Sunday, June 19, 2016

Are you ready Hezzy?

Father's Day seems to roll around every year at such a busy time. My boys love their dad and he them. He is the best father. Not perfect, but the best. With both boys away at school, one in Toronto and the other in Saskatoon, we don't see them as often as we'd like but when we do, it's such a wonderful time. Then they go back to their lives and we to ours.

Both boys never got to know their grandpere, we lost him when our eldest was only 3 months old. My dad was not perfect either, he had his struggles, one with booze and the other growing up in an abusive home. His demons did haunt his life. He was ill the last years of his life. We lost him the week before Christmas when my baby was merely 3 months old.

When I became pregnant, my husband was busy with the family business and so my dad would take me to all my appointments. We would go shopping for the new baby and he was so proud when he bought me my state of the art baby carriage. We shopped for baby clothes and all baby things and would come home from the city happy with lots of loot from our shopping spree.

I regret that neither of my boys ever knew him. Actually it hurts my heart that neither grew up being rocked or hugged by him. He so wanted a grand daughter when I was pregnant but when our son was born, he was so excited and loved him so much. Our youngest didn't get that chance as he came two years later. I often wonder what kind of relationship they would have had with him. What kind of trouble they would have gotten into. The birthday and Christmas celebrations we would have had with him. My dad was such an awesome cook.

As the years roll by, the time I think about him the most is when I garden. Dad was an avid gardener and loved big strawberries. He laughed at me the year I was married when I seeded my garden the first day of July. I would never get anything he told me. Well, that year, I had the most fabulous garden ever and then I laughed at him. After that, it was a competition...especially the strawberries. He had a patch of day neutrals but also started a patch of June berries. He lovingly poured all of his gardening skills into them and yet they would not produce. We lost him before he could taste even one June berry and my mom was going to plow them under but decided to give them one more try. All she did was water them and they produced profusely that year. Gallons and gallons of strawberries. My mom and I decided that it was a sign that he was sending us that he was OK in Heaven. And so my heart finally relaxed and I went back to the business of living, but still missing him.

My boys are all grown up now, but every Father's Day after all the commotion dies down and the house is quiet, I think about my dad and how much I miss him. Miss his presence and our escapades together, miss him asking me to join him on another adventure, "Are you ready Hezzy?" , his pet name for me since I was little.

I miss you dad.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Radishes for the garden

 Where we live, Cherry Belle radishes simply do not grow. They bolt, they go woody or don't form a radish at all. It's frustrating. So I started experimenting with different types of radishes. I found a winner.... called French Breakfast. They grow really well and take a lot longer to go woody. They taste good and are nice and crisp.

When seeding radishes, rototill the soil really well. Radishes are best grown early in the season as they prefer weather that is not too hot. Then seed your radishes as per the package. You don't want to seed them too close together, otherwise, they will do nothing and all you'll have are tops. I plant each seed about half an inch apart or more. Lightly cover with soil and water well.  I make several  plantings a week apart so that I have radishes for three weeks. The last bunch may not be as nice, depending on the weather and how hot it is.

I always leave a couple of plants to let the radishes flower and go into seed. Then, I have radish seed for the next season. It may be all in my head, but seed grown in my own garden seems to grow better in the following year. Once the pods are dry in late summer or fall, I pull the plant and take the seeds out of the pods. I do let the seed air dry in a shallow dish for a couple of months because I want to make sure the seed is very dry to store properly. I prefer to store seeds in a paper envelope rather than a plastic bag.

Give them a whirl!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Blue Jays!

We have never seen Blue Jays in our area, that all changed about a week ago. We are thrilled to have two pair show up to feast on our maturing sunflower seeds.
At first they were quit skittish if we were outside. By the end of the second day, I could take a photo with my telephoto lens about 20 feet away. They are beautiful. We had seen them first as just a blue blurb flying through our yard. Now they decided to visit longer.
We aren't sure how long they are going to stay, hopefully the Winter. Some of them migrate and some of them stay behind. We are in the zone where they stay for the Winter.
In a couple of afternoons, we were surprised to see that they had cleaned out some of the sunflower heads that measure about a foot across.
I had to race out to pick a soup bowlful of seeds to dry for next year's garden. My cousin Paulette told me that they hoard seeds and stick them in all kinds of hiding places.

We were working outside in the nice afternoon sun close to the sunflowers. They were very vocal that they were not happy. One even swooped just above my head. We look forward to watching them daily.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Goji berries grow in Saskatchewan!

We were giving the garden tour to my sister in law and her husband last week and Gary, being the observant man that he is, pointed out that I actually had some goji berries at the base of my new plant! They are a bit on the muddy side, but they are goji berries! The test will be to see if they survive the Saskatchewan Winter. They should as they are native to the Himalayan mountains. I only have a handful, but I have berries!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Growing Blueberries...continued from last Fall

 Last Fall, I had planted 12 different hardy to Saskatchewan blueberry bushes. Three of the low bush blueberries did not survive. They were fine until Spring and then just dried up. They'd been kept in a garage all Winter just above freezing and had been watered enough to keep them dormant.
I put them all on my deck because some were wanting to flower and by golly, I wanted my own blueberries this year, so out they went and of course the bees found them in record time. Because they had been in the garage, the silly things wanted to grow way too early. So when it got too cold, we hauled them all back in for the nights and put them in the sun during the day.

Last week, all the viable plants were planted into the garden and they are doing very well. We've had a cool wet Spring and so the plants did not suffer from sun burn of any sort. They do have berries on them and I will be netting them this week so the birds don't get to eat them before I do!

Next, I will proceed to add pine needles to the plant site as well as other mulch.

Can't wait to taste that first berry!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

You can't believe everything you read on the Net

There are lots of things that I've read on the Net that have worked wonderfully. One of my biggest flops for gardening was the potato in the barrel. Yeah well, it really doesn't work that well. I will be trying it again in the future but all the directions that I read...nothing worked.

This Winter, I tried making all my seeding pots out of newspaper. The directions were awesome and I make all these great little biodegradable newspaper pots. I was worried about the inks in the paper affecting my plants but all the reading I did assured me that the ink was safe and biodegradable.

You know that little voice in your head that speaks to tell you to question it again? Yeah well, I should have listened to it.

I went ahead, filled my cute little pots with organic soil. I carefully seeded all my cute little seeds and waited for them to come up. Some came up and some didn't at all. Then those little seedlings withered and died or turned yellow and shriveled up. What did grow, stopped growing, they were stunted. I had them in a sunny window and under a grow light. Nothing seemed to help.

Look, I've been gardening a long time. Never had such a colossal flop ever. I really mean EVER.

Too late to start any more, I hit up the green house and bought all new ones and put them into the garden.

Not the heritage varieties I wanted. But at least I have a garden.

After seeing what newspaper can do to plants, I decided that I would never use it in my garden for whatever reason.

I really don't want to eat ink anyways...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Three week lemon trees

I have 17 beautiful little lemon trees growing! They will be getting transplanted tomorrow. I have read that they do not reproduce a true lemon. Not a big deal! I love the feel of the plants, they are silky and almost rubbery. They are about two inches tall at three weeks old. They did take about three weeks to germinate. See my previous post how I got them to actually grow.

Sooooo excited!

OK so I'm a garden geek.