It is a dreary day in SW Ontario

Can you find the Bee's?

It is a dreary day here in SW Ontario. It was pouring when I got up and it has petered down to a fine mist. We are hiding out inside,  the cats have found dry hiding spots, even the Bee’s are hiding out. Click on the pictures to make them big. Clicking on this picture will reveal a couple of Bee’s hiding out, waiting for the rain to stop. In the mean time, I thought I would do a post.  So recently I posted a few pictures of the front yard. It is, as always, a work in progress. I took a few pictures this morning of the front to share with you what happening here on the homestead (I do use that term loosely as we do live in town).

The rain doesn’t always ruin the flowers. My Morning Glories did not look so nice this morning, but the Sweet Pea was just enhanced by the rain. This already incredibly gorgeous flower was enhanced by the water droplets resting on the flower petals. I couldn’t resist taking several pictures of them. I will share 2 of them with you today. This Sweet Pea plant is growing up the porch, with much assistance from the most of dynamic climbers, Morning Glories. Don’t get me wrong, Sweet Peas are proficient climber, but our step is about 3 and 1/2 feet above the ground, and the Sweet Peas just do not grow fast enough to reach without help.

The flowers today were almost glowing, absolutely gorgeous. It was almost as if I were being beckoned from across the yard to take these stunning pictures. I am definitely fond of the way the water droplets formed on the petals, they catch the light nicely.

Ground Cherry

This next picture is of one of our MANY Black Nightshade plants. They grow all over the place in my area, as a weed a lot of the time. This one is a volunteer, and it sprung up in the front garden. If I had not changed  my outlook, with respect to weeds, this little guy would have been pulled out and I never would have had the chance to try them out. This plant has immature berries on it, which incidently are toxic, but once ripe (and they must be black and shiny, watch Eat the Weeds with Green Dean)can make a great addition to salads.  We have heard differing information about then, some books say toxic stay away, other argue that it is quite edible. After watching Green Dean eat them in his video we tried one  after careful identification and found that they taste much like a tomato, and they are not toxic. If you are going to take a chance and eat nightshade berries, make very sure they are the right ones, the edible ones! There are members of this family that can make you very ill, there are also members that we eat everyday! Tomatoes, eggplants, peppers are all examples of members of the nightshade family that we eat often.

The picture to the right is the view of the main front garden. Most of the pictures of the front yard plants are in this area. We have added another bed along the front edge of the yard,one around our massive Black Locust tree, and one between the Black Locust tree and the house. These bed have a few plants that are there because they are pretty, but most of the plants are edible or medicinal. There are loads of Day Lilies, a hand full of Mums, 2 miniature Cherries, a Potentilla, Oregano, Dill, Sweet Potatoes, a Peach tree, Dog Woods, Chokeberries, Stevia, Blackberries, Blueberries, Elderberries, Japanese Quince, Raspberries, Japanese Knotweed, Pepergrass, and Ostrich Ferns. Just like in the back yard we have outlined the “beds” with logs. These logs are quite a bit larger, like 2 people need to carry them kinda big. The front yard was another driveway full of wood chips.

The picture to the left is the view of the front from the road. It shows 3/4 of the front yard. I forgot, we also have Staghorn Sumac’s growing in the front. The logs create a great border for the “path” in between the beds. I really like the look, but I think I would like to mulch the paths too. Right now they are the right size for the lawn mower to pass through. I would rather not have to cut the grass at all.

This last picture, the one on the right is of the view from the road looking towards our neighbours yard. The big trunks you can see are of a giant Black Locust, planted around it are Ostrich Ferns and Wild Raspberries. The Raspberries came in with last years mulch, so they are volunteer plants, the Ferns came from our back yard. The Berry bushes mentioned above are all located across the front. We are hoping they provide from privacy in the coming years, as well as provide for our family and neighbourhood. The Sumac’s can be used to create a lemonade type drink so it is useful too. We still have loads of room to plant in the front, but it is going to take time and planning, especially because most of the plants that were put in this year, will be much larger in the years to come. I think, next season we will work more on the herbaceous layer in the front, but for now, we are just happy to have gotten a start on a project we have been thinking about for a while.

That’s all for now, until next time plant and weed recklessly! Much love and remember, eat your yard (it is fun and nutritious)!

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