Cool days

It has been a wonderful season, soon I will go and take pictures to post. Today is rainy, lovely rain. Unfortunately, my writing gets interrupted by  life, but for me, that is why I write! It’s not about the best garden story, it’s about a journey through my life.

My edible peas are now ready, and I picked the first tomatoes last night. The cucs are babies, barely there, and the beans are just flowering! We have managed to harvest almost all of the new potatoes, and I see beets! Real beets…I am so excited. It has taken some trial and error with raised bed gardens, to find just the right location for various plant but I am finally getting it right! The beets settled in nicely in a warmer location, while the beans are flourishing in a shady spot!

I planted the green house full of basil, peppers, cucs and watermelon. Full indeed. It is a tiny space that is overgrown again! I love it! The peppers have peppers on them and the basil did amazingly well! But the green house is only 4′ x 6′ so….overgrown it is and …. it makes me smile.

Hubby had a set back with a minor heart attack so I have been a bit distracted to write, however, we are both home and taking on a new lease in life. I haven’t walked so much…ever! Grateful for the health we have and even though I am distracted a bit from writing, I am still enjoying that garden! Pictures coming soon…I hope

Rhubarb Juice

What happens every spring? The Rhubarb grows like mad…and I LOVE it. I make rhubarb juice and freeze it to enjoy all winter long! Simple.

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Pull the stalks of rhubarb, remove the leaves and a bit of the bottom stem (or leave it if it is clean. Wash, cut into 3 to 4 inch chunks. Put in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then turn off. Add honey (or maple syrup) vanilla and/or cinnamon. Let stand overnite. In the morning, drain through a sieve. Bottle, or put into freezable containers and ‘voila’. You are done! Yummy

Glorious Rain!

Timing is everything so they say! Garden is planted and today the moisture arrived. A lovely slow rain that is greening up the earth and refreshing the land! One would think that with a low mood, rain would not be a welcome site, but it is really a nice soft rain, the kind that you would love to stand in, if it were just a tad warmer! The temperature dropped significantly last night and all day today, so nope, I am not interested in standing out there.

I did go outside to get to my truck, on my way to a massage therapy appointment. That may account for an uplift in mood as well. Massage is something I invest in for myself, on a very regular basis. I have for years. I know where I carry my stress and I also am not of great stature, so some heavy gardening, and my back is hooped. Regardless, I have a great relationship with my therapist and when I occasionally forget my appointment, she calls me, and squeezes me in. Because I do that…today…not the first time!

I also slept last night for 11 hours! Sleep is the cure for so many things. Part of my life I spent working in mental health and we had a saying: tired mind, strange thoughts. It is true. Not enough sleep affects not only our thoughts, but our whole physical and mental well being. I finally relented the fight and took melatonin and slept! Why do we fight ourselves when we know better?

Now I am looking forward to warm days and to getting to a couple of my favorite nurseries for some tomatoes and peppers to complete the veggie side of the garden. I have a wonderful friend with a wonderful greenhouse that I worked at for 3 seasons, and I usually purchase there. I will again this year, but I also have a friend who is in my community and she just opened a small operation this year, so I will support her too.

T’is the season to be planting.

Planted!

Finally! Yesterday was a glorious day, warm, sunny, no wind…perfect day to plant the garden boxes. Trouble is, I have been struggling a lot with my health, and just could not make my self get outdoors. I have done a bit of work each day (3 or 4 hours of cleaning out the winter dead stuff) and putzing around. Overall though, I don’t have energy and am going through a cyclical depression. One day I am good, the next day…not so much. For the most part, I am just mad and annoyed that I am so flat! Great. Because that is so helpful for my mood!! I was a social worker in a past life and worked in mental health, so I ‘know’ all the things I should do…trouble is, when you are thrown for a loop, motivation completely goes with it!

