Sunday, November 18, 2012

How did my garden grow Part 1

I've been told that I should post pictures of my garden ... I didn't post any this year, so I'm going to do it in little bits.  This is part 1.

Spring came early this year and I'd been looking through seed catalogs for weeks ... picking up seeds, soil and peat pots when I could.  I broke the rules ... I planted some seeds in March!  The weather was so warm ... I even put them outside for a week, and the seeds sprouted and thrived.  Here's a cucumber seedling.

I've had a plastic lizard for years ... I've always thought that it was funny .... I usually find a spot in the garden and hide it ... I love to watch people's reaction when they see it!  Anyway ... Alfie noticed it near the firepit.  Too funny!

What the *** is that!
And then he turned his head and barked furiously at it!  Ahhhh, this was just too funny.  We picked it up and hid it ... with devious plans for the future!  The lizard would return ... but when?

We spent as much time in our yard with the pups ... even turning on the hose to cool the pups ... this is what happiness looks like!

And at night, we gathered with friends around the fire pit to sip wine and watch the stars!  March of 2012 would be one for the record books ...

And then it was April .....

My tiny seedlings lined the ledges of my windows ... and grew long and spindlie, trailing all over the place.  But the weather was more seasonal, cool days and even cooler nights.  So, I planned my garden, and I bought more seeds ... and I worried over my neck.  And then I saw something on Pinterest.

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow."  I really liked that ... I really needed to believe in tomorrow.

Steve with Tuck, Syd and Alfie (2012)
And as the soil warmed, we headed out to walk some trails.  First we headed north, to Algonquin.  On the second anniversary of Gem's death, we hiked the same trail that we hiked last with her ... just 5 days before we lost her ... Ragged Falls, located outside of Algonquin's west gate. I took this picture in almost the same spot as this picture of Steve with Ruff and Gem ... 2 years before.

Steve with Ruff and Gem (2010)

The sun was so bright and warm ... we sat with the pups near the top of the falls.

Wathcing the rapids, just above the falls.

Steve, Syd and Tuck ... What a view!
I love this picture of Sydney

And then we headed west, to Trillium Woods to admire the beautiful and rare trilliums that grow there each spring.

And then it was May ... I could hardly wait to get my hands into the soil.  With the help of our new friend Jean, the garden plot was soon weed-free ... not an easy task at all.  Over the next 2 weeks I worked in peat moss and sheep manure ... and dealt with the weeds as they grew back ... and back ... and back again!  To deal with the endless weeds, I rolled garden fabric over the garden and finally planted my sad sad seedlings, so long and fragile.  I ended up burying 95% of the stems of the tomatos and pepper plants, twisting the stems deep into the soil with just the tops above ground ... they were so straggly!  But once in the ground, they grew ... like ... weeds.  Soon I had tiny peppers, cucs and tomatos ... and lots of zuc flowers.

And more lettuce than we knew what to do with ...

Leaf Lettuce Patch

and Romaine
Our friend and neighbour Jean was busy too with her incredible garden ... and we started playing some silly games.  It started when Steve bought Henrietta ... a big rubber chicken for the dogs.  Well, she was way too heavy for them to play with, so we started "planting" her around Jean's yard ... only to find Henrietta hiding somewhere in our yard the next day ... and then she just disappeared.  We never missed her, and were very surprised when she showed up again ... in our garden plot, all dressed up like a scare crow.  Oh, what a great surprise, we laughed and laughed!  Henrietta became a permanent fixture in the garden!

Henrietta Hen Scare crow
And yet the days grew longer still, and warmer and my garden grew apace.  I worked happily every night when I got home weeding, watering, staking and prunning.  My peonies and honeysuckle bloomed, and Jean's wildflower garden bloomed in a dizzying splash of colour!

Giant peony


Table-top Flowers
Bachelors Button (Jean's Garden)
Poppy (Jean's again)
First Cucumber!

And then suddenly, there they were ... our Cedar Waxwings were back, sitting high in the trees.  I always hear them first, the soft whistles ... they come for the berries in the trees, they stay for the june bugs ... and then, by the end of the month they're gone. 

They're Back - Cedar Waxwings!
 And the robins fledged early too.  I snapped this picture through a window ... a baby robin bathing in the shadows under the tomato plants.

Splish-Splash ... takin' a bath.
And ... we spent almost every waking moment out in the yard with the dogs.  I love this picture of Alfie, he's such a clown.

Dance ... Like no one is watching!
The Boyz

Tucker in Jean's garden
Each year we plant some of our tomatos, peppers and herbs in containers near the back door, and as spring was winding down, a single cherry tomato ripened.  I had plans for that tomato ... including a full photo spread, but one morning as we headed out into the yard I watched helpless as Steve's arm snaked out, his fingers seized the precious fruit, a quick snap, and then ... it was gone.  Steve hummed his approval for the flavour ... the first tomato from the garden this year ... until his saw my face that is!  So to make it up to me, the next day another cherry tomato ripened and he announced that he had saved it for me.  What a guy!

Containers near the house - a single ripe tomato for me

Wait a minute!!!

More containers:  Rosemary, tyme and basil
 And then June was over ... July 1st brought spectacular fireworks to our backyard ... or rather, our neighbours backyard.  Happy Canada Day!

I like the idea of ending Part 1 here ... with a bang!  Part 2, coming soon!  I promise Danijela.

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