Friday, October 14, 2011

Ahhhhh! It's fall!

We had our first frost!  I can NOT believe the summer is over!  Not only that, September is over!  Where did the time go?  I'm in a bit of a panic to get everything done these days.  Everything seems to take longer than I thought.  And I was worried that I would be bored when the kids started school, so of course I volunteered for a whole bunch of random things and now I am definitely not bored, quite the opposite in fact.  Well, I guess that's how it goes. 

But, here is my summary for the summer...plants did good, loved the peas, beans got the better of me, LOVED the new Lee Valley watering system I set up.  And that is pretty much it! Happy fall everyone!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday #1

Hey, here is an interesting idea that I found from the Crafty Gardener.  And she has linked back to Hey Harriet.  It's about taking a cool shadow picture.  It hasn't been very sunny here lately, but we were lucky enough to get a few hours this afternoon.  I liked this picture because of the shadows within the leaves.  It is a lupin bud, grown from my husband's grandmother's seeds.

A Father's Day Adventure at Big Hill Springs

Happy Father's Day everyone, especially my own Dad and my DH.  Hope everyone is having a great day.  For our bit of family fun we decided to go on a short hike up to Big Hill Springs Provincial Park.  It is quite close to Calgary and the hike only took about an hour, which is about as long as my four-year-old can handle.  It is a great hike with lots of cool rocks  and water to play in.  We also saw lots of wildflowers.  I thought it would be fun to share and see how many of Alberta's wildflowers I know and maybe get some help with the ones I can't identify.

A cool picture of the Tufa - carbonate deposited by the calcium-rich spring water
 the spring water
 Star-flowered Soloman's Seal:
 Cow parsnip (wild rhubarb)?

 Western Canada Violet
 lovely little ferns growing in the moss
 Canada Anemone?
Western Shooting Star

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

My first ever!  I have always wanted to have time/remember/have blooms for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day and this time I do!  I'm very excited!  This is what I have in my garden now.  My favorite are the irises.  I eagerly anticipate them every year, despite their short blooming period (or maybe because of it).  I don't know the varieties of either since both of them were donations - one from a friend and one from my grandmother's garden.  The purple and white one is from my is just about to burst open!

And of course in Calgary we are still into our spring blooms.  I love my tulips this year!  I have always dreamed of having a garden bursting with tulips and this year I finally feel like I've achieved it!  So happy! 
 More favorite spring blooms...

Also I have my new snowdrop anemones flowering.  I just got these last year after wandering around my neighbourhood and seeing them in other gardens.  I love them!  So glad to have my own.
And of course my bleeding hearts are just now flowering and my alliums look about ready to burst!
Well, I had fun!  Hope you enjoy the blooms!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's Spring!

And in Calgary that means a rainy June and cool nights.  But I am very proud that I got all of my seeding done before the rains set in.  We usually have a few nice days at the end of May and I took advantage of them this year and got most of my annuals potted and most of the seeding done.  This year I planted carrots, beans, celery, peas, corn, beets and pumpkin in the backyard vegetable beds and cucumber, squash and dill at the community garden.  This is the first year that I've tried cucumber.  I sprouted the seeds in a moist paper towel inside a ziploc bag and then planted them.  We'll see if it gets warm enough this summer.  This is also the first year that I've tried direct planting the corn, pumpkin and squash.  Usually I start the seeds inside to get a head start, but due to a lack of space (due to the kitchen renovation) I decided to give the direct seeding a shot.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Spring is definitely my favorite season and I love all spring flowering plants - maybe because our winters are so long - it is so nice to see some colour!  So here is what blooming in my garden...
the crabapples are blooming - this isn't my tree..too bad!

violas transplanted into a pot (they are everywhere!) with some lettuce

 tulips (Calgary?) with lamium and iris foliage
 bergenia - started these from seed last year!
 so many tulips!  I can't remember the types and my scrap of paper with all the names seems to have been "filed" incorrectly - I'll keep trying to find it
 tulips - Cosmopolitan?
 more violas - self-seeded in the garden
 strawberry flowers

 lamium with goatsbeard

 Nanking cherry bushes - yummy cherries
 bleedign hearts about to bloom

 alliums about to bloom
The kids are home from school, so that's it for now!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's raining and the worms are here!

On the sidewalk you wonder?  No, in my basement!  Our vermicomposting adventures have begun!  What better way to celebrate the rainy season in Calgary!  I was exploring the best way of getting worms when I was talking with a friend and it turned out that her mother-in-law has been vermicomposting for years and has some extra worms.  We were very excited. Once I knew we were getting the worms I began to prepare the vermicomposter.  I had already read the book "Worms eat my Garbage" by Mary Appelhof and it had tons of useful information.  We started by getting a large, generic rubber bin.  Then I tore up a whole bunch of flyers into think strips and cut up some cardboard, enough to fill up the whole bin.

Then I added some water, enough to moisten the paper and even added a shovel-full of dirt from the garden (to get the bacteria going).  Now I had soggy, dirty strips of paper.

Then we got the worms - they look cold!  My garden-assistant helped me extract them from the compost that I received them in and put them into their new home.

So far so good.  They are still alive and they seem to be eating the food I've been giving them.  Also we haven't had too much of a problem with flies or anything which seems to be the biggest complaint.  So far so good!  The kids love or new pets!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's blooming day!

There is a garden blogger's bloom day tradition of posting your garden blooms on the 15th f the month, but I never seem to make it.  I either forget, have nothing blooming or just am too busy on the 15th to make a post.  So I thought that I'd just post my blooms whenever I am especially excited.  We've been very busy in the garden this week.  It has been beautiful weather!  And I am anticipating the rains to come any day now so I'm trying to get everything planed before-hand to take advantage of the free water.  So we've planted and seeded the vegetable garden and potted up a whole bunch of annuals.  I know the average last frost date isn't until the long weekend, but we've had such a slow start to spring and now it has warmed up considerably and I'm convinced that summer will be early this year.  Yeah!

the side garden - lots of perennials have popped up

tulips about to bloom with Autumn Joy sedum in the background

the raised beds - trying out some bean poles this year
lovely red tulips

bergenia about to flower


yellow tulips - the ones you see everywhere in Calgary with some cosmos I planted with them