Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fairy garden

This is my little secret garden, I built the fairy house my self, also swing, bench, and hammock. The back shade in the corner by kitchen window and nook is the perfect place to build this garden. My little gnome is so happy with his little property.

This is my pride delphinium, I planted it from seed two years ago, and now it grow 7 ft tall.

The flowing rock as dry creek. I call it my secret fairy garden because it is hiding behind two mature red currant shrub, people will not notice if I didn't show them about the little world beyond it.

Dry creek was after rain, it was really something beautiful, because I built it but acctually nature make it perfect.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vegetable Garden on July 2011

Vegetable garden from the back view with raspberry patch in the temporary raised bed, because it is moist area especially after rain for couple hours, so planting raspberry in the raised bed is acctually good, I'm gonna have raspberry harvest sometime soon.

View from the left side, I keep covering carrot until harvest time, shelled peas and snap peas growing on teepee , which I acctually prefer growing them on row by trellis. But the teepee style can save the growing space .

My first tomato this season, it is early girl variety that I propagated from cutting this spring, this way cut the waiting time for ripe tomato, and acctually it mature faster than seed started tomato, maybe because this is early girl hybrid which is early mature variety, but another type I propagated from seed like big beef, brandywine, ruby heirloom are starting to fruiting , but still later than cutting . Shelled peas is growing on teepee. Bush bean with lettuce growing together are really good companion, both are healthy looking plant compare to another one that I planted them with tomato or onion. My second years munstead lavender, so fragrant, I'm trying to make lavender oil now for July project.

Corn are growing in the raised bed with bush bean for companion plant and mulch them with dried grass clipping, because I didn't use any herbicide for lawn, so it is safe for mulch.Corns are indoor seeded last May which is make them grow faster than direct seeding. I put 1 fish ( kind of raw non salt hering fish) in every hole when transplanting time, same thing I did for transplanting tomato but I added crushed egg shell for tomato. That way acctually cut the fertilizing time, just in case I forget or too late for fertilizing, fish is slow acting nitrogen, and egg shell is calcium. Acctually, I'm not fertilizing them after but the plant look happy tho. Another potato patch is in the back by drainage and back fence, those are russet potato from my pantry, it was potato for eating, but I kept it too long and I found it sprouting, so I planted them and those are look healthier than yukon gold seed I purchased from store which I planted them in the raised bed. Raspberry patch by compost bin and sunflower by the gate, those are giant and dwarf sunflowers.

The new gate that hubby built it last week, I design the arbour and hubby design the gate with the window for peeking. I love it so much because it is like japanese style gate. I planted golden elderberry on both side of the gate for brighten the spot and japanese maple substitute. I prefer using sutherland elderberry for good impact but I read somewhere that golden elderberry is edible. Goji berry with marigold by the back patio, I started them from indoor seeding last December , and I purchased 2 plants from nursery, my original seedling is growing much better than nursery bought. But I see goji berry are fast grower. New addition in the back yard, that is lawn of course , so no more extra weeding like last year, and pathway from flat rock that I collected where ever I found it. Irish moss growing between rocks, it will be spreading to cover the bare dirt eventually, and it can take busy foot traffic too. Another view from herb garden in the raised bed.

Friday, July 22, 2011

July blooming

Mini rock garden is in full bloom, creeping thyme,reseeded bachelor button, daylily, campanula carpatica, blue fescue, allysum saxatile, blue sedum, hen n chick growing here.

Friday, July 1, 2011

June 2011 harvest

Radish and some radish greens was from early June.
Strawberry from hanging basket, it was the second time harvest.
I just pulled one lettuce plant , because it was only for my self.
The fourth time harvest of spinach, I was used it for spinach bread.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What's blooming now in June ?

Allium and painted daisy are blooming in the front island bed.

Saxifrage is in rock garden, it will spread eventually.

Painted daisy is in full bloom , I planted it three years ago when it was still small seedling, and it is in the victory now as first time blooming.

Jacob ladder is in the back shade garden, it get morning sun only. It look good together with delphinium and silver lamium in the bottom.

Aster alpinus ( pinky ) is blooming under amur maackii tree together with nepeta "dropmore " , finished blooming tulip and daylily.

Salvia are blooming in the front island bed, I forget the variety but I think it is kinda salvia maynight, I planted from seed last year.

Shasta daisy 'alaska' with nepeta x faasenii walker low are blooming in the front corner house, I think it is beautiful combination, they always look fresh for whole day.

Yankee doodle lilac and Mdme. Lemoine lilac are still blooming nicely in the south sunny side of the house.

Viburnum roseum snowball is in the shady front yard, it is first time blooming since I planted last fall. I wish it is fragrant.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Vegetable Garden 2011

Vegetable garden in early June, everything I plant are starting to grow. Early June is the month with cold and rainy spring here in zone 3, which is good for the lawn so I don't have to water it often, and of course I can keep rain water on the home made rain barrel, cheap and effective, that is garbage can. It is not so attactive looking but it work. I cover tomato planter and corn with blanket frost ,potato in the planter by compost bin, beet with garlic and carrot covered by tulle netting, I have it a lot in the basement from my wedding decoration. The idea was to keep the pest away, and it seem work too. I just cut the tulle as the size of the planter and nail the wooden stake in every corner of the planter , but don't push the nail all the way through, tight the tulle by roll it and hold it on the nail.

