Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Willing to move?

I'm not sure, but I think I might be willing to move for this.  I've looked longingly at this house for years as we drive through Legal on the way to my in-laws.

It's on 4 lots in Vimy, close to family.

I think I could work with this.

With a creek running through the back yard.

Bigger than my house, cheaper than my house.   Sigh. 


Saturday, May 26, 2012

New land

Sometimes when you don't have land you have to create your own. 

Last year I borrowed space.  Apparently I was inspirational, and the resident wants to try her hand at gardening herself.  Humph. 

Okay, then what?  I ran out of carrots and beans and I really don't like it when that happens.  I've still got tomatoes in the pantry, but only because Rosa had better success than I and shared.  As she learns more about what she and her family really eat (as opposed to what she might like to grow), I will get less and less of her bounty each fall. 

What to do, what to do. 

One morning I went out in my wet shoes and traced a line in the grass and threw some stones in a pattern.

Out of curiousity, I asked the kids before school what they thought of the shape.  When Yvon came home from work, I asked him what he thought and we altered it a bit to accommodate the lawn mower a bit.  Our impromptu dinner guests were concerned about how to access our yard with a double-wide stroller, but I'm just not designing with that in mind.  I've given her permission to trample any plants I'm stupid enough to plant close to our actual sidewalk. 

By the time I went to bed (exhausted), this is what I had.

New land!  Not much perhaps, and it's not terribly deep soil, but it will be fine next year as the layer of cardboard starts to decompose and the layer of sod beneath that.  In spite of the load of compost I brought in this year, I'm running out and couldn't mound it the way I would have liked.  (By the way, free mushroom compost can be had at Prairie Mushrooms if you've got a vehicle.  Call first and request their oldest compost.  I didn't.) For now, it's all planted up with shallow-rooted veggies. 


I also gained some new pots, lined them up in an old useless spot and hope to get a few peppers from here.  Much as I hate our stucco wall here, I would love to have that vine cover the wall.  However, it's already covered with whitefly and I think I'm going to cut the happy vine down. 

Last year Yvon cut down part of the neighbours hedge (with permission, of course).  The ground is full of 50 year old hedge roots which I couldn't quite deal with this year.  Nor did I want to look at the orange snow fence.  Oddly, it doesn't show in this picutre, but it's really quite ugly.  The plan is to plant an edible hege here.  Maybe saskatoons and cherries.  However, without adequate soil to plant in at the moment, I'm sure they wouldn't do well yet.  Time for an experiment.

Four hay bale with squash.  I'm hoping the squash will both climb and tumble down the bales.  Either way, it's additional space I didn't have last year.  Yay!  Now I have to remember to fertilize and water these as if they were in planters.  Not my strong suit.

I have a few nice looking pots though, so I'm hoping to build on the skill of potted plants this summer.

So, it's been a busy week and the garden is almost all in.  Just a few more seeds to throw in and I'm done.  I didn't even tell you about our little trip to Jasper yet either.  Maybe I'll have more time online this week. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Garden update

I know I'm not blogging often.  Ideas abound, but I usually end up just catching up with a bunch of pictures.  Works for me, but perhaps not too thought-provoking.  Without regular commenters, I tend to think I'm just talking to myself anyway.  So, this becomes my record from year to year of my gardening mistakes and successes, a reminder of when I've started things, and in the winter it reminds me spring does inevitable return and with it, the color green.  That's reassuring in February.

11 trays and assorted pots of seedlings, started in my basement and living room.

Nanking Cherry - this bloom happened last year too, and we got 1 (!) cherry.

Front yard as of today.  Only beans, peas and carrots planted, but perennials and onions everywhere.

It looks like we might eventually get a meal from our asparagus.  About 10 heads poking up so far!

A Mother's Day herb pot.

With a big pepper already starting!

And that's all I've got for you today!  Have a great week.  You may hear from me again if I'm not digging in the dirt or catching up on back episodes of House.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Picture post of the last two days

I've been playing with Picassa's new built-in photo styles. 

bulletin board painted by Laura

Tuesday's bread

Corn tortilla

Growing chicks

Amauracana chicks

One of 9 new peonies to become my peony hedge

Tomatoes, mostly heritage types

As found in the river valley on Sunday's walk

How Canadian is that?  I've never really looked at it before.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ipod benefits

Beth has a new ipod and I love some of the things she finds on it.  Cool games, music, photography, she follows Jamie Oliver's Instagram thingy, and who knows what else. 

Actually, we do know "what else" because so far we know her passwords for everything and she generally shares everything with us or asks before joining things or participating in new sites.  She even has her own Facebook account now -- before I do!  Yvon monitors it and the whole thing is a bit scary for me, but she's a good kid and I guess we have to learn how to slowly let go.

Anyway, in the absence of anything really exciting going on around here, I thought I'd share a quote with you that Beth showed me.

"I love it when I buy a bag of air and the company is nice enough to put a few chips in it."

It made me giggle.  I think I want an ipod.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I've been pretty sick since last Friday.  Just with a weird cold that won't leave my throat.  Speaking has been the most difficult thing, and singing is out of the question.  My voice breaks in the oddest places.   However, until yesterday I didn't really get to relax my voice because we've had to continue the semblance of normality, with the kids off of school one day, the excitement of having the chicks in the house, and all of the regular activities that we had committed to. 

Yesterday I slept until 1:00, waking to help with lunches and getting ready for school, taking some time to water and move plants outside, and cancelling my activities.  By evening I was ready to do something a bit more active again.    The girls and I went outside to tackle some of this:

I mulched prettily heavily in the fall with leaves so it doesn't look great.  The bottom level of leaves has composted down a bit, leaving a layer of fairly heavily packed leaves and then dry ones on top.  We're uncovering lots of good stuff.  

The old strawberry patch is looking healthy.  The new one looks a bit sad, but it'll perk up.  The onions and shallots are still a surprise to me.  After raking away a layer of leaves we found these:

A full onion, bigger than any I harvested last fall!

More onions - I'll leave them alone and see what they do.
A clump of what I assume are shallots
I think I'll have to add more onions to these areas so that I know where to find them this fall.  They look great though.  Will the full onion turn to mush or will it continue to grow?  It's not showing signs of green so I might just harvest that one.

So today, although my voice still isn't good and I'm starting to tire already at 10:45 am, I'm pretending I'm not sick and trying to function as I normally would.  I've done laundry, tended to plants and chicks, bread is rising and I might tackle this area of the garden next before that cottoneaster hedge fully leafs out.

This is an area where I continually fight quack grass and I'd like to see my brick path again.  It's under there somewhere!

And then by 2:00 I'm sure I'll crash.  With my terrible voice, I'm free to attend book club this week without the guilt of missing choir.  I haven't read the book though!   I've got two days to read at least enough to know what they are talking about.