Archive for April 2012

April 29 - Garden Beds Almost Full

May is almost here and the garden continues to progress ...... wheat, potato onions, broad beans and red mustard (starting to flower) are looking good, and the potatoes have been hilled.

Resowed spinach (Bloomsdale Longstanding) as our previous sowings failed to germinate ......  popped in a few nasturtiums (Gleam Mix). 
The strawberries and blueberries are starting to bloom

And some of our mason bee cocoons have hatched!!

The tomatoes and basil harden off in the hoop house - hopefully the weather will co-operate and they can be planted out next week

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Happy Earth Day - April 22

The weather has started to warm, and with the help of regular showers, our seeds are now starting to germinate .......

Broadbeans are up, potatoes are starting to peak above the soil surface, our snap peas are finally showing and wee lettuce seedlings are now visible ......... the chives and sorrel are ready for harvest

Sowed Homesteader peas, pollinator blend flowers, African marigold and thought we'd even try some sunflowers - now we just need the sun to stay around for a while

And a big thank you to Itzia for trimming our unruly hedge - the garden is looking good

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More to Sow - April 15

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Cleared out the last of our winter parsnips in the garden and sowed beets, carrots and chard in rows in the cleared bed - another suggestion in Linda Gilkeson's book - carrots and beets grow under the soil, while the chard leaves grow above ground - a good use of our garden space.

Also broadcast mixed lettuce seeds amongst the potato onions, and slow bolt cilantro was seeded as a companion to our garlic. And the red mustard continues to amaze ..... if every crop were so hardy and prolific!

The blueberries and strawberries are looking better every week .....

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Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day 4.15.2012

It's so rewarding to see so many plants in bloom this month!  April flowers are our colorful reward after a long winter's nap.  Although I don't think of my own garden as having a particularly dazzling early spring display, there are at least a few things to share with you today:

The prairie garden is coming to life

Although the buffalo grass is still dormant...
the first of the species tulips, T. dasystemon, are on show
...and the Caragana is blooming.

The back border is awash in lilacs and mahonia                                    
Syringa vulgaris
Mahonia aquifolium
Bergenia cordifolia
and the standing-on-my-head shot
The pond is not ready for prime-time, but some of the surrounding plants are at their flowering peak now.   These plants provided evergreen foliage all winter:
variegated Vinca minor
candytuft, Iberis sempervirens
Turkish veronica, V. liwanensis

Across the entry garden mahonia, vinca and an informal hedge of Cameo quince:

It's always fun to look back and compare today's bloomers with those from last year.  2012 will certainly go down as an "early" and floriferous Spring!

Don't forget to visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens to find links to other gardens from around the world that are sharing their colorful blooms today too!

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New Bed - April 8

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We now have a new bed and will try intensive planting as suggested in Linda Gilkeson's book "Backyard Bounty" ...

Two types of lettuce to start - Grand Rapids and Roxy - to be joined in June with Brussels sprouts once half the lettuce is harvested. By late June all the lettuce will be done and we will set out cucumbers. In August we plan to broadcast corn salad under the vines, then in October when the cucumbers are done they will be removed. The rest of the winter the bed will be dedicated to the corn salad and the Brussels sprouts.

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April Sowing - April 8

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Finally our radishes are starting to emerge .... but no sign of either the snap peas or the climbing peas other than a few nibbled seeds .......

The wheat, garlic, potato onions and red mustard all look good, and the raspberries are starting to leaf out. Hopefully our potatoes will start to show in a few more weeks.

The Tuscan Kale is flowering, so hopefully we'll get some seed to resow.

Work continues on garden structures - we now have two trellises for climbing veggies to be sown when the season warms.

Sowed more radishes - this time white ones, and Venidium for our flower bed ....

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Where are the bees?

Chaenomeles japonica 'Cameo' bursting with pollen
This past Saturday I took a few photos in my yard to document all of the woody trees and shrubs that are blooming - oddly enough - simultaneously.  Most years we have a succession of flowers from mid-March through early May, and now I can see forsythia, serviceberry, quince, crabapples, mahonia and lilacs all in view of my own home, not to mention the magnolias, redbuds, flowering almonds, peaches and pears I've spotted around town. 

Mahonia aquifolium and Syringa vulgaris
 It's a wild and crazy mash-up of colors for sure, but also a bit disappointing that the spring flower show will be a flash dance rather than a parade.

Amelanchier x grandiflora 'Autumn Brilliance'
 Unfortunately, despite the huge floral surge of late, I have not seen any bees.  One of my favorite springtime pleasures is to sit under my apricot tree when it is in full bloom and listen to hundreds of bees going about their work. 
Prunus armeniaca in late March 2012
 This year I saw less than a handful of bees.  What gives?

Cameo quince

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