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Blog series by MsDebbieP consisting of 82 parts so far

Part 1: And the planning begins....

12-02-2012 01:33 PM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

12/2/12 I saw someone online post something about seed catalogues …. my eyes lit up and I had to go check out the online sites and start my planning for next year. Goals Last year, my goal was to start saving seeds but since I had such a horrible season, perhaps due to old seeds, the goal for seed-saving is going to be one of my goals this upcoming year. Due to the huge success of pressure canning this fall, preserving the garden’s produce is my other priority. That mea...

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Part 2: Planning for Preserving

12-03-2012 05:19 AM by MsDebbieP | 10 comments »

Dec/3/12 Planning for the upcoming gardening year is so exciting as possibilities and outcomes are envisioned. It is easy to get lost in the “ooh’s and ahhh’s” as we scan the seed catalogues and forget the practicality of what works for you and for your gardening space. This year one of my main goals is to produce food for preserving. With my pressure canning a big success, next year I want to utilize what is “in season” to preserve enough food for th...

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Part 3: First Seeds Arrive

12-06-2012 12:56 PM by MsDebbieP | 13 comments »

December 6/12 Last week I ordered some seeds from “Heritage Harvest Seeds” (website) (image from their website)   For the record, I ordered: Tomato Heirloom – 42 Days – Determinate 45-50 days from transplanting Tomato Heirloom – Andrina – (Dwarf cherry tomato plant 6”) Determinate 60-65 days Tomato Heirloom – Anna Russian – Indeterminate 65 days Bean Heirloom – Deseronto Potato Bean – climber Bean Heirlo...

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Part 4: Grey Water -- planning ahead

01-02-2013 04:01 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

Jan. 2/13 This morning, as I took my shower, I thought about how I was going to set up my grey water system this year. For the last two years I have collected the water from showers and used it for watering the gardens. It is a wonderful source of water during the summer dry spells that we are are now having. Originally I used a watering can to transport the water from the rain barrel to the plants. Last fall I set up a hose to take the water from the rain barrel to a reservoir closer t...

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Part 5: Planning Ideas, Take II or 200...

01-06-2013 04:33 AM by MsDebbieP | 14 comments »

Jan. 6/12 Inspired by Mark's blog on landscaping software I decided to once again try out a program to help create a vision for my property. I had purchased a program years ago but, whether it was me or the program, it just wasn’t working as I had hoped. But, being a visual person, I thought I’d give it another try and headed to the Apple site to see what available. I ended up investing in the Landscape Design program and have been having fun (and getting frustrated by) the ...

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Part 6: Planning: The Cottage Garden

01-09-2013 04:55 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

As I further try to clarify my vision for my gardens, I am drawn to the images of cottage gardens – the seemingly natural mix of plants filling the gardens, simple pathways meandering through the mix of colours, shapes, textures, and sizes. I downloaded the free ebook “The Bood of the Cottage Garden” by Charles Thonger. With in the first few pages I found this quote: The taint of money is everywhere—tons of soil removed from one spot to another; terraces and balustrades...

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Part 7: Winter Walk-about

01-10-2013 01:25 PM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

January 10/13 The snow did a lot of melting today and I went for a wee walk-about. Here are a few pictures from the trek.

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Part 8: January Thaw

01-13-2013 07:50 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

1/13/12 This weekend we are having a magnificent “January thaw”. Temperatures, yesterday reached +13℃ with lots of beautiful sunshine. Today, we still have the warm temperatures but with lots of rain. LOTS of rain. The rain has currently stopped so I went outside to do a little walk-about. How wonderful it was to see my plants and trees, to pull a clump or two of grass, to envision the possibilities. What wasn’t so wonderful was seeing the results of the chickenR...

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Part 9: Winter "To Do" List

01-20-2013 04:04 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

Jan 20/13 Sometime in the next month or so there are lots of things that need to be done in the gardens. Well, not really LOTS, primarily just “pruning”. It’s too bad I didn’t think about this last week when the temperature hit +13C. Now we are looking at -13C so the pruning will wait! But after next week we are supposed to be going back into the pluses and that will be the time to clean up trees, bushes etc. On the list: espalier trees: Last year I planted ...

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Part 10: Fig Tree

01-26-2013 02:36 AM by MsDebbieP | 27 comments »

January 26/12 I couple of years ago I purchased a small fig tree and I’ve been moving it outside for the summer and inside for the winter. This week the tree started its new growth, after having dropped its leaves last fall.   And, while I’m here: here are some pictures of birds at the feeder outside my window. Mrs. Cardinal Mr. Cardinal Sparrow and Junco Posturing Sparrow

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Part 11: Spring is coming ...

01-31-2013 11:15 AM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

Jan. 31/13 I saw a cowbird at the feeder today …. my first migratory bird sighting of the year.

