January has brought new ideas for the garden this year. Last season I planted a cut flower garden and was able to supply four wedding with beautiful blooms. This year I am going back to growing food although there will still be plenty of flowers for bouquets. This month I am going through seed catalogues and ordering seed that I want to try this year. I have a huge stash of seed so I don’t need very many new ones. This is the year to restock the freezer with roasted tomatoes, peppers and berries. Being able to pull homegrown food out of the freezer in the middle of winter is the best feeling ever.
I will also be testing new locations for growing luffa this year. Last years success in the greenhouse has me wondering how it will grow outside. Luffa needs about five months to mature so getting the right site is key in successfully growing it. I have a few areas that get sun all day and have a fence that it can be trained on. To get a grasp on how tall luffa can grow, imagine it growing out the roof vents of a greenhouse. Thats what happened to it last year. I had visions of luffa growing on the roof! Luffa is a great natural sponge that you can grow in your garden.
I am renaming the kitchen garden this year as our keto friendly vegetable garden. Farmer Jim and I have been on the keto eating plan since last April and we love it. Each of the vegetables and fruits we grow will be low in carbohydrates. Did you know that plants that have colour such as red cabbage have more carbohydrates than green cabbage? This is a learning experience for us this year so follow us as we plant this new garden.
There will be some major changes to the garden again this year and we’ll talk about them as they occur. The first change happened last weekend with the removal of all the old climbing roses. The roses were over twenty years old but very prone to powdery mildew. We felt it was time as we are at that age when climbing ladders to tie canes to the rose arbor wasn’t safe anymore. Six climbing roses covered about forty feet of arbor. We have left the Clematis and Honeysuckle to grow for now. The gardens below are full of bindweed that would grow up the rose canes. It was nasty and took more time to manage than all our other gardens combined. Add the fact that this spot was where the original home was built back in 1905, the soil is full of gravel and rocks used as a foundation base back then. Its kind of sad to see it go but a lovely wooden arbor may replace it. I envision this area with a smaller arbor or pergola and perhaps some David Austin Roses.
In the greenhouse I have already started peas, lettuce, onions, spinach, kale and herbs for the garden. Not many seeds need to be planted in January but these cool season crops are going to Ladner Seedy Saturday on March 7. This year I am a vendor at the event and will be selling vegetable starter plants, seeds, dahlia tubers, dried flower bouquets, felted soaps and some artwork. I have taken flowers from last seasons garden and used them in crafts over the winter. The garden has also inspired me to start sketching some floral designs and embroidering them. Its been a wonderful way to evoke my creative side using inspiration from the garden. That’s what I love about the start of a new year. Its full of promise and new ideas.