Category Archives: Garden

Great Harvest

We sure had a great harvest of peppers this year. Last year I got lazy and never transplanted all of peppers so a few of them hung out in the greenhouse for the summer. Sometimes it pays to procrastinate…..leaving them in the greenhouse gave me the most peppers I’ve ever had. This year I didn’t even bother putting any in the garden. Not only did I get tons of peppers but this is the first time I have had them ripen enough to turn any colour other than green.

I can’t believe that it is September 30th and we haven’t even had a light frost yet never mind a killing frost. Came close this morning, it was 1 degree when I walked the dogs. This is the first time since I moved to Alberta that I can remember not having a frost in September.

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It’s garlic time

Pretty happy with our garlic harvest from the cloves I planted last fall. Still have a bunch more to harvest but they were planted in the spring so they still have some growing to do. Mmmmmm 😃

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Sour Cherry Love

Our small cherry tree ( I’m pretty sure the variety is called Romeo) has given us a wonderful harvest this year. There was a lot more fruit on the tree but the birds love to take a small bite out of lots of cherries rather than eat a whole one. I don’t mind sharing our harvest with the wild life in our garden, I just wish they would share nicely and not waste so many lovely berries

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Planters Finished

I finally got the last of my big planters planted. Now Mother Nature has decided that we are going to have 3 days of rain and high winds. This may be the first and last time that they look pretty so I decided to take a few quick pictures.

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The beauty of winter

I can’t say that I am a big fan of winter, but sometimes I just have to stop and appreciate the beauty.   We live in the prairies so we normally have very low humidity.  For the last several days we have had lots of fog and hoar frost.  Each day the frost gets thicker and thicker.  Here are just a few pictures I took of the amazing ice crystals:

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Diablo Ninebark flower cluster

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Hydrangea bloom

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Rose hips

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Rose hip cluster

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Jackmanii clematis bloom

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And last but not least,  hoar frost on my big girl Spirit during our walk this morning.  She looks like she has giant white eyebrows.

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Finally Summer

It’s the 20th of July and I can finally say that summer has arrived.  We had a week of hot temperatures and then rain and drizzle for several days.  I had a real shock when I stepped out into the garden this morning and saw how much everything has grown and matured.  It’s amazing what a little bit of mother natures moisture does for the garden.  Our sour cherry tree is just loaded with fruit.  I don’t mind sharing with the birds but it ticks me off when they just take a bite out of one and then move on to another, and another.

Cherry

 Last year I bought a small Meyer Lemon bush.  It had tons of blooms and even produced a dozen or so small lemons .  I brought it into the house in September and kept it in a south facing window all winter.   I was thrilled to see that the little fruit continued to grow slowly over the winter.  I moved it back outside in mid June and now the fruit are big, beautiful and starting to turn yellow.   It is producing new leaves and it looks like it may have a few flowers soon.  Hopefully it will have enough time to set some fruit again.

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It seems like all the summer flowering perennials have burst into bloom and the annuals are really showing off to try and compete.

Petunias DelphinPond rasp yellow

Lily

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Surprise

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Doesn’t Mother Nature have a wonderful sense of humor? NOT!!!!!! It is Good Friday, April 18th and they are forecasting up to 15-20cm of the white stuff.

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Vermin composting

It’s official. I have my first worm composting bin with a handful of red wigglers ready to chow down.

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Winter Surprise

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It had to happen some time.  We had our first snowfall last night.  We woke up to a beautiful winter wonderland.  I don’t like the cold but I have to admit it is pretty.  The bad news is that I have to drive to the opposite end of the city for a longarm class this morning……yikes the roads are going to be scary!!!

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Mother Nature’s Cruel Joke

Would you believe that less than 10 hours ago our yard was virtually snow free……look at it now. Mother Nature definitely has a sense of humour.  It is just so beautiful but the heavy, wet snow is causing havoc in Edmonton.  Trees are falling down and taking out power lines all over the city.  I’m glad I have today off so that I could go around the yard and shake/shovel the snow off all my shrubs and trees to prevent them from getting damaged.  The dogs are loving it!!

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They’ve hatched

Our latest batch of robins have hatched.  I’ve been away this week so I am not sure what day they were born but they look pretty big already.  I think I can see 3 beaks in the first picture. Mom and Dad are busy running back and forth with food for their hatchlings.  I’ll have to get Don to crawl up the ladder and see if he can get a better picture without disturbing the family.

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The morning after….the night before

It is 6am and I am trying to survey the damage.  It is still a little dark, more rain and storms today.  I can’t believe that there is still tons of hail on the ground 10 hours after the storm hit.  I braved the mosquitos this morning to video some of the damage and the left over hail.

Update:  I came home at lunch to get a good look at the yard. I can’t believe how much hail is still in our yard almost 16 hours later. Our deck faces south and the current temperature is 26 degrees Celsius and yet there is still a layer of hail on my plants. It is so overwhelming and disheartening to see the damage. In Alberta, our summers are very short so you put a lot of effort into your garden and planters to enjoy a connection with nature…no matter how short the season is. To see all the blossoms and leaves lying on the ground and what leaves are left on the plants are sliced and full of holes, it is heartbreaking.

I guess it is important to remember that there is always a positive side to everything. We are all fine and other than damage to the shingles our house is still standing and protecting us. We are blessed.