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Part 12: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

03-10-2013 07:51 AM by MsDebbieP | 10 comments »

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – i’m sure that I’ve written that title before so we will say “PART II” My day began with the daily checking of messages and what did I find but a wonderful message from Sharad wishing me a fantastic day. Well can life really get better than that? A friend, whom I’ve never met, from half way around the world, sending me good thoughts for the day and gardening season. That was the first item into my “GOOD” list....

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Part 13: Rabbit War Part II

03-12-2013 04:25 PM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

March 12/13 After posting the blog about my recent “attack of the killer rabbits” on my fruit trees, someone mentioned a product available at Walmart that would keep the rabbits away. So I did some online checking and found that Canadian Tire had PlantsKydd, an organic product in a spray bottle. I’m crossing my fingers that this product will keep the rabbits away for the rest of the spring. I can then fence in my precious trees to protect them for years to come without...

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Part 14: Today's "Gardening" Adventures

03-13-2013 06:49 AM by MsDebbieP | 10 comments »

Mar. 13/13 Yesterday, I sprayed some “anit-rabbit” spray onto my fruit trees to try and protect what is left of them. Today it was time to see if it was effective. I wondered how I was going to tell if they had nibbled on the already-devastated trees. It was much easier than I thought. I just had to play Elmer Fudd. I just had to track the footprints——which went near, past, but not up to the fruit trees!! I think we have won this battle. (But not the war, I’...

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Part 15: Seed Planting Part II

03-23-2013 08:43 AM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

Sat. Mar. 23/13 Thursday, Aaron and I planted some hot pepper seeds (long, hot, Hungarian peppers). We planted 4 containers. This will give me a couple of plants for salsa ingredients and a couple of plants for him to take home to his Mom for her garden. Today, I planted more peppers: Alma Paprika << dry my own paprika (80 days) Black Hungarian << more hot, what was I thinking? (70 days) Bull Nose Pepper << bell pepper (85 days) The hands have been in the di...

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Part 16: Out of Hibernation

03-31-2013 02:34 AM by MsDebbieP | 10 comments »

March 31, 2013 Yesterday was a spring day and my first real day out of hibernation. The sun was out, I was out, and the temperature reached at least 13C. Oh what a glorious day! Today, well… oiy my legs. It was wonderful being out in the yard again. The main garden is fenced back in, keeping the chickens and rabbits out. The osage orange tree is pruned. Oh what a fascinating tree that is with such massive spikes on it. Some dead flower stalks have been cut down and spr...

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Part 17: It's all in the timing

04-12-2013 01:38 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

April 14/13 Sometimes you just get lucky! This past weekend I realized that I had better get the rain barrels up and running before Rick started his seasonal job and wouldn’t be “handy” again until June. So we (as in “Rick”) installed the barrel taps and I set them up ready for “April Showers”. And boy did we get April Showers this week! Tons and tons of water poured down from the sky… and is still pouring. I haven’t checked the b...

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Part 18: Seed-Starting Experiment - PART II

04-17-2013 01:59 PM by MsDebbieP | 13 comments »

April 17, 2013 Today we had sunshine and warm weather so my grandson (22 months) and I spent a lot of time outdoors. Gardening really doesn’t go well with a young toddler. As I was doing one thing he was headed towards the road. So.. .into the blueberry patch we went—fenced in!!! And we planted peas. Sort of. At first, he just tossed the seeds onto the ground. Then I got him to put them in the holes that I had made …. 3 peas in one hole, none in another ̷...

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Part 19: Seed-Starting: My Preferred Method

04-26-2013 05:46 AM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

April 26/13 Last year I experimented with a wicking system for starting seeds. For the most part I liked the process but I saw some “flaws”. This year, I think I have it perfected…. for me. 1. find a shallow tray for holding the water. I like using a boot drip-tray. The ones I used last year had high “ripples” in the middle which kept the seeds off the water. This year, the trays have shallow drip sections so I had to adapt my plan. (I didn’t have ...

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Part 20: Getting Closer .... Pre-Gardening Gardening

04-26-2013 12:53 PM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

April 26, 2013 Part of me wants to be frustrated with the not-so-spring-like weather we have had this April. It has not been conducive to gardening. But—most of me is also grateful because with babysitting my grandson every day gardening is impossible and it would be frustrating to not be able to get cleaning up the yard if we had had gorgeous weather. Tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful day. I wonder how much energy I will have and how much I will actually get done? I do have ...

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Part 21: Chicken DE-Fence Update

04-30-2013 02:37 PM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

April 30/13 I was asked to keep you posted re: the effectiveness of the chicken “de-FENCE” that I created using the branches pruned off the apple tree. Well here we go: (a picture is worth a thousand words) First, note that there is some straw inside the fence. Normally the chickens would have this strewn all across the yard. I haven’t seen the chickens out much lately but they have been out at least once since I installed the fence. So, although this isn’...

