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But what about the bloody garden?

June 14, 2017

Yes, yes, I know. This started out as a garden blog, so you’d think the entries would be about growing things, not about landscaping. Perhaps I should change the name to “Gabriola Outdoors Project”, but that might give people the idea that there was something – anything – outdoorsy about me. Have you met me? I rest my case. I am at two with sports. I could also more accurately change the name to “Attempting to Grow Stuff and Making Things Look Nice on My Property on Gabriola”, but that’s a bit of a mouthful.

Anyway, anyway…

06-14 bee 2

As I’ve mentioned previously, this is one of my favourite times of the year to be stretched out on the garden swing, reading to the sound of dozens (hundreds?) of bees buzzing.

Back in 2010 when I began my attempts to grow things in my gone-to-seed-while-I-was-away garden, one of the first things I planted was a ceanothus (otherwise known as California lilac). I did this because I’ve always loved the blue flowers, but mainly because some research revealed the fact that bees bloody love these flowers. And let’s face it, the poor bloody bees need all the help they can get.

This was the ceanothus I planted in 2010.

2010 ceanothus

This is what it looks like now.

06-14 ceanothus

Sweet.

Elsewhere in the garden, staying on the subject of flowers, the first rose is about to bloom fully.

06-14 first rose

And there are plenty more rose buds opening up everywhere. Hurrah!

On the fruit front, it’s looking like there could be a bumper crop of strawberries.

06-14 strawberries

This is very good news indeed. I was worried that the long, cold and bloody snowy winter might have done the strawberry plants some permanent damage. Given the number of berries ready to spring forth, it seems they may actually like cold winters. Who knew?

Four cherry tomato plants are starting to flower in their bed.

06-14 tomatoes

There are also two Tumbler cherry tomato plants in pots. (Tumblers grow best in pots.)

06-14 tumblers and red pepper

And, even though the last time I attempted to grow red bell peppers, I only got one from the plant, I’m having another go with this one between the Tumblers. Perhaps attempting to grow a pepper plant in some decent soil will make a difference.

Well, that’s interesting. Before writing the paragraph above, I checked to make absolutely sure red peppers were indeed fruit, rather than vegetable plants. Checking on this revealed – much to my astonishment – that peas and beans are also technically fruit. I gusse you really can learn something new every day. (Peas? Seriously?)

So, sticking with fruit…

06-14 beans and peas

The peas are coming along nicely and some bean have sprouted. The beans don’t seem particularly interested in climbing the chicken wire. This is the first time I’ve ever tried to grow them, but I could have sworn that, like peas, they are climbers. This could, I suppose, change. Early days.

Some brief vegetable news…

06-14 kale

The kale is coming along well, as are the grown-in-a-pot salad greens. I also, in pots, seem to have a good crop of rocket (arugula), but the leaves are the wrong shape. At the moment the kale in the ground looks more like rocket than the rocket in the pot. What the hell is up with that?

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