Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May's Garden Update and Two Children's Books for Spring

Yesterday the sun came out, and was the perfect day for getting the majority of our seeds planted.  I am always excited to get the garden going every spring.  This year I am planting a few new varieties of plants that I am eager to watch grow, and with the addition of two new raised beds, I  have a lot more space to experiment with!

This year I planted a new variety of corn, called On Deck Hybrid, it is supposed to grow well in large containers, I planted two of my large tubs with this corn, it would be nice to have a tiny corn crop. I plant corn every year just for the fun of seeing the corn stalks, but the planting is always too small to really produce anything, so we'll see how well this new variety does.  

We added soil amendments, and got three of the beds planted, the peppers were already planted, we added a bed of summer squash, a yellow, and green variety of zucchini.  We planted a whole bed of blue lake bush green beans, and half a bed of Purple Queen "green" beans.  I also planted a small corner of leeks next to the garlic, I have never grown leeks, and apparently they take quite some time, so we'll see how they do.

I am planning on putting in acorn squash, sugar pumpkins, and mini white pumpkins to one of the new beds, and the other new bed I will be planting in mid July for a fall crop of various greens.

The lettuce I planted last month is doing well, now that the rain returned, and the weather has cooled a bit.  We are all excited to make a pretty salad from this as well as topping sandwiches!

The peppers are going along slowly, I am hoping they take off this next week.

The herb garden is looking beautiful, the sage and thyme are blooming and buzzing with bees.

I love purple sage flowers.

Here is our Rosemary, I replanted it last year, as the old rosemary bush had gotten unruly, I put in a tiny little new rosemary plant, and it has already gotten quite large.

The potato bags I have been growing are doing very well, we have been adding dirt all week as the plants keep growing taller.  By next week I think the bags will be filled to the top, and then it will be time to wait for blossoms to see if we have grown any potatoes.

Here are four little pots, this year I have planted one with basil, one with purple basil, one with Black Spanish Radishes, and one with spring onions, in the center is a little pot of chives hanging on, it was blasted in our last little heat wave, but I think it is coming back nicely.

The blueberries are well underway, we had to replace a couple of our bushes this year, so we will have a slightly smaller crop as we wait for the new bushes to mature, but they are all doing well.

Here is a picture of the end of our Vegetable side garden, you can see we have a pine tree that is growing along side the gate.  It planted itself a few years back and we have always just let it grow because we thought it was pretty and also cool that it grew up from seed.  It is now quite large, and at some point we will have to do some vigorous pruning if we want to keep this beauty in our garden.

Some other self plated plants in the garden are these ferns that have grown in the vent wells at the base of the house, hubby doesn't like things growing too close to the house like this, and possibly damaging the siding, but since I love ferns so much, and missed them from my old forest garden, he has let them stay. :)

Look at the pretty fiddleheads growing, with the self planted pine tree and these ferns, I think a tiny bit of my old forest garden has followed me here, which makes me very happy!

The spring weather has been beautiful, I thought these wind wisped clouds looked very pretty.

Other springy blooms have popped up in the moss garden, all the Irish and Scottish Moss are blooming with their pretty little white flowers.

I love the vibrant colors of moss in the spring.

The birds have also been visiting the feeders non stop, it is mostly finch, goldfinch, and sparrows.  Yesterday I put out two suet cakes and today I heard quite a ruckus in the garden.  A whole band of starlings had decided to visit the feeders.

They were so noisy I had to go see what was up, they are a bit like a roving gang, all the little birds have decided to wait out their visit.  A flock of starlings is called a murmuration I just learned, and although they can seem a bit pesty at times, I still enjoy their visits.

There were quite a number of younger starling in the bunch, it was very interesting to listen to their different calls, and watch their behavior.  I took a short little video so you could hear their chatter a bit.  I have a feeling they will eat through the suet in one day, this year we have large groups of all the birds, I will definitely need to stock up on bird seed this year!

 Lastly I though I would share two of my favorite children's books, perfect for spring and inspiring one to garden.

The first book is The Happy Hedgehog by Marcus Pfister.  This is a story about a little hedgehog who loves his garden, and knows all the plants and their uses.  He spends his days minding his garden and relaxing in his garden.  One day his cranky old Grandpa Hedgehog visits and tells him that he should be out accomplishing more, so the little hedgehog, who thought he was happy, decides to go out and see what everyone else is doing.  Will he decide to change, or will he find out that he was happy in his own garden, and that his garden knowledge might be very useful after all.  This is a wonderful happy little story, and definitely speaks to the quiet gardener in me!  

The Happy Hedgehog seems to be out of print, but there are plenty of copies still available, you can read more about it through my Amazon link below.

The second book I would recommend for a little gardening inspiration is called Weslandia by Paul Fleischman.  Weslandia is about a boy named Wesley that just doesn't fit in with the other people in his town, he is picked on quite a bit, even his parents think he is a little weird!  Wesley likes to study, and was learning quite a bit about how each civilization in history had its own staple food crop.  He then is inspired to make a summer project of creating his own staple food crop, and founding his own civilization!  The book is full of beautiful illustrations that follow Wesley's summer project of creating his own garden, with his own amazing staple food crop, and forming his own civilization, and in the process making friends and changing his town.  I love this story every time I read it.  Perfect for this time of year, and very inspirational to start ones own summer gardening project!

Here is a link to Weslandia at Amazon.

I am looking forward to a nice summer in my garden!

Last night I read about the horrible devastation from the tornado in Oklahoma, the pictures have brought me to tears.  My heart and prayers sincerely go out to all of you who have been affected by this tragedy!


  1. Always amazed at how much you do with so little land, April! Everything looks so nice and orderly. Those books sound like they would be very good for the grandchildren. I'll have to check them out. Thanks for the recommendations!

  2. I did leeks last year and loved them so much I've doubled what I planted. They are really pretty and a few that were not harvested are up again and hoping they'll flower.

    The potato bags are interesting too.

  3. wonderful! Thank you for sharing at the hop xo

  4. WOW!!! Your garden looks amazing.
    Thanks so much for sharing at Tuesdays with a Twist. Hope to see you again this week!



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