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Part 22: The Tipi Area

05-01-2013 04:52 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

May 1/13 The Tipi Area … it began as the location for our above ground swimming pool. With a good layer of sand underneath the pool and a fence around the outside to keep people from accidentally falling into the pool, it was a lovely summer spot in the yard. Then, one year, after the pool came down it became the location of our “bonfire breakfasts”, with the family sitting around the bonfire early in the morning sharing a meal and good conversation. With winter weath...

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Part 23: May 1st Walkabout

05-01-2013 09:32 AM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

May 1/13 I get lots of walkabouts while watching my grandson – he loves pulling his little wagon around. Unfortunately, since he is so fast I don’t get a lot of time for pictures and little time for pulling weeds etc. But today I got to take a couple of pictures. 1. Is this from the hen and chicks? It didn’t look right to me and they weren’t coming out of clumps of hen and chicks. 2. Isn’t this exciting? Almost as wonderful as seeing the blossoms ...

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Part 24: Pictureless Walkabout

05-01-2013 02:59 PM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

May 1/13 After I took my grandson home today I got to do a little gardening before I got “too pooped” and (WARNING >>> THE FOLLOWING MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME) .. .and “too hot”. Yes, it was very hot out there doing yard work. So…what did my little eyes see while walking about? tulips in bloom! Beautiful. The daffodils are a bright yellow and the first tulips are a pale yellow, cream color. And … drum roll….. I have asparagus up. Next week we ...

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Part 25: May 3 Walkabout

05-03-2013 10:28 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

Just a short time outside today. I guess my grandson is tired out from all the sunshine this week. Anyway.. a few pictures from today – so far—hopefully later this afternoon there will be some open blossoms on the fruit trees. Golden Dogwood. (above) I found what I think is baby dogwood in another flowerbed. I’m so excited. Last fall I transplanted half a dozen babies but the chickens dug them up—all except one I think! This fall I will be more careful re: prote...

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Part 26: May 3rd Part II

05-03-2013 02:30 PM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

And ….. here they are!!! I’m so excited … and no frost in sight. Coldest prediction for the next two weeks is a +5C one morning. We are going to have fruit!! I can taste it :) And I thought I should add this picture Rabbits, chickens, cats, dogs …. and toddlers. In this picture he is using the path to walk from one side of the garden bed to the other but just moments before he had dragged his little wagon right through the flower bed, stomping on anyth...

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Part 27: Blossoms and .....

05-04-2013 12:16 AM by MsDebbieP | 0 comments »

May 3/13 Oh bindweed, oh bindweedOh how I’ve missed you I had almost forgotten what an evil curse you are, especially as I soaked in the joy of seeing the fruit trees laden with blossoms. And then I saw the first little leaf poking from the ground and I wanted to cry … and there was another one and another… and then a handful in one spot…And I remembered why I hate you so. Perhaps I will turn my property into just trees and lawn and let the lawnmower take care...

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Part 28: "May the 4th Be With You" Walkabout

05-04-2013 06:36 AM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

The sun is shining; the birds are singing; the blossoms are blossoming and all is right with the world (as long as you don’t think about the bindweed). This one is for Iris …. here’s what’s left of my yucca plant And look at what I found peeking out through the mulch—- peas!!!! I planted the peas in the blueberry area this year. We’ll see how they love that soil and the nice fence to grow on. And I couldn’t resist taking another photo...

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Part 29: May the 5th Be With You

05-05-2013 02:32 PM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

ok.. so that doesn’t sound as cool as May the 4th but the day was as cool. ShoppingMy daughter wanted to buy some flowers for a couple of baskets she had purchased so off to some nurseries we went. The first place was a “won’t go back there”—nothing really other than petunias, or that is what it seemed like. So we headed to Whistling Gardens instead! My daughter got a forsythia bush and a beautiful yellow-green bush that apparently gets edible berries on...

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Part 30: an idea .... needing pros/cons

05-06-2013 10:42 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

May 6/13 Yesterday my daughter mentioned my autumn clematis that spreads out and covers my clothesline stand in the fall. ... and that got me thinking. What if I planted an autumn clematis by my walnut tree and used the vines to weave a fence around the area. I could cut off the extra vines or let them spread out making a carpet of flowers in the fall. Thoughts? Pros/cons?

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Part 31: Frost - May 13/13

05-13-2013 02:52 AM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

Yesterday we had frost. Yesterday I hadn’t covered what blossoms I could. Today, I was prepared.Today, I have some of my trees protected. Today, the expected “big frost” did not come. Such is the life of a farmer. Be prepared; plan ahead; win some, lose some, keep on truckin’. My plum trees’ blossoms were already off the trees. The big cherry tree was in the process of dropping its blossoms. The pear trees are in mid-bloom. And the apple tree had just st...

