Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The compensation of tomatoes

Summer is on the wane - the tradition of its being over after Old Home Week has held true for this year again. The fact that we had a bit of Hurricane Bill on the weekend helped it on its way as well. No damage to my garden (but for a few phlox with heavy heads) or anything major anywhere on the Island - but spectacular surf on the North shore on Sunday. We remained obedient to the posted signage and stayed on shore, but Anne got some great photos. I, unfortunately, had left my camera at home.

Our old electric mower has bitten the dust, so we are relying on the reel mower exclusively now. Luckily it's almost the end of the season - and perhaps we'll find an end-of-season bargain mower somewhere. I'm just hoping the grass doesn't take on a new lease of life with the many millimetres of rain it received from Bill.

The vegetable garden is doing its very best for us at the moment - every time I go near it I come back laden with sweet million tomatoes (as well as lemon boy and early girl). Nothing is ripe yet from the many, many Roma plants - I hope they manage to pull through to ripen, as my winter salsa supply depends on them! Also beans have been very prolific, and lettuce and spinach enough to meet all needs. There are beets, and there will be carrots soon. The big surprise is the zucchini - there are a few each time I go out, but none of the overabundance one usually finds at this time of year. We have just four plants, and they are amazingly healthy, just not producing much.

Flower news: I bought a "Bonica", at last, at Cool Breeze farms in Summerside. I planted it next to the "Celestial" on the mound. Anne bought me a "Samuel Holland" which is a climber, I haven't placed him yet because of his special needs. The unknown white rambler on the poplar stump is making amazing progress; I expect there will be bloom next year. The three rugosas have all survived, two much better than one but they aren't as amazingly prolific as the abovementioned white rambler. I hope I don't live to regret putting it in, it seems to be mightily encouraged by having some decent soil and light.

Otherwise the daylilies are done and the more interesting colours of phlox are out everywhere, the white and the deep pink/magenta. Roses are still holding well, the "Alba Meidiland" and the two "Fairy" are just finishing up their first flush of bloom, but are growing new branches with buds for later. The rugosas are almost finished, and are producing hips in abundance. I may try some rose-hip jelly this year.

It's been hot for knitting, but I have finished the mohair scarf and an organic merino hat for K. - she was here on the weekend and tried it on - it fits! This was yarn from Mahone Bay as well. I'm making a pair of green heather socks and trying to finish up the lace shawl in Knit Picks Shimmer I started in the spring. I'm working on the second half - it's done in two halves and grafted, so I have that to look forward to.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Travels to gardens

I'm well and truly on vacation now, with a bit of harvesting and preserving on the side (raspberries are waiting for nothing. They are ripe now!). We went to the south shore of Nova Scotia for the weekend, and saw how the gardeners there have embraced the hardy roses. There were rugosas lining the sea walls everywhere you looked (imagine what they must have looked like in July!) and this wonderful wall of ramblers in Lunenburg. Congratulations, whoever conceived this and then put it into practice. It was a lot of work but I am sure it has given many people a lot of pleasure over the years.
Mahone Bay was where we set up out home-from-home base, and what a lovely little town - the architecture is simply amazing, and so well kept. I'd love to see the town plan - they must have stringent rules about what you can and can't do - and the result is a place that is almost universally a pleasure to see. The Town Hall, interestingly, looks to have ignored the rules!
There's a lovely little yarn shop there too - Have a Yarn on Main Street - it seems small at first but it goes on and on for three rooms and is simply stuffed with treasure. I was so pleased to see Drops yarns there - I have enjoyed the patterns online but never got to feel the yarn. The alpaca is gorgeous! The lady behind the counter was lovely too, and offered me free patterns for the yarns I chose - I have one mohair scarf started and it's coming out well. I really like this kind of souvenir.