Bugs!

It’s awfully hard to ‘spring into action’ when the flu bug smacks you down!….and there is no ‘good’ time to be sick but, come on, just when it is nice enough to not need mittens….oh well…today I felt up to a walk about. Spring is my favorite time for walk abouts in the yard….I always discover something new and wonderful. Hubby is putting his man skills to work and finishing the lower level siding, right by the raised garden beds. I went to see how he was doing and what did I discover?

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Bugs!!!!! Lovely little lady bugs…just coming out for a sunning session. I LOVE lady bugs….do you no how many aphids these natural ‘insecticides’ can eat???

Last fall I planted garlic, first attempt at fall planting…I was a bit concerned because the majority of my gardens are raised and naturally get a bit colder then ground soil in our harsh winters. I added leaf mulch to the beds and was pleasantly surprised to see…

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Little greens poking out! Yay! Of course, following up with some snooping to find…

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Rhubarb and, of course,

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Strawberries. This is the sunny south side of our yard and a heat trap but still early and makes me happy!

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Spring into action….

Time to get outside! Amazingly, it is not even April yet but the temperature is warming up….I must remember not to get too hasty though. An icy blast can still hit any time. This year has been remarkably warm though so I will chance setting up the mini greenhouse and get lettuce bowls started today…..

Waiting……

Is it spring yet? This is the season where we wait….and wait….and wait!! We all know that April is still a long way off and yet, somehow, every year….we long for the smell of earth…the coolness of early spring when we can start the hunt for signs of green.

I am trying to enjoy the beauty of winter and be patient. There are a lot of things I can do that get put on the back burner in summer….I have managed to makeover 2 bathrooms and have cleaned out the pantry, fridge, storage room….and Hubby and I are enjoying walks. Well, we were until I broke a toe….but still….winter is a time to get
the indoors in shape and plan for new adventures in the garden.

Warm weather

Aaaahhhhh! Hard to believe we are at Dec 5, and the day time temperature still hovers just above the freezing mark! I am not complaining ….. I, for one, enjoy walking to the car without feeling like I may turn into an icicle on the way! But….I do wonder how this weather is going to play out if we don’t get a bit more snow cover. The woody plants are fine, they adjust accordingly and have had a good fall to go dormant and settle into the winter sleep…It’s the little herbaceous perennials that concern me. It is pretty common to lose one or two on years that we don’t get the coverage to protect their roots.

Here is the thing; our ground temperature stays fairly consistent for a couple of feet when the winter freeze hits. Frost levels vary, but anywhere from 18 inches to 4 feet depth in this province is pretty normal… and the snow insulates the ground from above, while the temperature below frost also helps to maintain that consistency of temperature. Of course, the closer to the air or surface, the colder the soil temperature, so we need to have some of that snow to protect the roots!

The other ‘thing’ that can be effecting plant survival is soil heaving. As the temperatures dip, depending on the moisture content, freezing can cause the ground to heave in areas as the water within the soil expands during the freezing stage. This heaving can cause some damage to roots…..

We have no real control over the temperatures outside, so worrying about it is pointless, but it is food for thought. As with everything, we see the cause and effect in motion. I will enjoy the warmer weather, and the ease of movement outside it affords….and wait for a few months to see how the overall winter will effect the now dormant sleeping plants!

Enjoy winter!

The BC wine valley

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This is kind of a follow up to the posting about Ohme Gardens in Washington, as our trip led us northerly along the lovely apple orchard, vineyard planted, lake strewn landscape, to the Border Patrol, and back into Canada…..first stop: Osoyoos!IMG_3681

If you have never traveled through this wonderful area, do so. It is amazing all the way from northern Washington to southern BC, in this heat infested, growing mecca! I LOVED the farm stands along the highway, stopping at several as we traveled. We had to eat anything we bought in the USA, of course, but really? How difficult is it to consume amazing fresh produce? Once we hit the Canadian side, though, no holds barred…….we shopped ’til we dropped, and, as a natural consequence, had to bring fresh produce back home! IMG_3677

IMG_3760So now on to our BC travels…..Starting in Osoyoos, we worked our way northward to Vernon during our stay. We were one week in this area, and, just the week prior to the Okanagan wine festival celebrations, so we had a few less people, but ample opportunity for sampling. IMG_3676

As a gardener, the appreciation of the vineyards was my greatest reward. Walking around this amazing area, sitting in among the vines, and then enjoying the product gained from all of this….amazing! I am an advocate of good wine….sorry…..(also good beer, but that is another page) and while we are not large drinkers, I do enjoy a good beverage with Hubby!!! or friends. IMG_3707

One of the things I love about traveling in any wine region, is seeing the variety of wines that are not available at my local stores. The ‘unknowns’ that we discover, or the varietals we did not know were grown in Canada, or the US….it is pretty cool, and a great learning. IMG_3685

So, I could yammer on about the amazing wines we sipped, and attempt to dazzle you with my (non-existent) knowledge, or I can just post some photos of this area……..hmmmmm…….photos it is! Enjoy! IMG_3699

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