Category Archives: Gardening

A true empty nest summer

Matt and I on one of our summer walks

Matt and I on one of our summer walks

The summer is over and a different summer it was for my husband and I. This was the first time in twenty-seven years where not one of our children spent the hot summer days at home. The eldest has lived in her own place for a couple of years now, middle child is off on the other side of the world (home in less than ninety days now), and the youngest was able to get summer employment with the university he attends, thus it only made sense he would continue living away from home. The youngest did come home for a week in August, and really milked the “I am on vacation” attitude.

Our summer was spent with me working in my vegetable garden, drying herbs for the winter, canning, and swimming pretty much every day. When my husband wasn’t working, he spent his time re-building his shed from the ground up, and erecting a deck around the new pool. There was no camping this year, or canoeing, which I missed horribly. We did spend a few days in Quebec visiting our son, and after his vacation at home, I drove him back to university. This meant, it would be just me and our two dogs on the return trip. It took me two days to get home. The first day I drove for about five hours with loads of rest stops, laying in the back of the van with the dogs. I then stopped at my friend’s house for the night, knowing I would not be able to make the entire drive in one day. The next day, what is normally about a four-hour drive, if I was with my husband, took me ten hours. My legs kept going numb making driving difficult, so again I stopped at every OnRoute, for a nap. Thank goodness both our dogs are great travellers, as long as you give them walks at the rest stops, otherwise they both happily lay beside me while I rest.

Another reason we weren’t able to go anywhere this summer was due to my migraines. Ever since I started menopause, my migraines have become unmanageable. After keeping track of them for four months, it seems I was/am getting about fifteen plus a month. Due to the magnitude of them, the specialist believes I am a good candidate for Botox treatment, so in a couple of weeks, I will be stuck with approximately thirty needles in my head and neck area. One bonus of the treatment, is she promises to remove the wrinkle, well actually indentation between my eyebrows. Of course my husband doesn’t notice the wrinkle, he says he sees me like the day he met me when I was twenty-two. Such a nice guy or a good liar? I think I will believe “nice guy”.

How was your summer?

The move is on the back burner, but the garden prospers

Well after months of looking for that perfect piece of land in the country, and not finding anything within an hour commute for my husband, the move is on the back-burner for the time being. Maybe in the fall, if, of course all the painting, fence building, kitchen sink replaced, kitchen counters sanded down and refinished again. Well husband works on his list, I fiddle-faddle in the garden, well, I will be jam making, pie making, canning vegetables, freezing vegetables, and every once in a while I will dust the inside of the house. The other day, hubby swept the side porch of all the twigs and branches Bear loves to chew and tear apart. Then said to me, if I saw a leaf/branch etc. on the porch could I please pick it up? Well didn’t laughter ensue. “Have you seen the inside of the house dear? The 3 inch layer of dust in the living room? If I’m not dusting hun, chances are very slim some leaf will be picked up!”  (In my defence, with all the work he is doing inside the house, the dust he creates, well what’s the point right now?).

My rhubarb did fabulous this year. I made my first strawberry rhubarb pie, and even though it did make a mess on the bottom of my oven (thank goodness we barbecue all summer, because I don’t see me cleaning at the moment), it tasted fabulous, so fabulous I had to give half of it to my best friend, I couldn’t stop eating pie for breakfast, lunch, then supper.

Fresh picked rhubarbrhubarb pie

My herbs are growing exceptionally well. I have already dried quite a bit of thyme, and am pretty sure I will not run out of it this winter. Sadly the nasty chipmunk started to eat my rosemary of all things, so out came the chicken wire!

Rosemary

Rosemary herbThyme
thyme

Oregano and chives

Oregano and chives

Lemon Balm

lemon balm

The squirrels decided my potatoes were tasty, so I nailed down more chicken wire which stopped them in their tracks. The potatoes are now growing wonderfully and I should have a nice early crop in a few weeks. Most I will leave for the fall, then store for the winter.potatoes

My elderberry bush we transplanted last year, is growing fine and along came this beautiful Elderberry Longhorn Beetle. Elderberry Longhorn Beetle

Our two mulberry bushes are producing a lot of fruit this year. After trying to gather the berries by using first a pillow case, we decided it was much easier to just lay down tarp and shake the tree. Mulberry jam coming up.

picking mulberriesusing a tarp to catch mulberries shaking from our treeI am also growing broccoli, brussel sprouts, beets, lettuce, celery, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, radishes, yellow and green beans, pole beans, snow peas, cucumber, green onions, acorn squash and watermelon.

broccoli, brussel sprouts, beets, lettucepotatoes squash snow peas (800x450)pole beans in string maze (528x800)first zucchini of the year (667x800)hot peppersbanana pepperstomatoesOn the other side of the yard are the flower gardens, far too many to add though. We do make sure we have lots of milkweed for the Butterflies.milkweed

Lastly one of our many flower pots filled with flowers, I thought would good look together.flower pot of flowers

I hope you enjoyed viewing a small portion of our gardens, I certainly enjoy spending my mornings digging in the dirt.