Lettuce grand rapid, raddish and spring onion. I planted zucchini in every corner of this planter.

This is the never ending supply of spinach .

Potato and onion growing under tulle screen. It work really good to keep potato bug away.

Beet and garlic as companion plant. I read somewhere that garlic can improve the taste of beet.

Carrot scarlet nantes and white onion growing under tulle screen too.

Golden bantam corn and super sweet corn growing together on the long planter. The rule is to grow sweet corn should be spaced around 7 meters between varieties to ensure the good crop. But I didn't follow it. So we'll see.

Herb planter include echinacea and strawberry. The clump in the corner are lavender from seed last year and ready to blooming . It is better plant if I compare it to the one in the middle, that one was store bought last year, it doesn't looking good in the second year.

Peas , head lettuce , swiss chard. Bean and corn( not germinate yet ) was planted between peas, this is for experiment to compare corn between direct seed and transplanted .

Tomato plant from cutting . They are starting to flower and some of them has little tomato already, way earlier than tomato plant from seed.

There are so many thing to learn in the garden to get better crop. Learn from people who expert with this stuff also learn from our experience in the previous year.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

May and June blooming

Allysum saxatile .
Tulip under the amur maackii tree.
Tulips in the south side of the house.
Tulip by the basement window.
Amur maackii tree blooming in the front yard. Double flowering plum, love this plant.
I just realize this rock garden is heart shape, I didn't make it that way , but I guess my mini rock garden love me , lol.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Propagating Lemon Grass

Lemon grass is well known for Asian cuisine ingredient as well as mosquito reppelent. Back home I planted this herb along my fish pond, it grew so well and form big clump overhang to the water. It was so easy to plant, I just stick them in to the dirt , no need special requirement for planting this herb. It is consider low maintenance perennial plant too. Although it is tropical herb , it doesn't mean we can't grow this here in the four season country. We can plant it in the container or in the yard during summer , just remember we have to repot it back and bring it indoor during winter. For easy starter plant , just go to nursery that carry tropical herb as transplanting item or mature size one is perfect too. But I prefer to make new plant by propagating my self. It is so easy.

First, when you go grocery shopping, get a bunch of lemon grass stalks, it usually no more than 2 bucks for 3 pcs stalk. Pick the good looking stalk for good result .Cut the stalk about 4 inch from the base, put in to glass with 1 inch water or just enough to cover the base, keep it in warm and bright place such as window sill or just in the countertop is fine too. Use the remaining stalk for cooking.

Change the water every day , and after around 5 days we can see root start forming from the base. It is time to transplant it in to the container with good potting mix .

After one week transplanted , it start grow leaf which is good, and just fertilize it with fish emulsion . Keep it indoor during winter , when spring coming , gradually hardening off for 1 to 2 weeks periode, put the plant outside where it get partially sun and bring it indoor when frost is expected. Because it is perennial , so you will have this herb for years if you keep it in warm place during winter.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Propagating tomato for 2011 garden

Garden season for zone 3 is on the way, finally winter is almost over. I guess it is time to start tomato plant. This year I propagate tomato with two different ways, stem cutting and seed. If we plant tomato from seed, it will take maturity time as described on seed package. And of course we have to sow seed around 8 weeks before last frost. Those are 'big beef' tomato and 'potato leaf brandywine' tomato started from seed. I have left over seeds from last year season. The seed package says 70 days maturity time for both varieties. I planted the seed around mid March.

Those are 'Early girl hybrid' tomato from stem cutting. The seed package says 52 days maturity time. Also left over seeds from last year season. Acctually this is good variety for zone 3 because of the early maturity time, but I have grown this on my aerogarden, so it make me easy to make more plant, just take stem cutting from extra branch between the leaf ( sucker ). This extra branch is acctually mature plant, so it will grow as mature plant and hopefully get fruit early. I have tried this methode before on 2009 garden season , and I got fruit earlier . This is so easy methode and just basic skill needed.

First, sterilize knife with hydrogen peroxide, take stem cutting , you can take short cut or long cut , it doesn't matter how long the stem cutting is, because tomato plant is easy to root and grow fast too.

Second, rooting methode. You can choose two different methode. The most simple way is just leave the stem on the glass with about 1 inch of clean water, let it sit for couple days, change the water if necessary every day. After 4 or 5 days you will see root start forming on the stem. Then start repot the rooted stem to proper growing medium or potting mix.

Another methode is simple too , take stem cutting and apply rooting hormone, stick the stem on perlite or seed starting mix, then put on propagator . It will take same time about 4 or 5 days to form root on stem.

It is so instant, I think, because on a week you will have plant that look like 6 weeks old seedling. You can cut seed starting time and cost too by taking stem cutting. If you dont have ready plant at home, just start sow 1 seed of variety you want to grow very early, when the plant ready for haircut, then it is time to taking stem cutting. Another option is get ready plant in nursery, they will have tomato plant available around April, just get 1 plant per variety, then keep it indoor, then you can make more plant by taking stem cutting.