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Part 32: May 13/13 Part II

05-13-2013 05:16 AM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

Did you hear me laughing???? Sometimes that is what you have to do …. First, let’s back up a couple of days or so. Friday (I think it was) I took 2 of the three trays of baby seedlings out of the greenhouse and put them in the cabin. The two trays, I felt were more delicate than the third and I wanted to protect them better from the suspected cold spell. (The greenhouse did not go together well and I couldn’t zip up any of the windows/doors.) Sunday: I check on t...

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Part 33: Walkabout May 15

05-15-2013 05:34 AM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

I had some time this morning before going to get my grandson and since the sun was out and I am predicting that the threat of frost is now over for the season I took the opportunity to get out in the garden. First, I planted some beans, an early variety (can’t remember the name at the moment) and then I did a walkabout, checking out blossoms and rabbit/chicken damage—which I saw none of. I have lots of asparagus to pick—not enough to can but too much to eat. Such a dil...

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Part 34: Roses +

05-17-2013 11:51 PM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

May 18/13 Today, I ended up in St. Thomas for one thing and it just so happens that Canadale Nurseries is also in St. Thomas, Ontario …. well, how can you drive all that way and not stop in to the best nursery in the region??? !!!! I came home with 6 plants: 2 roses – Black Bacarra: apparently a rose bush helps prevent white flies on gooseberry bushes. cherry bush – Valentine: can you have enough fruiting bushes?? (and this is a cold hardy variety) blackberry...

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Part 35: Walkabout May 19

05-19-2013 11:17 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

I finally had a morning for gardening … oh how wonderful and what a gorgeous day it was out there!!! Tomatoes planted: checkPeppers planted: checkNew plants planted: checkRest of my seedlings …. tomorrow hopefully. And now for the walkaboutUPDATE: de-fence by the walnut tree. I had high hopes but something—don’t think it was chickens—dug up the dirt where I had plants some flowers. I have 1 left out of the several that I planted. grrr DOGWOOD Tree: every...

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Part 36: Will there be frost??

05-23-2013 04:52 PM by MsDebbieP | 7 comments »

May 23/13 Well we’ve gone from almost 80F to .. well, tomorrow morning is supposed to be 3C (not much above freezing) and the next morning will be the same. Will the peppers and tomatoes survive? I’ve tossed some leaves/straw over the little plants and hopefully the wind will not uncover them… and now I cross my fingers.

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Part 37: Canadale Visit #2 or is it 3?

05-26-2013 12:32 PM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

May 26/13 Canadale has a sale on fruit trees this week … 25% off … so back I went to buy some more trees. I have a few more places inside the fenced in areas that would hold a tree – protected from the rabbits. Can one have too many fruit trees? Well, if you aren’t growing a business, then, perhaps “yes” would be the answer, but I haven’t reached that point yet. Rick and I have sat outside a few times this week and smiled at the little mini-fore...

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Part 38: Walkabout June 1

06-02-2013 10:45 AM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

Today I did some gardening before the rain hit and then during a break in the rain I took a wee walkabout. Starting the walk … Not sure what the big plant is by the bird sculpture. I bought it last year at .. hmm.. somewhere. I recorded it here at GT thank goodness; now I just have to track down the purchase and identify the plant. My Fringe Tree this year … looking good! One of my new roses has provided me with a flower already. It is darker than this pix displays. Th...

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Part 39: Eggs, Anyone?

06-04-2013 04:02 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

June 4/13 Our neighbours, the chicken owners, have gone on holidays for 2 weeks and Rick is on chicken duty. Yippee … free eggs. Well, yippee on day one and day two and even day three …. but we are now on day 8 – with getting a dozen eggs every day. What on earth do they do with all these eggs all the time??? What on earth am I to do with all of these eggs? Off to the internet I go … and you can freeze eggs. Phew—thank goodness I still have one freezer u...

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Part 40: Eggs, Anyone?

06-04-2013 04:15 AM by MsDebbieP | 7 comments »

June 4/13 Our neighbours, the chicken owners, have gone on holidays for 2 weeks and Rick is on chicken duty. Yippee … free eggs. Well, yippee on day one and day two and even day three …. but we are now on day 8 – with getting a dozen eggs every day. What on earth do they do with all these eggs all the time??? What on earth am I to do with all of these eggs? Off to the internet I go … and you can freeze eggs. Phew—thank goodness I still have one freezer u...

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Part 41: Taking a break....

06-08-2013 08:13 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

June 8/13 Rick is golfing today, much to his GREAT pleasure, and I don’t have my grandson today, so that means I have the day to myself! What to do, what to do? I could have gone to the great plant sale at Whistling Gardens, but .. ((applaud my self-control)) I decided that I didn’t “need” more plants and I shouldn’t waste the precious time available to do some gardening. I wasn’t exactly alone, however. I had hordes of mosquitoes following me R...

