Beautiful Blooms – September 5th

It has been a long time since we have been at home and up early enough to capture some early Saturday morning shots.  The hectic rush of summer while having to work but still wanting to make every moment of sun count doesn’t leave much time for supping coffee and just being content in the moment!  I am very grateful for the return of some routine, but a bit sad that we blinked and summer is now winding down – it always goes by so quickly.  Yes, there are some duplicates from last week’s veggie garden pictures – they are simply too pretty not to share with the rest of the blooms!!  Thankfully September brings my favourite flowers – Dahlias, Glads and of course, sunflowers!!

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Beautiful Blooms – July 31st

It has been raining pretty heavily and our blooms have taken a beating!  But the girls did manage to capture a few gorgeous flowers over the past 10 days to make Mama smile through the rain drops!

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.” ~Mulan

Beautiful Blooms – July 12th

This week has provided my budding photographers with many opportunities to play with the camera, so many beautiful plants are blooming.  I added a few interesting studies of bark that my older daughter took, there is a certain beauty that is exposed when shot close up through the eyes of a child. And of course, what gallery would be complete without some coleus and butterfly shots taken by my wee girl! What a lovely time of year to just sit and soak in the sun, the smells and the scenery!

To see more beautiful blooms, head over to May Dreams Gardens for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!!

Picked and Planted (and poking up!) -June 2nd to June 8th

This week we picked:

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Pak Choi and Market Express Turnips and greens -planted 26 April

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Easter Egg radish (aren’t they pretty?) The Cherry Belles are getting really big…

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Mesclun, Buttercrunch lettuce, Red Oak lettuce, Arugula and Spinach

Peppermint Swiss chard – We ate it before we took a picture…ooops…

Ragged Jack and Dinosaur Kale

Rhubarb, Rhubarb and more Rhubarb!

Cilantro, Chives, Green Onion and Sweet Basil

Approx savings compared to local market: $50.12

Total weight picked this week: 12.64 pounds

This week we planted :

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These are the “Salsa bed” and the “Italian bed” – I love the flowering Kale that overwintered under the tunnels.

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Big Beef, Lemon Boy, Black Plum, Menonnite and Sungold Indeterminant tomatoes

Alaska, Subarctic Plenty, Gold Dust and Scotia determinant tomatoes

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The tomatoes were getting “leggy” from the cold weather while they patiently waited on he deck to harden off – we plucked the lower leaves off and buried them deeply in the raised beds and sideways in the rows.  We are trying planters, black film, red film and straw mulch this year, it will be interesting to see which way works best…

Elsewhere in the raised beds and rows…

Jalapeno, King Arthur, Big Bell and a few mystery peppers (my wee one ate a pepper from the market, saved seeds, planted them and stuffed them in the garden!)

Sweet and Opal Basil

Cilantro

Utah celery

Packman and Munchkin broccoli seedlings

Flowers: Galdiolis, Nasturtuim, Calendulas and Sunflowers

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Boyne Raspberries and Galdiolis together in a newly redone bed

Poking up:

My wee girl’s garden is popping up all over the place! The squash have also poked out from the black plastic but no signs of the cucumbers yet….

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“If you are what you eat don’t be fast, cheap and easy” ~ No idea who said this, but it made me bust out laughing when I saw it on a mug! 

Beautiful Blooms – June 7th

The sun came out today after a cold, rainy week and with it some more beautiful blooms to enjoy with a Sunday morning cup of coffee!  We even found our very first tomato blossom this morning smiling at the sunshine, that means some yummy tomatoes are on the way.  Most of the pictures were taken by my girls this week, which certainly adds a new perspective to the blossoms in the garden and in the woods. I love getting to see what they see through their sweet little eyes. Happy Sunday to everyone!

“Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.” ~ Unknown

Little hands, Big hopes and a few Mama tears…

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Once again I have had to let go, just a bit. Once again I have had to concede control and watch as my wee girl grew seemingly just a bit bigger in front of my eyes.  Once again, I have to swallow deeply, choke back a (perhaps hormonally driven) tear and lump in my throat as she took another step towards independence.

My rational mind knows that they are only flower planters on a porch. My rational mind knows that we have been planting flowers together for years now, and even at 7, she has more passion for pretty living things than most will develop over a lifetime. I know in my rational mind that getting a bit teary over a kid planting some seedlings she carefully seeded, nurtured, watered and doted over for months is a bit silly.

I really do know, but I can’t help it.

This time, she didn’t need me. This time she didn’t want me to help with any of it. This time, she didn’t even want to plant anything I had brought home! She did it all by herself. And I could only watch, wondering when did she get so big, so capable and so independent?

But I couldn’t be more proud of her; it may have only been planters on the deck, but in the big scheme of things, it was so much more. And so one little tear may have been in part because my baby has disappeared and this amazing, gentle and smart  wee girl with a big heart has taken her place. And one little tear may be because she doesn’t need me as much anymore.  And one little tear may be because she is my last baby and I won’t get to have these firsts again.

