Gardening 2018 #2: Garden Center Haul

2 weeks or so has past since the first Gardening 2018 post!

Time sure does fly by. I’ve been working hard on weeding and setting up the garden with what I have so far. There is still a ton of stuff to do but Victoria Day long weekend is the staple weekend where I go to the garden centre and pick up at least my first big haul! This year, I went back to Les Serres Jean-Francois Dauphinais.

This place is still one of my more favorite places to go to. I actually also made a quick stop over at Pepiniere Auclair.

Here’s a lovely mosaic of what I did pick up at the center as a starter and after, we’ll take a look at what I’ve planted and other garden updates as a follow-up from the last post.

Its the first year that my husband was fully awake to go to the garden centre with me and ended up leaving feeling like he enjoyed it. That is the difference of being on graveyard shift and normal shift (at least for him). It was a very different experience and he was a real champ and kept me company and helped me out a few times with the whole gardening thing. A different experience in some ways. This is definitely just the first batch and the two flowers are the only ones currently not planted in ground yet. We have a few little gardening clean-up areas left but my husband has been working on a few little things helping me open up some more of the garden this weekend as well.

Let’s take a look at how everything looks now!

First Part: Front Yard

The flower patch in the front yard definitely has grown a lot more since the last update. Amazing what two weeks could do. Crimson Star still doesn’t have any buds so I’m wondering if it will since its already much later than usual. The tulips are all blooming now and giving some beautiful colorful life to my front yard. Once these end, the yellow flowers in the back should bloom if things go well. Aside from that, it seems that my middle area is not coming back so I’m going to be moving something over that has been cramped up in a corner of the garden forever but I just never found a home for it. Update on that next time for sure!

Moving along, the Bleeding Hearts are looking spectacular. I’ll be posting some cool pictures of it over on Avenue of Daydreams over the next week or two. Its scheduled but I can’t remember when.

gardening

Honestly, this sad patch along the front facade of my house did get a nice trimming and yet again, I forgot to take a picture of it since the last time but the Dianthus seems to be coming back. This patch seems like its not having much perennials come back, however, as I walked around this week, I saw, what I believe is, the cone flowers coming back. Its the little leaves in the top right area. I remembered i had moved one there and it was shadowed by the hydrangeas but this year I trimmed the hydrageans so hopefully it’ll successfully come back.

Part 2: Strawberries & Raspberries

Enough said about this area. Its just growing out of control as usual. The strawberries are getting perkier and stronger every year. There are a lot of blossoms. Hopefully the bees are dropping by to pollinate it. As for the Raspberries, I’m trying to keep it under control but it sure looks like, its not exactly making much of a difference. I waited two weeks and already my lily is hidden in these raspberry shrubs already.

Part 3: Container Gardening

Marigolds

On with the container gardening! We are actually have quite a few of these this year despite saying that we’d have less. As usual, the planter for the ledge of the patio full of marigolds. Marigolds naturally repels mosquitoes so that is the purpose of them being at the edge. Talking about mosquito repellent, here is my mosquito repellent container.

Mosquito Repellent Container

Geranium Citronella, Lemongrass and Marigold makes up for my mosquito repellent container. I read somewhere that if you walk by the plant and brush your hands over it, it will help keep the bugs away. I did it on one arm and it didn’t get me but the other arm caught a mosquito bite. Even if its not effective, it still looks pretty nice. One of my prouder planting moments 🙂

Basil, Curled Parsley

A little change here as well. Usually I get a few herbs and plant them in a container garden. This year, we got the lavender that went into the ground right away (at least I chose to do that), leaving these two so I put them into a smaller pot. I’m hoping there’s enough space but the strong one will survive, right? It’ll make it out! *positive thoughts*

lettuce lettuce

Others may hang flowers in their hanging pots but since 2 years ago, we’ve been planting lettuce in hanging pots and let me tell you, they are quite successful usually. This year, we are changing it up and putting 2 lettuces instead of three. Three always ends up one being scrawny and sad so hopefully two will work out for the better. With that said, the lettuce this year was slightly weak and when I was taking them out, two broke off from their roots. I’m currently trying to revive them in water to hopefully sprout back some roots but don’t know if it will work.

As you can see, lettuce and cucumbers are dominant in the garden this year. With limited garden space as the expansion is still in progress, we are doing two cucumbers in containers this year and I did some companion planting research and paired them up with lettuce. Kale makes no difference so I just put it in since they don’t take a lot of space and we harvest them fairly quickly as we like to make kale chips and cook it.

