Friday, May 29, 2015

May flowers

The end of May has brought out a host of blooms, from chives to lilacs. I don't now if has been the drought or the heat, but the flowering trees and bushes have been pretty spectacular this spring.


The perennials in the front yard have also been really blooming. This phlox is beautiful and the early irises are booming in behind.

I've no recollection of what this yellow flower is but it keeps coming back despite several transplants so it must be something hardy. It also seems able to compete with the raspberries in the same bed.

The apple blossoms are done and some of them are starting to fatten into apples. It will be a few weeks before we can start to estimate the harvest but the blossoms were impressive this year. I need to go up and top the apple tree as it is just ab out as high as we want it. Maybe when I get up to clean the gutters.

The early vegetables are also starting to make progress in the heat. The storage onions have about caught up to the garlic in height. The walla-wallas are a bit behind.

The pole and bushes beans are also up and about. I was a bit concerned the bush bean seed was bad but they finally started to push up today. The pole beans are making some headway and the peas have grabbed the trellises finally.

The potatoes are going strong in the good beds. They are also up in the newly recovered beds and on the shady north side of the house next to the foundation.

Finally, the carrots have germinated. They are also so slow and the dry conditions have necessitated a lot of watering which sometimes causes the beds with more clay to get a bit of a hard surface. But the carrots have prevailed.

Hopefully Jess can keep everything under control while I head out of town for a conference. I knocked back and froze and bunch of rhubarb this week as it was again shading out the basil in the stone planter. We also pulled out half of dozen bunch of chives that were taking over the strawberry beds. Boy, chives are aggressive!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I forgot summer gardening requires stretching...

The middle of May arrives and the garden goes from a somnolent "come on, something germinate" to a knackered "oh crap, my back!" And thus was my first full day of gardening in a frantic Edmonton summer. I worked extra hard today to get tomorrow afternoon free to head down to the Leg.

The flowering trees and bushes are beautiful. The lilacs under Jessica's window are finally big enough to put out some blooms and they are much earlier than the lilac we have in the back. The apples trees are also in full bloom.

I have been taming the rhubarb (which keeps creeping up over top the basil in the back planter) by making pie. I should also can some to put on oatmeal next year.

The beets, carrots and zucchini have all germinated as have some of the bush beans. The pole beans seem a bit slower and no sign yet of the pumpkins.

The strawberries are also just starting to blossom. I spent a fair bit of the weekend cutting back the hedges and pulling crab grass that is regrowing in the beds I recovered earlier this spring. fortunately, it is much easier to get out of disturbed soil.

Around front, the tulips are probably at their best, with some of the early bulbs just finishing and the rest about to open. The Saskatoon bushes have also flowered and all of the tiny berries are starting to form (plus I figured out side-by-side photos on blogger--hello, extreme vertical pictures).

Watering has been a bit of a chore (trying to keep the seed beds moist enough for germination) but it is clouding up nicely. Perhaps a brief shower over night. I also see the Jerusalem artichokes have come back as promised. We should, in their second year, be able to get some bulbs to eat from this bed. Now to make more pie.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tulips, violets, potatoes and wine

The Victoria Day weekend was pleasant this year and I spent much of it knocking back the weeds! The tulips are up around front and quite pretty.

The garlic is also growing quite nicely, although I suspect the beets will soon catch up.

In the backyard the violets are out. This one we planted originally in about 2000 and it moves around the yard as the seeds get carried here and there.

It is presently add some colour to the potato bed. The potatoes are just peaking through the dirt. The carrots are also just emerging. Hopefully we can avoid any more frosty evenings.

I spent some time in doors this morning racking off the last batch of wine to bulk age for next fall. I think this one is a Cab-Merlot-Shiraz (I should keep better records) and smelled great. I'll bottle it towards the end of summer.

We have a few more tomato and paper starters to transplant this week (the weather looks great starting tomorrow) and also some basil. Then I need to clean the garage.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Tomatoes and Saskatoons

 With nice weather, the garden is starting to really pick up and requires more frequent weeding.

Out front, some of the tomato plants are blooming (this is a cherry tomato), which seems ambitious to me! In the back, they are struggling a bit more. The peas are now all up and we'e finished planting the beans. This weekend we may get the cucumber seeds in to join the squash seeds.

Out front, the Saskatoon bushes are blooming alongside the beginning of the apple blooms. I'm looking forward to a weekend of gardening as well as a spot of rain this afternoon.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ah, spring in Alberta

So, we awoke to this on Wednesday. Fortunately, I had wrapped up all of tomatoes before heading off to my scrutineer shift at the polls Tuesday night. No major damage although a couple of tomatoes I had under glass were touching the glass and froze off the tips.

The snow was mostly gone on Friday and underneath there had been a huge amount of growth. The beets are mostly germinated and the onions have started their impressive early growth.

The beds of kale and swiss chard at the back are also starting to emerge. And the garlic is more than 10 inches tall out front.

The fruit trees and bushes are also forming flower buds. Fortunately, the air temperature wasn't too cold and they all look okay this year. All of the bulbs have also emerged unscathed.

We spent yesterday putting in the rest of the tomato plants and moving perennials around to make more room for potatoes. We also put some flowers in over at the in laws. Today we have the last few seeds to put in (squash, cucumber) and I have more crabgrass to tackle.

If I get ambitious, I will break out the lawnmower this week. There are a few places that could use a trim already. I also need to run down a few basil starts and get the hummingbird feeder up.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Bulbs, bugs, hail and tomatoes

It has been a very busy week but Jess and I have been outside as much as we have been able to swing.

Many of the spring bulbs are up, including these tulipa tarda. They are always a welcome sunny spot in the yard. I keep trying to move them around front (and out of the veggie beds) but we never seem to get them all.

The bugs are also out and enjoying the weather. This lady bug was enjoying the apple tree until I annoyed it with my camera and it flew away.

Then it hailed (two days in a row!). Then the sun came back out.

Jess and I decided that summer has arrived and planted out most of the tomatoes. I've got the heirloom Irish linen ready to throw out in the yard if frost threatens.But the forecast looks good, the city has a bit of a heat island and perhaps global warming is starting to push the frost dates back.

The kale in the cold frames have really started to respond and I'll be doing away with glass tomorrow.

The tulips are also out and flowering in warmer places.

Today we seeded in some bush beans and hunted for beet shoots. I see some peas are up so we may look to plunk in the zucchini and pumpkin seeds tonight.