But it is only planters on the deck after all.  And I was still the first person she wanted to show and couldn’t stop beaming at as she proudly pointed out her hard work, her plant babies and rambled on about her high hopes for them!

So there may have been one more little happy tear for that too.

Boy am I in trouble over the next few years!

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about” ~ Unknown

Day Maker!

Our big girl went for a sleepover, leaving my husband and I some alone time with our wee girl this morning – a real treat for her that rarely happens.  We took her out for a special breakfast and let her order PB&J on homemade bread and jam, without crusts – the café’s “specialty”!  We played tic tac toe while we sipped our coffees and listened to her babble on endlessly about her little world and all the happenings with her little friends. She thoroughly enjoyed her spotlit pedestal!  On our way home, we passed a greenhouse that had just opened for the season and we had to stop, the snow is getting to us and the opportunity of visiting a warm, sunny nursery full of new life was more than we could pass up.  It turned out to be the highlight of her special day – the wonderful ladies let us look around the blocked off part of the greenhouse where they showed her how little plugs were transplanted, we watched a guy way up on a rolling platform fertilizing hanging baskets and she happily wandered through the rows identifying which plants she was growing herself at home.  She was very proud of herself when she discovered her Coleus plants were bigger than those at the greenhouse!

While my husband busied himself learning about pest deterrents, my wee girl told the ladies all about her flower babies and picked out a pot she wanted to buy with money she had earned cat sitting.  Megan, an absolutely lovely staff member, made her a deal that if she promised to plant one of her coleus’ in the pot and bring it back in to show her sometime that she could have the pot for free!!!  Well, that was just the icing on the cake – Little Miss had a smile on her face the whole way home!  So, Megan, here is a picture of the little plant in the pot that made one little girl’s day (we will definitely bring it in for a visit as requested)!  What a great stop – you ladies truly were her “day maker” today!

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Thank you to both of the lovely ladies at Bloom Greenhouse for being so kind to a budding gardener!

A glimpse under the grow lights – April 7th (or Survival of the fittest and vegetable infanticide…)

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Nova Scotia continues to be buried in feet, yes FEET, of white stuff. In fact, we woke up to another 5-10 cms this morning.  Usually by this time we are prepping early beds, assembling poly tunnels and seriously considering planting the early veggies outdoors under cover (peas, kale, bok choy, onions, beets, carrots, chard and spinach)…not this year. There is some hope in that the temperatures are warming up and there has been some melting but at this rate I am afraid it will be a very, very late start to the garden. Thankfully the grow lights are shining away and the early starts are doing well – the veggie babies may not have a nice dirty outdoor place to move into before they peak, but they seem happy for now.

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Potted up veggies, herbs and flowers patiently waiting under the lights until they can move outdoors.

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Columbine reaching for the light.

Many have been potted up to larger pots and some have graduated to another location with less direct light as we have started to run out of space under the lights.  My wee girl has a nice sunny window and found a little greenhouse unit that has moved into her bedroom as well for her maturing flowers(she simply had to have it…and I simply couldn’t say no…) !!

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She simply HAD to have it!! We added some lights to the bottom for a little something extra…

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A few of my Wee girl’s Coleus plants happy in the sunshine! (This is about half of them…oooops!)

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Chamomile, Impatiens and Rudbeckia – also in her greenhouse…ahem…bedroom…

We have had some casualties, sadly. This weekend, as we were potting up seedlings and starting new seeds (the 6-8 week prior crowd), we found many seedlings that had been burnt by organic seaweed fertilizer. Yup, unintentional vegetable infanticide. We had diluted the fertilizer even more than the directions had stated and waited until at least 2 sets of leaves had grown, but it was still too strong and in the end, only the strong survived….fail.  The bok choi and chard were hit the hardest, with jalapeños suffering a fair amount as well.  The cauliflower and broccoli fared somewhat better, with the strongest seedlings overcoming the weaker ones.  Survival of the fittest. And unfortunately this is the second year in a row we managed to do this…double fail.

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Damage from the fertilizer – discolouration and stunted growth. I am not sure if they will pull through. Has anyone else had this issue?

My wee girl was pretty sad and after we gave the lost seedlings a little burial in the compost bin we had a big chat about the circle of life. I never expected that gardening would lead to philosophical discussions of life, death and the afterlife, but am glad that I had the opportunity for this talk to happen over vegetables before she really has to deal with a loss of someone close. So as we continue to wait, and wait, and wait for the snow to melt, at least I can pass on a few life lessons and we can peek under the lights (instead of under frost blankets) to see what’s poking up!

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“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” ~ Rafiki (after bonking Simba on the head – probably what I deserve!