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One heck of a storm

I thought we had made some progress with Tango and thunderstorms but we have taken one heck of a step backwards tonight.  I wasn’t sure if our house was going to remain standing.  The rain and hail were coming down so hard and so fast that it was moving horizontally and driving towards our windows.  At the peak I thought for sure I was going to hear glass breaking.  The wind was so strong that it picked up our deck umbrella, inflated it and sailed it across the back of the house.  The eavestrough and down spouts were so overwhelmed with the volume that it just poured out like huge waterfalls.  When I thought the worst of it was over there was a huge bolt of lighting and all of a sudden our stereo turned itself on and the volume was at the maximum….how weird is that???  Poor Tango was just crouched low to the ground looking for somewhere to hide.  When the hail stopped I grabbed my video camera and got these pictures of the damage to my garden and the huge piles of hail.

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Summer has finally arrived

I think summer has finally arrived in our yard. It has been such a dark, dreary, cold and wet spring. I finally got my last tomato and all my flower pots planted on June 17th….that’s crazy. We had snow several times in May and we got down to zero a few times in early June. Mother nature is truly amazing. It is hard to believe that we got from this……..

to this in just 5 short weeks.

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Loud mouth frog – update

Since the day I published my blog entry about the boreal chorus frog who took up residence in our pond……we haven’t heard a ribbit from him.  l’ve been overwhelmed with a sense of guilt and regret for wishing that he would go away…even if it meant that a predator got him.  I tried to soothe my mounting guilt by thinking that maybe he didn’t become someone’s midnight snack…..maybe he found a mate so he didn’t have to advertise any more.  As the days passed I almost wished that I would hear that annoying sound again.  Well…….I am pleased to say that as of last night….and I mean all last night….he’s baaaack!!!  As I type this post in my den, I can hear him begin his afternoon serenade. Welcome back Loud Mouth Frog! I will try my best not to think bad thoughts as I lie awake listening to your “1-800-Find-a-mate” calls in the middle of the night.

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Annoying Visitor

I just love our yard and how so many different and amazing critters are attracted to the pond….that was until recently. We have a first time guest who has already worn out his welcome. It started in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. We always sleep with our bedroom windows open to get fresh air and to listen to the sound of the stream flowing into the pond. At around 1:00 am a new sound could be heard.  A very loud and annoying sound.  It rang out every few seconds throughout the whole night.  It sounded like a giant frog. Of course Don slept through it all and in the morning I was beginning to think that maybe it had been an annoying dream. Then late Wednesday afternoon I heard it again. Definitely coming from the pond. When you get up close it is so loud and it almost sounds electronically generated. I started trying to locate the source of the sound but it would stop once I got close to the edge of the pond. Once I turned away it would start again. Ok…..is one of our neighbours trying to ‘punk’ us with some hidden speaker. This time Don heard the racket too so he came out to investigate. We checked everywhere but we could not find any critter  or speaker so we gave up and went back inside…..and then it started again. We could hear it in our kitchen with all the doors and windows closed. Don went out with a big metal stick and began poking around all the rocks and crevices. Nothing. We gave up and went to bed.  And then it started again. It lasted all night. At around 3:20am the neighbourhood Robins joined in to the chorus.  Of course Don had no problem sleeping through all the racket. I love nature…but this guy has got to go. I’m surprised that he hasn’t attracted some prey animal to come and get him since he is doing such a great job of announcing his presence.

It has now been 3 nights of frog serenades. Although we can hear him loud and clear we have not caught even the slightest glimpse of him which would lead me to believe that he must be very small.  I just can’t believe that something that small could produce such a loud, reverberating sound. Check out the video and listen to his song……

UPDATE:

I think I have discovered the identify of our visitor…..a boreal chorus frog.  When I read the description I knew I had found my loud mouth frog:

  • These secretive and largely terrestrial frogs are often heard, but seldom seen. Their tiny size makes them difficult to find, even when the males are calling. Their calls are relatively loud, but deceiving, often sounding as if they’re calling from someplace else!
  • Despite their tiny size, these frogs call so loudly that if you stand at the edge of a large chorus, your ears will ring.

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Garden Visitors

Over the past week I’ve noticed a pair of ducks hanging around the neighbourhood.  Friday night Don found them swimming in our pond. As much as I would love to have a pair of ducks nesting in our yard…..it is just not safe with the dogs. I would be sick if Tango caught one of them or their ducklings. The female had a good feed on my Irises while her mate just paddled around. Don did manage to get a bunch of pictures before they were spooked by the dogs. I’ve always thought of the females as being very colourless and drab. If y0u look at the picture of the female flying off you can see she has the same amazing blue/purple feature on her wings that the male has. What a treat to enjoy all the amazing wildlife that visit our garden and hang out at the pond.

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May????

Our backyard is a winter wonderland again. There was so much snow drifted against the back door that I couldn’t open it from the inside. It is hard to believe that it was 26 degrees Celcius last week…….go figure????

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Our spring garden

Every day there are more and more signs of spring in our garden. I couldn’t resist grabbing my camera and trying to capture some of the beauty around me.

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Bath Time

Does this look like a happy face? Actually, I was pleasantly surprised to find that she didn’t seem to mind getting bathed in the kitchen sink. She just stood there quietly and when it was all over she climbed into the towel to get dry. Now she smells like a combination of lavendar and rosemary. Very smoochable. Of course, as soon as she was dry she went outside and starting digging in my vegetable garden.  I think we are going to have to put up a Tilly-size fence to keep her out.

I was thrilled to discover that spring may have finally sprung.  I noticed that I have some beautiful crocuses blooming.  I just love the first sign of spring.  I look forward to going out into the garden each morning to see what is peaking up out of the cold ground.

 

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