Ahhh… Pictures

6 06 2013

I have no interest in a spick and span garden.  I look at my gardening books and it looks like they pre-sift all exposed soil and wet it before every picture.  Then, fine tooth comb every weed leaf, blade of grass or errant piece of mulch.

Heads up.  My garden doesn’t look like that.  Before I took these pictures, I did a light weeding of the one of the vegetable beds.  I don’t make an aesthetically perfect garden; not, at least at the beginning of the year.  When it is all greened in, share your thoughts on the beauty or ugly.  But in the meantime, a few pictures from around the back:

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Our Pea fence.  You can see a pile of grass behind it (it’ll be hidden when the peas are fully grown and our straw and grass lined paths.  The bit of trellis should be finding a home fairly quick.

garden+ella bday 043On the left here are the Haskup (Honeyberries).  Soooooo much more healthy looking than last year.  I may not mulch around them as I did last year.  I had a significant slug problem on those things last year and, while mulch is grand for SO many things, it does encourage slug infestation.  So this year?  Nix!

garden+ella bday 044On the right, you can see a few of the pill shaped berries (even one that is just starting to flush a bit of purple).  Hopefully in a couple weeks, I’ll be able to tell you how delicious they are.  I’d thought they get bigger but it’s one of those “beggars ain’t about to be choosers” situation.

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Strawberries?  KABOOM!!  The wetness of the last few days has made some of these plants explode right up!  Last year, they were staying low to the ground.  This year?  Boom.  And you can see a few blossoms coming in (to be followed by fruit in a month or so).

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Here we have the early stuff.  Spinach is near on the bottom right.  As you can see, it’s ready for harvest.  I’d used a seed tape that got washed hither and thither and my spinach crop, AGAIN, is less than impressive.  The broccoli on the left were transplants from inside (the ones started “way too early).  They are both looking mighty healthy so far.  I just put down carrot seeds with the little one behind the broccoli.  On the other side of the stick are rows of carrots and beets (quite well spaced to allow for MORE rows in between later).  The seedlings of both of those are doing quite well.  The blueberries in the container along the path are “Barely, Surviving, Thriving” (three plants with different success so far).  I’ll take a closer picture in coming weeks and talk about that process in a bit more depth.

garden+ella bday 040For ONCE I’ve remembered to mulch this garlic.  I’m hoping that will help it grow as my garlic is always a bit stunted and it was recommended that a mulch be put down (it’s BARELY an inch of it though so it isn’t doing MUCH).

garden+ella bday 047I made this picture larger to point out what’s going on.  So first and foremost, an edging was FINALLY put in (with some grass just inside there).  Note for Edmontonians: OREGANO IS A PERENIAL HERE!  It is totally worth buying a plant of that stuff.  I think I plopped a bit of wood chips on top of the plant in the fall and its growth so far this spring (lighter green on the right), is impressive in my eye.  The salvia plant has numerous compacted purple flower buds ready to go and the delphiniums right behind it are bushy and getting ready to put on a show.  The lavender in the top right is slowly coming back and some basil transplants, just tossed in for a home are surviving though not yet thriving.  We have mint in the big black pot…. cause we ain’t crazy and aren’t keen to have a mint weed.  You will note the dead sunflower stalks in the back?  Well, I didn’t want to rip them down because they are being used as supports for runner beans.  I have NO idea how well this will work but I thought it would look absolutely lovely, regardless.  A few of those seeds have burst forth but no meaningful growth has gone up it yet.  Along the back white trellis are 2 lupin plants that, miraculously, are slowly chugging up!

garden+ella bday 037Nevermind the ruddy disgusting lawn by this bed, I am SHOCKED to see that two of the 6 raspberry canes I planted from a coworker ACTUALLY are alive; spreading little shots of leaves from differing points in the stem.  Chances of raspberries next year?  Tiny but present!  Decorative Sweet peas are growing against this side of the compost and I’ve had terribly slow growth there.  The bed has a mix of onions (which broke through the ground almost right away and have not really slowed down) and potato plants.  The black container there is for potatoes.  I’ve cut off the bottom of another bucket and plan to grow more potatoes by putting that “collar” on top and filling it with whatever I can.  I have to say that the potatoes and onions are doing VERY well this year!

My current theory?  Onions prefer it slightly dryer in their younger stages.  Last year’s wet spring just soaked them and I didn’t get a single onion that was larger than a ping pong ball (and yes, they should have been bigger).

garden+ella bday 038This bed is my “pridah andah joyah”.  It’s my Italian bed.  I’ve got onions, basil, and tomato interspersed with no REAL rhyme or reason.  I started with spreading out the tomato seedlings (you can see they each have a plastic bottle buried next to them.  A FANTASTIC way to get water [or compost tea] deep down to the roots!).  Then filling in big holes with basil plants and then, the tiny spaces in between with groups of 4-8 onion bulbs.  It’s cacophonous but I expect to be a lovely little bed when it’s all bloomin’ (speakin of, the two Sweet Million cherry tomato plants already have a couple flowers on them and frankly, are looking like they may be terribly huge plants).  Behind the Italian bed, barely visible, are several kale plants.  They are mostly being grown for my parents who will be coming and going throughout the summer but love having kale available.  We have our own single plant popped up round by the garlic.  You can also see a little patch of brown nearer the fence?  Well, I got a couple of beautiful zucchini plants.  But, as is my wont, I planted the squash type plants out TOO early and the soil was too cold (which kills the roots).  So, 0/4.  And now we have this HUGE gaping hole with two wonderously prepared spots for some courgettes.  Anyone have an extra plant?

garden+ella bday 033This is pre-weeding.  Harvested tulip leaves continue to gather energy to bring to the bulbs below so they get big enough to split.  A day lily is in the process of leafing out but right now, just looks a bit like the top of a pineapple.  A sunflower sits in the corner.  I realized, probably too late that it’ll end up shading out the lily.  Oops.  It’s going to be a beautiful thing!  Morning Glory vines are wrapping around the deck post (not well seen) and runner beans are running up this spent sunflower as well

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Last, and certainly least: the bed by our rain barrel.  This was sworn to be a pepper bed after the tremendous success with our one pepper plant last year.  So far?  There are two of those and they are BARELY hanging on (no you can’t recognize them).  I have sprinkled romaine lettuce seeds with limited to no sprouting (may have been too hot as lettuces tend to prefer it cool to germinate seeds).  So I says, “Forget it!”  and in goes the one plant that requires virtually no work, yields huge, and helps the soil out.  You guessed it!  Beans!  And in 5 days, the seeds are sprouting, ready to git down to business!

garden+ella bday 048On any given day, our backyard looks like this; a pail here, watering can there;  kid’s toys peppered about.  But I wanted to include this picture.  My yard is not perfect.  It is disorganized (at times) and messy (at others); tidy and clean only now and again.  There are big bare patches on the grass that may or may not grow in.  But when I sit on my deck or cement patio and look at the “whimsicality”, colour, and potential in every bed, I get a renewed vigor and a mild sense of pride about how my garden, and my gardening habits are, very slowly transforming.




One response

6 06 2013

My yard is usually full of random gardening equipment and kids’ toys too! I’d love to see pictures in August when everything is huge!

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