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Part 42: What's For Supper? "Eggs, Eggs"

06-08-2013 02:06 PM by MsDebbieP | 7 comments »

June 8/13 With several dozens of eggs in the fridge it was time to do some cooking … Here is what I came up with: Asparagus With Garlic Sauce Bacon & Egg Pasta Salad Dad’s Pumpkin Pie Asparagus I was going to leave my asparagus for the season but there were a few tempting spears saying “eat me” so we did. drizzle olive oil and then some salt over asparagus and roast top with sauce (below) and finely chopped hard-boiled eggSauce 2 tabl...

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Part 43: Trees --- Good News / Bad News

06-08-2013 03:24 PM by MsDebbieP | 0 comments »

June 8/13 After a good day’s work I did a wee walk-about to check out my yard. Most things were looking good but a couple of my trees aren’t looking very healthy. My colonade apple tree which was looking so good earlier in the spring is looking sad. Not sure what the problem is and really not sure what to do to help it. I have added comfrey-mulch around the base of the tree. I’ve planted some baby comfrey plants as well. Hopefully the roots will work their way down thr...

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Part 44: Another "Puttering Around the Garden" Day

06-09-2013 03:36 PM by MsDebbieP | 7 comments »

june 9/13 A sunshiny day took Rick and I out into the yard today to do some “this and that”. Rick took care of the lawn and I did some comfrey-fertilizing, transplanting some plants, trimming back some cedar trees, and making a little fence for one of my peony bushes. And, then it was making a decision about the colonade apple tree. Rick suggested moving it but it’s June and it’s been in the ground for over a year. ... I’m pretty sure that the problem is cl...

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Part 45: Walkabout June 11/13

06-11-2013 01:17 PM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

No rain this morning so my grandson and I spent some time outdoors and I got to do a wee walk-about in the areas that he and his wagon travelled. I’m sure my daughter won’t mind that I’m sharing these pictures with you. One of our first strawberries … “mmmm!!” was the appraisal. Smelling the wild phlox… strange lighting but cool effect, I think. Thanks camera. And here’s another look at the phlox as seen through the sumac bush.

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Part 46: Whistling Gardens June 14

06-14-2013 11:17 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

My grandson and I went to Whistling Gardens again today… isn’t this beautiful???? !!! And there was an abundance of baby toads … time for some scientific exploration and sadly .. the demise of one little guy while grandmum had the camera out.

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Part 47: 1/2 a walkabout June 15/13

06-15-2013 05:11 AM by MsDebbieP | 12 comments »

It’s early Saturday morning and I think I have the opportunity for a full day of gardening (or as I do it: garden-break-garden-break). So to start the day off I thought I’d do a walkabout to identify priorities. The first priority showed itself right away—avoid the mosquitoes. So the walkabout is a half tour of the yard, and a very, very quick one—but productive. I have been thinking about joining two garden plots to eliminate a roundabout for the lawnmower. I ha...

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Part 48: Walkabout June 17/13

06-18-2013 02:33 AM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

Yesterday, after the little guy went home (my grandson), I spent some time in the garden, whacking weeds, swatting mosquitoes, and taking some photos. The whacking weeds was very rewarding – actually got something accomplished. The swatting mosquitoes was not quite so fun—but—- I had a thought. Putting sprigs of lemon balm behind my ear has helped ward off the little pests. Perhaps if I soak some leaves in some oil, the oil can be a natural repellent that i can put on my ...

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Part 49: another short gardening outing

06-19-2013 01:16 PM by MsDebbieP | 7 comments »

June 19/13 After dropping off my grandson I came home to tackle some gardening – but those mosquitoes won out again. I did manage to cut some comfrey and drop it throughout the asparagus patch. And I had to pick those bright red strawberries that were begging to be eaten before the birds got to them. I whacked a few weeds but it just wasn’t worth the blood loss and I called it quits. Oh and I took a picture of this beautiful little flower from one of the plants I bought t...

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Part 50: Pretty Bloom

06-22-2013 05:45 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

June 22/13 I braved the mosquitoes this morning and did a VERY fast walk around PART of my yard today … and then I had to go back out to take this picture. I don’t know what type of flower it is but isn’t it cute? It doesn’t stand very high but the colour combination is lovely.

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Part 51: mmmm mmm cherry

06-22-2013 09:42 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

June 22/13 mmm. mmmmm .mmmmmmm that cherry was good Today after this and that I decided to tackle one of the flower beds in the labyrinth. Phew it is humid out there!!! My bushes that I planted ions ago are now actually starting to look like bushes! Woo hoo .. And on my way back to the house, all dripping with sweat I saw that one of my new cherry shrubs had a vibrant red cherry dangling from it—- and so i picked it and ate it—oh what a wonderful reward for an hour’...

