30 April 2007

Big Gardening Project(s)

The big gardening project for 2007 is currently underway. Did I say project? I think I really mean projects. Add a big old 's' to pluralize that 'cause there is definitely more than one underway.

Since the waterproofing of the house, in reality, the whole landscaping around the house has become one big project. And, the garden is a largest part of it.

The tomatoes are under a grow light in the basement and they're doing pretty well. I'm looking forward to eating them, as are my kids. Wifey, on the other hand, is determined to give them all away. I had to tell her yesterday to stop offering up my black tomatoes. If I were to give away all the plants she'd promised, we'd be in a trade deficit.

It's not that we don't have plenty to share. We do. It's just that it's my job to give them away. Not hers.

Tomato grow op

Some are flourishing more than others. This just popped up today. I'm going to have to find out what the markings on the tomato leaves mean. Any thoughts?

unhealthy tomato

I've also got a compare and contrast growing note. Here is the basil under the grow lights. I don't think it's actually grown at all in the past two weeks (unlike the tomatoes).

grow light basil

This is the basil that I left in the kitchen window sill. It's flourishing, other than it is a wee bit leggy, in the southern sunlight.

kitchen basil

Where is the home to all of these plants? It's here! Our former driveway turned future raised bed veggie garden.

blank slate veggie garden

Now that I've got rid of the railing, some patio stones and the washing machine stored in the garage over winter is about to depart, a big truck of dirt will soon be visiting our home. Our plan is to put about 6 inches of top soil over the gravel and to build 5 raised veggie beds along the cedar hedge border. We're also going to build a small fence to block off the yard, purchase a rain barrel, and make a container garden alongside the house.

Last week I discovered Freecycle and promptly joined the Ottawa group. Someone responded to my post about the garden railing and picked it up on Sunday. When someone posted a need for patio stones, Wifey and I jumped at the opportunity to help someone out and dispose of one of our back patios.

I spent a few hours on Thursday lifting and stacking the old stone. Yesterday, the stones were picked up and the screening will be going this afternoon. This is going to leave us an excellent space for....grass. I know, I can't believe I actually am going to make lawn.

bye bye patio

A few years down the road, we'd love to knock out the windows (see ledge at top of photo), put in french doors and build a big 'ole deck in this space. In the interim, I've rationalized that more grass can be a good thing because it will provide clippings for the compost bins and materials for the lasagna garden in the raised beds.

I spent the other part of my Sunday afternoon weeding the back garden bed, or rather, taking calculated guesses at which ones were weeds and which ones were plants. I really wish I had a before and after photo.

Since re-claiming the over grown bed last summer - the bed where the phlox took over bee balm and everything else - we've been deciding what is and what is not a keeper. It's going to take a few more summers, but we're slowly getting there.

nearly weedless back bed

And, while I weeded, Wifey decided to fix the rock wall that was half knocked over during construction last fall. She opted to have less wall and more bed. I'm not complaining as I now get to plant and try out some new flowers.

new back bed

Yesterday, I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that some of the trilliums survived the pre-construction transplant. I'm not quite sure how these two got here, as I had moved over ten of them under a tree on the opposite side of the front garden. But, I sure was pleased to see them.


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