Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Wow, I’ve been missing in action since last May or thereabouts.  So much has happened since then.  I was on a kick of showcasing “what’s in bloom in the garden right now”.  Well, the hot arid summer put an end to that particular avenue of pleasure.  We had no rain for two months.  The rain barrels dried up, so I resorted to using tap water but that got way too expensive.  I then took the tack that anything that didn’t survive the summer wasn’t worth keeping in the garden.  When the rains came back in September and revived the fittest I was quite happy.  Needless to say this year things will be different.  Only draught-tolerant plants in my yard.

Currently we are experiencing Old Man Winter’s last storm.  It has been snowing for about ten hours with no let-up in sight.  My husband was thrilled to bits last night, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, he was going to get to use the SNOWBLOWER  which he had mothballed last week, since, you know, it really hasn’t snowed all winter long.  That was the worst run-on sentence in the history of blogging!!

Anyways, I have been locked out of this site since I switched over to Windows 10 late last year, a decision I greatly regret.  I have been told that I am digitally incompetent and trying to use the new operating system makes me think that that just might be the case.

I need to refresh my blogging skills within this site, it might take me a while.

So, no pictures today folks, now I am going outside to shovel the front step off.

 

 

 

 

 

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Flowering in the Garden right now

It has been a very, very hot and dry summer so far.  The water barrels are bone dry and I have had to resort to using the garden hose to water my garden. Even perennials can’t withstand this kind of arid weather. I’m definitely not looking forward to receiving my water bill next month.

Anyways, enough whining and on with the show. Ninety percent of the flowers and shrubs pictured here were propagated by me and I have to say I am pretty pleased with myself. The Shasta daisies have surpassed their usual size and are blooming quite nicely thank you very much.

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Two weeks ago

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Today, at least one foot taller

I purchased one Annabelle Hydrangea about four years ago and now through propagation I have quite a few of them all over the yard. They seem to be thriving in shade and sun,  so go figure.  The ones pictured here are just over 5 foot tall.013007

Keeping with the white theme are Astillbe, Feverfew and Hostas.  The Hosta leaves have over a one foot span, I think they are called Elephant Ears but don’t hold me to that.

Now for a little bit of colour I have daylilies and some purple heuchera021023

Some of my hens and chicks are flowering and  I usually nip the flower off, but this year I let it go. After the bloom is spent the mother hen will die off, but I bet I can grow some baby succulents off the leaves.043

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Looks like that monster off the movie “Aliens”

 

Last but not least is the birdbath that I planted with succulents this year. This is one of the garden artifacts  that came from my mother’s garden after she passed away 27 years ago. the pedestal was cracked then but it’s still hanging in there.

If we don’t get some serious rain soon there won’t be any blooms to show in August!

Farmers Market 2016

 

 

After months and months of preparation and anticipation on my part, the big day finally  arrived on June 12th, namely, opening day of the Fort Erie Race Track Farmers Market.

This year we decided to buy a tent and move outside where most of the other vendors are. My husband Pat was against this move, citing the weather as being his main objection, but I’m afraid he was over-ruled (by me) and I have to say that, based on one day only,  it was definitely the way to go. There is just so much more activity outside that it felt more like a Market.004Since we had not yet received an assigned spot we went a bit earlier than normal, not knowing what to expect. There was only one other vendor there and at his suggestion we decided to wait until the new Market Manager showed up, I didn’t want to take someone else’s spot. By eight thirty I couldn’t contain myself any longer  and called her on her cell, which thanks to technology I was able to get off an email she had sent a few days earlier. It’s a good job I did because she had been told that vendors usually arrive around ten and wasn’t planning on coming in until nine.

Things finally got them self sorted out and we were able to start setting up. This usually takes at least two hours and the Market opens at eleven, so a little bit of pressure there. I didn’t get chance to take many pictures and the ones that I did take are poor quality but I think you will get the idea.007Pat’s in charge of getting the tent up, with a little help from me. I’m more of a hindrance than anything else, I will blame it on my height!  I also can’t do anything until he has attached the display racks to the tables, so I unpacked everything from the cars and brought it over.

Finally, it’s my turn to roll the sleeves up. Pat took off to pick up some breakfast and much needed cups of tea. By the time he got back I was nearly finished.

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Right Side

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Middle

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Left side

 

I’ve been working on beach-themed signs for two weeks, since Fort Erie is right on the lake and there are a lot of summer residents here in the summer.

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I also painted a few flower signs for the plants I would be selling and that worked out well. Plant sales were pretty brisk, so I was pleased with that.

I set myself up a behind the scenes place to sit and eat lunch, but I really didn’t get much chance to go back there.  All in all a great first day at the Market.012

Next week we will have to remember to bring something heavy to hold the tent down, it was pretty windy and got a bit wild there for a time. Some of the other vendors came to my rescue though. So, that’s all good then.

I almost forgot, my horses came in dead last for the first three races. I can sure pick ’em!