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Part 52: Little Blue

06-23-2013 09:46 AM by MsDebbieP | 7 comments »

June 23/13 I thought I should share this with everyone … this “Little Blue” Pepper plant is now three years old. I have brought it inside in the fall, taken it back out in the spring and look at these little peppers.The plant had blossoms on it months ago and I was afraid that it would be done blooming, but it keeps on giving, not that we have eaten any of the fruit. I need to stuff some comfrey leaves down into the dirt to rejuvenate the soil as the little guy continu...

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Part 53: I braved the mosquitoes for these photos

06-26-2013 05:51 AM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

june 26/13 I looked out at my labyrinth to see an abundance of colour… so I braved the mosquitoes to take some quick pictures of flowers—yes I do have flowers in my gardens!!

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Part 54: Zucchini Success

06-29-2013 05:14 PM by MsDebbieP | 14 comments »

June 29/13 With the cherry canning complete I had to do a walkabout to get at least SOME of the sunshine we had today. A magnificent day it was, I think, ... but I spent the day in the kitchen. Hopefully tomorrow will be as nice. Anyway, every day we look out at the zucchini and are amazed at the size of the plants. Today I finally had the camera with me so I could show you the plants. I purchased the seeds from Heritage Seeds. The variety is Costata Romanesco. I have 4 plan...

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Part 55: What I Did On Canada Day.

07-01-2013 12:18 PM by MsDebbieP | 6 comments »

July 1, 2013 Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians (and an early happy 4th to my American neighbours). Friday was my last day with my grandson until the fall and this weekend has been a busy one tackling all the weeds that have flourished over the past few months. Ok.. not “ALL” but I’m working on it. Today I was thought of JustJoel's post everything being a priority, moving from one task to another. After tackling 3 different flower beds (yahoo —I can actua...

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Part 56: More Trees? Really?

07-05-2013 09:58 AM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

July 5, 2013 Really? Really! Canadale has a big sale this week for “customer appreciation” and trees are on sale for 30% off, so basically it is a buy 2 get one free kind of deal. What did I come home with?We had wanted a dark cherry but they didn’t have any left so we selected the following: Sungold Apricot (my last purchase included a Moongold variety) Santa Rosa Plum (I already have one and the plums are SO delicious) Greengage Plum The three trees ...

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Part 57: My Tree Collection

07-07-2013 02:55 AM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

July 7, 2013 The other day I added three more trees to my list and I started thinking about how many trees I had. I came up with a tally of 84. Yikes!! I have several babies started, waiting to be planted and I’m sure that I can make it to 100. That will be nice… easy to remember! So what do I have? Fruit Trees apple – imperial gala apple – debonaire apple – shamrock pear – ? pear – claps variety (garden/espalier) pear – anj...

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Part 58: July 10

07-10-2013 01:17 PM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

We are supposed to have a storm today—actually, it was supposed to rain all day long, so I hadn’t planned to get into the garden at all. But first thing this morning the sun was shining and there was no rain so I headed out to take care of a task or two. The Bindweed Yesterday, when picking some peas and a handful of blueberries I took a good look at my row of blueberries and discovered that some of the bushes were completely buried underneath bindweed. I didn’t tak...

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Part 59: Zucchini - Part III

07-11-2013 04:43 AM by MsDebbieP | 0 comments »

July 11/13 Yesterday afternoon we had a big storm pass through and for several minutes we had extreme winds. Today, I went to pick a zucchini and found that the wind had blown over our corn, which stood behind the zucchini. This, although not good for the corn made it really easy to see the zucchini and as you can imagine I found some of those well-hidden zukes that had grown to .. well, beyond the typical picking size. Into the food processor and then into the freezer it went (a...

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Part 60: Ms. Osage Orange

07-14-2013 10:59 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

July 14/13 Today, we learn that our osage-orange tree is female. Rick, while cutting grass, found these two “oranges” on the ground … and with a scan of the tree, he found two more. ... and along with the good news came this (picture below). Something was digging after some critter, I believe, and in the process created a giant hole in the grape arbor, exposing some of the grape vine’s roots. It even knocked over the cement sculpture. I’m sure th...

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Part 61: The Cup Plant

07-18-2013 02:41 AM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

July 18/13 This spring I purchased a “cup plant”, with the only knowledge of the plant was that it was native to the area. In the ground it went … and then it started growing and growing and growing. It now stands about 8 feet high. The intriguing part of the plant is the cup that is formed by the leaves. The little cups seem to always have water in them and I have watched birds go in for a drink. Pretty cool. With such great height I have wondered what the flowers ...

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Part 62: Butterfly Weed

07-19-2013 07:13 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

July 19/13 Last year I planted some butterfly weed but I thought that I’d lost it, dug up by chickens. But, much to my surprise, I see this flower shining brightly!!

