Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Sky has (not) Fallen

There is just something about the tiny little blue flowers of Forget-Me-Nots that always makes me smile. It's like a little piece of the sky is sparkling down in the gardens...

Friday, April 27, 2018

Blushing Blossoms

I have a slight obsession with my fruit trees... I freely admit I talk to them & do daily inspects for aphids & ants. 
The Lapin cherry is now showing some blooms... fingers crossed they are pollinated & we get to try a few fruit later in the season. 

The crab apple is loving life & is absolutely loaded with blooms. I'm not sure if I will be thinning out the apples once they've set (like I do with the apple tree)... will have to do a bit of research & pondering as I really like the crab apples this tree gives us. 

Plum tree 

We are amazed at how many blooms are on the plum tree. Every day we check it out to make sure there are no ants (we've reapplied the sticky barrier around the trunk). I keep looking for bees - mason bees or bumble bees or any kind of bee - as I would really like to have these blooms pollinated & have some fruit set. We do have quite a few wasps & there are lots of other pollinating insects.
Such an exciting time of Spring!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Tulip Season Starts!

Slowly each spring, the tulips are getting stronger. The gardens are slowly starting to fill in with plants, which are certainly enjoying some fresh soil this year & now some amazing warm sunshine!

The Canada 150 tulips all seem to be a bit 'tired' this year, but they are putting out some blooms. Hopefully a bit of bulb food & a little TLC will help them produce next year like they did their first year. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Slowly Sprouting

It may seem so slow, but the seeds are starting to sprout & I'm sure with a few more days of warm sunshine & hopefully a bit of rain, they will really start to take shape & fill in the garden space.
~ difficult to see, but there are onions sprouting center & to the right. The spinach is doing well, sending up new leaves - same as the cilantro in the front. ~

~ I seeded arugula, mescluns & a few other greens. Looks like some are starting to sprout! But I have found Spook lounging in this garden space, so I'll have to sprinkle more cayenne pepper to discourage her nap time in the warm soil. ~

~ The veggie gardens are full of leeks, mustards, garlic, kale, herbs & lots of sprouting unknowns - hopefully not too many weeds!! I have found that there are some tenacious day lilies that will manage to push their leaves all the way up through a good foot of soil from the ground under the raised bed. I thought I had dug them all up & cleaned the area thoroughly! ~

~ the kale is still sweet & I'll throw in a few stalks with flowers when making salads. Should try cooking them too! ~
~ so happy to see the garlic doing so well. There are broad beans starting to come along inbetween & I'm looking forward to having them flower & give sweet smelling flowers to the pollinators. ~

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Those Blossoms - Oh, They Blush!!

The fruit trees are just starting to show their potential this week...
~ the crab apple is in a dreamy state with some flower buds just waiting to burst out. How I love crab apples! ~

~ The green gage plum & I have a battle plan this year that involves a sticky band around the lower part of the tree stem. The ants last year ate all the pollen/nectar so the tree never set any fruit. This year, we shall see that this does not happen again! ~

~ The plum trees are usually the first to start bloom & I've been anxiously waiting for these wee flowers for over a week now. I guess I should also be on pollinator watch too as mason bees & other insects would be most helpful now that the blooms are open. ~

~ The in-named apple tree is also eagerly waiting a few more days of warm weather before bursting forth the flower buds & I'm so happy to have this wee tree in my yard. The pruning is looking like it is appreciated & I'm training some of the branches to grow more 2 dimensional so they do not stick out into our walking space & therefore do not get damaged. Each year the tree takes on a stronger shape & rewards us with lovely tasting apples. ~

Monday, April 23, 2018

Thick in the Green of Things - Part 3

Then along comes a few of the herbs...wild weeds or planted monsters on purpose... doesn't matter much to me in my garden, I love them all!!
~ comfrey - one of my favourites for attracting the pollinators when they are in bloom & another for a home-made fertilizer for the gardens. Cut back the entire plant, place the leaves in a large 5 gallon bucket with water & let sit for a few days or a week til it gets real stinky! Dilute with more water & feed the rest of the garden! You can also use the large leaves as mulch or eat the small leaves in your spring garden salads. ~

~ lovage - a 'must-have' in any Dutch person's garden! This is what we call 'Maggi' when it's been fermented & put into liquid form. Sharp celery flavour & I just cannot do without it for flavour & for cultural history. I'm looking forward to seeing it grow to full potential this year to produce flower heads & seeds! ~
~ the berry/herbal wall: this is where the lovage & marionberries are growing along with some black currant, bronze fennel & other herbs. The marionberry is now trained up along both fences & will produce fruit this year. The new canes will be directed down the other way along the fence line so that they do not become damaged or interfere with this year's production. ~
~ very excited to see new cane growth on the marionberries - not quite a blackberry, nor a raspberry, nor a loganberry... but something inbetween all seasons of harvest & flavour. Desserts this year will not be the same!! ~

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Thick in the Green of Things - Part 2

My journey around the gardens continues...
~ the front gardens are starting to pop too. The daffodils are finished & the hyacinths are nearing the end. This is my good luck 'witch's stone' along with sedums in the front with rosemary in the back. ~

~ I adore just plain red tulips...from the inside out...~

~ I'm still waiting to fall in love with all the hyacinths that keep popping up in the gardens & they do fill in the spaces until some of the later spring plants fill out, like the 'basket of gold' alyssum in the background. ~

~ just a hit of red that catches your eye ~

~ the front side flower bed... still looks so empty, but I know it is jam packed with bulbs that need a few seasons to recover & with the fresh layer of soil, the shrubs/trees will also recover & start to fill out a bit more after some therapy pruning. The magnolia are wonderful & thankfully, the rhodos blooms after they are finished. ~