Still Alive

Okay, it has been well over a month since I posted ANYTHING here. I am sorry about it, since it is kind of the time of year where I have tons of things growing and all the gardening enthusiasm forever. However… I’ve been going pretty non-stop with making things which keeps me away from gardening. (You can check out the Etsy Shop here to see some of the things!) This was a benefit a little earlier, when I didn’t allow myself to start sowing a million seeds. It’s all fine when they are seeds but then they grow and need potting up and then take up triple the space. Space that I do not have. Plus my creative brain gets to be happy and just do as it pleases.

But it meant that I severely neglected my blog. I tried to think of a schedule that I could try and follow for posts here… but I know myself better than that, and would end up apologizing infinitely for not meeting promises of posts because I got distracted. So instead, I’m just going to do what I kind of already do, and just write when the mood strikes. That might mean I write 4 posts in a day and then schedule them, or it might mean (unfortunately) going weeks between posts. I will try to keep it regular, but sometimes it can’t be helped, and me apologising every few weeks is pretty lame.

I wanted to pop in and show you that I legit do have things going on in the garden. So here are some photos:


Rhubarb is taking off! I hope to use more of it this year.


I rescued some raspberries from a garden that was getting a complete makeover. I wish I had grabbed more of them, as I have room for at least 4 more plants. I’m hopeful these fruit on old wood, and I’ll get a harvest this year from them.


Strawberries are looking good. I still need to figure out how to keep the squirrels off of them.


The Sweet Williams that I sowed last year survived winter and I cannot wait to see them this year. They are for my grandpa.


I bought myself a rose for my Birthday. Partly because it is white and I love white roses, and partly because of its name: “Iceberg”. As you can also see, the delphiniums are growing like crazy too. I even divided them and you can hardly tell I took away anything.


Spring onion patch. These just keep coming back so I leave them. I get fresh Spring onion, the bees get a flower they like, and I get fresh seed. Behind them I sowed the Garlic I had left from my crop last year. They are just starting to poke their heads up now. In the back corner of the photo, in front of the orange bag (full of leaves im going to use for mulch and the compost like), are poppies that survived winter! I’m pretty excited for them and hope they are as beautiful as I’ve imagined in my head.


Both my Taragon and Sage survived winter (in ground-not containers)! Possibly the Thyme, and Oregano too, but I’ll wait til June to decide if they legit survived or not.


I sowed this Lupin from seed! I’m glad to see it survived because my big beautiful one was completely destroyed by aphids last year. A second one also survived as well!


And I started digging everything and getting it ready for planting! AND as you can see in the top left, one hollyhock survived the winter, so keep your fingers crossed for me that the flowers are as beautiful as I remember my grandma’s being.

Ps. My clematis died, so if I still have clematis dreams I’ll have to get yet another new plant.

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First Harvest of 2016!

While I was back home visiting my parents yesterday, ripping apart their yard (post coming soon) and checking on my leaf mold piles, I made my first harvest of this year! In freaking April! Usually we are just breaking out of winters grasp at this time of year, so to be able to harvest something is a big deal.


Rhubarb! And not pidly little stalks either! Bright pink, and huge! After I took all the leaves off, I had 2 large freezer bags of “fruit”. One for me, and one for my rhubarb loving best friend.


I think I’ll be making rhubarb and apple crisp. And harvesting more rhubarb next time I go home. (Not to mention the 3 crowns I have in my own yard that should produce very well this year)

I also chopped up all the leaves and stem ends and brought them back home with me to put into my composter.

Do you have any suggestions of what to do with the glut of rhubarb I think I will be blessed with this year?

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.

 

 

Rhubarb Harvesting

This year, I have some lofty rhubarb dreams. I was getting worried that I wouldn’t be able to try out all the ideas I have floating around in my head (and on my Pinterest feed), since my backyard rhubarb doesn’t produce a ton. But then I went home to visit my parents this weekend and all hope has been restored. I mean, like check this mammoth out!

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It is about as tall as I am (5’6″) and I can hardly get my hand around some of the stalks. This isn’t even the only planting either! I had 5 others to harvest from, although they are not as gigantic.

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I will have to find the scale later and update you on the weight of this harvest, but I think it is safe to say that I will be able to make all my rhubarb dreams come true this year.

Just a final thought: I only really intend to use the smaller stalks, the large one in the photo above broke off while I was digging around in the plant, so we cleared it out. Also, while I was digging around for rhubarb, look what I spotted:

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Because I will have to wait until I get back to my own house to freeze or otherwise preserve this harvest, I did some googling to find the best method of prolonging the rhubarbs freshness. If you leave 1-2 inches of the leaf on the stalk, it helps keep it from wilting so much. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it works out!

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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