Thursday, April 30, 2009

I know that the "gardening implement" that I'm posing with is actually an ice pick, but I was too lazy to run to the garage for a rake. I'm not the only one to voice the fact that this April was a loser month to be a professional gardener. It snowed almost daily and temperatures rarely reached the double digits. BOOOOOOOO! Butt I did luck out and find Lois Hole's Trees and Shrubs book at the library so I have been post-it-noting the shrubbery that I like. I think that shrubs are the future of my yard; way less maintenance than perennials and less waste to clean up in the fall. NOW I'm thinkin'! I'll tell you what I'm leaning toward (and I linked the shrubs to pics): a Peegee Hydrangea in front of my bedroom window (summer flowering), or a double flowering plum and an orange or white flowering potentilla to go beside a sandcherry. And I love mock orange. . . actually, I have a mock orange but it's gnarly and hardly produces any heavenly-scented flowers, but the link that I just found says to chop it to the ground to "renew" it so I'll be doing that in the fall or next spring. Exciting!

Tomorrow I will transform into a naturalist and am looking forward to complaining about how hot it is on Sunday, when the temp. jumps to 21°C from the single digits. What does this city have against temperatures in the teens?!? I think that we'll go for a walk in the ravine!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I've actually gardened!! I regret not having filled the cold, snowy days of the month with READING about gardening or CHOOSING the shrubs that I want to plant in the spaces that we made for them last fall (and by "we" I mean that I charmingly pointed and DH dug - we're such a TEAM!). That would have been clever but frankly, I forgot what was awaiting me under the snow. I'm rather excited now that I've been reminded that I have shrubbery to select. Shrubbery! (Monty Python fans?)

So I spent 2.5 hours tidying up the raspberry canes and spring-ified the flower beds around the "courtyard". There are daffodils and tulips about a decimeter high (I know! - butt I live in Canada and we're supposed to use metric) and my favorite plant, flax, is everywhere. YIPPEE! AND the blanket flowers (gaillardia) seem to have survived the winter, for a change. They are native to the area thus supposedly super hardy and easy to grow and I just LOVE their fiery colors. . . I have had the worst luck with them. But this is the year. I can feel it.

DH and I spent most of Saturday in the yard. He got many of the ugly, looming chores done so I'm really looking forward to getting out there (thanks, Luv!). I picked up vegetable seeds and some amendments for the soil, and new cedar mulch. I'm going to plant snap peas and sweet peas tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Do Not rototill

I had a balmy Easter long weekend 4 hours south, visiting the in-laws. My arms even got sun burnt. . . now it's snowing. Nice.

My DH picked me up a gardening magazine ("Grow; fine gardening's guide to vegetable gardening") to support my profession (he's a keeper) and I read that one shouldn't turn over the soil when preparing it for planting, because it upsets the delicate ecosystem. They recommended using a pick fork to just loosen the soil. "Remember that soil is a vibrant ecosystem that suffers if it's exposed to too much light and air. So just wiggle the fork around to make it easier for roots to penetrate."

Monday, April 6, 2009

snowbank gardener

Yippee! I can feel warmth radiating from the glowing orb in the sky! I've been a professional gardener for 6 days now but my yard has been covered in snow. . . it does pose a problem although DH and I have been cross-country skiing 3 times this month. Yesterday my soggy bottom boys spent a couple of hours racing toothpicks in the run-off streaming down the gutter toward the drain, so I'm optimistic that I will be able to get at the dirt this week.