July.. Just enjoy


July marks the time where I have every intention to actually relax, and take a hard work vacation from gardening. By that, I mean enjoy the reasons I DO dig all these beds and plant all these shrubs and perennials. I do it to be proud of it. To smell things, deadhead things (so therapeutic!), sit outdoors and read, drink lots of mint water (and mojitos after hours), and hang around with people, friends, go places, do stuff other than gardening. Basically, be a human that enjoys the outdoors.

So, I guess I’ll hang up the shovel for now.

In that vein, we just celebrated Canada day here, and it was a great time with the whole family. I think my minor changes in the deck arrangement was well received. It was just a HOT day!

Since my last Agenda, I’ve done some things around the property. I planted a PILE of newly acquired daylily divisions from a gardener friend as well as planted some hostas and wood poppies, bunchberry and trillium, in the forest. I am beginning to lose track. The daylilies will likely bloom so that will be something to showcase soon in a later entry, I hope. I have no idea what any of them really look like, so it’ll be fun to watch as they come.

Speaking of the Rhodo forest, it’s  becoming a back-and-forth labor of watering the forest, as it is pretty much tinder dry in there, and we’ve had very little rain to speak of this summer. For all of those who complained about the spring being wet and dreary, it really wasn’t. We did not get much rain. A little drizzle, and a lot of cold. But not rain.

20160624_124915I’ve also been doing the dreaded task at the end of last month that I just couldn’t bring myself to do. I FINALLY dug the area I needed to start my Lavender hedge. The cultivar I chose was Lavandula angustifolia ‘Ellagance Purple’ Mostly because it was cheap, on hand at Dayjob, and they had lots. So there, that’s about 8 feet of a small variety of Lavender.  But because nothing is ever the same in every garden center every year, I decided to order some seeds of this variety for next spring’s sowings. I’ll grow enough for myself, and sell the rest from my business.  Yeah, the hedge doesn’t look like much right now, but I tell ya, comparing it to a more established clump like this one in the rock garden, you tend to get pretty excited about the way it will mature in time. It has been a little under a year, and I really do miss walking past the lavender hedge at my last house and running my hands through the foliage (not so much the flowers, because beeeees!)

An established lavender, flanked by Borage, Borage everywhere.

I’ve also been preparing things for a short break from regular life. The jaunt to Montreal is coming very soon, so weeding the veggie garden in the evenings (Hoping to catch up) has been my priority as it has such fertile soil that the weeds are thriving. Some of which I think I could even eat (but never would). I could also thank the father in law (manimal dad) for puttering around the property for me. It’s always good to have a 2nd set of eyes to scope out things that I often overlook.

I’ve been giving a lot of consideration on raised beds in the vegetable garden, and I think we will go for it next year, maybe build 1-2 beds a year until the whole garden is done in raised beds. Gardening in the greenhouse beds has been extremely simple and really easy on the back. Why are we making things so difficult for ourselves?

The productive, semi imaginary side of myself has made a stern vow to weed a bucket’s worth of weeds a day. That’s 10 gallons of weeds. That’s totally doable right?

If we think of it, there might be an application of lawn fertilizer where there is actually lawn. Which is basically just under our giant maple tree. There will be a conscious note to keep the mower blades extra high too, because you  never want your lawn to be too short in the heat of the summer.

I swear there are fewer weeds since I took this photo…less lettuce too!

In the veg garden, I will be adding a side dressings of compost, particularly to the radish/bean beds after they’ve all been harvested, and in the tomato bed as well.  I’ll also plant another round of slow-bolt lettuces like red salad bowl. I harvested my first bit of Buttercrunch, and it doesn’t get better than fresh lettuce out of the garden. The Lettuce will get planted under the trellis Manimal built for the cucumbers to scramble up. They’ll do better in the cooler shade. The cukes just need to scramble up already. I’ll also plant some more peas, carrots, beets, kale. All of these will be for a fall harvest.

So that concludes my agenda for July. Seriously! All the other necessary tasks are just things like deadheading and the odd weeding. I’ll just try to have a little fun and focus on garden crafts and things. I want to do at least one crafty thing with concrete, test some deer fly avoidance tactics, and hopefully have a post prepared with my success so far with tackling scale insect on some of my plants.

But I’ll never wish time away or the summer, even if it’s a hot, humid sort of spell and we’re always cursing at the discomfort. Stay present, enjoy the view, appreciate the good company of family and friends and being in the outdoors. Winter doesn’t take long to creep up on us. And birds just don’t sing quite like they do right now.

Chesapeake peppers, Bhut jolokia peppers, Carolina Reaper Peppers (for the infused vodka), beans, Black Krim tomato, Golden Cherry Tomato, and some beans, all planted up in my second raised greenhouse bed.

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