garden, life

June Garden Tour – on crutches 🙄

We all have them. Those moments in life, often a split-second, we wish we could go back and do differently. But we can’t, so we have to chalk it up to Lessons Learned.

So yeah, I’ve sprained, possibly broken, my ankle.

Lesson Learned: Pirouettes and garden clogs are a terrible combination. No matter how chuffed I was that our daughter asked for choreography help for one of her videos, it was just plain dumb. And I will never forget the sound. 🤢

Anyway, the garden has been neglected for several days and I’m not loving the crutches so we’ll see how this goes…

The deck – My poor potatoes have been flattened by the almost constant wind.

Peas, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes

Peppers are coming along nicely.

Holy tomatoes! Some peppers and cucumbers too.

The tomato on the right is the one that broke right off when I transplanted it. So it’s much shorter but still growing!
Carrots, onions, beets and a tomato branch that I poked into the middle that’s now a new plant. Tomatoes are amazing!

The raised beds- The kohlrabi will be ready soon, and more peas!

View from the bottom ‘entrance’ – Check out the spaghetti squash, it’s enormous! These sunflowers (left) aren’t growing fast enough to be trellises for the beans, even though I started them early from seed and transplanted them. Uh oh, could get messy.

The everlasting sweet pea on the driftwood tree needs tying again too. This is the first time it’s been able to flower because the deer kept eating it last year. Yay!

View from the bottom sitting area.

Potatoes, peas, beans, lettuce, kale and camomile.

These sunflowers are doing better, they’re the same height as those first ones but I direct sowed them much later. I think sunflowers prefer not being disturbed. The alstroemeria finally gets to flower too, another deer favourite when they get in. So far so good!

Cucumbers, peas, kale, dill, beans and quinoa.

This bean has the right idea! I’m hoping the sunflowers will be big and strong enough to support the cucumbers growing in front too, but I’m thinking that’s probably too much to ask. We’ll see…

Check out this onion! 😁

Middle garden.

The zucchini and cucumbers are doing pretty well but I’m a bit surprised that the cucumbers are flowering already even though they haven’t grown very tall. 🤷‍♀️ The carrots and leeks will still be a while.

The oldest part of the garden – I plan to make lavender oil with some of this lavender. My first batch didn’t work too well, it smells like pesto for some weird reason. I think I needed more flowers. It’s all a big experiment.

These steps are also the most established part of the garden. The daphne (right) is in full bloom for the second time this season and smells heavenly. I love the tiny light pink flowers.

The other side of the oldest part, and the lily and hollyhock bed.

Calla lilies coming up and bachelor buttons from seed are starting to flower.

View from the other entrance.

The apple tree bed, with the oh-so-attractive, temporary deer fencing. At least it seems to be doing the trick. And the buggers are around, our daughter had to step over a tiny fawn sleeping on our doorstep one night, and got charged by mama another night!

More potatoes, carrots, onions, leeks, kohlrabi and beets. And some self-seeding lettuce that I hope will naturalize in the garden.

Top garden – I’ve waited too long to harvest this artichoke now. Boo. Lemon tree is doing well even though we’ll have an ongoing battle with the crabgrass up here for the foreseeable future.

Blueberries! We’ve had these bushes for almost ten years but they’ve been moved around so much they’ve never really produced. This is the most we’ve ever seen. I’m so glad I got them protected with bird netting before The Incident.

There are more blueberries hiding all over this bush. Yum!

View from top deck.

Buddleais (butterfly bush, right top) are starting to bloom.
The hummingbirds love them!
Cosmos from seed in the planter. Hopefully some flowers soon!
The ‘Ring of Fire’ pepper plant in the tub has tons of blossoms on it already. I’m hoping to make my own chili flakes.

This deck area was the original, overgrown garden when we moved in and we’ve never done too much with it. My husband is finally tackling that project and has cleared out a ton.

This was a full garden bed a few days ago.

