Wednesday, 20 May 2015
Update, Garden & Other
Well, as undoubtedly noted, there has not been much action around here lately. And by around here, I mean the blog, not my life. There has been plenty going on in my life, some of it not good. The last 3 weeks in particular have been crazy. It started with the long-awaited visit from Ireland of Dad's partner's brother and his wife, who stayed with us for a week. That was exciting, but since it happened at the end of a quarantine at the nursing home and with the notice that Dad and T were to be transferred to their preferred nursing home back in their home town, it was a bit of a roller-coaster ride. At one point we were afraid they would be transferred in the middle of the visit, but fortunately not.
The next week was taken up by moving them both down, and naturally they were not able to go down on the same trip thanks to the joys of bureaucracy. There are still lots of loose ends to be taken care of there; moving is a big job. However, while we were making the second trip down, Mr. Ferdzy's mother's housemate - who does a lot to keep things on track around here - suffered a stroke, and is still in the hospital, outcome not completely known although it looks like there will be quite a bit of recovery. Still, a long road of rehab ahead with even more chauffeuring of parental units required, along with many other modifications to daily life.
Not surprisingly the blog is not the only thing being neglected. Why do these things always happen in May? We are 3 weeks behind in a gardening season that has only been about a month, so far. Peas are in, one trellis is up, but we have scarcely had time to look at anything since then.
On the bright side, peas are looking good, including some peas which are cross between Dual and Spanish Skyscraper. I found them in the garden last year and I am looking forward to growing them out and seeing if any of them are of interest. Last year they were an F1 hybrid and so very uniform. This year they should start segregating out into a wider range of phenotypes, although so far they look pretty uniform too.
Mr Ferdzy snatches a moment to week the asparagus. We are so behind on weeding we will likely hire someone for a day to come in and help us. Mr Ferdzy is quite grumpy about this; he says we have a garden so we can garden, not for someone else to do it. I agree, but... this year, I think it is required to get some help.
A walk in the woods showed that the wild leeks (ramps) we planted a couple years back are established and doing well, but not really spreading yet. None for us to pick, unfortunately.
More bad news - the prolonged cold snap this winter has killed a number of the fruit trees that we planted in the last few years. Saddest to me is the death of our quince, but all the paw-paws, an apple, and a cherry have also died. Our peaches and nectarines - 4 trees - are about 90% dead, but show signs of sprouting on some lower branches. This will put them back for years, assuming they manage to struggle through this season. We are debating whether to replace these trees or not - we are getting old enough that we are not sure we will see them to maturity.
Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, watermelons and melons, and a few other things were seeded in pots and are ready to go out as soon as it warms up. We were thinking of doing it last week, but the prediction of this week's cold snap dissuaded us. Hopefully next weekend, though, most of these will go into the garden, ending 2 months of dragging these trays in and out according to the weather.
One of those trays contains tomatoes from a chance hybrid found in the garden a few years back. I have been growing it out, a few plants every year, and I am very pleased with it. This year I am giving 20 plants or so to a local market gardener, with the proviso I get the first ripe fruit from each plant. This will let me know if this is as stable as I think it is, and give me a lot of seed. If it is found to be a success, it will be a new variety and I will need a name for it! You will be hearing more about this, assuming it works out.
And finally, we do have some garden besides vegetables. Of the ornamental plants, peonies are my favourite, and we now have over 30 varieties in the garden, about half of which are well established enough to put on a good show. The first to bloom this (and most) years is Nosegay. Peony blooms are rather fleeting, but it is hard to imagine any flower more spectacular. I will try very hard this difficult year to get out and take the time to look at them.