Archive for May 2009

Rain, Rain, RAIN!

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We’ve already had nearly two inches of rain this weekend, and it’s coming down again. Luckily, I got my patio pots planted last weekend (mostly annuals, but I scored a couple of hostas at a garage sale {$2.00 each!} to tuck into the pots on my shady front porch, and added some herbs to the pots on my sunny patio), but I have more veggies and a number of perennials I really want to get in the ground now. Right now!

But, hey, at least it’s not snowing!

Correction to the previous post: plant ID is Verbascum phoeniceum.

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good times at city square

it's always great fun planting with little ones, playing 'name that plant' and feeling their enthusiam and curiosity about gardening, plants, and food in general. We planted most of what was planned, and it was a lot of fun...

here are a few pics from our planting with the kids from the City Hall Childcare Society -

celery with our zucchini

the kids with their radishes (which they promised me they'd try...)

planting corn! we have faith it will work....

this is a picture I found that Teomi took of our bean teepee...impressive....

there was still lots to do on Sunday -

check it out - white picket fences!

Lois doing some much needed maintenance to the kids bench

the sunny spot in the garden, the envy of all the plants...

our new gardeners, cherry and amir planting cucumbers

mmmmm, yet another delicious harvest!

it looks like it will be another beautiful week, we'll be in the garden next Sunday morning at 10, come join the fun!

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More Springtime Blooms

Red valerian, Centranthus ruber, is just starting to flower.

A few tulips remain, and the chives should open today.

A low form of mullein, this is, I believe, a Verbascum 'Harkness Hybrids'

Candytuft, Iberis sempervirens, is favorite of mine for its evergreen foliage and intense flower power.
Also in bloom in my garden today: periwinkle, geranium, quince, snow-in-sumer, sedum, ajuga, honeysuckle, violet, spiderwort, pea shrub, veronica, allium. Hurrah for springtime flowers!

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sunny sunday

last Sunday was a quiet day in the garden, nothing planted just general maintenance, observation, and a little more delicious harvest
here are some photo updates -
our square foot plot - may 17
a teepee just waiting for beans!

the north half of the garden

our duke blueberry is blooming!

amish deer tongue lettuce, samich spinach, and mesclun

anneke and zlatko comparing radishes

we look forward to planting with the kids from the City Hall Childcare Society next Friday!
We hope to plant corn, pole beans, bush beans, green zebra tomatoes, orange tomatoes, eggplants, marigolds, celery, natursium, cucumbers, green onions

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be careful what you wish for....

... because it might come true!!

In our search for soil to fill the beds, we had asked the City for a donation of compost. In the meantime, some of the beds had been filled with soil from the Canadian Tire donation, so when the truck came last week and dumped over four cubic metres (i.e. a HUGE pile) of compost for us, we were filling almost every nook and cranny in the garden! Lots of work, but the garden looks GREAT!

our square foot plot - May 10

If you look closely, you can see the circle of radishes sprouting. inside that one is a ring of beets, then a ring of carrots, and a bunch of alyssum in the middle. who ever said you have to garden in rows??
this is Beng, tending to the tomatoes. note the trellis made of salvaged chain link fence in the background

Another bed of tomatoes - we've planted basil and cilantro in this as companions

this is anneke planting a pumpkin - hard to believe such a small creature will soon grow so big! (that goes for both kid and plant :)

Teomi showing off our first radish harvest! (We also harvested our first batch of mesclun, enough for about 6 gardeners to make a meal)

some had already been nibbled on before we even took them out! must look for the culprit...

and yes, even teomi tried one! she didn't like it (despite it's relatively mild flavour), but hey, it's a start!

In all, this week we planted: zucchini, marigolds, tomatoes (cheesmani, ciudad victoria, and russian rose), pumpkin (orange and ghost), broccoli, chard (thanks SPEC!), potatos (russian blue and regular), basil, wildflowers, coriander, parsnips, and yet more kale.

We look forward to doing some planting with the children from the daycare next week, let's hope the weather cooperates!!
see you next Sunday in the garden!

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Meet . . . Syringa!

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Syringa vulgaris, common lilac

It is lilac time again; the signal that we’re half way through spring and that summer is just around the corner. Lilac time means that we can finally open the windows to warm, fragrant air. Lilac time means that school is almost out for the year; it’s the season of graduations and weddings. I love lilac time!

Lilacs are members of the genus Syringa, and range in size from dwarf (5’x5’) types that are perfect for smaller gardens, to large (15”x12’) tree types that make wonderful specimen plants. Most lilacs feature large clusters (panicles) of small flowers that range in color from white to pink to lavender, deep purple, and red-violet. Their hardiness in tough settings, reliable annual bloom, and distinctive fragrance make them enormously popular choices for home gardens and commercial sites and public parks.
The common lilacs, syringe vulgaris, are large (12-15’x 8’), vase shaped shrubs that are super tough, but do tend to sucker. The French hybrids, such as ‘Charles Joly’ (red, double) and ‘President Grevy’ (blue, double) are similar in size and shape but don’t have that annoying tendency to sucker. A slightly smaller (8’x4’), but still traditional form of lilac is Royalty, Syringa x presoniae ‘Royalty’ (purple to violet flowers). Miss Kim, Syringa patula ‘Miss Kim,’ is considered the best of the dwarf lilacs with a slightly later bloom time and especially fragrant flowers.

Syringa reticulata, Japanese tree lilac

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now we're happenin'

We've been on a quest for soil to fill our beds and have had success at different places. This is another lasagna bed that was created last week -
First newspaper to provide some barrier against weeds (and hopefully nematodes!)
Here is some straw mixed with fresh horse manure and chicken manure. Fresh manure can burn roots, so we put a thin layer on the bottom so that by the time the roots reach it, they should be OK.
Then we added a layer of leaves that are partially decomposed because they've been protecting our beds since last fall.
Then we covered with a layer of 1 yr old composted horse manure mixed with sand and woodchips. We removed big pieces of bark because it would steal nitrogen from our plants to use in its decomposition.
Then covered with a thin layer of worm castings we had left over from last year....
and look what we found - two worms making a coccoon!! The bands line up and they knot up and slime up (for lack of propoer terminology) and a little coccoon is produced that between 4 and 20 worms will come out of.
We planted aylssum, carrots, radishes, kale, baby bok choy and kale in this bed. Most things were already coming up this week!
We are still waiting for the City to deliver compost to fill the remaining beds, but in the meantime,
Thanks to this we were able to fill 3 more beds and start planting our tomatoes. It's nice to have good neighbours....
In other news....
....our strawberries are blooming.....finally!
mmmm.....mesclun, we will harvest this next week and plant tomatoes in its place.

a special visit to our garden today!

Tomato planting - this is yellow plum and we also planted tasmanian yellow tomatoes and a few yellow mini peppers (can you guess the colour of the day?)

We had some very flexible vines that we were able to weave in our teepee to give more support for the beans we will eventually plant.

square foot bed - April 26

square foot bed - May 2 (isn't it INCREDIBLE?? - what a great week we had last week...)
For next week, we hope to arrange the compost delivery (wed), and fill more beds to plant! We will also try to arrange a planting day with the daycare to get them involved.
come join us, next Sunday, 10am !

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