When it comes to flowers, the two boxes out front and the low-lying brown bed in back were completely new. We had been using the two boxes for veggies, so we lost a little space, but we made up for some of it with some strategic planning.
This is the "bad bed". It's in a weird location with poor soil that is awkwardly shaded. We can't do much with it. The peonies are perennials. The bleeding hearts started in another location but sent out runners and now sprout wherever they want. We are trying to move the perennial ferns over so they surround the cedar and provide ground cover to make it look a little nicer, but we obviously missed some that will get moved in the fall. In the gap, I planted an echinacea (cone flower) that we grew from seed this spring. If it roots well, it will be another perennial in that garden. The tall, thin green plants are garlic; I planted them late last October and they all came up. If they are successful, I might use that area as my annual garlic bed.
I plant herbs in our other two deck beds. I have not yet had any luck overwintering oregano or thyme, but I keep trying. In the first are chives (perennial), sage, rosemary, and lavender. I hear lavender can be a perennial, so we'll see. In the other I have basil, thyme, and oregano. And more garlic. I didn't know if the garlic would sprout, but both locations came up. If it works, we'll have eleven bulbs. The brown planters at the side have tomatoes in them - we are trying container tomatoes for the first time.
These yellow boxes are all about our peppers and cherry tomatoes. The first box has five bell peppers and the Numex Orange Suave hot pepper that we overwintered in the house. The centre box has three red cherry and two yellow cherry tomatoes, and the banana pepper we planted on a whim. The right hand box has three jalapeño peppers, and three different hot peppers that we bought from a nursery to try some new varieties. We planted the peppers in 2-gallon pails as an experiment. Cross your fingers for us.
This roughly modified potato box was our last-minute box. We had two peppers that we started from seed that did not look very healthy. One Numex Orange Suave, and a Cajun Belle. We've harvested seeds from our Cajun Belle peppers for four years. This year, we had one sprout from about eight attempts. And I think it died the day after we planted it. (At least it made it into the box, unlike last year's lavender seedling.) This box also has two parsleys that I started from seed. Honestly, I don't think it's worth it to try to do herbs from seed unless you have a full garden/grow room set up. The small box on the ground is a different matter. It's a dill box. Dill is another perennial herb, so once it takes off, it will be a permanent fixture. Ross's pickle-loving heart will be delighted if it works.
And now, the main event!
We planted potatoes in mid-May, twelve of them, and they are all up. Then we have twenty corn, then a variety of tomatoes ( three Pruden's Giant Staking tomatoes, and two Superfantastics), then six zucchinis. At the end of the row, we have a watermelon seedling and two planted Sugar Baby watermelon seeds, two butternut squashes, and two spaghetti squashes. The hope is that the vines will trail out of the garden into the walkway behind the garden and the fence. Then we have three field cucumbers, four pickling cucumbers, and thirty-six purple beans planted in the various frames and trellises. In front of those are fifty yellow onions, then the rhubarb (which will need picking and processing next week already.) Then we have two short rows of beets and carrots, half a row of leaf lettuce, and three celery plants.
As you can see, we had a busy May. Now we wait and we weed. Then, we eat!
Spring is here, summer is on its way, and it is time to get out into the yard. After a month's worth of weekends filled with hard work, we are done!
We are trying to be more environmentally conscious and make better, long-term choices for the environment (and, coincidentally, our wallets), so we are doing some new things.
This year, we have added three new flower beds to our yard. Last year, in one of the raised beds on our deck, we threw some extra petunias into a half-empty box. (Half empty because the herbs I'd planted died.) The petunias grew very well and erupted into massive bunches of bright red blooms. So bright, in fact, that they attracted hummingbirds! Needless to say, we wanted to repeat that phenomenon.
We also wanted to attract more pollinators, and the easiest way to do that is with colour. We're hoping that bright yellow in the vegetable gardens does the trick. We're also planting a lot more flowers in other areas.
We're starting at the front doors. Please excuse the Tim Hortons cups - we started these zinnias from seed and they are still rather spindly. We don't know what colour they will be because it was a variety pack of seeds.
Next we added two garden boxes out front. We filled them with purchased petunias, jonny jump-ups, and another plant I can't remember that's scarlet with white-edged petals. From seed, we planted zinnias, lavateras, and calendulas. None of these varieties are perennials; we wanted to see how the location of the boxes worked first. Eventually we plan to put river rock down around the base of the boxes.
