Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spring has finally Sprung

It's been so long I don't even know where to start.  How about with a big thank you to those of you who have stopped by and left a comment to encourage me to come back to writing.  I missed you too!  This winter was the longest and snowiest we have experienced since moving to PEI.  I shoveled, then shoveled some more, did my school work, and split firewood.  All by myself.

I saw this view many times this winter
I haven't mentioned that Jody was away in British Columbia for 3 months working.  Only just returning a couple weeks ago.  At the time he decided to leave we did not anticipate how bad the winter would get.

I wouldn't want to take care of this house by myself on a permanent basis but the good news is I managed just fine for a couple months.  A lengthy vacation home to BC helped too.  I walked away from the constant storms and stepped off the plane to this.


I can't tell you how relieved I was to see my husband and green grass all at the same time.  Vancouver is about two months ahead of PEI when it comes to spring.

I made good use of my time in Vancouver ....  shopping, eating and..... looking at flowers... of course!  A day was spent at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens.  I stopped by various community gardens, shopped for seeds and plants and took copious amounts of photos.  But that will be another post.

When I finally did come home the snow had almost completely disappeared.  There was grass.  It was brown but still .....  I could SEE the grass in my lawn for the first time in months...  and there was work to be done.

I immediately set to work planting seeds.  I was several weeks behind schedule due to my vacation so there was no time to lose.

The dining table looked like this for a few weeks
Tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, pumpkins, and zucchini all had to be seeded.  I cut back a bit on my seeding this year since I was so late starting but regardless I still managed to plant 9 varieties of tomatoes.  I met the most fabulous man in December at a seed swap and he had HUNDREDS of tomato varieties to trade.  So really, planting 9 varieties was quite restrained of me.

After the seeding I went directly to the great outdoors.  I surveyed the damage.  Lots of chewed and broken branches from heavy snows and voles.  In retaliation I planted trees.  Hemlock, larch, spruce, birch and ... a magnolia!  While we were in Vancouver THIS caught my attention.


So very pretty, and yellow.

Jody took note and brought me home a Yellow Bird magnolia from a local nursery.  Of course now I'm planning a whole new bed around this tree.  More work to come!

After the trees came the vegetable garden.  Currently I'm still working away on getting the beds ready but I did manage to get my spring veggies in.  Claytonia, arugula, mustard, lettuce, garlic, spinach and kale don't mind some chilly temperatures and it means we'll have spring salads in no time at all. 

One half of this veggie plot is dug over but there's a lot more to do yet...
The flower garden is the biggest chore to tackle this year.  After 3?  4? years the flower garden is still not complete.  At least a quarter of the space is completely covered in weeds.  I swear, this is the year I completely dig over and plant up that garden.  You have that in writing.

This flower bed may be my undoing ....
I have started work cutting back last years perennials and digging weeds.  Making discoveries along the way.  The lamb's ear has grown so large the center has died out.  However, the sweet woodruff has decided it will happily take it's place.

Look to the left and you can see sweet woodruff growing under and around the stump

While some areas of this garden haven't been planted at all, the plants in other spots have grown too large.  As I clean up the debris I'm also dividing.  That's a good thing as the Canoe Cove Plant Sale is coming up quick on Saturday, May 31, 2014.  We need all the plants we can get.  If you're local and reading this, please consider donating any extra perennials you might have.  Plants can be brought to Inman Park in Canoe Cove on Friday, May 30 at 6pm.  All proceeds from the sale go toward maintaining the Canoe Cove Schoolhouse.

A sample of the plants I have dug for the sale so far 
For those of you wanting to attend the plant sale we have already bagged a trailer full of mushroom compost for you.  There will also be manure, the canteen will be open serving coffee and baked goodies, there's a raffle and of course, plants!

In short, I'm a busy bee these days.  There's much more to catch up on and I hope to get back into blogging as much as I can throughout the summer.  I have taken a semester off school and have until September to garden to my heart's content.  Hope everyone is well and I will attempt to visit you at your blogs soon.  Until then, happy gardening!

28 comments:

  1. Oh, my, Marguerite, I can't imagine keeping up with all that snow all by yourself--well-done! How nice it must have been to come back from vacation and see the grass and beginnings of spring. The yellow magnolia is beautiful! We're at least a month ahead of you here, but I'm behind, too; I don't think a garden is ever "finished." Enjoy your summer off from school!

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    1. Rose, it was amazing to come back from vacation and have the snow almost completely gone. Almost felt like a miracle at the time. I was bracing myself to see yet more white stuff. Now I'm amazed at how quickly we went from brown to green.

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  2. What a wonderful catch up!! You answered a lot of questions I had in my mind to ask you and never sat down to write properly. So fantastic..and that Yellow magnolia....beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Brenda. I'll head over to your blog pronto. Curious to see what you've been up to. Seems ages since we last spoke. That magnolia was total extravagance - couldn't believe Jody put out the money for that but I love it.

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    2. like the L'Oreal ad, you are surely worth it. Love that buttery yellow, and so glad to see you back, and in your garden. Quite a mission to sort snow and wood alone in the deep mid-winter.

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    3. LOL, you're sweet Diana. The yellow really is quite soft. Such a lovely addition. Definitely was hard work keeping the place clear of snow and warm enough. Amazing how much time it eats up during a day. I'm quite glad to be done of it for another year.

