As we approach the holidays I wanted to write to say how much we appreciate all the questions and feedback we get on the blog and on our Facebook page. We accomplished a lot in 2021. The old rose arbor went to a new home and Farmer Jim replaced it with a beautiful pergola. We removed all of the old roses and bought new ones that would be easier to manage.
We received a large load of wood chips in January that enabled us to cover areas that were hard to weed. It reduced the amount of time weeding so we could focus on creating new gardens. The Arthur Glen garden that we planted in the fall of 2020 became an amazing array of colour this year. I didn’t realize it at the time of planting but the flowers attracted beneficial insects to the garden.
In late spring our new patio furniture started to arrive but like many orders some of it was delayed. Once it all arrived six months later we were able to entertain family for summer barbeques. We spend all our time outside except in December and January. There is nothing better than a meal on the patio where we can watch the birds, squirrels and eagles nearby. This summer we had robins nesting right next to the patio so we would watch them build they nest and fly in and out.
This fall Farmer created a new garden that will be planted up in the spring. He says we have enough Hostas so we will try to think of other plants that will work in the shade. So far there are two azaleas and a hydrangea in the new garden. Farmer Jim used the sheet mulching technique to create this garden. He laid cardboard on the grass to block the light and put shredded leaves on top. Then we ordered some soil and put a layer on top. In the spring or when it warms up we will empty our four compost bins on this area. We should be able to plant this area in late spring. With all the rainfall we’ve had the cardboard should be decomposed by then. Towards the back of this garden we’ve decided to put in a small arbor to walk under. We realized that we walk this way quite often so a pathway is necessary.
I ordered around 700 spring bulbs for the garden so we should have a nice show of colour in the spring. It’s a lot of work to get bulbs planted but seeing them emerge and flower is so rewarding. This fall I planted Narcissus, tulips and Anemones. Now all I have to do is pray the squirrels don’t dig them up. We always lose a few tulips when it gets really cold. Sometimes I feel like I’m feeding the wildlife during the winter as rats and mice will also eat spring bulbs. I try to plant them deep enough that it discourages any nibbling.
The vegetable garden did okay not great but the extreme heat in June was hard on so many plants. Most plants reacted by ceasing growth. It would be a few weeks before they would recover which meant late harvests of tomatoes and other crops. We watered as well as we could but any damage from the heat on trees and shrubs won’t show up until the spring. Our new roses dropped their flowers and took a rest for about four weeks before they started to bloom again. Even though the weather was unusual this year I was still able to fill the freezer with tomatoes, peas, and beans. We have onions, potatoes and squash stored in the garage.
If anything has taught us in 2021 is that we can’t control the weather. Fall brought intense rain storms in our area and next week we are predicted to have extreme cold. It may be time to rethink the way we garden and the plants we use. So enjoy the holiday season, order some seed catalogues to enjoy on snow days and relax. It won’t be long before spring arrives and we are back in the garden.