Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Down the garden path

     After my stellar May 24th weekend back on the farm it was back to the city. If you have been following along, I did up my morels, canned my rhubarb, all that left was my gardens. The weather didn't cooperate on my return, another four days of rain, so I didn't get my garden in until last weekend. A little late so I cheated a bit. I bought a bunch of seedlings for things I would normally just sow directly into the ground.

     As I was wandering the various gardens of my relatives I was a little surprised. It has been so wet my parent's garden was like quicksand, same with my grandmother and aunt Jean. The only person who could actually plant was my aunt Marlyn (or was it my uncle Don who did the work? LOL). A bit of a reminder that despite our best intentions, Mother Nature still has final say.

     If you ever wonder where I get inspiration or gardening tips, here are a few snaps of my relatives gardens, followed by some newer ones of mine.

     First up is my aunt Jean, she has beautiful flower beds, a vegetable garden and a bountiful rhubarb patch. All things she is more than willing to share.

First flower bed, with those mini irises

Long shot of the second,
Go big or go home

Beautiful tulips

Bed three,
It was full of gorgeous yellow tulips but the wind blew all the petals off before I got the picture

Number four, beside the house

     What you're not seeing is the vegetable patch, the containers on the deck, the roses along the fence, the lilacs in the front..... Thankfully, my cousin Curtis loves Grandma Jean and helps her out with some of the yard work, Katie watches LOL.

     Next up, my aunt Marlyn and cousin Wendy. They have a beautiful place on a lot with lots of trees and around the house is all gardens.

The long view leading to Wendy's

A bit closer view,
you can just get a peak of the back gardens

Part of the front plantings

The far side of the front plantings,
the path to Marlyn's door.

     I won't even try to describe what you aren't seeing, there are gardens all around the house and a vegetable patch to boot. These pictures don't really do it justice. It was getting dark and a lot of the pictures didn't really turn out.

     Next up was my aunt Barb but the pictures I took didn't turn out at all, it was too dark. Next time. She has a stunning spot on the lake and everything is landscaped from the back of the garage right to the waters edge. It makes me tired just thinking of all the work that goes into keeping all of it beautiful.

    There it is, just a peek of the gardening expertise I can draw on for help and inspiration. It's a hard act to follow.

     That brings me to the updates for my own garden. After a ten hour marathon on Saturday, everything is finally getting in shape around my back yard.

The long view again,
what a difference a couple of weeks make

The columbine is in full bloom

Soapwort is filling in as the phlox fades
My poor pathetic peony in back, one tiny bloom
Everybody has huge bushes of them back home
I guess I have peony envy?

Check out the iris,
Erica gave me some 2 years ago and this is the first time they've bloomed
They're massive, almost 4' tall

The containers by the step, all flowers this year
Heliotrope, stock, marigolds and regal geraniums for scent and colour
with some lobelia and verbena to fill in any bare patches
I plant as much for scent as I do for colour

The tomato, cucumber and herb garden,
just waiting for the eggplant

Check out that strawberry patch,
Hoping for a great harvest this year

The back garden all cleaned up and planted
I cheated this year and bought seedlings for my zucchini, Swiss chard, arugula, lettuce and watermelons
My blackberries look good and two new bushes started
I've also got peas, yellow beans(pickles), green beans(eating), beets and radishes in
Late for the beets and radishes but you can always hope

     I always think of late June being the start of harvesting from my garden, not so much. I'm already using the rhubarb, mint, tarragon and winter onions. My strawberries are just starting, one at a time and my oregano, parsley, thyme and basil are good to go. That's not counting edible flowers either, but that's another post. I tend to take my garden a little for granted and forget just how much I use it all the time.

I did try to get a more flattering shot but...
Until something grows up around to hide the back it's looking less than perfect

     Finally, the fountain. It was a silly purchase several years ago but I really like having it in the back yard, so do the birds, squirrels, cats, raccoons etc.. I like to watch the birds come in for a drink, the seagulls can be a little alarming, they're pretty big after all, but I get little brown wrens, starlings and a little red headed woodpecker who drop by as well. Grandma Fisher would have loved it.

     Speaking of which, I have some of her little red dahlias she always had at the home farm. I got them from my mother years ago and have kept them ever since. I plant them with my lilies to take over when they are done blooming. I also always plant morning glories, they remind me of Grandma Craig. She still has them all over the garden fence.

     That's how my garden grows. A splash of colour, a lot of scent, a bunch of good memories and a truck load of good eating.

     How does your garden grow?


  1. Gardens looking good! I have some wild strawberry vines growing in my backyard. I should transplant them somewhere (i.e. where Chris won't mow over them) so that I have a patch too.
    And thanks for reminding peony bush is Ginormous! It has so many blooms they basically just fall all over each other and end up on the ground -- even though I do have one of those supports. I can see tons of buds already, so I tied a rope around the sucker too. Guess it needs some dividing. Come and get some in the fall if you want. It's a lovely pink; you'll see on my garden page soon.

  2. I'll take you up on that offer. Mine was actually bigger last year but got hit with that late frost and killed the blooms. This year it came back so much smaller????? Did you know peony is an edible flower? Looking forward to seeing your pictures, the kids are adorable BTW.


Thanks for your comment, I hope you enjoyed your time in the "Kitchen".