Sunday, July 20, 2014

Garden tours are so inspiring!

I went on the local Horticulture Society's Garden Tour last weekend.
It was my first one, and I got to see some phenomenal gardens right here in my own town!
I met a lot of very nice people and took about 300 photos.
Here are just a few of my favorites

So many beautiful plants, gardens and great ideas. 
I came home happy and inspired.
Isn't that what gardens are supposed to do?

The garden in mid July

I had a little bit of time yesterday to snap a few pictures of the garden, and some current bloomers.
'Navona' Lily and Veronica behind
In the same corner of the garden is Mallow 'Party Girl'

The first 'Crazy Love' Dahlia bloom of the season
A volunteer Poppy, this time a delicate ruffled pink
I've save the Mirabilis for several years now, and it is getting to be shrub size!
An interesting Nicotiana, an almost green plant
The Butterfly Weed, absent of Monarchs this year
I've thanked the birds for planting this sunflower for me this year
I put this chair here and planted a Moonflower Vine at its base. The vine is still only 6 inches tall!
Daisy and Monarda are a striking combination
The view from the back porch
I just wish I would learn to sit and enjoy it more!

Finally a garden fence!

It was only 10 years coming, but I FINALLY have a fence around the veggie garden!
 Complete with gate and sign, made in the winter.
The garden hasn't changed, but somehow the fence makes it feel complete. And hopefully, this will keep the rabbits out.
I have been busy starting the harvest, first with the Black Currents. 
My first time making Black Current jam!
I have been picking Sugar Snap peas, and bush beans too
Yesterday for the first time I made pickles!
I have also been picking a few cherry tomatoes, but they don't make it back to the house ... YUM!
One thing I have noticed this year is the lack of pollinators. I have not seen a single honey bee this year. I think this is due to the increase of GMO crops in the area. Thankfully the fields surrounding me are 'Certified Organic' (so I am told, however I am not sure how it got this designation), but beyond those fields things have changed. There are suddenly weedless fields of wheat, soya beans, and corn and giant tractors with sprayers. But that's another post for another day.
Meanwhile, the unknown vine that grew from the compost in the back garden is growing well
I had hoped it was a pumpkin or squash, but this week, this vine finally gave a clue...
Gourds! Now I'm not sure how long I will keep this vine growing here. 
Also this week was Little Country Girls 11th birthday!
And spoiled she was! A girl only turns 11 once ;)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The early July garden

Life has a way of getting so hectic that sometimes you just have to STOP and force yourself to take some time look around. School is out now and so the kids are home to help with chores.
Even having help with a few simple things eases the load a lot, and makes room for a few other things ... like JAM!
Big Country Girl and a friend went strawberry picking. Nothing quite like the taste of fresh picked Ontario strawberries still warm from the sun!
And so, with my plan of canning/preserving this year, I made jam.
2 batches and I ended up with12 jars of various sizes.
I also learned the sweet sound that other canners said I would learn to love ... the sound of the "ping" that means the jars have sealed. The jam is a hit, so I'm not sure how long the 12 jars will last.
Despite the bunnies, beetles and lack of fence, the veggie patch is doing well. The first zucchini is almost ready to pick and I can't wait to stuff it!
The radishes have all been picked and have been re-sown
And the tomatoes are coming along nicely
Spinach is producing, and so is the kale.
Cucumbers are growing and there will be peppers to pick very soon.
And the bunnies (so far) have saved me some peas!
Hubby says today MAY be the day for the fence to go up IF he is home from work early enough. Keeping my fingers crossed!
A few photos from the flower gardens - the first being the Black Lace Sambuccas that I thought was dead from the previous post. It is growing back in well!
I am really impressed with my Blue Oat Grass this year
And also the vivid blooms on the Rose Campion
Last years Daisy's from the discount rack are putting on a show
A few Roses

And a few overall shots of the gardens, which are starting to fill in quite nicely

Next Sunday, our local Horticulture Society is having a garden tour.
I can't wait to see other people's gardens :)