On the upside, Hubby is amazing and has supported me the entire way. I have always had a bit of anxiety, but last year I suffered a major concussion when I was flipped in the ocean in Costa Rica, and also broke my collarbone…since then I have had a few more struggles. But, it is a learning curve. I finally went to the Doc, and he is super. Very no nonsense kind of doc, and realizes I need practical advice. I am already doing the holistic stuff…oils, vitamins etc, and using my diffusers…but I have stopped my yoga and he said ‘do yoga everyday’ in his South African accent. ‘And ride your bike’. And he added a medication that will help out. So, it’s a new day…I will follow his rules.

The garden looks so good, all planted! My garlic is growing madly from fall planting, the rhubarb is almost big enough to pick, strawberries have started to grow, although I lost a few to winter kill. Now I have added beans, peas, lettuce, spinach, radish, carrots, broccoli and brussel sprouts! And onions….a whole raised box of onions, complete with the diatomaceous earth to keep the darn onion maggots away! My little greenhouse has the cucs, watermelon (a trial), cucamelon (another trial) and basil. Just need to wait for the frost days to pass and I will get my peppers and tomatoes from a local nursery!  I actually feel a lot better getting that accomplished. It wasn’t easy but ….

It was Hubby that encouraged me to take a look at something he had done outside, that got me out there. I am so grateful for him, and for his patience with me.

Pansies

When you need the garden fix but know that snow could still be in the forecast, get some hardy pansies and plant up a basket or two! Today Hubby and I decided to stop in at a local greenhouse, and the traffic there was amazing! first warm days and everyone is out in droves….but, don’t get too anxious. These Alberta springs are unpredictable at best. Although the temp soared into the 20’s, it is a fickle season.

Pansies are a favorite: not because they are astonishingly gorgeous, or present the most amazing colors (and they do) but because they are reliable, and hardy. One of the first to show their little faces in the spring, pansies can take a lot of cold, and withstand frost to a certain point. I have always set out a pot of pansies to welcome guests to my front door. Today, with two little ones in tow, we purchased our garden seeds, and pansies. I planted 2 baskets for my daughter who is away, and also purchased several more to plant in our little village next week, to brighten things up. I love this bit of early color….before the other annuals that are less hardy can meet the great outdoors.

Enjoy the old fashioned, reliable, timid and yet wonderfully amazing little pansy…

Garlic is fine!!

garlicThis lovely garlic is what made my day 2 days ago….I have experimented with places to plant and failed in several, but it would appear we have landed upon a great spot. Barely raised with warmth from the house, basking in south sun. Mama’s happy!! Have I mentioned that garlic is a food group?

When you try and try again!

20180422_154030I have this lovely new Chromebook, and it doesn’t work quite the same as my old computer….It has taken me a couple of days to figure out how to move the photos around, I’m still not quite there, but I did manage to get this picture to upload, after a few frustrating attempts, and, naturally, once I figured it out, it wasn’t all that difficult. Just a new thing and it takes time to sort it out. That is really about life, isn’t it? We try and get frustrated and then often go back to the easy way of doing things. I do. When we perservere, even in the small things, it can be a great accomplishment. If it is gardening, just keep plugging away. Learning is half the fun of gardening! Sure there are lots of ‘mistakes’ we all make, but they are not really mistakes, they are steps toward the final goal. What would life be if we never had to struggle a bit and everything made sense the first time? Boring….and we would be a mighty spoiled people! No one really has the silver spoon with everything sorted….everyone has their own learning curve. We just never know who is going through that place at any given time. Patience…with ourselves, and with others.

Columbines

Oh the joy of watching the garden bloom! I particularly love seeing some

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of these heritage plants thrive….I admittedly have had some issues related to bugs and, like many of you, am leery of using pesticides. The better choice is to take the time and focus on soil health. While we know that we cannot keep pests out of the garden, using proper plant management will go

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a long way in ensuring plant health and thus, resistance to bugs.

I have worked to build compost and add amendments to the soil for tilth and nutrition. I have also tried to ensure air movement around my perennials and not crop things too tightly. In years past, my columbines have grown in spring,  only to be de-foliated by little chompers.  This year, we are enjoying

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the good health and consequently, good blooms. I love these ‘old-fashioned ‘ ladies….hope you enjoy them too.