The final two are just individual kale and my variety of lettuce containers. The highlight here is that I’ve rigged the top one with a watering system. To be honest, I don’t think the system works as well. The water goes down a little too fast for it to be useful. The wine bottle method in the bottom is definitely still doing the trick. I’m going to compare the two and see at the end of the season, which works better. Who knows before we observe for a little while longer.

Part 4: Vegetable Garden

echinacea

The echinacea is back! I’m really happy about that. I did lose one of them but at least one came back so I’m already fairly satisfied with it.

We put up the same fence as we had last year. Its to prevent bunny attacks on my lettuce. This part is the general informal entrance of my patch since you pretty much need to straddle the front trellis to get in. Its not tall but can still be hard to do. As you can see, my blueberries are growing well enough. The green onions are bursting with harvest and there in the middle is a cucumber plant. We needed to keep them near the mesh side and I’ll be getting a trellis to link it to the side.

Continuing to the other side and the full extension. The far left is all herbs. Lemon Mint and Oregano came back and in the center, I planted the Lavender. As for the rows, The first row is Marketmore cucumbers and Kale. The reason for this is to swap things around. I’ve planted zucchini in the front for a few years and its normal to change things around to help the soil replenish nutrients. Second row is all the Bok Choy. And the final row is English Cucumbers and Zucchini.

Part 5: Water Lily/Water Garden Debut

Water Lilies

Water Lilies

What can I say? I grew up with a pond in my backyard. Water gardens remind me of my dad. A part of me has always wanted a water garden so I made the effort to get a water lily and try to make it grow especially after my mom gave us these giant clay pots last year which was my dad’s. The water lilies was pretty pricey but I believe if you put them under soil over winter, its supposed to make it through every year. My mom is the expert on that so I’ll get more info from her soon.

And that’s it for the garden!
We have an idea of opening up a few more patches so my husband has been helping me a ton with that!
He makes the progress go a lot faster especially when opposite from my scattered mind of wanting to do everything at the same time, he actually focuses on one task.

Still some research! I’ll update with the flowers being planted in ground.
I just want to make sure that I open a big enough plot so that I can see the Clematis and it will give it the best chance of survival and blossom.
And a few moving plants about the garden coming up and pruning of a few trees.

Seems that this Gardening thing will be a biweekly deal as it currently stands.
I’m just a beginner gardener so its a journey all on its own.

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My Weekly Adventures #49

The most grueling two weeks may have just passed by. Not a whole lot to report about as most of it is personal stuff that is just homeowner stuff that has been lingering on our minds. Its definitely affected my energy and motivation to keep things going on track here. For that, I’m really sorry. However, there are a ton of other fantastic bloggers here so I’m sure you will not be bored even with my sporadic posting schedule.

This Weekly Adventures will most likely be fairly short. I’ve reported on mostly everything already in other posts.

Battle of Ingredients: Hiatus Over

Our Summer BBQ Edition is the comeback piece for our Battle of Ingredients segment. It was a lot of fun to switch things up. We went to another location than my place and had a BBQ. It was nice to hang out with everyone after two months hiatus while everyone was busy with their own things.

You can read the entire menu and post here.

Water Park with Friends

Super Aqua Club

Super Aqua Club

Last weekend, I also went to a water park with my girl friends. It is a little late in the season to go and it was a tad chilly, particularly in the morning. Our destination this year was to Super Aqua Club which is one of the closer water parks to Montreal. We have our eye on another one for next year. It would be cool to do this on an annual thing. Its a lot of fun and sometimes does test my limits but adrenaline rushes can be quite awesome. Sitting in the sun was really nice to and I love water as it keeps me calm and clears my mind. I got out of the weekend with just a tiny sunburn on my back where I couldn’t reach to put the sunscreen but it was so mild that it was gone in like 2 days or something.

Garden Update

In terms of the garden, the cool weather hitting us a little earlier is definitely not helping the harvests however we still harvested some cucumbers and lots of raspberries are still ripening along with ground cherries as well. The zucchini is pretty much dead. Its the long weekend here so I’ll be heading out to the garden to move some things around and hopefully get some of the herbs in ground so they’ll come back next year. Ground cherry might have to move as well as it has gotten way too big and it spreads.

A few projects to go for this one.

