Monday, September 10, 2012

Things I Am Working On…

September feels like it is almost gone already (OK, maybe I’m being a little overly dramatic, it is only the 10th after all!) and I was just pondering what I have to show for the month so far…

Essentially, all of my “project” time has been spent working outside – the front and back yards are getting LOADS of attention this month in preparation for autumn and winter and, of course, for spring to follow!! I have cleaned up the front garden bed significantly – cut back the other rhododendron in a great big way – like I did to the other one. I also dug out a peony and some lilies (and a couple of irises) and gave them to a friend of mine to add to her garden space.

Moved the Clematis
I spent a couple of odd days digging out around the damn sumac tree stump and pulling out as much in the way of roots as I was able to. Space blocked off, I seeded some grass and replanted the roses at the end of that part of the flower bed and filled in the rest of the dirt around the stump.  I will be digging the stump back out again, but that’s because my Dad (who was up today with my Mum) is going to come back up in a couple of weeks’ time with his chainsaw and, provided I have a clear enough area for him to cut through, he’s going to help me get the sumac stump out once in for all.

Sumac Stump Removal - Part I
One of Three Wheelbarrow Loads
of Sumac Roots
YAY – no more sumac!!

As mentioned above, Mum and Dad came up for the afternoon and after a gorgeous lunch at a new place here in Cumberland (Mar’s on Main) we came back and did a little bit of stuff in the back yard together.  Dad dug out a fir stump for me and Mum and I harvested my pears – which were ready to come off the tree – they are now laid out on my freezer – it’ll take a couple of days for them to ripen and I’m going to need to get my hands on more canning supplies so that I can process them (I have jars and snap lids set aside, I just really need the canning pot, rack and hand-held tools to make things “simple” before I head off to Vancouver next weekend for training!

After Mum & Dad headed home I went back out into the back yard and dug up some of the flower beds I will be converting over to vegetable beds.  I moved a couple of the peonies out to the front yard as well as a few of the lilies that were bunched up in the back garden bed. When I was talking with my folks, I got great suggestions on what parts of the yard (and how) to convert over to vegetable space and so I decided to get myself moving with some of that.  Mum has given me a couple of heads of garlic for planting and so the beds I have started converting over will house the garlic – which I will be trying to get into the ground next Sunday before I head out of town for training for a week.

I’m thinking that through the winter and spring I may also try my hand at starting seeds inside the house with an aim to have things ready to plant when the weather warms up sufficiently to get them into the soil come spring/summer. I know I will need to start communicating with people up here who garden so that I know “when” to plant “what” but I’m thinking about things like (Oh God, here she goes with a list!)
·        Onions
·        Tomatoes
·        Cucumber / Zucchini
·        Green Beans (and OOH – wait until you hear the idea my Mum has for them!!)
·        Snow and sugar peas (along the wire of the fence that I will be putting up to protect the garden from Jasmine)
·        Rhubarb (already established)
·        Celeriac (also already established)
·        Jerusalem Artichokes (ditto on the establishment)

I’m not certain if I will try corn, but eventually I will also want to put in some raspberry canes and some blueberry bushes as well.

Green beans – you will LOVE this idea!  OK, so the green beans I will be growing need to have something to climb… I can’t remember the specific type, but when ready to harvest, usually the problem (especially with a very tall something for them to climb) is getting to the ripe beans. Get this: We’re going to move the green arched trellis from where it is over to the side of the patio – it will eventually become the arch-way for a gate into and out of the garden – but the trellis is PERFECT for growing beans on – how utterly cool is that!!!!

My pear tree was a total winner with the fruit production this year – I got a full freezer-top full of pears and am guessing I will likely get 18 or so jars of pears out of them.

All in all, September is looking like a damn productive month for me!

Alright, time for a hot bath (I have to admit, I’m a little achy with the shovelling and mattock-ing I did this weekend) a cup of tea and a good book…

With love across the waters,