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  3. Good to hear from you! Enjoy your summer of gardening! :)

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    1. Thanks Kim! can't wait to play catch up and see how you've been managing with all the critters.

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  4. Welcome back!
    So nice to have the time off to garden and enjoy hopefully a beautiful Summer.
    Love the new Magnolia tree.

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    1. Thank you! nice to see you too. It's been an absolute joy to spend unlimited time in the garden. Bring on the summer!

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  5. Welcome back.
    I am a new follower - Carla from The River.
    http://theriverflowing.blogspot.com/

    Enjoy gardening! I am looking forward to seeing all you do. :-)

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    1. Hi Carla, thanks for following along! I'll head on over and check out your blog shortly.

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  6. Blue skies at last, plus no snow ! It must be bliss ! I really can't believe how long and severe your winter has been. Bet everything is growing like crazy now to catch up !

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    1. It really is bliss Jane! When spring hits here it really hits. So much growth happens so quickly. Makes it difficult to get everything done though before it gets too hot.

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  7. You have been a busy bee! Hope the black flies aren't too too bad. I've never seen a yellow magnolia tree before - it's gorgeous! Welcome back Margeurite and I'm hoping for a long sunny warm summer - well, we can dream can't we??

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    1. We're lucky here, no black flies whatsoever. Just the skitters. I think this was my first time seeing a yellow magnolia. I knew they existed but I was really excited to see one. Even more excited when Jody decided to buy one! I have my fingers crossed for a good summer but we're off to a rough start. Temperatures have been downright frigid this week.

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  8. Marguerite girl ! I am so happy for you to have had a vacation back in BC! .. you have been through some very hard work during that blasted winter we have had .. and it looks like you are working even harder trying to get the veggi and flower beds sorted .. wish I lived closer and could swap some plants for you .. in the mean time take it easy and don't wreck yourself while having fun ? LOL
    Joy : ) PS ... I have never seen a yellow magnolia before !!

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    1. hello Joy! how are you?!? talk about making a wreck of myself.. LOL... My back and legs have been soo sore!! gardening is a sure reminder of how out of shape I am. There's no time to lose though - soon it will be too hot to dig.

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  9. I knew you'd be back once the snow melted! It's so good to read you again. :o) I'd throw some phlox painiculata in that flower bed. It will fill in and be fabulous, as will campanula. So glad you bought the yellow magnolia. I had no idea they grew that far north!

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    1. Hi Tammy! good to see you. thanks for the kind words. Not all magnolias are hardy here. Yellow Bird opens up later than other magnolias so it's a good choice for us as it's less likely to get hit by frost. Even so they need some extra protection. I'm planting several yew trees close by to act as a windbreak.

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  10. Hi Marguerite, lovely to have you back, I thought of you a few weeks ago when we took the kayaks out for the first time in the year. No wonder you escaped to Vancouver, that snow, so pretty from a distance, must be exhausting to deal with. Very modest on the tomato front, I too have managed a little restraint and am down to 7. Good luck with your flower border!

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    1. Kayaking already! what bliss. Sounds like you are really enjoying your new home to the fullest extent. The flower garden is off to a good start but I'm realizing I'm short on plants! haha, great excuse to visit the closest nursery...

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  11. I missed your posts. You were very brave to spend 3 months on your own in such a terrible winter. I am glad that you got home for a visit. It must have been such nice change of pace to walk away from winter for a short while.
    How nice of Jody to return with a yellow magnolia! I saw one in a local garden just yesterday and it was just beautiful. I can relate to the problems with weeds. For some reason I have a million baby maple trees this year. Have fun doing your seed planting!

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    1. Jennifer, had I known at the start it would be 3 months and just how bad this winter was going to be .... not sure I would have agreed to it. It's done though and I was terribly happy to visit home once again. I've missed your posts too and can't wait to get back to reading regularly! a million maples.. that sounds kinda nice actually. I wish I had some maple seedlings - would happily trade my dandelions for a few of those.

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  12. Marguerite, This winter surely made us all appreciate spring all the more. One of my plans for living full time in Maine is to go away for a couple weeks in late winter each year to some place where it is already spring and come back when the snow is finally gone! Your BC trip is a great model of what I have in mind.
    The year I was without power for 10 days in January because of a big ice storm, I remember thinking, "Now I understand why no one lived alone in the 19th century."
    Enjoy the gardening season; you've earned it! -Jean

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    1. Jean, I couldn't have timed my trip better. There was a big storm 2 days before I left and I thought - I just can't take this anymore! Coming home to no snow was the best thing ever. I'm very thankful I live in a small close knit community. My neighbour plows my driveway in winter and other people phoned to check in and have me for dinner. It made me a lot more comfortable knowing there were people close by to call for help if I needed it.

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  13. Marguerite, I totally get your joy at seeing grass! I bet now it looks like winter never visited (overstayed) at all. Things are coming up slowly here and the Mosquitos arrived before the flowers, but stii, there is joy in my heart. Welcome gardening season!! :)

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    1. do I hear you on the mosquitos!! it's just not fair. Finally nice enough to get outside and there's clouds of biting bugs nipping at my ankles. ah well, I'll still take it :)

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