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Part 63: July 20 Walkabout

07-20-2013 10:54 AM by MsDebbieP | 11 comments »

Yesterday we had a major storm rolling throughout Ontario. I haven’t heard yet what damage it created but here, we were lucky. We only lost hydro (electricity) for a moment. My Mom still is without power and supposedly it won’t be back on til late tonight. My daughter was in the dark (and without fans/air conditioning) until 4 AM. Not a good situation for a pregnant mom or a 2-year-old in this hot-humid weather. We were fortunate and were on the edge of the system but when the ...

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Part 64: Oh what a beautiful morning

08-03-2013 06:19 AM by MsDebbieP | 3 comments »

August 3/13 The air is still, the temperature cool but not chillythe grass is damp with morning dew the rising sun glistens on the droplets of waterand I walk. I think I could have walked all morning long … just up and down my pathways, between the rows of trees. Oh how I love my yard. How wonderful it looks with a freshly cut lawn. I think I was out there for about an hour, walking up and down the different paths. It surprised me, how long it took to cover all of the yard, to...

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Part 65: A compliment ...

08-06-2013 04:59 PM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

August 6/13 Today, after a long day of tackling the brush pile we created from pruning trees, we decided to order in pizza. When the delivery man arrived at the door he said, “I love coming here. I love your property.” Yah!!!! All that work is worth it – when the delivery guy complements the result.

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Part 66: Walkabout August 7/13

08-07-2013 04:27 AM by MsDebbieP | 7 comments »

The mosquitoes were out this morning, so, sadly, it was a fast walk around the yard. This is a sample of what we did yesterday. We had three huge piles of branches to get rid of. Out came the chipper and to work we went. I got enough wood chips to line the trees in the blueberry patch (I’ll have to go back out and take a photo for you) as well as these little patches. This will help keep the grass from growing up around the rocks. I also ran the little rototiller along the edge of...

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Part 67: Walkabout Aug 11/13

08-11-2013 09:33 AM by MsDebbieP | 8 comments »

This morning when I walked around the yard I counted the number of baby “golden dogwoods” that I found under my tree and transplanted throughout the yard. I have 7. One of them has snuck in with another one so it needs to be moved. The pretty yellow leaves will look lovely throughout the yard. And here are my two pawpaw trees that have survived the rabbits – several years in a row. I think I’ll be letting my large trees go full size and these two I will p...

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Part 68: Walkabout August 13/13

08-14-2013 10:25 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

Taking a break from doing newsletters, I grabbed my camera and went outside for another walk through my yard. What I discovered was, that with the inclusion of a new tree, my regular pathway is off-kilter now and it just doesn’t feel right. Something has to change. What do you mean “a new tree”? Well, while checking out the yard after we cut down a lot of branches, Rick and I discovered a little seedling – an English Chestnut tree – still attached to the nu...

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Part 69: Project Greenhouse - continues

08-15-2013 08:37 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

Aug. 15/13 Do you remember my greenhouse adventure? Of course you do—unless you hadn’t read it in the first place. If you have read it before you are probably still chuckling. I just read it again and was laughing out loud—again. So the update was that I had to take it down for the winter so that the wind and snow didn’t destroy it. But.. there was absolutely no way it was going to go back up again. If I thought things were “close” the first time, we...

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Part 70: Hummingbird Moths & Chestnut Trees

08-17-2013 05:22 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

Aug 17/13 Yesterday afternoon, Rick and I were sitting on the deck enjoying the yard and we started counting hummingbird moths on the phlox flowers ….. there were 5!!! The first year we saw them there was one …. a couple years later we saw two, and now 5 …. our little family is growing. And later, I went for a walk around the yard (probably my fourth of the day), just looking, and I discovered two more English Chestnut tree babies. That’s a total of 5 (hmm .....

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Part 71: Walkabout August 17

08-17-2013 04:15 PM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

I timed it pretty close tonight for my last walkabout of the day .. well, possibly the last one. Look what I came across >>> So much for my chicken De-FENCE. There she was sitting in the garden area, trying not to be seen. And she didn’t move until I shoo-ed her away. Then I discovered the digging. She was moments from digging out my lovely little golden dogwood baby. ARGH.There were several diggings throughout the yard – but the mulch is undisturbed. Why, you might ask...

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Part 72: Pear Harvest

08-19-2013 10:24 AM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

August 19/31 I have a pear tree that I planted in 2008 and this year we have our first bumper crop. The tree is LOADED with pears… where is the picture??!! I have no idea why I didn’t take a picture.. Anyway, the pears (Bartlett variety, I think) have started falling from the tree and, although they are still hard, I knew it was time to start thinking about harvesting. Not wanting to pick them too early or too late I went online to see what I could find out. I’m so gl...

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Part 73: More Clean-up AND ....

