Saturday, January 26, 2013

Just a Quick Peek

~ primrose ~
Quick - before the clouds open up again & bring more rain!!

I grabbed my camera & ran outside to see what's happening in the gardens today.

After a couple weeks in snowy Alberta, I am happy to be back on the green, wet coast - even if it's colder out there than I thought (no frost right now, mind you...)

The primroses are starting to put out more leaves & flower buds. There are already pots of these lovelies in the stores & soon they'll be priced at only $1.00!! Can't wait to buy a flat to bring home & tuck in around the gardens.

What else happens in January?

~ heather ~
 There are so many different varieties of heather (as I found out last spring) that it could take someone years to figure out how to have a continuous bloom of heather in the yard. I think I might start my studies on this soon....

Right now, this single plant of mine is only putting out a few branches of blooms. Maybe I pruned it too hard last year, as I recall it was covered in blooms...

I should pick up a few more of these to have around the yard for when the bees start to return (yes, I'm thinking very positive & enthusiastically of spring!).

Luckily, the deer don't bother with these.

~ kale ~

 Speaking of deer...
I was tired of looking at all my raised beds encircled with netting to keep the deer out - rods & sticks poking out at all angles with mangy nets or twine tangled around plants & supports... So I took them all down at the end of the season with the high hopes that since I hadn't seen deer in the yard for months on end, they were done with coming around.

WRONG!! They have come through & munched on practically all of my kale plants. ~sigh~

Will I ever come to terms with the deer?

~ wild arugula ~

 In the greenhouse, which was surprisingly warm (soil temperature in there was at 5 degrees Celsius!), I found a couple small clumps of wild arugula, one of my new favourite greens that needs to introduced to more gardens around here.

Slightly spicy & bitter, this green grew very well for me & was a staple in my salads. I tried a few of these fresh leaves while checking on my other potted plants in the greenhouse. I'm so glad that these are here!

~ sage ~

There are many herbs that survive throughout the winter months - sage being one of my favourite. I don't harvest very much as they aren't really growing to replace those leaves, but taking the older leaves & using them while roasting veggies or meats, adds some fresh flavour.

~ autumn crocus ~

My autumn crocus leaves have actually been poking out of the ground since late October & it was a pleasant relief to see that they were not munched on by the deer. I think I may have missed them blooming last fall... Maybe it's time for me to update/create a new map of the gardens!

~ raspberry patch ~
Finally, my raspberry patch(es) have become fully visible to me. I let this one grow wild last summer & can see that I'm in for quite a bit of work next month to prune back, clean up, mulch & re-do my supports. The canes grew ridiculously tall (I'm thinking over 8 feet tall!) & they all started to fall onto each other, which made harvesting the fall crop of berries rather difficult. I will need to invest some money in proper stakes & get some help with cane supports. This might even be the year to divide up the clumps & create another patch further down the property line!!

All in all, January is pretty quiet around the gardens. There is no snow to hide the plants I didn't clean up at the end of last season & some spots show that the moss has now completely taken over (why can't that be in the yard instead of the beds?!). Very soon there will be buds forming on the trees & shrubs & the daffodils will start to poke up.

But for now, I'm glad to see things are quiet. I'm headed out for another 2 weeks away from home - this time down to the sunny east coast of Florida - we will be hitting Key West for some heat & dry weather. Hopefully the deer behave themselves while we are gone!!

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