Friday, June 29, 2012

Peak into my garden

Bought these red prairie lilies at Wally World last year. The plant had one stalk on it and was a bit on the ragged side. This year it came up beautifully with lots of blooms. This particular plant is in my front flower bed (mulched) on the South side of the house. I can't believe the change from a year ago. I'm really happy with my choice!

I grew up on this lettuce and continue to grow it every year. It's called Prizehead leaf lettuce and it tastes amazing. Of course growing up on the farm, this lettuce was served with farm fresh cream and a bit of salt. It grows well and once cut will grow back a couple of times. I have seeded more a couple of weeks later to keep us in lettuce for the summer. I'm about to put my third row in for the fall.

This is one of my cabbages that I bought from the local green house, it's a later season variety and I've added marigolds to the bed to help discourage the cabbage butterfly and the canola beetle. So far no signs of either! Knock on wood!

Here are my peas growing up to attach themselves to the twine that I've strung between two metal posts. Peas don't need a lot of moisture to flourish. I'm hoping by providing support that they will continue to grow up and continue flowering to the end of the season. We shall see if they do!
My potatoes are in flower. Once the flowers dry up, then three weeks later, I should be able to steal some new potatoes from the plants to eat fresh! Mmmmmm can taste them already!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pink poppy

My most favorite poppy by far in my garden. The package it came in said it was red and lo and behold it grows pink. I don't know what variety it is and we've tried to propagate it with no luck so far. The petals looks like crepe paper and the flowers last a long time. Just a gorgeous addition to my garden. I have never been able to find these anywhere else. This is what makes gardening so satisfying!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Growing potatoes progress report

My Burbank Russet potatoes are a foot high in my potato barrel. Tonight, I will be adding a mixture of potting soil and wood shavings to cover about half of the plants leaving the top halves uncovered until they grow some more. There are 10 whole seed potatoes in my barrel and they are growing evenly and strong. I seeded the remainder of the bag of seed potatoes in the garden like I normally do. I want to see which way grows more potatoes...10 plants in a barrel or 10 plants seeded in my regular manner.

There are three rows of potatoes growing here....I guess I put two rows too close together. They are in flower and should have been hilled by now but we've had so much rain that we were unable to do so. Starting tonight, we will hill some of the potatoes and continue to do so until they are done. As you can see, they are starting to flower. Once the flowers are dried up, it takes three weeks before the potatoes can be picked. They are small at that stage, so we tend to steal just a couple from each plant to allow the potatoes to grow to a good size. Nothing tastes as good as a fresh potato!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Not all beautiful flowers belong in the flower bed! Any gardener worth his salt will tell you that if you see chives flowering that the gardener didn't chop off the chives for use in cooking fast enough. Yeah, that would be me. I love a flowering chive! Such rich color! My clump of chives was given to me by my mom. She had a huge clump and just went with her shovel and took off a chunk for me. I planted and watered the chunk of chives and it has been growing almost unattended ever since. Hard to kill a chives plant when started. I will probably saw these off shortly and within a few weeks I'll have fresh chives again. I should really cut them off when they're young, wash them up and dehydrate them this time around. Organic dried chives are almost impossible to find in any store where I live. In the mean time, my pretty purple flowers are feeding my garden bees....

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Robinson's Single Painted Daisy

I have a very hard time starting Daisies of any kind. I keep buying them and I keep planting them. This particular plant was planted last Spring and was sorely neglected, left unmulched for the winter. It bloomed for the first time this Spring and I'm soooo excited! The colors are rich and beautiful. Heading back to Superstore this week to see if they have more of these plants to replace others that didn't make it. This Daisy is hardy to Zone 2 and likes full sun and well drained soil. I will be mulching it some time this Summer.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A novelty...grow your own pineapple!

I found this really cool video on Youtube that explains how to start a pineapple. I just had to pass this on to you as after THREE years in the pot, you can eat the pineapple. There are lots of videos on youtube about this but this one explains it really well!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Blue Stocking Beebalm

I was shopping a Superstore in their bedding plants section and found this interesting little plant called Beebalm. When I planted it and touched the actual plant...I got this whiff of this incredible scent. It was love at first scent! So I placed a rock right next to it so that my Collies do not trample it. According to the label, Beebalm has good heat tolerance and it blooms from mid-summer to early fall. It is hardy to Zone 3. I planted it on the South side of the house and mulched it. Seems to like where I planted it. Can't wait until it blooms!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Brilliant Oriental Poppy

My sister in law had beautiful poppies growing in her yard and I fell in love with her flowers. Then I found some in the local green houses. I planted my poppy plants on the South and West sides of my house. Then I covered the soil with landscape fabric and topped that off with about 3 inches of bark mulch. My plants have been growing there now for two years. My peach colored poppies have been there for four years. Every year the plants get bigger and with more blooms. I do water them if we are short on rain. My poppies always bloom in June and I so enjoy their vibrant colors. I chose poppies because I live in Zone 3 and they are hardy to Zone 2. You can use them as cut flowers. They love the hot sun!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Taters are growin'

