Victoria Day Weekend in my Garden!

Lilac blossoms.

May was such a busy month for us, not least of which was Victoria Day weekend, during which my family typically does all our garden planning and planting for the year.

image

 

We don’t tend to have many flowers – no room! – but this year I finally got these little things. The smell is amazing, like soft honey, and I love looking at their cheerful little blooms. We still haven’t actually planted these in the ground. I really should have thought about space a bit more!

 

Fern sprouts.

 

The ferns unrolling is one of my favourite gardening moments. They were such a surprise when I first found them years ago – I had no idea what the big brown knotted thing in the ground was.

The most exciting part of the garden, for me, is the herb patch. I love the variety, and the fact that I can pop out there and pick something that changes the entire flavour of dinner, or make a nice tea that will help with upset stomachs. (Nevermind simply sitting there and smelling the lavender!)

 

French lavender.

 

I have both French and English lavender – the English, I find, holds a bit more aroma, but the French (above), has lovely long stems that make for beautiful dried bunches.

 

Golden sage.

 

Two varieties of sage this year – this one a golden one which looks beautiful. I love using this when I make a tofurky roast.

 

Oregano.

 

The oregano was already here when we moved in, and we’ve wrestled it into two pots in the ground to keep it manageable. It certainly didn’t suffer from the procedure. Adding fresh oregano to pasta makes a big difference in the flavour.

 

Stevia plant.

 

A new addition this year – some stevia. I’ve never grown this plant before, so we’ll see! I’m really looking forward to tasting it. The dried leaves are supposed to be incredibly sweet.

 

Various strains of basil plants.

 

Two different kinds of basil! I adore it as a presto, and mixed fresh with some light cheese and tomato. I usually do this by slicing tomato and fresh mozzarella, and spreading the slices on a platter. Then I sprinkle with a touch of olive oil and a light wine vinegar and a touch of salt. This is then topped with oodles of fresh torn basil.

 

Sugar snap pea sprouts.

 

And another new addition – sweet peas! We rotate the crops in our planters, and these were supposed to be good for the soil to recover after last year’s tomatoes. We’ll see how it goes!

 

Tomato plant.

 

And a tomato plant. This is what we mostly focus on. We try a slew of varieties, and I’ll share a chart I did last year of how much crop we got out of what kind of plant. This year we have a few new ones, as well, so that’ll be fun to track.

 

<img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-212" src="http://martie Full Article.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/image-10-1024×1024.jpeg” alt=”Green Red Currant fruits.” width=”780″ height=”780″ srcset=”http://martie.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/image-10-1024×1024.jpeg 1024w, http://martie.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/image-10-150×150.jpeg 150w, http://martie.party/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/image-10-500×500.jpeg 500w” sizes=”(max-width: 780px) 100vw, 780px” />

 

We also keep a number of berry bushes, the above being red currants. Last year we had an aphid problem on this guy, but he’s bounced back and hopefully this year won’t be affected.

 

Gooseberry berry.

 

And my personal favourite – a gooseberry bush. The berries are coming in for the first time this year, and I’m ridiculously excited. I hope the squirrels or rabbits won’t eat them before I can!

Tell me what your favourites are to grow!

martiesig

 

A Brief Garden Tour

I wanted to provide a little tour of some of the plants in our garden before this year’s planting is finished. The weather this year was colder much longer than usual, it seems. Normally I look forward to finally being able to wear a dress for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (entry soon!), but this year included coats and scarves due to a particularly nasty wind. Luckily, the weather got the memo that Victoria Day weekend is planting weekend, and made sure to pick up a bit. I’ll be posting about all the new plants after they’re in the ground, but meanwhile have a few photos from the past week or so from the residents who made it through the winter.

A picked bunch of forget-me-nots.

These forget-me-nots herald from my MIL, who promised that they would propagate all over the garden. True to her word, I am picking them out of the lawn and myriad cracks and crevices. They’re wonderful cheerful little things, and my efforts to introduce them to a particularly clay-like and root filled patch of soil near our trees is going a lot better this year than last.

A small purple blossom.

Nobody remembers planting this little guy, but he appeared appropriately enough in the flower plot, rather than anywhere else. Good job!

Red tulips.

The tulips actually did not get eaten by squirrels this year – not even a nibble! – and burst forth before anything else in a cacophony of red. Not as many as previous years, but that may be because of the furry gardeners not only eating the leaves, but also transplanting the bulbs. 

Sprouting fern.

This monstrosity I was horrified to discover a few years ago, until I figured out that that was where our gorgeous fern was coming from. Unfortunately, it’s at a spot that meets up with a very weedy spot in the neighbours yard from whence these rather frustrating vines creep out. Weeding them is almost impossible; the leaves pop off and the roots stay in. (I’m hoping the forget-me-nots will help push them back a bit.)

Growing chives.

The herb patch is my personal favourite, and I grow and dehydrate and freeze a lot of things for tea. Not so much the above – which is a row of chives. They’re much more delicate in flavour than the thicker store-bought ones, and I adore them on fresh tomatoes visit this web-site

Lemonbalm leaves.

The lemonbalm is coming back with a vengeance – it makes a good tea, but is especially amazing fresh. A tangy citrusey flavour; I love running my hand over it to bring out the scent. 

Mint sprouts.

This mint was here when we moved in, and has since been eradicated from… well, absolutely everywhere, and confined to a pot in the ground. It’s not a very delicate variety – the leaves are thick and rather chewey, but it makes a marvelous tea, keeping the flavour even after being dehydrated. 

Red currant blossoms.

We also have a number of fruiting bushes, the above being a very enthusiastic red currant bush. So enthusiastic, in fact, that a branch which was trimmed last year and stuck into a random pot of dirt on a whim is not only growing this year, but *flowering.* 

Goosberry flowers.

And lastly, the gooseberry bush. This is the first year that it has developed flowers, and I am so excited to see how the fruit will turn out. I haven’t had gooseberries in years, and while I know they’re not the most amazing thing in the world, I’m bubbling with excitement at the rush of nostalgia that I’m sure they’ll bring.

A very self indulgent entry, but I love playing show-and-tell with all my plants! I’d love to hear about your gardens!

martiesig