‘Parkland’ Apple

Like the ‘Brookgold’ Plum, I don’t have a picture of this one. So I’ll try and be extra diligent in getting some this year while it is growing…

Ever since I was little, I wanted apple trees. Finally I had the opportunity to get some, and plant them at my parents house. Someday… Someday I will have my very own orchard.

Quick Notes:

  • Cold Hardiness: Zone 3 (some places say Zone 2, and that it is worth a shot in sheltered Zone 1)
  • Ripens Mid-August
  • Hardy Tree, well rated for the Prairies
  • Introduced by the Morden Research Station in Manitoba in 1979
  • Stores well, good for fresh eating and also cooking.
  • Latin: Malus ‘Parkland’

I read somewhere that this apple owes part of its breeding to the Rescue Apple… So I have a little family in “my” orchard 😉


Previous Tree Posts:

‘Crimson Passion’ Cherry

‘Brookgold’ Plum

‘Rescue’ Crabapple

‘Bur’ Oak

Multi-Graft Apple

Ohio Buckeye




Seed Sowing So-far (2019)

Its the middle of a Polar Vortex here… which is just internet-talk for “it’s winter and it’s cold.”

It also means that I (and everyone else too) am itching for it to be spring. So I had to sow some seeds and kind of get my fingers in the dirt. I also wanted to keep up the momentum of actually writing on this little ol’ blog of mine. I’m aiming for 2 posts per week. But I’m warning you that if life starts to get busy and crazy again, this might be the first thing I drop off the priority list.

But enough blabbering.. Here is what I’ve sown so far this year.

In mid- January, I sowed some Red Beard Onions in a red solo cup. I’ll let them grow together in a clump and then plant them out. This is mostly to hedge my bets in the case that the ones I planted last year, don’t make it through this winter (although I have been diligent in making sure my beds have been covered in snow for some insulation from the wind)

At the same time, I also sowed some Silverskin Pickling onions. The seed packet was from 2014, so I figured I would finally try and grow them again. I’m growing them the same as the ‘Red Beard’ onions, but once it comes to planting them out, I will probably separate them (gently) and plant them in some organised fashion, rather than a clump.

I also have a handful of baby trees I’ve started, but that is a whole ‘nother post, that I’ll get to writing eventually.

On January 30th, I finally pulled out my little peat pellet trays, and I sowed some herbs. I still have many herbs to start, but this was a start. Herbs are a good way to quench your thirst of planting something. They will grow pretty slow, so won’t get out of hand when you start them this early. Here is what I filled my 12 pellet tray with on Jan. 30:

  • 2x Greek Oregano
  • 2x German Winter Thyme
  • 2x Sweet Marjoram
  • 2x Summer Savory
  • 2x Midget Summer Savory
  • 2x Winter Savory

On February 6, the above herbs had all sprouted, so I planted some more variety for my herb garden this summer:

  • 2x Oregano
  • 2x Lemon Balm
  • 2x Anise
  • 2x Munstead English Lavendar
  • 2x Heirloom Pineapple Alpine Strawberries
  • 2x Habanero Peppers

The Lavendar and the Strawberries are both some more hedging-bet plants. I grew them later last year, and they are planted out in the garden. I just wanted a little back-up.

The Anise is an old seed packet, and more of a “hey lets try this” rather than something I am really excited about. If it makes it, then it will be fun to try something new. This is a good way to discover new things when you are new to gardening. I’ve found a bunch of new things I like growing by doing this.

The Lemon Balm is one of those things that I’ve found I love by just trying it. I don’t necessarily do anything with the plant, but Its great aroma therapy just to touch the leaves. If you are looking for something easy to grow, this is one of them. It grows easy, with hardly any work and the leaves smell amazing.

Habanero… The Habanero was a bit of a whim. I didn’t have any other herb seeds that I was ready to start yet, and then I found my pepper seeds, and figured I would give the habaneros a go again. Last time I grew them, I did get a few peppers, but I remember wishing I had started them a bit earlier. This will let the plants be a little more mature in the comfort of my warm house before I make them go outside. This is one of the things I am excited to grow again, but also won’t be super sad if they don’t make it.

Next up in my sowing will be the rest of the peppers that I want to grow. This will probably be near the end of the month, and into March. Between Mid March and Mid-April I will be doing tomatoes and near the end of April, I will start any squash or cucumbers. I will also be going through my flower seeds and sowing whatever catches my eye. Likely some more hollyhocks, lavatera, cosmos and maybe some sunflowers.


Any suggestions or hints & tips or anything you’d like to share, put it in the comments below

My Etsy Shop: Back 40 Woodcraft


‘Rescue’ Crab Apple Tree

rescue crabapple 2018

This one is a rescue ‘Rescue’ crab apple. It was also crushed by a larger tree (like the ‘Crimson Passion’ Cherry Tree) and the main leader snapped off. In the long run, that will be a good thing, but generally people don’t like buying damaged trees. This is a good way to get a good deal if you are willing to put in a little bit of work, and not have an instant-gratification tree.

