Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer flowers

The latter part of June has been quite rainy (almost every night this week). This has made for a nice break in the watering schedule as well as bumper crop of mosquitoes.

June is a nice lull in the gardening schedule; everything is in, the elm seedlings have been mostly eradicated, and nothing requires processing.

The strawberry u-pick we've been going to is set to open Monday so I hope to have a visit in the first week. I see that we have some berries ready in our backyard as well.

I also plan to start some rhubarb wine this weekend. Hopefully Saturday will be the day as it looks rainy. There are signs of a good harvest of raspberries. And if I can coax a few more gooseberries from the front plants, there are enough for a small batch of jam.

Jess's new patch of strawberries appears to be taking off and the rain has helped some of the transplanted irises. I also spent an hour deadheading the blooms in the front (and slapping mosquitoes).

We're coming to the end of the irises (although the remain beautiful) but I see the potatoes are just now blooming. We also have the beginnings of garlic scapes out front (I may make pesto this weekend).

The peas are starting to bear some fruit. I picked up some new seed and that seems to have reoslved last year's poor crop issues.

Given the weather, I suspect we'll see a quick succession of berries in early July so I will need to hunt up my jamming gear. We ran out of raspberry jam this year so that is the top priority once the canes start to bear.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Chive vinegar, rhubarb, berries and apples

Spring turns to summer and the garden is keeping us busy. I bottled the chive vinegar we started last week; it always makes such a pretty gift.

Jess and I have been cutting the rhubarb back. Some we're freezing for the winter while the rest is going into apple-rhubarb crisps. Some of the leaves are huge!

We're starting to see some progress on the berries. The strawberries are setting fruit. This weekend we'll be carving a new strawberry bed out of the chaotic iris mess under Jessica's window.

The goose berries are also thick this year. Not enough to make a jam or jelly with but enough to pick and freeze for smoothies next winter

Our own Saskatoons are still a few weeks away from being ready but anything in the valley that gets a southern exposure is almost ready to pick.

The apples are also growing really well. I think we'll get a bumper crop this year.

We're just about at the end of the spring flowers.

The daisies are pretty and the mock orange is just coming into bloom.

We also have a tonne of peonies this year.

And the bees are all over the Persian cone flowers. 

We have a few holes to fill in this weekend with some last minute seeding and quite a bit of weeding to do. Jessica is quite looking forward to strawberry season!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Chive vinegar and pickled radishes

Work took me out of town last week so I turned the garden over to Jessica. Everything survived and I arrived home to flowers.

We stopped in at the farmer's market last weekend to pick up some asparagus to blanch and freeze for winter pizzas. As much as frozen asparagus is terrible when compared to fresh, in the dark days of winter, it gives pizza a very summery taste.

I left the radishes about five days too long (overlap with travel) but harvested them and planted a second crop.

They were quite big (see below) so I decided to pickle them in case any were a bit woody.

The colours were beautiful. Put in a jar with the last of the chive vinegar and the resulting colour was amazing.

Jess and I also made some more chive vinegar (blossoms plus white vinegar).

After a day of sitting, the colours of both were crazy bright. We'll strain the chive vinegar this weekend and bottle it. The radishes will need awhile to pickle in the fridge.

In the yard I am doing battle with the elm seeds. I do love the boulevard trees. But the thousands of seeds each year are a complete pain to weed. Below is a picture of a bean plant with lots of tiny elm trees all around it. Even with a hoe, it is a lot of work to knock these proto-trees down before the get a tap root in and you need pliers to remove them.

While we're about reaching the peak of the perennial blossoms (with the peonies just starting), we still have the irises to look forward to. They just started this morning and the front yard border is once again amazing.

I will need to get out wit the camera to catch the blooms. This week also means doing some thinning in the carrots and beets and maybe a last sowing of beans.