Cute Kitty Pic

Upcoming:

  • Restaurants recap
  • Double Features
  • TV Binges
  • Dreamhack Montreal coverage

Oh and I also settled on my Halloween marathon! That’s pretty exciting! 🙂

That’s it for this Weekly Adventures!
Not a whole lot to talk about! Hopefully the home issues will be taken care of soon.
In the meantime, sorry for any sporadic posting schedules. I’m trying my absolute best to get the energy level back up!

Its the long weekend. I’m taking some time to catch up with everything! Yay! 🙂

Gardening Update #5: Harvests and Other Thoughts

Its been almost a month since the last gardening update. I honestly just got back to do another grass and weed clearing session and it went relatively fast. I’m still frustrated that it seems to be a problem that won’t go away but I am hoping with enough frequent clearings, I will beat this.

Over July, we had more sun and more rain and last week, we had a huge thunderstorm. It was really a mix of both good and bad weather however, it might have been to my advantage. The rain helped me out a lot so I didnt have to worry about watering too much and still we got a ton of harvests. Last time we talked raspberries and they were still the star of July.

Latest update as of a few days ago…

Pineapple Sage has grown up!


If you recall, the last storm knocked out my entire pineapple sage except for a little baby stem. Well, its not a baby anymore and yet again proves what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Eggplant


This eggplant has been growing forever. I am about to harvest it. I really don’t think it will get bigger for the container grown eggplant. Hopefully, we will get another one before the end of the season.

Cucumbers & Zucchini


Zucchinis doing well is almost always a guarantee. My three are doing great. We have harvested two zucchinis so far and three more in the garden.


As for cucumbers, we were a little worried about the in ground ones. It seems that all it needed was time. In fact, it has surpassed the container cucumber and we have had harvests already.

cucumbers

Container Cucumber seems to be doing okay, I guess. I mean, there is this one right now and it looks like we have a few growing right now as well.

Zucchini and Cucumbers

Fresh from the garden yesterday are three cucumbers and one zucchini! We’re set for dinner tonight. 🙂

Ground Cherries are a Success!!

ground cherry

It only looks like foliage on the picture. I should have taken a closer shot. Either way, you can see the harvest below. And we still have a lot on the branches.

Actually this is only part of the batch. At this time, I had already given some to my mom. I’m thinking about making some fun dessert with it although I don’t mind eating these just like that. They are more tart but I enjoy them.

Gardening Thoughts

Thought #1: In terms of gardening, I’ve seemed to have found a good system between container and in ground vegetable and fruit areas. As time goes by, I see that only a section of the vegetable garden will be annual replants. Right now, already there is mint on one end and ground cherries and blueberries along with green onions on the other side which are perennial. I’m slightly worried about the blueberry plants right now because the area should expand however, I’m not quite sure how because the other part is just a grass area now and I use it to put my hose. Maybe I’ll just turn it into tiled grounds to make it easier to put stuff and add more containers there since it gets a lot more sun there. Some research to be done there. My parents had tiled their walkway one year by themselves so I think with the right research and buying stuff myself, I can take care of that small patch of land myself. If not, I’ll hunker down and turn it into a perennial garden or something filled with medicinal plants or herbs. Something to match with the edible garden that is going on right now.

Thought #2: I had wanted to recycle one of the pickup truck tops left by the previous owners and turn it into a flower garden. It would help minimize the weeds in that area since that area really would be near impossible to get it weed-free. Plus, I wanted to plant in some annual flower gardens, targeted mostly towards being a bee and butterfly garden with bee baths and different assortment of flowers appealing to them. I’m excited to get that going. Right now, I’m just waiting for my husband to have a moment to drag out the thing from behind the shed. Its pretty heavy and lots of obstacles to do by myself. Then I can get the soil bought and get cracking on it. I probably won’t start on it this year but I would like to have it set up before the season ends.

Thought #3: This thought has been on my mind ever since the first summer we’ve had the house. Its an ambitious plan and one I haven’t felt like I have the time or abilities to put together yet. However, this summer, one of the houses that I walk by when I get off the bus had done that by themselves. They have it on half of my scale. The idea is that I have a slope on my garden and I want to turn that into a landscape thing. Get some boulders or larger rocks, buy some shade and partial sun required flowers and get a nice landscape going on. Before all that, the most painful part will be getting all the grass out. I’ve been researching here and there on this and its a whole idea of conceptualizing what to plant as well as what to keep and what to remove.

That’s it for this gardening update!
How are your gardens going? Any harvests?

