Sunday, April 26, 2015


In less than a month we will be going to our Ontario cottage again and I have not even posted about what we saw there last year, other than a look at how I redid the 'garden-on-the-lake'!

Last year we had trees cut down that will allow more light to this garden.
The Forget-me-nots & native Columbine blooming in this photo will be followed by hardy Geranium & Oriental Lilies in  summer.

By September it was clear that the transplanted native Asters from last year's test were doing well  and so I harvested and transplanted two dozen more from the side of the road.
My vision: late summer 'purple haze'.

 Admittedly it feels a bit odd raking the rocks sometimes, but it is well worth it to uncover the dry creek bed each spring. Every spring I am committed to adding a few more ferns, thickening the 'fern hedge' running along the far side of the creek bed.

Would you guess that I have planted every one of those ferns, or does it just feel natural? My goal is the latter in case that is not clear.

Ideally guests do not even notice that the ferns happen to cluster around focal points like the creek bed and that they naturally trend to grow alongside the path.

The daylily/fern combination has recovered from the last time we saw them, freshly transplanted and looking rather bedraggled. I can be confident they will fill in as planned, a perfect no-maintenance solution, but unless our renters help by snapping some photos I will never know how well the daylilies bloom under there, if at all!


Sunday, April 19, 2015


Recently Gardens Manitoba held "Gardening Saturday" to kick off gardening season here in Winnipeg (and by gardening season I mean starting seeds indoors or trimming tree branches outdoors but certainly not planting anything for at least another month up here in zone 3).

The more interesting of the two speaker's I attended was Getty Stewart who inspired me to buy her cookbook, which I swore I would never do once I got used to getting my recipes from sites like

There is however much more to the book than recipes including tips on harvesting, storing, dehydrating and preserving.

In fact is has given me so much confidence that I will be able to make use of their fruit in delicious and healthy ways that I have gone out and bought two new fruit trees today for the back yard.

 On the left an espaliered apple tree with four different kinds of apples grafted to the stem, and on the right a similarly unusual pear.
(Apple / pear pie - yum!)

The session got me to realize that while I am not a vegetable grower I have in fact invested in quite a bit in fruit production: grapes, cherries, Saskatoon berries, blueberries, and now adding pears and apples plus I will add some rhubarb and more Saskatoons this year.

Luckily I will have time to prepare since it should be a few years before full fruit production for most of them - I may need it to learn all about pectins!