Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Scenes From A Garden

Today it looked as though summer might actually be arriving. It was hot AND sunny at the same time. It was mildly disconcerting. This hasn't happened since, oh, hmm, let me think, well, since last summer. The greenhouse was like a sauna. We opened the window and the door and I plied the pots with water.

"You have the afternoon off!" I informed the kids, much to their dismay (Tuesday is a good day academically, around these parts). But I had left the garden to pine in weeds and shrubby things for far too long, so off I went, throwing a "go outside!" over my shoulder (aimed mostly at the Boy Who Is Obsessed With LEGO). Then I went off into the garden.

Dig. Edge. Fork.

Weed. Fill wheelbarrow many times. Feel old and feeble lugging wheelbarrow up and down hill to compost bin and so enlist services of teenager, who is lying on grass directly on the way to the compost. Which means that I have to opportunity of observing him regularly. He is pretending to be asleep. Luckily I am not the sort of person who is deterred by this sort of subterfuge. He labours for me good-humouredly, if somewhat reluctantly. Lugging wheelbarrows full of weeds around is not as alluring as, say, listening to music on his iPod and lying prone on the ground with a hoodie over his face in the sun.

I water the garden with fish fertilizer and spread bags of chicken manure over the freshly dug flower border. The smell attracts Oliver the Dog of Little Brain from down the road. Oliver attempts to roll in chicken manure, almost rolling over new calendula seedlings in the process.I smack Oliver on the bum with my garden fork and send him home.

Squish caterpillars on fruit trees. Examine for tent caterpillars. Spray more BT . Admire fruit trees. This year I seem to have a - knock on wood - better handle on my Irritating Chewing Insect On Fruit Tree issue. Last year I lost several crops to them. I also lost a nice crop of apples from this tree (see rock sign below for identification). I spray BT weekly now, and get into every crevice. It is, and here I apologize effusively to former garden centre employees, highly effective when used, umm, properly.

I admire the beans, onions, and purple sprouting broccoli, ignoring the fact that there should be a couple of rows of peas in there, if the interminable spring rain hadn't ROTTED them.


Sigh. The things us gardeners do.

Then, work having ended, I wandered around with a camera.

Columbines, as viewed by an ant.

An overwintering avocado. I discovered it when I was clearing out the greenhouse. I thought it was dead.

But it knew it wasn't.

And now look at it.

It's going to sit with the lemons. And the calamondin orange.

The fig. The fig. The fig.
(channel your inner Monty Python and say it the way you'd say The Larch)

I don't know what sort of fig it is, because someone in gave it to Richard when we lived in Vancouver, when it was still a tiny plant in a small pot. Now it's a large plant in a giant oak tub.

I learned how to prune it last year, from the fellow who sold me the lemon trees. It has made a huge difference in it's growing habits. It's no longer leggy and overgrown. Now it's compact and fruitful. Fruitful, get it?

Such a wit, aren't I.

A peach, just getting started.

Hmm, this reminds me of how very OLD I am.

Moving on....

One of the more fortuitous results of learning how to apply BT in the spring is having actual blossoms on the blueberry bushes.

As opposed to viewing their chewed carcasses, covered with caterpillar poo.

Don't you go wombling in the nettle bed, now...

Quick, who recognizes that quote?

So many spring flowers are purple. Here we have a purple clematis, sitting next to the purple lilac...

And that's it for the garden tour. Hope your day is sunny, where ever you are!


Cerwydwyn said...

Tomorrow I will paint rocks. Great idea. 'Sage' 'Lavender', etc. It will make hubby's weed eating chores so much simpler!

sheila said...

Yeah well, hope your hubby isn't like mine: today we were touring the garden and he stopped in front of this tree and said "What kind of tree is this? Plum?"

By the way, want some seeds? I'm still accumulating things for your package.

Heather said...

Your garden looks gorgeous. I think you may be the only person I know who has a nettle bed - too funny. I just harvested some very overgrown nettle yesterday to use as fertilizer. I'm going to try to convince someone who uses store bought/chemical fertilizer that nettle and comfrey are much better by doing a test patch in his garden.