Not much blooming this week

 

 

Second week of June and my garden seems to be in an “in-between” stage. Some flowers are on the way out and others  will arrive next week.002

The irises are still going strong. I like to dead-head the spent blooms for two reasons,     one – tidiness and  two – the plant  spends all it’s energy in the blooms still going strong and not into seed production017016

The weigelias are at different stages. The white one is in full bloom but the pink one is fading fast.003

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I have made quite a few new shrubs off the pink and I’m always thrilled when my efforts payoff.

The purple heuchera blossoms  have made an appearance,  I’m not a big fan of them, but the foliage of this one  is great.  I also have some regular old-fashioned coral bells and they make a much prettier flower display, also great for using in floral displays, a filler just like babies breath.

 

Last year I actually bought a new shrub, an ornamental  black elderberry with pink blossoms. It was well worth it, it is making a stunning display. Unfortunately I haven’t been successful in propagating this beauty.. 010

When I first planted this garden about seven years ago, I had a planting rule. Only white and purple flowers were allowed. I know, crazy right? I have strayed a little bit from that plan and allowed pink in. Here’s what’s going on in the purple department right now, and don’t forget all those irises.

 

Last, but not least is something that I have been extremely successful at propagating,  and that is my Annabelle hydrangea. It won’t be blooming for another few weeks, but I was excited to see all the buds, because last year they didn’t do well at all. I have about ten of these bushes throughout the garden and they are huge.018

That’s all for now folks, next time I think I will share how I display artifacts in my garden.

Market Prep

June 12th marks the start up of the Fort Erie Racetrack Farmers Market and I have been busy for the last three months working hard to make sure I have enough product to sell and also trying to improve on my display.

I decided to splurge on a pop-up tent this year and be outdoors where I think most of the action is, the only downside to that plan will be the weather.

We had a trial run a couple of weeks ago, because I don’t want any surprises on the first day. Turned out that was a good idea, being as I have added to the plant section that I had last year. I branched out into painting wood signs this winter and I was looking for a good way to  display signs and plants without it looking like a jumble sale.

Pat made those  display crates out of reclaimed wood, and  I had been using them up on the tables to give added height, but they really are too big for those tables.  So they can stay on the ground, I’ll figure something out.018

This is an inside view017015

I will also be selling perennials this year. I have quite a big garden with a host of different varieties of perennials just crying out to be split.  Last Fall I was already planning ahead, I dug up and split plants like they were going out of style. We planted them in the vegetable garden, pots and all to over-winter. In the Spring we dug them up, I repotted them all in new containers with fresher soil and now I have close to two hundred babies ready to go to Market.

I decided to integrate my plant sales by making display signs for them, nothing like leaving something to the last minute and if someone wants to buy the signs then that’s a bonus.

Wish me luck on Sunday

Small perennial planters

First day of the Farmers Market is fast approaching and I don’t think you can ever have too much product. So I decided to plant up two matching pots today, given to me by my friend Dayna who I used to work with before I retired many moons ago. 037

It’s been extremely hot and dry here so I had to wait for the shade to grace my potting table because once I start a project I like to finish it, and this humidity is totally draining. 041

This potting table looks nothing like it did last year when it was first built, it was a thing of beauty and now it is totally a utilitarian work space. I keep everything I need at hand in its own place so I can reach for whatever tool I need without even thinking about it. I really don’t know what I did without it.

Okay, let’s get started. I have no preference for potting medium, I just buy anything that’s on sale, I usually add some perlite, peat-moss  and a bit of garden soil to the mix.

I like to mix the ingredients in this giant container which stays tucked underneath the table to keep it dry when it rains. (haha, I wish).036

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

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That dibbler was the best garage sale find

Next, I need to go “shopping” from  my stock of perennials and annuals. I really don’t have a plan, I just like to have a different mix of foliage and I’m a sucker for white flowers. If you’ve ever seen the Vicar of Dibley with Dawn French, she’s a great comedienne by the way, there’s a character on there called Mrs. Cropley who likes to mix things up when it comes to food. Well, I’m the Mrs. Cropley of garden planters because I like to mix things up as well.

I started with these plants,  to get the show rolling, knowing it wouldn’t be enough, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

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Hostas, Heuchera, grass, white-flowered annual and purple lamium

Earlier in the season I had bought a couple of trays of annuals in six packs which I transferred to four inch pots. They are coming along quite nicely just look at those roots. These are gardening hands, I don’t even know why I put nail polish on it just gets destroyed because I don’t wear gloves. Apparently working with soil bare-handed is supposed to beneficial,  all I know is that I can accomplish more with the gloves off!047

Half-way through the process I noticed that I had an audience of hornets who had set up shop in the top left corner of the potting table. They will have to be dealt with by the hubby later, because I am a big chicken when it comes to creatures that will sting you just for the heck of it. But they kept to themselves, so I just kept on working.

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Once I had the plants in place,  I had to go in search of some fillers, so I added a few sedums that will spill over. Even though they are supposed to have different watering needs, I find that sedums do pretty good in this kind of container.049

Here’s the back view of the other one048

These will fill out quite nicely by June 12th.051