June 4, 2014: The State of the Garden

Despite the slow, late start, things are happening over here.


In very exciting news: today we have a bell pepper.  Last year, I was unable to produce a single one; I’m hopeful that this is just the beginning. (I took about 17 photos and this is the clearest of them all; you get the idea.  Next on my list of fantasy projects: a garden photography course.)


This morning, this sage was very bushy.  I gave it a good haircut, and the trimmings are now in the dehydrator.


The zucchini is also looking promising…


…as is the cucumber.


I also have my first chive blossoms.


Yesterday, I made the year’s first pot of Total Garden Tea: raspberry leaf and orange mint.


Look closely at that mint.  Do see that it’s covered with tiny golden baby spiders? They seem to have infested the deck.  I love spiders, but I don’t necessarily want millions of them in/on my house, so I’ve been patiently scooping up nests of them with paper towels and delivering them down into the main garden, where I hope they will grow up to eat bad guys.

The first nasturtium is also looking happy.


Today I cut the first full head of lettuce; it will go into my salad at lunch.


The collard greens were my first yield, and I’ve been clipping leaves from time to time, but they haven’t grown as huge as I was expecting.  It’s getting a bit hot for them now, so I might harvest them for tonight’s dinner and plant some more in August.


For two years in a row now, I’ve had no luck with rapini.  I started some inside and direct-sowed some others at the beginning of April, but the ones that weren’t eaten by squirrels grew into pathetic little runts and then bolted.  The bees like the flowers, so that’s something. I’ll try again in the fall.


I almost didn’t bother with peas at all, as it was the end of April before I could plant them.  They’ve grown, but haven’t flowered, so I’m not expecting any peas this year.  I’ll wait until the end of June before deciding whether to pull them up and plant something else.


A friend gave me some seeds for the legendary Montreal Melon, a species that was an international sensation in the early 20th century, and that a local group is trying to re-introduce.  I’m a little worried about mine, as it hasn’t been doing brilliantly since its move outside, but it’s started to flower, so my fingers are crossed.


I’m really excited about the carrots.  I took some trouble with them this year in hopes that I’d get something more than spindly little crooked stumps.


I wanted to buy self-watering EarthBoxes for my tomatoes, but EarthBox doesn’t ship to Canada, and they cost about $90 apiece on Amazon.ca.  I couldn’t find suitable self-watering containers anywhere, so I finally ordered pretty red tomato bags with lovely collapsible trellises from West Coast Seeds.  The chicken wire and netting and clothespins detract from the aesthetics, but the tomatoes seem fine with that.  (You may have noted the yards of netting over absolutely everything.  It’s ugly, but it works; the squirrels are frustrated by it and so focus their energies on other things.)


My husband says he’s always relieved when I begin starting seeds in February, because it means our experiment in home ownership might last another year.  It’s true that everything changes when I can get out in the yard.  Yes, there’s still moisture in the crawl space and windows to be replaced and a shower door that leaks and a mysterious crack in the kitchen ceiling.  But look!  Plants!  Lots and lots of plants!



2 thoughts on “June 4, 2014: The State of the Garden

    • I have a whole pile of books on “small-space gardening” that insist that it’s possible to grow lots of stuff in any space, even just a windowsill!

      I’d be sad to lose my garden at this point, for sure, but I sometimes fantasize about how manageable it would all be if I just had a little terrace. One of my favourite blogs is a small-space gardening blog: http://66squarefeet.blogspot.ca/ It started as a blog about a woman gardening on her tiny Harlem balcony, although she’s expanded since then.

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