Peepers, Blackflies and Gardening

Please remind me that one of the three reasons that we moved to Bear River was to be able to have a huge space to garden! It sounds so wonderful when you are thinking about it in winter, sitting in front of the wood stove with a hot cup of coffee, eating frozen summer blueberries and homemade yogurt.

Let the planting begin!

But the reality is hard physical work and a constant race to get everything planted at the right time.

After Jesse left to go back to his busy life in Toronto, I got his room ready for the next visitor (who would be Joe Murphy, blues musician who performed for our Mardi Gras…another story, for sure!)

This is our dryer.

Jesse planted snow peas with me when he visited and it was extra special when they emerged from the cool ground.

Let’s hope the deer don’t find these succulent seedlings.

I spent yesterday planting out the celery, leeks, onions, and bok choi. I’ve added a few more asparagus plants, blueberry bushes, a red currant, and several raspberries. I planted some seeds yesterday too – carrots, beets, spinach, lettuce and radish.

Tomato seedlings headed out to the cold frame to ‘harden off’.

I could barely stand today. My leg muscles are wondering what happened!
Thank goodness we have a roto-tiller because it has saved me so much time and effort.

A new path in the garden.

In between all of this we’ve been involved with 2 community fundraisers, finishing up the making and delivery of paintings and jewellery to art venues, trips to the printmaking studio in Church Point, workshops and now we are preparing for a short, but very sweet artist’s retreat.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain about the sore muscles. I know I’ll be thrilled when the garden is producing and when I am eating home-grown, home-made tomato sauce next February. In fact, we’ve expanded the garden in hopes that we can produce more of our own food this year. That has been our goal since we thought about leaving Toronto. Each year we learn a little bit more about how much to grow for our needs and how to care for the garden. The unpredictable variables like weather and insects add to the challenge.

We’ve finally had some decent spring rain which is good news / bad news because it produces both desirable plants /and dandelions and gout weed. 😉

And speaking of challenges, what about those blood-sucking black flies? They have come out with a vengeance in the last couple of days and although I wore my bug jacket, complete with covered face, the little monsters found that spot between the garden gloves and the end of my sleeves and I have two ‘bracelets’ of red, itching on my wrists today.
You can see them buzzing around in this video I took last night at the end of my planting frenzy. You can also hear the peepers (the mating call of frogs) who have been singing for a month now. This is the sound we hear at night through the bedroom window.

What I have left to plant are the warm weather crops…the tomatoes, beans and peppers. Just to be on the safe side, I’ll wait until the first week in June. That will be a good time for zucchini seeds and squash.

In the meantime, I’m cramming as many plants as I can into the cold frame. It’s my ‘halfway’ house.

This coldframe has survived about 6 moves in the garden, lost windows in a storm (replaced with plastic). But she is a trooper and is the perfect place right now for my pots of plants as well as a nice crop of spinach and bok choi.

I hope your garden days are going well!