I went to check my potato barrels this morning and the spuds are already up! About a week it took. I find that these barrels, due to the store bought soil, dry out faster than my own soil. Not sure if I really like that to be honest. I also question what's in the soil. I do have my own manure, it's just not cured yet and I really want the seeds to have time to rot. I know my manure is rich because we feed our horses alfalfa mainly during the winter. Alfalfa is rich in minerals because the roots can go down to as much as twenty feet. I think the next layer, I will add some of my organic nutrient soil with the store bought soil and manure. I think that will make me feel better. I want my vegetables and fruit to have maximum nutrition if I'm going to go to all of this work!

My celery is coming along really well. I had started some celery plants but they were too small and would have done nothing. So I bought some nice big plants at the green house and placed the one gallon pots with the bottoms cut out around the plants. The celery really likes this. Tonight I took the hoe and took care of those small weeks quickly and easily. Celery requires a lot of water so that they are not woody. I give them a gallon of rain water every two nights and they really like that.

My tomatoes are also starting to take off also. I started all of my own because I wanted Heritage tomatoes, no hybrids. Like the celery, tomatoes love the gallon containers around them and I water them just like the celery only not quite as often. I'm also adding marigolds to help ward off the canola beetles. Let's face it, pretty flower but they stink and serve the purpose. I had transplanted all of my tomatoes and then remembered I forgot the crushed eggshell at the bottom of the holes. So I dug them all up and made sure they all had crushed egg shells in their holes, it's that important to me not to have blossom end rot due to a calcium deficiency.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Snowbelle Mock Orange

I found this tiny plant at a garden center and was immediately intrigued by it's possibilities. I love the blooms on this new plant. The packaging says it's suppose to grow to four feet high and four feet wide, which of course would make me very happy! But I live in Saskatchewan and often times plant dimensions stated on the package never happen. It is planted on the South but partially East side of the house. It is protected from the wind and gets shade in the afternoon and as you can see, it is in a mulched area. Because I have dogs, new plants always have an ornament right beside them until they get larger so that they don't get trampled right off the top.  Not only the dogs don't see the new plants but often times we ourselves forget that we've planted them there or our visiting friends and relatives just fail to see them. So better safe than sorry! It will be interesting to see how big this plant grows over the summer and if it survives the harsh winters of Saskatchewan!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lovely spring flowers

Here are a few lovelies from my garden, just starting to bloom!

I'm not really sure what this perennial is, just that it blooms at least a couple of times during the summer and it's a beautiful, dainty flower. Part of the reason I started my blog was to be able to track what I was growing in my garden!

Some of my first bearded iris' of the season. I love bearded irises!
This was taken last night just before a rain storm. It's a poppy just getting ready to bloom! I have to say that poppies are some of my most favorite flowers. Had a heck of a time starting them and replanted several times but when they start blooming...I'm in Heaven!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The great potato barrel experiment

I had an old rain barrel that would no longer hold water so my husband cut it in half and now I have two potato barrels. Both ends were cut out. I then placed some of my garden soil at the bottom and placed about ten seed potatoes...about two inches of soil. I covered the seed potatoes with organic soil from the hardware store, about 4 inches and watered them in. Now we wait for them to come up.  Most of the sites I checked used three potatoes, but I didn't think that was enough...their harvests were pretty pitiful. I got the seed potatoes on sale for $5 for the one barrel. The second barrel I used sprouted potatoes from my potato bin, red, purple and white. We shall see how this all turns out!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Maid of Orange, Bearded Iris

My newest treasure that I picked up at Walmart of all places. I have other irises with the usual color of purple and yellow, but when I came across this one, I had to have it. It was flimsy to plant and you could tell was not a strong plant. I carefully planted it two days ago and was rewarded with this beautiful bloom with this fantastic color! 

Real weather signs

I love watching the skies for glimpses into the future weather forecast for my area. My son took this beautiful photo last night. It actually means that the next day is going to be a windy day. Today the wind is blowing.
My husband was working outside and alerted me to the circle around the sun. It means that we should expect rain in 4 days and that is exactly what the weather man is forecasting. Most weather signs don't last very long, just long enough to grab the camera and click a few shots. Five minutes after I took the circle around the was gone!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Protecting the Saskatoon berry crop

My dad, the lover of Saskatoon berries, planted two trees in the back yard so he could eat his favorite berry. After he passed on, my mom had my Uncle Laurent build her a cage around her tree so that the birds could not eat all of her berries. That cage has a door for us to get in and out of and it has saved the huge Saskatoon crop my mom gets off of one of her trees every year. 
We now have to trim the branches that grow through the chicken wire so the cage does not get destroyed but it's still study after all these years and it's still doing it's job. Takes an old farmer like my Uncle to know how to build something to last a long time!