Thanks Momo and Pa

The New (to us) Gate

I need to apologize for the quality of the quality of this picture, I will have to take a better one, but I really wanted to send a enormous and heartfelt THANK YOU! to Momo and Pa! We love it!

Pond Plants

Today’s post is mostly going to focus of updates of past pictures. This is the water feature that is located as you go through the “new” gate. Joey recently found some pond plants to put into the pond.

I know that the soft looking, light green floating plant is a water lettuce, but I am having trouble identifying the other 2 plants. The First is vibrant green, with mildly fuchsia bits. It Floats on balls and it reproduces like mad. The other plant is a spiky plant that floats just below the surface, it regulates it’s temperature by coming up to the surface or sinking. If you know the names of these plants I would appreciate it if you passed on the names.

The picture with the bike in it is looking back towards the water feature. We recently added wintergreen plants into the garden (click on the picture to make it big if you want to see them) They are located around the little house. They are cute little red and green leaves with tiny white bell flowers (almost like blueberry flowers, only smaller).  I was very excited to add wintergreen into the garden, it is one of my favorite smells! The leaves can be collected and used to tea, new leaves and berries are a great nibble (although caution should be used, too much can be mildly toxic), or are refreshing in a salad! YUMM!

Chocolate Mint

This picture is of one of our chocolate mints. In past posts I have touched on how we have planted ground cover plants in the path ways. It has been about 2 months since we planted these guys and they are doing SO well! Along with the Chocolate Mint, we also have Orange Mint, Peppermint,  Lemon Thyme and Thyme growing in various paths, all of these plants are doing fantastic, and I must say they make a great addition to salads! They can also be used to make teas, cocktails and deserts. I will also use the Mints to create toothpaste for the family. I am currently using mint essential oil, but I can dry and grind up the leave to make it at the end of the season.

Pepermint

Eventually these ground covers will cover the entire path, this is great for a couple of reasons. First and most selfish reason, so when I walk my garden paths lovely smells will erupt from below my feet. Second and not quite so selfish a reason, when the path is completely covered, we will not have to replenish the mulch nearly as often (so what I am trying to say is that we will loose less mulch).

Squash, Squash, Squash!

We have Squash! You knew that? I know I have posted quite a few pictures of squash, squash blossoms and I have told you all about how I love to eat it! Whats the harm in posting a few more pictures of Squash? None! I love these guys, they are so versatile, great in stir fry, roasted or in soup! I could eat it everyday, and why not? They are tasty, healthful foods food that we grew in our garden.

Lil Baby Squash

Really and truly there is no feeling quite as satisfying as growing and then devouring food that you grew! Growing our own food really tickles my pride! I get a rush of pride every time I pick a salad, or roast a squash… I guess that is a bit vain, but I don’t care. This is a feeling I am sure would have helped me out as a young person, I am proud to share these feelings of pride and achievement with my kids, and I hope they learn to appreciate it!

Moving along, The next picture is one I have been trying hard to get a picture of, but have had major difficulties. I don’t know why, but the grapes are always blurry… This morning, the picture actually came out quite nice.

Grapes

I went out this morning to take the pictures you are looking at, and I was totally surprised to find that some of the grapes are starting to change colour! Yesterday they were still green! It is really exhilarating to see the plants we have been planting finally bear fruit and to see that fruit ripen! It is a really cool experience.

This picture also shows an example of companion planting. We have inter-planted different herbs into our fruit beds. This is a great method because it encourages pollinators as well as attracting predatory bugs. We try to take into consideration the need for bio-diversity when we plan and execute planting (plan… that is almost laughable… my favorite method is to walk around with a plant until I think I have found where it would like to be planted). This bed also has mint planted into it, it is really kind of neat to see these little plants poking out through the grapes.

Red Chokeberries

Speaking of fruit that is finally getting some colour, here is a pictures of our Red Chokeberries. This unassuming shrub will one day be a 6-8 foot tall bush, it also produces these great little berry like fruits. I guess that are most often used just like blueberries. I cannot wait to try them, and aren’t they pretty?

Fire Pit Area

Moving along, this is an updated picture of our fire pit area. All of the herb you see in this picture; Lime Basil, Catmint and Thyme, were planted about 2 months ago and they have all done SO well! I can hardly believe that the little weeny plants we put in the ground have grown so hardily! We use a lot of the Lime Basil in Salad and for cooking. The taste is just so lovely, mildly basil, boldly lime! I had a guy friend tell me the other day that the salad we served with dinner was “awesome”!

This picture is of the other side of the stone path you can see it the above picture of the fire pit area. The plants on this side have just gone crazy too! It is kind of hard to tell from a picture, but the Basil are all about 10-12 inches in height! We will have a great harvest from this area this year. The Cat mint’s have all grown immensely too, they are even flowering right now! Along the left hand side of the photo you can see some mustard that is still flowering. Most of the mustard in the yard has finished flowering and  has gone to seed, these guys must have been a little later to germinate.

Catmint

Stumps make great seats! This Catmint is hopefully going to deter mosquitoes. It also makes a great tea that has mild sedative effects. I will be using it to help me fall asleep on those nights when I just can’t seems to drift off.

The cats really like these guys as well. When we first planted them I was worried that the cats would ruin them, but instead they just like to lay near them and rub their little kitty faces all over it! It’s pretty funny to watch! If I can get a video of them I will post it.

Pea Vines

Our Pea Vines are flowering, and they are finally tall enough to be seen over the Mustard and Flax! The posts that ring our fire pit area finally have plants climbing them! The Pea Vines took longer than I would have expected, but now that they are taller then the Flax and Mustard they are doing very well! They have even begun to flower. I cannot wait for fresh Peas!

The Honeysuckle has finally started to climb across to the posts as well! Eventually the Honeysuckle will grow over the archway and across to the other posts. Until then the Peas can grow to their hearts content!
That is it for today. I have more pictures to post, but they will have to wait until tomorrow. Hope you all enjoyed to update! Until next time, remember, Eat your Yard!

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