Saturday, April 15, 2017

Turnip Top - a lesser known vegetable

You might have read one of my previous posts in which I wax eloquently about turnip tops, a green I hold in very high esteem. It is a very little know vegetable and, to appreciate it, you need to realize two things: first, that turnip top is neither a turnip nor the green leaves of a turnip, and second, that you should not attempt to eat it as is recommended in seed catalogues.

Turnip top at its prime

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Campanula incurva - plant portrait

One of my favorite new plants this year was Campanula incurva.- - a rock garden bellflower with large blooms, almost as big as Canterbury bells (Campanula medium), but flowering on very short stalks and all the bloms facing up, so they look good from a distance or seen close-by.

Campanula incurva

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lespedeza thunbergii

In late September this is the shrub that blooms most profusely at Roche Fleurie.  The common name is Bush Clover. Being of the pea family (Fabaceae), the flowers look very much like some clover flowers, but the plant forms a shrub, hence Bush Clover.

Bush Clover

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Four-legged Johny Appleseed

September is associated with the ripening of wild apples that surround the garden. As regular readers will already know, lots of apples means that our local bear is often around.

Very few of these apple trees were planted by humans. The majority comes from apple seeds scattered by raccoons and, especially, bears.

Some of the "wild" apples

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Setting

This is a gardening blog, so the vast majority of the posts have to do with the garden, its plants or its design.

For a change, it might be useful to talk about the location of the garden in order to place it in its context and give you an idea of its surroundings.

The beach and marina in the village of Lion's Head in the Bruce Peninsula

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Late August

Late August is the time when there are still some blooms, but they look rather tired. Somehow, even flowers that have just opened seem tired.

More probably, it is the gardener's outlook which is defective. Even if the days are still warm, they are getting shorter and shorter.

Here are some of the things that are blooming now at Roche Fleurie.

Hellenium autumnale

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tolerated Weeds

One of our shortcomings as a gardeners is to be too inclined to leave attractive weeds to prosper. Some years we am more strict, others more lax, depending on the situation.

This year, for instance, many of the vegetables that were planted are not going to produce much. Many had to be replanted several times after having been dug up by raccoons early in the season.

Only one cucumber plant and one zucchini plant eventually grew.   Only a quarter of the pole beans planted survived the raccoon onslaught. They are growing and we have started eating them.

However they are being invaded by Morning Glories which we decided to let grow. There might not be many beans, but at least the poles are not naked.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Week in the Shuswap and the Okanagan

The Shuswap is a lake and area of British Columbia where we have just spent a holiday week.

The Thompson river in the Shuswap

Friday, August 5, 2016

In Praise of Blackcurrants

It has been an excellent year for blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum). In fact we had a bumper crop.

Some years there will be a late frost when the blackcurrant bushes are in bloom, which reduces yield. But not this year.

This means that we have been very busy picking berries and turning them into desserts, jam and, most popular of all in this household, crème de cassis, the delicious blackcurrant liqueur.


Sunday, July 31, 2016

A True Dry Shade Lover

In this garden, the regular foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) does not do well. It is, in fact, very difficult to grow, mostly because the soil is basic and too dry.

At the moment of writing this, at the end of July, it has been very sunny for the last two months, with perhaps three rain showers in all, which means that many plants only survive provided they are watered every day.

However the rusty foxglove (Digitalis ferruginae) is blooming generously, even if it has never been watered except for the little rain we got.

Digitalis ferruginae - the rusty foxglove, an easy xeric plant