Saturday, June 24, 2017

Fruit and peonies!

 Summer is in full swing and I've been spending a fair bit of time weeding! This includes a bumper crop of self-seeded violets (in the wrong spot) and some very aggressive growth by perennials.

It looks like the fruit crop will be a good one this year. The apples seem to coming along well and the raspberries and Saskatoons have both set fruit.

Our flowering baskets are also beautifully colourful.

I'm thrilled to see the potatoes blooming. I've never tried to grow potatoes from seed but I might try to snag a few seeds this year and try in the spring.

The real star of late June is the peony. We have half a dozen of these (mostly gifts from Jenn's mom).

The have just started opening and we'll have likely two weeks of blooms. The bees have gone mental for them and it is hard to walk along the side of the house without colliding with fliers.

The intensity of the colours has been amazing this year. And the subtle shading looks like water colours.

Around back we also have a huge bunch of mock orange bushes in bloom.

These need to be cut back each year so I feel free to bring in as many blooms as we have vases for.

The rhubarb wine is still cooking in the basement. It is a bit of a slow ferment but progress is being made. Apparently we also have enough points to buy a free beer kit. I need to drink my way down to enough free bottles before we do a beer kit. I have some more oregano in the drier today and we harvested enough gooseberries last night to make jam.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Rhubarb, irises, and peonies

Good weather meant I got a touch behind in garden blogging this week. We had a wonderful father's day trip to Elk Island Park, with cycling, hiking, and kayaking.

We also did a lot of things this week. I sugared the rhubarb, then juiced it, and it is cooking away in the basement. 

We also wrapped up the chive vinegar experiment and bottled it. I used the remaining chive vinegar from last year to make some pink pickled eggs.

The strawberries have formed berries and I' just waiting for them to ripen. I'm hopeful we'll get out to Strawberry Creek Farm in the next few weeks so I can make jam and wine and pie filling. We're just about out of strawberry-rhubarb pie filling from last year!

The garden has been growing. I was thinning the beets and ran across this pineapple weed. I am waiting for this plant to get a bit bigger before harvesting the buds for salad.

The perennial flowers are also starting to bloom, including this daisy (which has seeded itself everywhere).

It is also iris season. It is a bit hard to capture the sheer number of irises that are blooming. There are ta least 500 flowers in the front and side yard. 

Working from home, I often get to listen to passersby during the (the windows bounce sound from the street into my office) and the front seems to be a ht. Shame it only lasts about 1o days. But man, is it amazing.

The vegetable garden that is in behind is starting to really take. The tomatillos are flowing and setting fruit alongside the pepper plant. The garlic are also doing well and the rest of the tomatoes seem to be pushing up (finally).

The violas have seeded themselves everywhere and I've now started to weed them out o the veggy beds when they get too close to the vegetables.

We're also awaiting the start of the peonies. The flower heads are full and the ants are all over them.

I got this shot after a shower. Not the best peony picture I've taken, but a nice one with the water and the sun.

I'm hoping to rack off the rhubarb wine this weekend and also do a later sowing of peas and bush beans (the corn bed was a bust). We should also be harvesting lettuce this weekend. And maybe gooseberries.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Vinegar, oregano, potatoes and irises

It is the beginning of the iris season. The front border of the house is almost all irises and we're looking at more than 1000 blossoms this spring. It will be lovely for the next two weeks.

The chives are blooming, which means it is time to make chive vinegar. This is a task Jess can now do on her own while I make cheese. We'l be bottling the vinegar this week and I'll be pickling some eggs with what is left over from last year. We also racked off the wine last week and are ready to start a batch of rhubarb wine this weekend.

The oregano came back quite strongly this year so we pruned it back and broke out the dehydrator to put some away. The basil is slowly growing so we're a ways from drying it or making pesto.

The river valley is full of high bush cranberry blooms.

And, to my delight, the potatoes are up and really leafing out (these guys are more than a foot tall). Alas, the corn looks like a bust this year so we'll plant some beans to fill in the gaps. The carrots have been slow but have finally started to really grow.

This week looks like we have goose berries ready to pick. The rain this week should fatten them up. If we get enough, I will combine with the ones I froze last year and make some jam.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The end of spring flowers

We're coming t the end of the spring flower season. The barberry is in bloom as are the lilacs--and the neighbourhood smells wonderful.

Some of the perennials are also starting to put on a show. The phlox is blooming in the shade of the hedge (and everywhere else it has come up).

We had a day of rain this week, which was much needed. Jess and I used the day to make Christmas cake. The yard used the day to sprout dandelions.

It looks like we'll have a good crop of Saskatoons this year. The raspberries have also started to flower, which is promising.

The chickadees in our bird house seem to be fledging their young There are still lots of robins around, using the bird bath and sunning themselves on the window box.

After knocking down the grass and the weeds and putting in a second sowing of peas, I'm kind of pooped out. This weekend I plan to make some more chive vinegar (using what is left of last year's to pickle some eggs).

We also need to rack off the red wine kit we made. This will free up the fermenter to start on some rhubarb wine next weekend. The rhubarb needs another trimming tonight so I'll put some more in the freezer in anticipation. I wonder if any of my neighbours also have some to spare? I also see that the oregano is big enough to pick and start drying. Maybe tomorrow... .