Our first front garden is almost entirely perennials. We just added a couple of johnny jump-ups to the corner for some colour. We have three varieties of hostas, two rose bushes, some tulips that have never bloomed and will be pulled this fall, and a bunch of lilies that Ross does very successfully.
Our other front garden is all new. Last year we had a massive patch of day lilies in it that only produced a few blooms and then threw in a few annuals for colour. We dug them all out in the fall. This year we planted a perennial garden. The hydrangea in the middle is not native to Manitoba, but with care should last us for years. Then we went to the Living Prairie Museum and invested in four types of native prairie plants. We bought two New England Asters, two Blue Vervains, one Fireweed, and three Black-Eyed Susans. We didn't realize this when we bought them, but all the plants in the garden range from two feet to five feet tall! This garden will be set for years. We are also slowly splitting the hostas in the other bed to make a border for this perennial bed.
Then back to the backyard, where we planted a full planter full of petunias this year. Rather than all red like last year, we decided to do a variety of colours.
We also built a new flowerbed out of scrap wood. We filled it with the leftover petunias, the last zinnia, the only rudbeckia that sprouted from seed, and two packets of seed flowers - one was California poppy (multicoloured), and the other an Assorted Wildflower mix. If this doesn't draw the bees and butterflies, nothing will!
That's it for the flowers. Now on to the vegetables!
I'm very excited to bring you the next Royal Oak Ranch sweet western romance! The Lawson siblings are at it again - causing mayhem and falling in love. This time it's middle brother Paul falling for his arch baking nemesis, Joni Malone.
Get the e-book at your favourite site: Amazon -- Kobo -- Barnes and Noble/Nook -- Apple Books -- Google Play
Joni Malone has been baking since she was a teenager, and it took her years to save enough to open her own bakery. Now she has a chance to put Flour Power on the map by winning top honours on Canada’s Best Recipes. Her only real competition is, surprisingly, a handsome cowboy from her hometown.
Paul Lawson threw his Stetson into the ring and was selected as one of twelve finalists for the national cooking competition. The full-time cowboy and passionate part-time baker is taking a break from his duties at his family’s Royal Oak Ranch, and he’s not about to let a gorgeous pastry chef stop him from achieving national muffin glory.
Even though the two of them are going head-to-head in the kitchen, can they find a way to a sweet ending together?
Don't forget to enter to win one of fifty copies of THE COWBOY AND THE PASTRY PRINCESS on Goodreads! No signups necessary if you're already there.
Or pre-order a copy and have it waiting on your e-reader when you get up next Tuesday!
This is a quick sale, but I really want to introduce people to Holiday Beach for the summer, so I have put FIREWORKS AND FRENEMIES on sale for free this week only! The sale ends this Sunday, so please grab your copy today, and then try the rest of the series!
Amazon Kindle US: https://amzn.to/3UzBKpt
Amazon Kindle Canada: https://amzn.to/43xfTD6
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fireworks-and-fre...
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1592167344
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=N6F...
You met Tyler Lawson, the second oldest Lawson sibling, in the Hopewell Millionaires series where he found love in "A MILLION LOVE NOTES." Now it's time to meet the rest of the Lawson family on the Royal Oak Ranch, starting with Tyler's big brother Clay.
Marki Queen is Hollywood royalty in desperate need of a knight in shining armour. Preferably one with a real horse who gives riding lessons. Thanks to her childhood television role, the whole world thinks she’s an expert horsewoman. Nobody knows it was all an act. Now she has two weeks to learn to ride for real, and a small-town cowboy is her only hope.
Clay Lawson is not pleased that he got roped into giving riding lessons on top of all his other duties as the Royal Oak Ranch’s general manager. He was told that all Marki Queen needed was a refresher course, but when he discovers she’s been a fake cowgirl for her whole life, everything changes.
The more time they spend together, the harder they fall. But is two weeks long enough to start a romance that can bridge the country-Hollywood divide?
This sweet, western romance is now available everywhere!
Tonight is the start of Ramadan, a holy month for my Muslim friends month-long Muslim holiday in which they fast between sunrise and sunset, and reflect upon their faith. Ramadan Mubarak to my friends who celebrate it.
It's the first day of spring. You know what that means, right?
Only 2 more months till it's garden-planting time!
No matter what your weather is today in the northern hemisphere, winter is on it's way out. We made it through another one.