I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
John Burroughs

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Gardening, foraging and chasing.....

July 25, 2023

Plants really took off once we reached longer days and warm night time temperatures, early in the month.

There has been a total of just under 5 inches of rainfall thus far in July.
The water barrels and tank have only been used a tiny bit back in early June. Everything is so green. Even my sad looking pepper plants are looking better and have fruit forming. 
The Red Carmen pepper I overwintered took a while, but is now putting on a spurt, and has a number of peppers growing.

The squash/pumpkin patch is a 5 X 12 ft. bed that Hubby dug up down by the barn where we are pretty sure a stable, or chicken coop used to be. The soil is lovely and dark and the plants have just started to bloom. There are only five hills staggered across this bed, so I have been helping the bees whenever I find a female flower.

The Flagpole bed is looking lovely, with lots of Brown-eyed Susans, Echinacea and Shasta daisies.The breeze wafts through, sending all the flowers swaying and dancing on their long stems.

Some of my Kelsae onions sprouted in the cold room this spring, so I popped them into the garden. They have put up big seed heads. I'm hoping to be able to harvest the seeds when they ripen.
The ground cherries are spreading out, fairly flat to the ground, and when you lift up a branch, there are little lanterns hanging along underneath the stems. There are four plants here in a 4ft. square area.

The little papery covers turn beige-yellow when the fruit is ripe. 

The 4 X 16 foot tomato bed is a well mulched jungle, with 8 plants  of 4 varieties staggered along it. There is lots of fruit forming, the waiting is on!

We did a little bush-whacking, and SCORE!! 

A flush of Black Trumpets. They are a beast to clean, but so delicious.

This summer, it was several weeks later than usual, before Monarch butterflies showed up, and there are very few compared to other years. One has chosen to lay an egg on the new to me, Butterfly bush that I am growing in a nursery bed in preparation for a new perennial bed. I plan on filling the new bed with lots of pollinator attracting plants this fall and next spring.

The new perennial bed under construction April 2023
 About a week after the cow and bull moose appeared in the yard, a younger cow showed up, walking right past the front of the verandah, and was nose-down, sniffing at my haskap bushes before we put the run on her. She was reluctant to go, and stopped several times to look back at us, before disappearing into the bush.

The previous two had done some unauthorized pruning on my baby plum trees. (clicking on the pictures will make them bigger.)

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Yikes....critters in the yard this morning......

 Just down, making a cup of tea in the kitchen, looked out.......a big body just outside, heading toward my raised beds.....Called Hubby...."There's a big frikkin' moose in the yard!" 

There were two, a cow and a bull. 

By the time he got the camera out, they were acting very skittishly. (Sorry the pics aren't very good) Taking the line of least resistance, they walked rapidly across the front of the yard and out the driveway entrance instead of just bolting through the trees and over the rock fence.  

She had been heading towards the raised beds....Hearing us talking inside, made her uncertain and she turned back...Thankfully. 
I was 'chastised' for being too loud and scaring them away,
Gardeners.....what would you have done??????

Friday, July 7, 2023

First of July update.....

 July 7, 2023

It has been a less than optimum spring and early summer...for gardening. We had an early blast of heat that brought blooms out, but not pollinators, then it was cool for a while. The result was a poor crop of haskaps, as they were not well pollinated. The smoke then came down from the fires in northern Quebec and Ontario. There were days of hiding indoors to avoid breathing it in, and the horrible claustrophobic feeling of there being no where to get a breath of fresh air. One of those days of smoke, having had to venture out for an appointment, N-95 mask on....while driving past Round Lake, one could not see out further than 50 to 100 yards.

The smoke is still a possibility, but for the last week or so, we have been smoke-free. It has been very hot and humid, extreme heat warnings in place, so we are thankful there is no smoke, as the combination of heat, humidity and smoke would be brutal. We've been staying indoors in the afternoons after trying to get stuff done outside in the mornings.

We have had several intense rainfall events, giving us at least an inch or more per week for the last few. There has been little need to water much...yet.

The gardens are putting on their Summer solstice burst of growth, after seeming to just poke along before that. Heat came along with the longer daylight hours, so things are looking much better now.

On a happy note, our son upgraded his smart phone, removed the sim card of the old one, loaded the Merlin App., and gave it to me. It has been a journey of discovery of all the birds I hear but can't identify. The morning and evening choruses yield between 15 and 20 different birds. I now know who is making the calls that have intrigued and frustrated me. 


First of July, drone shot of gardens and bug-suited gardener.

The field garden; garlic in the far end, spuds, glads, (two sections of, as I just can't bear to toss the extra bulbs that grow each year.) sunflowers, beans, (up and just planted rows) and a nursery row at this end for a perennial bed in the works. The last intense inch and a quarter downpour from yesterday has plastered them all with mud.
The cucumber and watermelon patch with a makeshift fence onto which I plan to guide and tie the vines as they grow. Hoping to get the leaf mulch on tomorrow.

The greens, parsley (two varieties) and onion bed. Finally, some of the greens are big enough to harvest.

Tomatoes, a lot fewer than last year, just 8 different plants. (beefsteaks, plums and cherries.)
The pepper patch is abysmal this year. A fellow gardener is expressing the same frustration with his as well. No idea what happened, perhaps the cool weather earlier and the flooding rain events we've had. They just aren't growing. Behind them is the broccoli and dill which are going strong.
There is a caged zucchini in the end of the herb bed which has just put out it's first blooms. I am very happy with the little row of  budded lavender plants at this end, and the buds growing on the sage plant. There are two rows of basil, cilantro, savory, two extra broccoli plants, chamomile way past its best, and a rosemary plant beside the barrels of oregano and mint.
Oh, and a couple of rows of carrots, almost ready for thinning. 

Day lilies are just starting to open and the baby geraniums I grew from seed are just starting to bloom, and are indeed red...different shades, but red.

The pond has been up and down like a yo-yo with the rain events,

and finally....
Our clearing in the middle of the bush....with all my birds!! (the red roof is the barn.)