Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Costume Party!

Last Year's bonfire was a great one!

           Our Guy Fawkes party this year will be the Saturday after Hallowe'en, so we decided to make it a costume one. Everyone seems to be thinking Elizabethan styles, so I'm going with Simplicity 3809: Misses Costumes with a full skirt, peasant-style blouse and laced bodice in a glitzy gold tapestry fabric. The hat with veil is interesting - definitely square-headed. I have a comb to sew inside to help hold it on, though I am dubious about how long it will last.

Men Costumes
        Fred's is a more sober black pants, white shirt and black (long) doublet with silver threads in a zigzag pattern. I cut the doublet last night but haven't sewn it yet, though the pants are done. They have laces in the cuffs instead of elastic - I may modify that. I gave him a zip instead of buttons as well. I think I'll find a velvet for the hat in a bright-ish colour to cheer him up.
        We have to get through The Ghost Walk first, however. It is tomorrow night, and as usual it will be raining. Gives a real spooky sense to the night, of course, but a bit mizzerubl for the ghosties waiting in darkened places. Brrr.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Picking and planting

l to r: gold false cypress, green false cypress, weeping beech
      The weather has continued summer-like, so I am still at the planting, with several things still to go in before the frosts come. I did put the beech below the white pine, along with two Sawara cypresses which I had bought over the summer. The first (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Filifera' (Greenthread False Cypress) I got at a great nursery in Berwick, NS - The Briar Patch, an absolutely wonderful place with every imaginable plant, including the false cypress which I have longed to have for a while. It was $45 for a really good, large specimen, and it travelled home in the trunk of the car quite happily. Then, when the new Kent store was selling off its plants at the end of the season, I got a quite small one, the golden variety this time (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Filifera Aurea Nana' – Gold Threadleaf Sawara Cypress), for $5. So, $50 for two. A terrific price!
Ageratina altissima ‘Chocolate', blooming!
        This week I planted my garlic crop (quite large this time, with some of Lloyd's Music, and some unnamed ones from the 70 Mile Yard Sale in Caledonia, along with a tiny variety they called just 'hot' garlic. Maybe that means they stole it? ;-) I have also cleared a couple of beds to put in a cover crop - probably mustard? My tomato plants succumbed to blight again this year, but the ones I kept in the polytunnel are still green and healthy - and better - producing! As long as the weather holds. So I have decided to keep them in the polytunnel next year - I just can't bear to lose them again, after all the hard work of choosing varieties, planting them indoors and growing them on, etc. It will also provide a lot of growing space in the vegetable plot freed up for other things. I think I will do a bed of annuals for cutting. I've been choosing varieties and sourcing seeds.
       I have also planted out seven little willow seedlings (probably salix alba) that had been in the cold frame last winter. They are from cuttings we took the summer before in Fortune. It's a really interesting variety, grows in drier spots than willow usually does, with lovely rounded heads and the usual shiny, shiny willow leaves. There's a spot on the 48 Road where several houses have them along their driveways and they are gorgeous. And I put in the twelve oak seedlings (Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’ (Columnar English Oak) I grew from acorns the summer before that - just in a row behind the new fence that's going to support the espaliered apple trees. All these trees are just there to grow a bit before being moved to permanent positions, I have no idea where.
Don's Rhododendron
           Also in, and from the Kent sale for $5, are two hybrid lilacs, Sensation and Agincourt Beauty. I put them just to the south of the big white pine, reasoning that the pine's lower branches will go as the lilacs grow upwards.  I put the rhodo from Don under the pine, just at the edge so it gets sun but with lots of the pine needles it loves. I put a lot of them into the planting hole as well.
        I did finally put in the two posts for the wire supports and the two apple trees - the honeycrisp I almost lost through leaving it in the polytunnel in a pot all winter, and the other one I bought this spring, bare root from the apple orchard and potted up. I just have to wire the posts and tie in the apple trees. I am debating what to do with the hardy peach I also bought there...I want to keep it in the pot but I think the roots will be at risk if I leave it above ground. I may plunge it in the garden and then hoik it out and put it in the polytunnel in the spring to get it started early. That should be fun.
    The climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris) which was planted by the white oak a couple of years ago has started to climb! The tiny branches snaking up the trunk are clinging on as hard as they can with advantitious roots.  Can't wait to see the future glory. It is obviously in the "creeps" phase at the moment. 
    And, as far as picking goes, I am lifting leeks and carrots, and picking cranberries (in the wild). Our domestic crop of cranberries amounted to just 12 this year, or one per square foot of bog. Lots of vines there now, though, do I am very hopeful for the future crop. And the garden is still producing zucchini!

Our whole crop!