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All day gardening

First thing this morning I trundled off to Eglinton Flats for the annual Roselands Horticultural Society garden sale. This sale offers a good selection of perennials and annuals at modest prices. It’s a fun event and we try to visit each year.

This year’s visit to the plant sale came with an awesome bonus. Our friend Jennifer grows some of the best tomatoes you can imagine, and she offered us some plants for our garden, which I picked up when I saw her this morning.  We have a shady backyard and for tomatoes it is marginal at best. Up front though, an opportunity has presented itself. The builder next door suggested removing the barberry hedge along our south property line, and we agreed. They also removed a larch in the front yard of that property, and what remained was a strip of lawn at our place between our walkway and the neighbour’s drive. What’s more it gets pretty good sun, and I’m confident it gets enough for tomatoes.

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The result is that this year we’re going to try growing some tomatoes (ok and one jalepeno plant) in containers up front. Jennifer grows heirloom varieties and she gave me tomato plants that came with great names like The Mortgage Lifter, Pine Apple, Green Zebra, Yellow Pear and Mennonite Orange.  I’ll be very happy with a fraction on the success Jennifer has with her tomatoes, which are nothing short of spectacular.

I also cut a new garden today, just behind the book box, and began populating it with a few plants I purchased at the Roselands sale today.

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Cutting a new garden means removing the grass, hoeing up the hard-packed soil which was under the sod, and adding some quality garden soil. It’s a job but it is rewarding. Each season I try to add a new garden or expand an existing one. While I have nothing against grass, I prefer a garden to a lawn any day of the week.

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There is still plenty of room for more garden in behind the book box. I think the next step will be to extend the new garden back along the south side of the Froggy Train, behind the tomato planter boxes, connecting to the existing patch of garden. Eventually, this whole strip will be mostly garden. I may keep the small triangle of grass in front of the book box.

Meanwhile, I’ve had the veggie garden out back going for a while already. There are still a few things to plant but I’m off to a good start. Although there is not enough sun for tomatoes or peppers back there, a good selection of herbs as well as spinach, lettuce, onions, kale, peas and beans all do just fine. IMG_8236.jpg

It’s a modest veggie patch but each year it gives us plenty of greens through the summer.

I still have lots of work to do out back, including a seating area in the little woods at the back of the property, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. It seems I usually have more projects on the go than I can handle. When I left the work-a-day world behind, it gave me lots more time, but somehow the number of projects also multiplied. I’ve put some other things on the back burner for a while so I could get the gardens well-established before the heat of summer.

Tuffy P was out working in the front garden today too. While I cut the new gardens, she does much of the front garden maintenance, and she’s really the one responsible for making our front garden look great all season. When we were chatting about the front garden this afternoon she said one of the joys of working in the front garden is you get to talk to people who are wandering by, both neighbours and visitors to the neighbourhood.

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