Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter Reading - Part 2

My second seed catalogue is Veseys Seeds, based out of Charlottetown, PEI. I'm still one of those people who rather enjoys receiving the catalogue in the mail & then absolutely trashing it over the winter. I carry it around with me everywhere, circle everything that captures my imagination with highlighters & pens, eventually scratching out items when I realize that I can't really grow it here or when I figure out I don't have room to even try. I also love cutting out the pictures & taping them to the fridge to help me make some final decisions... All in all, by the time April comes, the catalogues are quite ready to be recycled & retired.

It's just not the same with on-line catalogues...

 "The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies." Gertrude Jekyll

 Ok - these are unusual looking & have intrigued me for a few years. Are they a cross between a pea & asparagus? Or is that just a fun play on words, based on taste... While it says that it's low growing & spreading, I wonder if it can be grown up netting. Add this one to my 'wish list'.

 I fell in love with roasted parsnips last winter but didn't have the room to try them in my gardens this year. I think I will make that room (as well as build 2 more raised beds) & make sure to include them in my Plan. (Which needs to be reviewed at a later time...)

 I was given some scarlet flax seeds (a very small amount, maybe 10 or 20) as a 'free gift' from Canadian Tire a few years ago & didn't recognize them when they flowered - but what a beautiful flower! Not very tall or lush - you definitely need to grow them in compact clusters to get the full effect. I thought they were supposed to be difficult to find (as one of my neighbours told me when she saw them), but now I know better. I like the Charmer Mix too, but knowing my luck, they'd all turn red after a while. I grew Golden Flax this year which has the blue flowers, but think I'd like to get the Scarlet Flax growing as a wild self-seeding annual on my hill side.

 I've been told I need to have sunflowers in my front bed - really tall ones! My colour preferences are red, yellow & white (but have noticed the main colour in the summer is pink...) so sunny sunflowers along the deck railing of my front bed would look pretty stunning. I'm drawn to the darker colours, such as this Velvet Queen, but they might not be tall enough... 5 feet? The really large ones can grow 10 to 12 & even 14 feet tall! I think I'll start off with smaller ones & see how they do. I know the deer has been known to wander through this bed (even though it's a steeply sloped bed) so would hate to have the deer topple the sunflowers.

 I don't know why I didn't invest in row covers this fall. With the wet & cold spring we had, my veggies were pretty much all failures & so I decided to try my hand at some winter gardening in the greenhouse. I could have used this material about 2 months ago to help the lettuce grow a bit. Even though this isn't on my Christmas Wish list (Felco pruners are #1 on my list this year) I'll see what I can do later on towards spring. This might help with growing carrots & early spring greens & also keep the deer out of the raised beds...

 I'm still new at container gardening & think that this product might help a bit with the hanging baskets that swing out in the breeze & dry out even more than containers located closer to the ground. This probably needs a bit more research but might just be another wise investment.

Ok - maybe it's time to graduate from 2 litre pop bottles with their bottoms cut off to this product. The problem with the pop bottles is that they are much smaller & tend to blow off the seedlings very easily. I like that these have that bottome edge that can be buried. They aren't as 'cool' as the French glass cloches, but I'm not really a 'cool' gardener - hey, I barely pass as a successful gardener these days - there's always road for improvement. That's why I do so much winter reading...

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