The (Long Awaited) Garden Post

 So, I have been promising for quite a while now to do a post on my gardens.  Hmmm...I'm a slacker and I know it!  I guess I was spending too much time in the garden and not enough time blogging about it!!

Without further ado, here is the summer in review.  This year we decided to try Square Foot Gardening.  What a great concept!!!  We bought some composite board gardens from Costco.ca and went to town.  Hubby made the actual squares out of cedar strips, and we bought the trellis at Home Depot.  I think next year we'll get a second trellis, since the beans were really popular.

What did we plant?  What didn't we plant!  We wanted to try a bunch of different things to see what would 1- grow and 2- get eaten.  We got a late start on some things since we were in Edmonton with the Diva for 3 weeks at the beginning of growing season.  Hopefully we'll get a better start next year. 

Some of the more popular crops were the beans, peas, radishes, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, peppers and chili peppers.  What things will we not grow again?  Well, brussel sprouts weren't a hit, we didn't harvest the lettuce and spinach early enough, so we have to rethink those, and if we want to grow cucumbers again we have to plant them earlier.  Also, we need to find a better spot for the pumpkins and zucchini so they don't take over the garden again.  We also grew oregano, parsley and basil, and of the three, we used the most parsley (I made LOTS of parsley pesto!).

One of the most exciting things was seeing how happy the Diva was in the garden.  She was much more willing to try new veggies if they came from our own garden, and she really took interest in the idea of starting from a seed and ending up with something you can eat!  her favorites were by far the strawberries, radishes, and snap peas.  When she was potty training, she even started asking for peas instead of M&Ms as rewards!!!

What did we do with all of our crops?  Well, along with lots of "off the vine" snacking, we made zucchini muffins and had steamed zucchini and wax beans with several meals.  I was also able to make my own salsa with everything coming from our own garden!  As mentioned before, I made parsley pesto (the basil had caught something before I could use it), and I also made some jalapeno cornbread biscuits that were super yummy!!!!  It was so wonderful knowing that our food had no preservatives and was grown in our own backyard.  I don't know if it was mental or not, but I swear that my veggies tasted better than those from the store!!  Either way, every time I ate one of them, it put a smile on my face!!

I don't have a lot of photos of our side garden and the front garden, simply because I was so busy being proud of my veggies!  Here are a few photos I snapped early in the season out front.  Keep in mind that everything filled in quite a bit shortly after I took the photos.

I really wish that I had photos of my gladiolas in the backyard.  They were so pretty this year!  I bought more bulbs and I was sure to pull out this year's, so hopefully I'll have some nice blooms next year too. 

This year our gardens achieved "survivor" status in my book!!  We got lots of hail storms this summer, but thankfully the worst of them went around us.  What we did get shredded my sunflower, pumpkin and zucchini leaves.  Thankfully I didn't lose any actual plants because of the weather.  Here's a photo of the remnants of one of the crazier ones.

Earlier this week, the Diva and I decided to see if we could harvest some seeds from one of our giant sunflowers.  The birds planted the seeds from the bird feeder, and one of the heads was larger than a dinner plate!!!  That's the one we decided to pull the seeds from. 


Can you believe that all of those seeds came from one head??  I soaked them overnight in salt water and roasted them the next day.  Hubby loves them and the Diva had a blast harvesting them, so it was well worth the effort!!!

We had three flowers total that the birds planted, so we decided to use the other two heads and the leftovers from the big one and give them back to the birds.  As you can see, they seem to be enjoying them!!!

Now that we've had our first "kill frost", I have been busy cutting things back and preparing for snow.  We already got some flakes last weekend!!  It has warmed up a lot this week, but we all know that it won't last long.  Thankfully it has given me a few days of sunshine to work in.  maybe I'll even get a late season tan...heehee!!!

With that said, this is what the garden looks like now...


All of the veggies are pulled and all that remains are the ones I "hope" will return next year.  the soaker hose is buried now, the squares and trellis are gone (and hopefully will be water sealed before next spring), and the flowers are mostly cut back.  I did so much clipping that I filled my composter!!!

On today's agenda is filling lawn bags with the excess compostable stuff so we can bring it to the dump to be composted.  Then I have to scrub my bird baths and pots, and top off all of the gardens with soil.  Ahhh...it never ends, does it??

So there you have it...my garden.  It's nothing too exciting, but I love it.  Considering that we have a postage stamp sized lot, I am quite excited to have so much space that I call my own.  Next year we're going to plant more of what we ate this year, maybe get the Diva a sandbox, and try to add more flowers to the front and side gardens.  Every year we add and modify...change is good!!

Have a great weekend!!!

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