Sadly, our previously stunning, well- established, huge orange rose picked up some weird infection and basically rotted away. The stump is still there so maybe there’s hope. 🤞🏻

So there we go, a gimp tour of our backyard. I’m almost afraid of what things will look like by the end of July if my ankle doesn’t start healing faster. X-rays on Tuesday will hopefully give me a better idea of how long I’ll be hobbled. I really feel for people with chronic mobility issues, it’s a royal pain in the arse to not be able to do for yourself. I’m so fortunate, I won’t whine. Much. 😏

Good times.

Thanks for joining me. Wishing you peace and calm.

❤️ Amanda

garden, life

May Vegetable Tour

I can’t believe it’s the last day of May! I wanted to complete my May Garden Tour with a record of how the vegetable beds closer to the house are looking. It’s a crazy windy day – again, ugh – so I snapped them quickly, but such is life.

Unfortunately, the damn deer got in again last night. We can mostly thank our nature-hating, pavement and power tool-loving neighbour for basically killing the hedge on his side. Okay, vent over. Check out the temporary fence – it’s like living in a junk yard! 😂

On the back deck we have potatoes, peas, lettuce, spinach, arugula, leeks, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries and mint. My potatoes have never been this tall before. I’m hoping for a better yield this year, so fingers crossed.

In the raised beds we have potatoes, garlic, radishes, beets, lettuce, peas, carrots, kohlrabi, leeks, peppers, beans and cucumber.

We bought these 20 gallon containers for cheap this year. They’re amazing for tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers and big enough to stuff in some basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, spinach and lettuce.

Tomatoes are so satisfying to grow. I planted these from seed and was horrified when I broke the first one when transplanting. But I pinched off the bottom leaves and stuck the stem deep into the soil and voilà! I also stuck the root ball into the garden and it’s started sprouting new growth. Life will out. 🥰

Alright, I hope this finds you well. Any gardening tips always appreciated!

Be kind, be calm and stay safe!

❤️ Amanda

garden, Health, life, mental health

Deer Decimation 😣

Well, yesterday was DD day at our house. Apparently, the deer around here read WordPress, and my May Garden Tour post was an invitation. Whoops.

They ate the kale…

They nibbled the potatoes …

And snarfed ALL but two of the bush beans!

And that’s not all…

So when the deer come chomping, the gardener(‘s husband) builds a fence.

Fingers crossed…

But there’s always something positive happening in the garden. I’m thrilled that this method of interplanting worked. I planted radishes and carrots together so the fast-sprouting radishes shade the finicky slow-sprouting carrots until they germinate. Now I’ve pulled the radishes and the carrots are perfectly thinned and ready to keep growing.

Radishes, carrots
There’s always something positive in the garden.

❤️Amanda

chronic illness, Health, life, mental health, MS

May Garden Tour

Aloha! Since my backyard urban farm in-development has taken up all my focus and energy and I haven’t been writing at all, I thought I’d share photos of how I’ve been staying busy.

Honestly, it has become a full-time job. There are days when the MonSter awakes and I drag myself out of bed hardly able to face the thought of all the tasks calling for attention. But I make myself get out there every day at least for 20 minutes. Usually that ends up with me outside all day.

Besides the obvious advantages of all that vitamin D and fresh air, I know that digging in the dirt is helping rebuild my immune system and my gut microbiota. So even on the toughest days, I rest a lot but I make myself do the lighter tasks. The trick is to not focus on everything that needs to be done but to put the blinders and just do one, small, task.

Anyway, enough of that. Have a wander through our garden.

