Thursday, July 1, 2021

My Kitchen Garden: Early Summer 2021

May 2021 was a month of extremes; one week I was desperately covering my tomatoes to protect them from frost, the next week there were heat advisories.  

My direct-sown spinach hated the temperature swings, bolting as soon as it germinated.  Everything else pretty much soldiered on with the help of a lot of hand watering necessitated by the driest May in recorded history.  By mid-month I had emptied all of my rain barrels and resorted to tap water.

All that loving attention paid off in June with the garlic producing a lovely batch of scapes.

The peas have also been sweet & plentiful ...

... and so far the tomatoes look very promising.

On the hardscaping side, I gave all the cedar garden boxes two coats of stain and a wonderful arch trellis was custom designed and installed by Ines & Eric of My Nordic Garden.

Garden Trellis by Ines Batterton

I also took advantage of Ines's coaching services and I highly recommend her to anyone interested in improving their kitchen garden knowledge.

Over in the flower gardens, I was delighted with the beautiful Aveyron Tulips, a new addition to my sunny border.

I'm also thrilled that many old friends survived being moved to new locations and are now thriving.  

These include the Siberina Bugloss that brings a lot of joy first thing in spring ...

... as well as my Jackmanii Clematis which has never looked better.  It was well worth using that backhoe to move twenty-plus years of roots over to the new garden!

All-in-all, May and June 2021 were a whole lot of work and a whole lot of fun!

My Kitchen Garden: Early Summer 2021 by  on 2021-07-01 A Whole Lot of Fun!

Images: Garden Trellis by Ines of My Nordic Garden; All other images by Tatiana Dokuchic

Saturday, May 8, 2021

My Kitchen Garden: May 2021

Welcome to the marvelous month of May! 

After months of plotting and planning it's finally time to get growing.

Having been started from seed, Sweet Peas, Snap Peas, & Everyhardy White Scallions have now been transplanted into the raised beds while Laxton's Peas, Napoli Carrots, Verdil Spinach, Astro Arugula, & Mix Lettuce were sown directly.  The Russian Red & Music Garlic, planted last November, seem to be enjoying the early spring weather.

Cosmos Sensation Mix, China Aster Crego Mix, Orchid Cream Nasturtiums, & Tall Climbing Nasturtiums are hanging out in the cottage at night after enjoying some hardening off time in the garden during the day.

Brandywine Pink Beefsteak Tomatoes, Waltham Broccoli, Alpine Strawberries, & more White Scallions are enjoying the grow light and sunny window in the laundry room waiting for their turn to be hardened off.  I've potted up the tomatoes twice now so I'm really hoping that night time temperatures will warm up enough for me to get them at least into the unheated cottage.

With the exception of two White Spruce and four established Boxwoods all the residents of my old flower gardens were rearranged into brand new beds last November.  It really was a long winter waiting to see what would come up this spring.

I was delighted that my little Siberian Bugloss not only survived the move but managed to produce the very first flowers in my new landscape.  Allium, Hostas, Tulips, Hydrangea & Clematis are all taking a look around at their new locations but sadly it doesn't look like any of my ferns will be making an appearance.  Perhaps they just need a bit more time to defrost.

All the shelving has been added between the studs of the cottage and the cedar planks of the raised beds have been prepped for staining.  As soon as the weather clears I'll be ready to slap that stain on.

The compost bins, rather neglected last year, have all been revitalized and are ready to roll.


My Kitchen Garden: May 2021 by  on 2021-05-08 Time to get growing!

Images: Tatiana Dokuchic

Friday, April 2, 2021

My Kitchen Garden: March 2021


It's been a long time coming but will soon be planting in my new kitchen garden. Garlic went in last fall and spring seedlings are just waiting for warmer weather.

The potting shed/mini greenhouse/cottage is coming along nicely with lots of work happening on the interior. It also awaits a roof and some paint for the door.

Spring projects are the best!
My Kitchen Garden: March 2021 by  on 2021-04-02 My new kitchen garden

Images: Tatiana Dokuchic

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Adventures of an Earth Day Tree

In celebration of Earth Day 2017, a happy little story of an Earth Day tree.

It started out as a scrawny seedling not much bigger than my thumb.  I was on my way to a meeting when I stumbled upon it nestled amongst its fellow at an Earth Day Expo held in the building's lobby. It didn't look very promising, a miniature Charlie Brown's Christmas tree comes to mind, but it was free so I tucked it into my purse and continued on my way.

It sat on my kitchen counter seemingly content to wait until I found a spot for it.  Given its size I didn't think it would stand a chance in my yard especially with three energetic dogs running around so I procrastinated.

When my parents came for a visit that summer, I gifted it to my mother and so it found its way from Ottawa to Thunder Bay safe in my mom's suitcase.  As my father was a bit "tree adverse" it was then handed over to my Auntie Annie who had the perfect spot for it beside her garden out at camp.

And there it flourished.

For the last 30+ years I have received reports of "my" tree, enjoying life in a place that I think of as heaven on earth.  It must be over 20 feet tall now, happy & healthy, and I continue to wish it a long and prosperous life.

It's been said that:
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago
The next best time is today.

So if you've been gifted with an Earth Day tree get planting!  May it bring you as much joy as this little tree has brought me & mine.
Adventures of an Earth Day Tree by  on 2017-04-22 A happy little story of an Earth Day Tree

Images: Full Grown Tree by Cousin Bill; Seedling by Unknown; Graphics by Tatiana Dokuchic