It is also a little special to me because of where this tree was developed. It was introduced in 1936 by the Experimental Farm in Scott, Saskatchewan.  My grandpa was born in Scott, which is why it has a special place in my heart… So I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

I’ll try and update as I can throughout the year.

Quick Notes:

  • Cold Hardiness: Zone 3
  • Height: 10-15 feet (Spread is the same)
  • Ripens in Early August
  • Said to be excellent for fresh eating and also canning. Also said to be a large crab-apple, or small eating apple by people I have talked to.
  • Latin: Malus ‘Rescue’

If you’ve grown this tree, or have anything to share about it, please let me know. It is one I am really looking forward to.

‘Brookgold’ Plum

After I started writing the little profile for the ‘Crimson Passion’ Cherry, I wanted to write something similar for each of the new fruit trees. So here we are with the Brookgold Plum.

It has smaller, yellow fruit and I am really looking forward to it doing well. So keep your fingers crossed with me that I have some fruit to show for this tree. It does need a pollinator though, so if you are looking into getting this tree, know that you will need another plant to pollinate it.. and a second Brookgold Plum won’t do it. You need something with different genes that will bloom around the same time. They need to bloom around the same time, because otherwise the pollen wont be there to pollinate, and you won’t get fruit. Luckily for me, the Nanking Cherry is a pollinator for this Brookgold Plum, and we planted a handful of them. Quick note, if you are not sure whether or not your fruit tree needs a separate pollinator, do a quick google search, or find a knowledgeable person at your local nursery/greenhouse/garden centre (that isn’t a big-box store) to talk to and help you make the right choice for you.

Some quick notes about the ‘Brookgold’ Plum:

  • Cold Hardiness: Zone 3
  • Height: 10-15 feet (Spread is about the same)
  • Ripens: August
  • Japanese Plum Group, and was developed in Brooks, Alberta
  • Latin: Prunus salicina ‘Brookgold’

I don’t have a picture of this one after we planted it, so You’ll have to use your imagination.. Or wait until I can get some of it growing this  year.

I’m looking quite forward to this one because I never really imagined I could grow plums here…. On this same note.. I REALLY want a Mount Royal Plum also, because they are a bluey-purple (so nice contrast to this gold one); and It is self fertile!!


Lastly, make sure you check out my Etsy shop: Back 40 Woodcraft

Lets talk about 2018

2018… It was a year. That is about all I can say. After the 2 years previous, it is nice to say 2018 was just a year. This is going to be a bit rambly… kind of a stream of consciousness, and I may or may not add in photos, but here it goes…

I just kind of let go of writing here in the Summer. I minimised anything that was causing me any kind of stress. I just needed less things that I needed to do. I couldn’t write what I wanted to write in the way I wanted to write it and it was stressing me out. So I let it go for a bit.

My garden grew really well, and I harvested and dried TONS of herbs that I have been loving using in the kitchen this winter.

My tomatoes grew wonderful… but in September, I should have harvested them all when we had a heavy frost in the forecast. I didn’t, I just covered the plants and lost much of my harvest.  Obviously, I had tomatoes one by one throughout the summer, but I was really hoping the weather would hold off and I could harvest and process the tomatoes all at once.

The last post here was about lettuce and greens. They didn’t make it. I let them dry out and just didn’t take good care of them.

My herbs were definitely the star of the show. Every few days, I could harvest some of the herbs and put them in the dehydrator.

Raspberries were also very prolific, although none of them made it into the house. I did get to eat a few of my strawberries, but as usual, the slugs and squirrels beat me to most of them.

My clematis that I planted as a teeny tiny stick a few years ago, bloomed like crazy, but didn’t produce a ton of foliage. Fingers crossed it makes it through this winter, and I can baby it a bit more in the spring in hopes of a really great growing season for it.

I learned a new way to try and combat the delphinium caterpillars that I’ve been plagued with the last few years. And it doesn’t involve squishing individual caterpillars… I’ll share that in the spring when I’m doing it.

We planted a bunch of fruit trees and bushes at my parents house. So fingers crossed I will have a bunch of fruit this summer and the coming years.

I got really into learning to propagate plants. So I want to share some of that this year.

Right around Halloween, I took some seeds from an organic orchard-run Gala Apple. Cold stratified on wet paper towel in a plastic bag in the fridge…And they germinated… So around Christmas, I potted them up into red solo cups. And they sprouted on January 5th. Which would’ve been my grandma’s 91st Birthday.  It will be interesting to see what becomes of them, the little bit I’ve googled about Apple genetics has been fascinating.

I have a few other kinds of potential future trees in my fridge right now.

So 2019 will be… maybe just another plain year, maybe it will be awesome.

And HUCKLEBERRIES! I fell in love with huckleberries in 2018.