08-20-2013 04:01 PM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

Aug. 20/13 No golfing today for Rick so we got out the chainsaw again and tackled “phase 2” of the clean-up. On the list was: a hazelnut bush that is about 30 years old and just a mess of tall dead branches the honeysuckle bush that was blocking the path of a pawpaw tree and a tamarisk tree the Rowan tree that had some type of blight for the third year in a row the euonymous bush by the house the evergreen tree by the fish pond The hazelnut: after cutting dow...

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Part 74: Summer Coming To An End

08-28-2013 06:10 AM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

August 28/13 This is my last week of gardening-time, me-time, etc, as my daughter goes back to work next week and I’ll be watching my grandson again. So now my time is filled with gardening, reading, relaxing, and enjoying the solitude. Fortunately, I don’t need to preserve any tomatoes, as I have lots left from last year. I do still want to can up some peppers, coleslaw, and grapes, when they get ripe. With the pears done and out of the way this gives me more time to spend ...

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Part 75: That One Apple

08-31-2013 05:17 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

Aug 31/13 In 2011, I purchased an “Imperial Gala” apple tree and planted it in the backyard, replacing a tree that the rabbits had killed. This year, we had an apple on the tree. Now, I know that you are supposed to remove those first apples for the health of the tree but I, like many, just can’t resist letting it grow to get that first taste of yummy. Yesterday we had the big bite. Oh my, oh my … DELICIOUS. Crunchy, sweet but with a a bit of a punch in flavou...

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Part 76: What? More Trees?

09-08-2013 04:50 PM by MsDebbieP | 2 comments »

Fall Planting My “go to” nursery, Canadale in St. Thomas, has their annual 40% off sale on fruit trees …. so, of course, I have to take advantage! But what to get? My yard is getting full of fruit trees, nut trees, and Carolinian Forest trees. I have some fruit trees “full size”, some “high density” pruned, and some “espaliered”. My goal is to have enough to can as well as to just “pick and eat”—but, being somewh...

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Part 77: Crabapples

09-13-2013 04:53 AM by MsDebbieP | 7 comments »

Sept 13/13(Happy Birthday to my granddaughter (11) and my mom (86).) Last year I planted a colonnade crabapple tree and an apple tree. The apple tree didn’t survive but the crabapple is doing really well …so well that the branches were bent over from the weight of the rather large crabapples! I read on a G+ discussion that I could pick them as soon as they started falling from the tree and then let them ripen in the house. So every day I’ve checked the ground beneath t...

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Part 78: Checking the dates ...

09-16-2013 09:53 AM by MsDebbieP | 4 comments »

(not the edible dates … the time date!) September 16, 2013 I’ve been busy canning everything and anything and my grapes have been waiting patiently. I thought I’d tackle them today but before I picked them, I looked back through my GT history to see when I harvested them in the past. Last year we didn’t have any on the vines but in 2011, I harvested them on …. wait for it…. September 16th. So I guess today is grape-juicing day! And then, while I...

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Part 79: Oct 4 Harvest

10-04-2013 07:04 AM by MsDebbieP | 15 comments »

Another phase of the harvest has begun—- the nuts are falling, the beans are drying, and the potatoes are being dug. The First ~ the first of the nuts dropping from the English Chestnut tree These babies will be dried, the nuts removed from the shell, and then ground up and froze, ready to be used as flour in recipes. Dried Beans This is from half of the dried-bean harvest. The one planted in with the blueberries aren’t dry yet (and now it is going to rain for a few da...

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Part 80: NUT HARVEST (Hazelnuts and Chestnuts)

10-09-2013 03:24 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

Oct. 9/13 The nuts are falling and I am harvesting—along with the red squirrels and chipmunks. It’s a fairly good year for the English Chestnuts. I will be drying/shelling some of them today. My little hazelnut tree that produced a crop for the first time last year gave me 2 cups of nuts this year (about 5/8th of a pound). (Last year I measured it by weight and got 1/4 lb) I have a second young tree that gave me four clusters of nuts. Next year, I’m expecting the...

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10-16-2013 07:09 AM by MsDebbieP | 5 comments »

Oct. 15/13 Did I tell you what my final tally was for my English Chestnuts? I forgot to weigh them but after the roasting and peeling I ground them up in the food processor and ended up with 24 cups of ground chestnut. That would be 12 pints!! That would be a LOT of chestnuts.

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Part 82: Shh!! The Figs Are Sleeping

11-04-2013 11:30 AM by MsDebbieP | 9 comments »

November 4/13 We’ve now had two mornings of freezing temperatures and the fig trees that had been clinging to their leaves finally let them all to the ground and it is time to put the trees down for their winter nap. I really should have put them down to sleep on the weekend but it was a very busy time and the figs simply didn’t make it to the top of the priority list. The In-Ground Fig Tree The little fig tree, planted in the ground at the front of the house, got a tempo...

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gardening is a journey, a journey of learning how to connect with and support Mother Nature

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