My Weekly Adventures [on hold]: The Ugliness of Being Sick

This week is all about being calm and quiet.  My mind not so much but activities, yes.  Trust me, its a good thing. With a breakdown (physical or mental) feeling like its looming in the background earlier in the week, I tried to take it easy and find some routine back in life so that I can avoid it. But, the title already says it all…I lost that battle in a really really bad way eventually…

Still, lets take a look at this week.

1) Running Update: Week 3

Nike Running App

The rain, my friends! Its been my absolute enemy.  I used to do dragonboat so drizzle, I could work with but its just been downpours. I ended up doing my Tuesday run around my house.  Like I literally ran up and down the stairs then circles around the dining table and my den and my bed then back and forth in the basement, etc then repeat. I was jogging doing chores with one hand because I needed to have the Running App track my movement with the other hand.  It was crazy and I probably looked ridiculous but it was done in the end.

The second thing I’m learning (again) is commitment.  Training is a choice and a dedication.  One that means you trade off certain things and rearrange life to do this because it means something. Just like any goal, right? So with that said, despite the stupid migraine plaguing me on Friday and I eventually just took the night off after starting to feel a little sick.  I actually felt better on Saturday and went for my run, which turned out to be a huge mistake.  You’ll see… especially since I managed to go do groceries and run a few errands before realizing my body was not too happy.

2) Updating the Appearance

I’ve talked about this for two years at least.  My stuff on the side bar was from 2013! 2013!!!! Can you believe that? That’s when I started losing touch with blogging a little but this week, I sat down and took care of it.  Change the header picture last week and then updated a few things and rearranged stuff around.  Now it’s better! I’m not changing the theme since I just changed it last year or something. I’m happy with where this is all going. My indexes are all back up to date and will be updated on a weekly basis as promised and trust me, that Disney baking project! I’ll get that Snow White recipe done! 🙂 I literally have all the ingredients and even a little more for a little baking extra (once my energy level increases).

3) Garden Update

There was a lot of rain in the past week.  I mean, a lot.  So, the good part was my garden was so alive.  Everything grew like crazy.

Gardening

Lettuce after all the rain

Gardening

Cucumber Plant

Gardening

Ground Cherry

We’re starting to harvest the lettuce and its delicious. Both the iceberg and romaine are awesome.  The cucumber plant is having some flowers now so its all good.  And the ground cherries are looking lovely.  My issue is that last year, we had that but it never ripened before it fell.  So I’m hoping to figure out why that happens and fix it.

4) A Little Visitor (who could be my strawberry eater)

Garden

Can you see it?

I went out for a little bit of fresh air and to catch some pics for the garden update.  And who knew that I turned around to look at the mess of moving over a plant to free up space for my raspberry eventually and something brown moved around in my peripheral vision, kind of. Its a little bunny.  I have neighborhood rabbits.  I know that because they hang out right in my garden here.  I’ve been suspecting the rabbits are the ones responsible for eating ALL of my strawberries but I guess I can’t get angry when its a cute little one like that…

5) Being Sick with the Not So Forgotten Gastroentritis

Being sick sucks.  We can all agree with that. Its been a while I haven’t had gastro not to mention one that took a billion years to build up to the actual symptoms resulting in my taking a day off work today (as I write this after sleeping and lounging around the entire day). It has not been easy.  From migraines to realizing I had a minor fever on Saturday and having slept 12 hours but still lasted into Sunday and then the fever tapering off and my date with the bathroom began for hours.  It was memorable and painful and I just couldn’t work up the energy to go to work nor did I want to pass on whatever bug I had to my coworkers because I’m not that evil. Its taken me a whole day with some congee, a good amount of warm water, sitting around lounging in bed and watching Netflix and wondering if it was actually over.

As I write this up, I’m rebuilding my energy and my health because gastro is ridiculously damaging especially since I already have the underlying IBS so my digestive system is already bad.  Either way, I don’t know how regular my posts will be this week.  I have the content.  I just need to write it and that takes energy that I’m not sure I have right now.  So I apologize if things are a little slower here this week.  Bear with me as I work hard to recover.  Perhaps, I’ll take this opportunity to write about vacation since that takes a whole lot less time than reviews.

Upcoming:

  • Orange is the New Black Season 3 TV Binge
  • The Fault in Our Stars Book Review
  • Day in Seattle Vacation posts

That’s it for this weekly adventures! Stay Healthy!! 🙂