Gettin’ My Garden On

Fellow Canadians and I have been celebrating this Victoria Day long weekend, or more affectionately called “May 2-4”,  by gearing up for the summer season ahead. I have been excitedly awaiting the coming of May 2-4 weekend to plant my new garden. I prepped by scouting out the best heirloom vegetable grower in my area and scheduled a short(ish) roadtrip with my daughter as my sidekick. What a blast! I could not have taken a more helpful and inquistitive companion. We were elated to find almost everything we had envisioned growing in our garden. On the ride home we talked about every plant and seed packet we purchased with escalating excitement. My sidekick has, by her own suggestion, taken on the herb portion of the garden as well as the position of co-harvester. Of course I didn’t hear an answer when I asked for help with future weeding. Am I surprised? Not at all.

These are the beautiful heirloom vegetable plants awaiting their new home (a.k.a. our garden). There is absolutely nothing “normal” in this tray of veggie plants. By normal, I mean a variety that we could purchase at the average grocery store.  Come to think of it, we were so fascinated by all the wonderful varieties that I don’t think we purchased any red tomatoes! Oh well.

The garden received one final rototilling before planting. After the tilling, I cultivated the soil slightly to make it more even.  I then  took a much needed rest to rehydrate and cool off.  I would highly recommend this refreshing beverage of pineapple soda and Malibu coconut rum over ice…yummmm.

After cooling off, it was time to get back to work and stop wasting time. I laid out all the plants where I thought they should reside to ensure I spaced them well for future growth. Nothing bugs me more than seeing gardens all crammed together so the plants don’t receive adequate sunlight. OK, maybe that’s not totally true…I can think of a few other things that bug me more, such as rudeness, greed, lying, socks with sandals, and the revival of banana clips to name a few. Now where was I?  Oh yes, after alotting for proper spacing of the plants and leaving room for the seeds I still had to sow, I tackled the task of placing each plant lovingly in its new home with its tag so I could remember what I had planted where. The seeds were attended to immediately afterwards. This is my first attempt at direct sowing into the garden so keep your fingers crossed for me that they will do well.

Next task was to hunt down pieces of wood to write the variety of each row of seeds. I just used some old wood trim that I had around and wrote the vegetable type and variety in Sharpie, then stuck them in the soil next to the row of seeds. Reusing some interlocking brick from a neighbour, I laid a small walkway through the garden near the deck to deter  people from walking through the garden and crushing plant life or having to trek all the way around the outside edge of the garden. The walkway isn’t quite what I envisioned so I think I will be revisiting this project at a later date.

Evening intermission: enjoying  the company of great friends and dining al fresco under the recently constructed outdoor light fixture. See earlier post.

This morning saw me back in action in the garden. After lingering over my cup of fair trade organic coffee (yum) on the deck, I  puttered around in the garden for a few hours. During this time period I transplanted unwanted plants from a neighbour’s garden  and found new homes in another part of my back yard. I was then gifted with  some much needed tomato cages! Bending them back into shape, they were installed in the garden with the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. Once the shade started to come over the garden in the late afternoon I watered it well since it was looking dry in spots and the seeds had yet to be given a thorough watering.

The veggie garden is pretty much planted now. I think I will still add a few more herbs by the walkway since we go through mass amounts of herbs.

The wooden posts in the foreground were installed so I could string jute horizontally so the beans can climb up, saving space. The posts on an angle on the left are for the cucumbers to be wrapped around, but I’m still mulling this over. I may remove them and just attach jute from a peg in the garden to the top of the pergola. I know from experience that cukes do well twisted around jute. A garden is never truly “completed”.  Marigolds were planted among the tomatoes to assist with pest control.

List of what is planted in my garden:

  • “Fortex” pole beans
  • cucumbers
  • “Dragon” carrots- deep purple colour
  • red celery
  • Beedy’s Camden kale
  • green onions
  • “Alice Sunshine” bush beans
  • “Collosal Red Mangel” beets
  • “Blush” eggplant
  • Peppers: “Tequila Sunrise”, Cubanelle, “Purple Beauty”, Jalapeno
  • Tomatoes: “Chocolate Cherry”, “Rinaldo” (pastel), “Black ?”, “Black Ethiopian”, “Purple Passion”, “Mollie’s Awesome” yellow pear, Variagated

I can’t wait to see all the unique tomatoes!  Tomatoes are, to me, the true taste of summer. I can eat tomatoes every single day and never tire of them. Just the thought of a fresh tomato straight from the garden makes my mouth water.

There are a few things left to do in the garden as far as planting and prepping goes, but for now I’m content to take a breather. My jeans need to visit the washing machine and my feet are filthy… I am a happy woman. My work for this long weekend is done and  I shall sit on the edge of the deck with my bare feet in the grass while I envision my garden growing.

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.”
-Gertrude Jekyll

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