GARDEN ARTIFACTS

Over the years I have collected a few artifacts that I acquired (or was gifted) specifically for my garden. Some of them have very special meanings and some of them, just because I like them.

HOPE YOU ENJOY MY COLLECTION!

 

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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

Everchanging garden

I think I mentioned before that I only use annuals in planters and hanging baskets because they require too much attention. Those pansies you see in the background just vacated the planter that is in the foreground, full of million bells and bacopa now. I just couldn’t just throw the pansies away, that is a shady spot maybe they will survive.

I have another rule as well that applies to the perennials and shrubs “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”. Meaning, once I’ve planted them in the ground, given them a good start in life, babied them for about two weeks, then they’re on their own!

The landscape changes every week, what was in bloom last week is now fading and what is in bloom this week will be gone in two weeks, but there will be something else after that.

Here’s this weeks landscape.

One can never have enough Irises!

I’m a big fan of white – white flowers, white bulbs, shrubs with white flowers. This white weigelia, unlike other weigelias will continue to bloom if you dead-head the spent blooms. And yes, I will take the time to dead-head everything.

The only  other new bloomers this week are the coral bells, some dogwood shrubs and that purple thing that someone gave me and I don’t know what it is. I’m actually not a fan of it either, every year I promise myself I am going to chuck it on the compost heap, but I don’t.

See you next week.

Gardening Essentials

We got a late start to the garden this year because of  Old Man Winter sticking around so long. Well, he’s gone now and we are working sun-up to sun-down to try and catch up.

Given the size of my husband’s vegetable garden, there are a few essentials  that we have gathered over the years to help maintain an organized crop with the added bonus of a stunning visual display.

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He uses wood frames (top) and metal gazebo corner pieces (bottom) to grow climbing beans, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.

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This was taken about four years ago, the grandchildren are a lot bigger now. Kevin is the youngest and probably enjoys helping granddad the most. We bought him his own gardening tools, which he took home last week because he is having his own veggie patch at this own house, thank you very much!13226941_10157008988810193_2410733070268282386_n

Water is probably the most important component in any type of garden. We like to use rain water when possible, so we have rain barrels on the four corners of the house. Tap water is only used during dry spells. In a perfect world it would rain every night!

Another important  tool of the trade used in this garden is any kind of material used to keep the weeds down. We use landscape fabric, mulch and straw to keep those weeds down and also to  retain moisture. Sometimes though you have no choice but to  manually hoe them out

Using a rototiller to till the soil before you start planting is frowned upon nowadays because it disturbs the almighty  earthworm and all the other living micro-organisms ,  so we only use it on the absolute worst spots. Who knows in a couple of years when the soil has been amended with enough compostable material to keep those worms happy we will be able to do away with it all together and just use the garden fork and spade.

This is our compost pile. Its 7 years old and every year we have a disagreement on who gets to use the “black gold” that is at the bottom. I say it should go to the one who turns it the most and that would be me.015

How Lightning Helps Your Vegetable Garden

Last year we started using metal stakes for the tomatoes because someone told Pat it was beneficial. So I googled  it (let’s face it we’re all googling everything)  and what do you know that little old Italian man was dead right. He’d been doing it his whole life, it was probably passed down to him as an old wives tale.

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If you only take one thing from this post, take the metal stake one.

Spring Blooms

The only annuals you will find in my garden are the ones in my urns and hanging baskets. I find that if you plant them in your beds you will be spending the entire summer watering droopy flowers that can’t withstand the heat or a dry spell.  Not so with perennials, they send down deep roots so watering them is not a requirement, unless you have just planted them and they need a good start. Another plus, is you can split them after a few years and  expand your garden or give them away (or even sell them!)

Here is a catalogue of the flowers currently in bloom in my garden. Enjoy.

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lilacs

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spirea

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azalea

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star of david

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creeping phlox

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ornamental thistle

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lily of the valley

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azalea

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never remember this one

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azalea

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candytuft

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grape hyacinth

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DANDELION

 

 And now, the garden is calling and I must go………………..