Monday, May 31, 2010

Yikes- It is cold out there!

The weakest link in the garden is always the newly planted tender annual. Old perennials, such as the Gold Heart Bleeding Heart pictured here, has been in the garden for four years and even though it had snow and cold temperatures this weekend it is standing up just fine and in full bloom this morning.

Meanwhile the zucchini planted a week ago in a pot was covered with frost blanket during the cold spell and this morning it is showing cold temperature injury. Yikes! Yes- the frost blankets (sometimes sold under the trade name Reemay) do help with frost and the geraniums and other hardy annuals are just fine after the really cool spell after a cover up with the frost blanket but the tender annuals such as Begonias and yes - Zucchini- are showing signs of cold temperature injury. The leaves have collapsed as the cells burst and they will not bounce back. Instead, the crown of the plant looks alive and if I keep it covered over the next few days it will survive. Love Alberta in the spring!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Spuds Cut for Planting

Save money by cutting seed potatoes into pieces before planting. This gives you more plants from a single spud and a bigger potato harvest later on. Make sure each piece has an "eye" or a little growing point and leave cut potatoes on a sheet of newspaper overnight to dry a bit before planing.

Beasts & Blooms

I live downtown. On a busy street. So of course I was surprised to see a coyote posing beside a double flowering plum while I was out walking my dog this morning. Yes it is coyote season again and the young puppies and their parent's are hungry. All dogs on leash.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Reader Rock Garden a Bloomin' Beauty

So many things are in bloom at Reader Rock Garden in Calgary this week I had to post a few pics for all to enjoy. This is a free City of Calgary Park so feel free to take the train to the Erlton Station and pop across the street to see a full spring display. In bloom this week are Anemone vulgaris, Pushkinia spp., Arabis spp., Double Flowering plum, hepatica, squill and of course tulips.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Purple Passion-In bloom this week

The Double Bloodroot is fading now in Calgary but on it's heels the grape hyacinth is in bloom. This curious plant sprouts leaves in fall and they overwinter and then bloom in May. This is a wonderful small bulb to fill the garden in May - hardy in all climates and in bloom for two to three weeks depending on the weather. It is about 20 cm tall and tolerates an east exposure.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Seeding Beans, Planting Strawberries

Yes - I am on the coast again for a few days and the climate is perfect for planting beans, pruning tomatoes in my greenhouse and popping in some day neutral strawberries (Hecker- everbearing).

Seeded Renee’s classic slenderette bush beans in a square bed . Soil looks great. Broadcast whole package and poked in to the soil which is soft because that is where I dumped all the compost in February.

Am just about to dig over winter cover crop of peas and fall rye in the new beds along the fence. Too much to do and too little time to write.

PS Bought some white asparagus from Kathy Zipp- that gal is talented! Funny she did not mention the asparagus until I saw the row obviously covered....with a black tarp while of course my asparagus is up and bright green. After a few questions she admitted she had some in the fridge for her regular customers. Of course I begged for some.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cherry Blossom Season In Calgary

Finally- it is cherry blossom season in Calgary! Yes, cherries were in bloom in February during the winter Olympics. Cherry blossom season was big in Japan in April.

Nanking Cherries are the pale pink blossoms you will see around town just coming into bloom - they reach a height of 3 meters tall. Russian almonds are the short pink shrubs - usually kept at aboout 1 meter. Double flowering plums - featured here - are a darker, pinkier pink.

Enjoy - spring only lasts a few weeks in this city.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cut the Grass!

Yes - it is time. Time to cut back the ornamental grass such as this Karl Foerster seen at a neighbor's yesterday. These grasses look great all winter but they need to be cut back before they start growing. As you can see it is too late for that so cut it back right now!