Friday, 27 May 2011

Introduction To My Garden

Most people's garden are comprising of a little piece of tilled dirt to plant vegetables in located in the backyard, with a flower garden in the front. Pretty, well placed and plain! I feel I have an one of a kind backyard. When my husband and I bought our house in the summer of 2009, we didn't really pay attention to the backyard. We saw it had a pond and a mulched area but that was the extent of our investigation. Our house as a steal of a deal, and the backyard was the icing on the cake.

To start off with, the first plant we discovered was a grape vine! Yup, I have grapes in my backyard. Great for making jellies and juice with. We also found strawberries and raspberries right beside it. The next summer, I discovered Manitoban cranberries, saskatoons and nanking cherries. The most prolific plant in the garden was chives. Chives never ending, more than I would and will ever need to use. But let me tell you, omelettes just don't taste the same unless there is a sprinkling of chives. (On the note of chives, yesterday I inherited a garlic chive. I'm excited to see how the flavour stands up to garlic.) Beside the chives, I found wild mint and lavender. My grandmother-in-law (who, I might add, is one of the most fantastic ladies I have ever met) told me to keep an eye out on those mint plants. They will take over your yard if you let them. She also said she was surprised lavender was growing because lavender isn't zoned for this climate. And yet, I had two plants of it (Sadly, one died over the winter. May it rest in peace.) At the back of the garden I have many, many wild roses. Many people don't know that rose hips are chalk full of vitamin C, and can be used to make rose hip jelly or dried for tea. And way over yonder, in the far back corner of my garden was a lonely rhubarb plant. Now, as my front yard is facing north, I don't have many plants growing there. But, late last summer, I saw a camomile plant struggling for life. I'm still unsure if it will return, but it was a nice surprise. One interesting lesson I learned last year was that if you are lazy and forget to pull all the bulbs of green onions out of your garden in the fall, they will overwinter, springing to life at the first hint of spring. Hence why they are also called spring onions. It's only been a month, but I've already had to split them. Now the plants I have all listed are my perennials, which means I still have my annuals to cover. I am trying my hardest to use my yard to the fullest, growing as much as I can to ensure that my husband and I will be supported during the winter months in terms of vegetables. So far, I have planted 5 rows of carrots, 10 potatoes, 4 shallots, rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano. I have 12 roma tomato plants, 6 red peppers, 2 butternut squashes and a pumpkin plant waiting for the cold weather to pass before I plant them. I also have bush beans to be planted, and I am thinking of planting large bulb onions. Another plant I consider to be included is my mom's apple tree. Now my mom lives one and a half hours away, but she shares her apples with me, and I love them! (And her!) In future posts, I will be covering planting, care, harvesting and uses of all the plants mentioned.
Oh yes, and as mentioned, I have a pond! I also have a frog right now that is living in it. One day I hope to put fish in there. But for now, the frog will suffice. Birds love it (they come and bath in it) and one time we had a raccoon come for a visit!

Happy Homesteading!

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