Food garden, Lavender , buddleias, wallflower, chives, irises, onions, beets,
10 years ago this was a grassy hill.
Chives,   Snapdragons , lilies ,  succulents , irises,lavender , lilac, buddleia
All the boulders, dirt and driftwood were hauled in and set by hand (and occasionally a rickety dolly with flat tires) by my very determined and creative husband. Those are the boots he wore out during the first few years.
Lilac, iris, lupin,  cosmos, daisies, Corsican mint
We obviously don’t play much bocce ball. 😏
Angelica,  alpine blue,  garden steps
One of my favourite statues because I bought it with a gift certificate from one of my grade one classes.
Rockcress, alyssum, lavatera, wallflower, buddleia, lavender ,garlic, kale, lithadora, ornamental  oregano , snapdragons, iris, strawberries, peonies
The oldest part of the garden. We found the sign buried when we moved in. The alyssum(bottom) reseeded itself from last year.
Petunias, onions, rose, garlic
Pallet deck at the top of the garden.
Hopefully one day a greenhouse.
Lemon, blueberry , kiwi,  artichoke, cucumbers, beans, onions, garlic, carrots, dill, nasturtium , leeks, petunias
Top garden – the Mediterranean garden
Lemon tree, artichoke, kiwi vine, blueberries and apple trees in the distance.
Oh, and that pepper in the tub is called a “ring of fire”. 🤣🤣🤣
Artichoke bud, food garden
Here comes an artichoke!
Daphne, Angelica, garlic, peonies, buddleia, Rosemary, lupin
Mid-garden
New vegetable bed growing zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, leeks, kale, dill, kohlrabi and buckwheat. Little bird was a Mother’s Day gift from my girls.
New vegetable bed beside the rhubarb and
the Nelly Moser clematis(far left) and anemones (right) finally flowering!
Instead of being chowed down by the deer. 🤞🏻👩🏻‍🌾🤞🏻
Apple tree bed growing onions, beets, potatoes, kohlrabi, radishes and carrots.
View from the apple tree bed
Barbie skinny dipping with a 20 year old bath toy.
Hmmm…that sounds strange… 😳
View from the bottom, the newest part just finished this year. This is where we mostly sit because it’s cool and shady beside the cedar hedge.

I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have a yard to garden. But even a small pot on a windowsill can grow parsley, basil and cilantro. Food security is a serious issue that has finally been brought to the forefront of people’s minds because of the Covid-19 situation. Start small and grow your own!

Alright, thanks for joining me. I didn’t even get to the vegetable beds by the house, but I’ll leave that for another post.

Take care, stay calm and stay safe. And garden!

❤️ Amanda

life

Oh deer! Our July Garden

Despite the best efforts of mama deer and her two Bambis, our garden is going strong after four separate attacks.

Awww, so cute — until they decimate your plants and leave their turd raisins everywhere!

They found the one hole in the 15-foot hedges in the back, and feasted on our apple trees, lilacs, hydrangeas, tender gladiolus, petunias, sunflowers, clematis, alstroemeria and sweet peas. Most upsetting, they mowed down all my peas, new beans, and lettuce, stepping right into the raised beds and destroying seed beds I had just planted. They nibbled at the potatoes and the tomatoes too. Aargh!

Some semi-permanent deer fencing across the corner where she got in, as well as around my raised beds, and things are starting to recover. We also decided to use our back deck as planting space since we always choose to sit out in the garden. Now I can plant even more!

As long as she can’t climb stairs… 🤔

Anyway, here are some pictures of my healing place/our paradise in July 2019.

Dahlias – stunning and deer-resistant!

My favourite shady place to read and write. Or just be.

Monster marigolds that I planted from seed are taking over!

The corner where they got in, and the final frontier for the garden – until we get rid of the trampoline. Protected by Tiki. 😏

I really love this time in the garden when most of the major tasks are done for the moment and we can just water, maintain and enjoy. We plan to plant more dahlias, especially out front because the deer leave them alone, and they’re gorgeous. They lined our driveway when we lived in New Zealand, which is where we both fell in love with them.

Any other suggestions for deer-resistant, drought-tolerant perennials? Our front garden is so blah comparatively, and north-facing so not as much fun. Any recommendations very much appreciated.

Happy August!

❤️ Amanda