Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Perambulating In The Garden

Today was one of those really, truly, lovely days here on the Wet Coast. At one point the thermometer on the back deck registered 23ºC. No kidding. Of course, it IS sitting in the sun and the deck IS pretty sheltered and it WAS only for about an hour, but still. I should've taken a picture of it, because I called Richard to tell him and he did not believe me.

We spent a large portion of the day outside, as a result, because it's supposed to cloud over in the next few days, and I wanted to get a little gardening in, now that my infected tooth seems to be recovering (only took two bloody weeks but heck, who's counting?). Max and I dug some fence post holes and relocated the raspberry bush over to the hill where the other berries are, because it was so squished up against the peach tree that we could hardly pick the berries last summer. It's everbearing and gave raspberries right into October, too, so I'd like to have it as accessible as possible. We put in the posts, attached some chicken wire to them in a sort of sideways trellis, then added the raspberry roots, just starting to sprout a bit, and covered them with heaps of compost and straw to keep them snug in case the weather turns cold. Then we put some edging around the blueberries and added a straw mulch to them too.

I've been hauling home gardening books, to get some ideas on how to redo the front yard. I want to make a stone path going down the hill from the road, and then get rid of some of the lawn. Then rework the Lozenge Bed a bit. I like gardening books, but boy, everything looks so easy, so expensive, so time consuming, and so consuming of pricey materials. I want that cobalt blue wall and that travertine flagging but I want it for free.

I also want 3 yards of sand, so if you have any kicking around, call me.

I took these pictures yesterday, when it was still pretty nice out. Not very sunny, but definitely light-coat weather. It all started when I was examining the slug damage in one bed. I got down on my knees and peered under the oak leaf mulch (which is more for winter protection because the dratted leaves take forever to decompose), and besides the vast quantity of slugs, I saw this:
The pulmonaria was BLOOMING! I'm not a long time grower of pulmonarias, so perhaps this is its Modus Operandi, I don't know, but yegods it's just turned February. Shouldn't that plant be sleeping?

After gaping at the loveliness of the colours for a few minutes, I decided that I needed to document my perambulations. My garden likes a little admiration.
The Coral Bark Maple reclining redly. I love this tree, even if it's driving me MAD watching it grow so

Impatient? Moi? Why do you ask?

The Bloodtwig Dogwood, a little less red, but still very colourful. I'm not sure I like this plant. I've never been a big fan of The Shrub, and I bought this one on a whim, so I am yet to be convinced that this plant and I will be compatible room mates.

Fickle? Moi? Why do you ask?

The Bells of Ireland, turning into leaf skeletons before our eyes. I grew this one for FDPG, who was shocked and amazed at the idea that there existed a flower that was ENTIRELY GREEN, because, as some of us know, green is FDPG's very favourite colour.
This is an awesome cut flower: it's massive, stately, long-lasting, and oh so green. There is the matter of all those sharp little spikes everywhere, but I figure it teaches my houseguests not to fondle the flower arrangements.

We'll skirt quickly past all my building projects, I think. Richard is getting to be quite the nag is a little anxious about what a packrat he thinks I am and how I tend to procrastinate about finishing all my projects how much room these treasures take up in the carport.

Bricks for a path? Or should I enlarge the vegetable patch?

Stones from the beach for another path in the front yard.
.Driftwood on a bench. Haven't decided what to do with all that yet.
Ah, here is my handy dandy system for preventing the back path from flooding every winter. The previous owners liked to lay concrete but weren't very thorough (or skilled) at it, and we have a large step with a large patch of mud below it. I haven't yet thought out how I intend to remedy this, but in the meantime I have this barrel under the drain spout, with a hose stuck into it so it can drain away from the area. I keep forgetting to take this barrel (which my Dad found washed up on his beach front) to the industrial plastics store to get a tap welded onto it, so I don't have to keep the hose like this.

Some snowdrops. Heralds of spring around these parts.

The garlic patch. It's been an interesting experiment, this garlic growing business. I grew three groups of it: the first group were some pricey gourmet organic exotics from a place in the interior. The second group was all the same kind, and came from the local feed store. The third group was bulk bin growers garlic from the local nursery. What you see sprouting in front of you is the stuff from the local feed store. The gourmet exotics are measly little nubs and look most sickly, despite my finest compost. The bulk bin stuff is doing almost as poorly. If it weren't for the feed store garlic I would be almost affronted. I stood for a few minutes with my arms crossed over my chest, tapping my toes and giving that bed a very arch look, just to show it how affronted I really was.

And finally, a picture from an angle I like a lot. This is one of the nicest views of the yard, looking out across the yard and over the neighbour's yard, off towards the bird lake down the hill. You can see the sorrel sprouting in the vegetable bed in front there.


shaun said...

What the . . . ! Do you live on Fiji or something?! What is with all the green? I have to remember this later in the year when I have garden envy -- *one* of us lives in a weird climate. Not saying who . . .

Heather said...

Love those snowdrops. Now I am even more excited about gardening after reading your post. I was flipping through my son's Cottage Gardener catalog last night lusting after all the veg seeds and wishing for waaaaaay more room to grow all the varieties of squash.

Love all your piles of finished-projects-in-waiting, you can never go wrong with piles of bricks, stones or driftwood...or bags of leaves, old metal bedheads, big tree prunings, interesting metal bits, logs, leftover wood pieces...ahem, good to know it isn't just me saving such things. ;-0

I'd forgotten about the garlic. I need to go scrape some snow aside if I want to check on mine. :-(

Samantha said...

Sob! We are still under at least 10 feet of snow, possibly closer to 20 feet!! OKay, that might be a little overdramatic but it feels like it's that much some days. I'd better go wipe the rest of my tears away.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to say my yard is mostly covered in ice and snow, so I don't have to feel any guilt about not wanting to go and work in the garden! There is certainly nothing blooming out there. My thermometer hit 7.5 degrees today and I thought that was good - I dragged two of the boys out for a walk and we didn't have coats on :o)

sheila said...

Shaun, I nearly died when I saw the pictures on your blog. That's some snow you got there. I guess compared to you I DO live in Fiji. But it's all warm and cold through till April or May, really. Last year I did the bulk of my garden work in February because it was SO balmy. Then March hit and it was freezing until May. You probably get hotter summers than we do, though.

sheila said...

Heather: metal bedheads? Where ever did you find those? I want some!

sheila said...

Actually, Samantha, I asked the meteorologist to measure the snow where you are today and you really have 32' of the stuff. Sob away. Just don't get back to me when your summer temps are 40 and mine are 20, okay? Then I might be the one to sob...

sheila said...

Nicola! Are you a hardy or what? That's COLD! Well, if it's any consolation, today was foggy and cold and damp. Quite a change from yesterday. I doubt the mercury went much over 12.

Andrea said...

Okay, so I am just going to skim this post. I am not even going to really think about this post. I am going to pretend that you didn't post this post.... as my garden us under a foot of snow and the only thing remotely green around here is me....