plans for the orchard garden

With the two west corners of the orchard garden done and the veggie box in place, I wanted to have a look at how much room I have left on the east side of what will eventually be a circular lawn.  So my youngest and I, using a skipping rope, turned ourselves into a human compass this morning and marked out the circle which will form the edge of the lawn.  It helps me get a better feel for how much space I have.


It’ll be a few years before the east side, above, will be finished.  There will be a little sitting area back here because it’s the sunniest spot in the evening and because, well, I’m trying not to overwhelm myself with too much planting space.  In that vein, I’m also planting more shrubs than I did in my old garden.

Goals for this spring:

  • add another haskap (honeyberry) shrub where the small bamboo pyramid is,
  • move the 3 Romeo cherries and an ornamental grass from the front; this will turn the veggie garden into a separate “garden room”,
  • move a golden dogwood (cornus alba “Neon Burst”) to the spot marked by the large pyramid,
  • take down the large (unhealthy) crabapple tree and replace with a dwarf blue spruce for more winter greenery,
  • add some bergenia from the veggie garden.

last project of the season – raised vegetable bed

I can tell I’ve burned myself out on garden work this year because the back garden is quite weedy at the moment and usually, even if I don’t have much time or energy, I can find the time to at least pull the tops off the weeds so they don’t go to seed.  But today I just stared at them through the window.  Fortunately, garden progress is still happening because my handy husband is building us a raised bed!

The back of the yard here is prime veggie garden territory thanks to all the sun it gets.   I’d like to get the box finished and filled up before fall so it’s ready to plant first thing in spring.  Once it gets staked down, I’ll put cardboard in the bottom to smother the grass, then fill it up with some homemade compost mixed with some purchased potting soil and vermiculite to keep things light.


Thinking of doing the same?  Here is some info about raised bed veggie gardening from my old Calgary Garden Coach blog:


Self-seeded arugla in front of Coppertina ninebark shrub:


with blue veronica, orange coreopsis and  white persicaria flowering in the background; silver artemesia to the right.


Exciting! I think this may be the first picture I’ve taken of my new garden where you can’t see soil between all the plants. Things are getting bigger but it’s really mostly about the angle. 😉

fruit bounty

Just came home from over a week away to Saskatoon and raspberry shrubs loaded down with fruit:



What a wonderful thing to come home to!

Unfortunately we are in the middle of a kitchen reno so I can’t try any yummy looking recipes that others have recently posted, so at our house we are eating and freezing as many as possible at the moment.  But I am bookmarking this recipe for next year:

Recipe: Saskatoon berry drink mix, two ways.

Another goal for next year will be to clean up the raspberry patch – stake them better and dig out all those thistles…

sizing up the vegetable garden


Now that I’ve got most of perennials happily settled in their permanent places, I’m turning my attention to the veggie garden.  I’d like to put in two raised beds back here. I had raised beds at my old house and they were the best thing I ever did – you fill them up and have perfect, unwalked on, well-draining soil, plus you don’t have to bend over so far to weed and harvest.   The boxes will be similar to the ones at my old house, except that this time I’ll have a 4’x4′ and a 4’x8′.  We want to get them built this summer and filled so that they’re ready to plant first thing in spring – maybe even a fall seeding of a few things if we get them done in time!


And yes, those are dandelions in the grass.  The Edmonton infestation includes my own backyard.  😦