off, It has self-seeded its self all over my flowerbed. I may let some live if they survive, but I will be adding in the few lupins that I started from seed, near this older plant, so I will get a cool mix of different colours.

Lillies– My lilies remind me of my grandma, and almost every year, she buys a new variety and shares it with my cousin and I – so all 3 of us get one. I have mixed them all up, so I don’t know which is which until they flower anymore, but they are still gorgeous. Want more info? Here are pictures from my 2012 Lily garden.

Clematis – I wish I could grow clematis even a quarter as good as my grandma can. I don’t know if this plant is going to come back this year, but I’ll keep hoping. If It doesn’t, I may wait until we have our own house to try again.

I will show you pictures of the whole yard once we get everything cleaned up from this long winter.

March 16/2014 Garden Update

Since so much has been happening in my windowsill on the seed sowing front, I thought I should break up my updates. So today will just be flowers and herbs. You can read Yesterday’s Update Here.

Nothing too exciting, other than all the varieties I splurged on.

The Sage and Italian Parsley is a month old now. They were all potted up into 3″ peat pots on March 11. Now that they are starting to reestablish themselves in their new homes, they should take off anytime now.

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In this photo: Sage, Italian Parsley, Lemon Balm, and Viola seedlings

The Spearmint finally sprouted on March 12. This is going to be slow, but I cant wait to smell the leaves!

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Spearmint

I planted Oregano on March 9th… It started sprouting on the 14th!

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Oregano sprouts dot the surface.
Can you see them?

The Lavender that I started on the 5th, has all sprouted and looks amazing. As soon as I see some true leaves, it will be potted up. I am amazed, because I have heard that germination is spotty and hard to achieve with Lavender sometimes, and I didn’t find that at all. In fact, I wasn’t expecting any sprouts until at least the 26th of March. Very excited about this one!

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My Lavender is getting a little leggy

My Lemon Balm is amazing. I love it so much, I just might sow some more of it.

Yesterday I went a little seed crazy, and sowed: Basil (“Genovese”); Catnip; Garlic Chives (“Shiva”); Thyme and Summer Savory.

One thing I am really hoping to accomplish this year, is attracting more pollinators. So I am trying some more flowers…

The Violas I sowed back on February 28 have all sprouted. They are starting to think about their true leaves now. I have high hopes for these little blooms in my front yard where it gets a lot of afternoon shade.

I sowed some Bee Balm on March 12th. It should make its appearance around the end of the month.

Yesterday I sowed some Hollyhocks and Columbine. Fingers crossed on both of those. I haven’t grown either of them before, so it was worth a shot.

I also picked up some Nasturtium seeds, sweet peas, night scented stock, and some sunflowers but these will all be sown directly outside.

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SOME of my flower seeds for this year