Friday, June 12, 2015

Flowers 'r bloomin'! (May 24th)

It's always busy in the garden....
Everyone hard at work


Our transplanted flowers and plants seem to be doing well....

The Californian poppies from last year are flowering and both the bee balms (Monarda) beside it look like they have settled in.
The bee balm is outlined in a red circle - look for it!

The lavender seems to be trying to reach for more sun! It was planted with all the other herbs, which are in the shadier part of the garden.

Garlic chives are doing okay as well as the Shasta daisy.
Garlic chives

Shasta daisy

The Phygelius and Verbena seems to be doing okay. Our Verbena was pretty small to begin with so it'll take some time for it to grow. 
Phygelius 'Cape Fuchsia', favourite of hummingbirds

Our 'wee' Verbena (just behind the white tag)

Looks like someone has taken a nibble out of our transplanted Agastache! 

The flowering sage in the garden has been attracting lots of bees.

This week we decided to remove flowering radishes since we had other plants blooming now. The radishes were one of the first plants to flower in our garden this season as they were leftover from last year's crop. It served its purpose by attracting lots of pollinators. In its place we planted a row of beet blend seeds.
Preparing the bed for planting. Gaia Green added

We planted 1 row of beets.

We also planted some tricolour bush bean blend behind mesclun greens in Bed 9.


What's growing:

 The flowers are taking over! Our peas are growing well - it's a jungle out there!

The zucchini are flowering and tomatoes are growing nicely. We've been covering it since we transplanted it 2 weeks ago but I think it's time to come off since the weather has been really warm. 

Something interesting to note - we transplanted the zucchini in the little box (see below) several weeks ago. Both zucchini plants were from the same growing batch but the one that was transplanted 2 weeks ago (above) is doing a lot better, perhaps because it was transplanted a lot later when the weather was warmer.

Attempting to grow the three sisters....the corn has sprouted though probably not in time to be high enough to support the beans...too bad. Next time, we need to start the corn indoors first and the transplant it outside when the weather warms up.
See the little shoot that looks like grass? That's corn.
3 sisters: Corn, beans and squash

We planted more pole beans (Indian woman) with the '2 sisters'.

Spinach is coming up and the alyssum is finally sprouting....all over the place! We've been finding alyssum everywhere, all along the garden.

We transplanted broccoli in amongst our prolific strawberries and it's been taking awhile to grow. We finally see it poking out from the strawberries!

The nodding onions are doing well too and we can soon expect some blueberries!
Yup, them onions are nodding away!

We have blueberries. Can you see them?

The cabbages are putting on more bulk though the carrots we seeded in this bed never took. We learnt that farmers actually wrap their Napa cabbages so they grow more tightly. Will have to find out if that's true....

The transplanted sweet peas are finding good 'footholds' in the netting we placed behind it. Our cauliflower in the same bed is getting bigger...

Look what we found hiding! Yum! It's like a treasure hunt (Strawberry)

The fava beans are finally staked.
Leanna tying the fava beans

All neatly tied up!

Our harvest:
Strawberry! And leaves. Did you know you could eat strawberry leaves? Check out this blog here that talks about the healing properties of strawberry leaves.
Spinach, lettuce & strawberry leaves!
Mesclun, curly cress & arugula

Here's the updated garden map...

Friday, May 29, 2015

Flowers for pollinators

It was another full day. We were successful in receiving some grant money to put in a pollinator garden. So with some money in my pocket, I went out to buy a bunch of flowering plants!

Back row L to R: Phygelius 'Cape Fuchsia', Phlox subulata, Verbena bonariensis, Monarda "Petite Delight"                     Front row L to R: Allium triquetrum 'Wild garlic', Lavender, Agastache, Shasta Daisy, Comfrey, Sweet Peas 'Painted Ladies'

We interspersed these flowers as much as we could throughout the garden so there would be a continuous trail of flowers along the garden.

The sweet peas we had seeded earlier in the season didn't sprout so we transplanted the seedlings we bought in the same area
Sweet peas are in the back of the bed.

The Agastache (aka giant hyssop, licorice mint or anise mint, depending on the species) was transplanted with the other flowering plants in front of Bed 4. It's a fragrant plant that attracts pollinators.

The Shasta Daisies were transplanted behind our strawberry bed and the Monarda 'Petite Delight' joined its buddy the "Mint leaf bee balm", that we transplanted last week.
Shasta Daisies
Monarda "Petite Delight" with buddy, Monarda Fistulosa "Mint Leaf Beebalm"

The Phygelius and Verbena were transplanted at the south end of our garden in the flowering bed. Phygelius is an evergreen perennial that is a favourite of hummingbirds and bees. Verbena bonariensis is also a perennial and considered to be an important nectar source for butterflies.
Phygelius 'Cape Fuchsia'
Our lil' Verbena plant

The lavender went into the herb bed alongside some garlic chives.

We also did some harvesting today and planted more vegetables...

The Yu choi and Gai lan were going to seed so we decided to harvest it and free up the bed for planting other things.

Harvesting Yu Choi and Gai Lan

Yu choi and gai lan harvest

Remember the 'freak' sleet we had in the first week of May?? Well, this is what happened to our vegetables....
Not so pretty but still edible!
In place of the yu choi, we decided to plant the 3 sisters - Corn, squash and 'orca' beans.

Look at out pretty Orca beans!

The carrots were also poking out from the ground. These were last year's batch so we harvested them to make more room.

Did you know that you can eat carrot tops??

They're a bit on the furry side (* wink) but you don't have to feed your compost with can feed yourself!

You can use them in:
  • soups and stocks
  • stir-frys
  • make a pesto, etc....

One of our volunteers started some roma tomatoes and striped zucchini from home and brought these in today. We transplanted the 2 romas and zucchini in the same bed with a Red-striped Roma and Green Zebra tomatoes.

Here they are in Bed 1, one of our sunnier beds, on the north end of the garden.

At the end of the work day when we were packing, we were already noticing more pollinators and wildlife in our garden! I guess our kale flowers are doing its job! 
Look for it! There is a bee in the middle of this picture.

We have guests sitting on our bee condo! Do you see them?