A Fine Day


It started out foggy here this morning. You can see the fog is still laying off shore, waiting to make its way back in this evening.  That’s typical weather for us on hot summer days.  

I took advantage of the cool fog to head into the vineyard and start the trimming and tieing up. And wow!  That’s five rows done!  I’m so pleased. The fog had retreated and it was mighty hot by the time I’d finished, but a satisfying accomplishment nonetheless.

Then to clean the chicken coop, because who enjoys a dirty coop (especially in this heat and humidity)?!  Now it’s all cleaned up, with fresh bedding and even some rose petals sprinkled in the nesting boxes.  I collected 4 eggs for my efforts there. 

A load of laundry on the line, the kitchen cleaned up and supper is ready. And the anticipation seeing #1 son, who will be home for dinner tonight.  What could make this day any better? 

An hour or so of quiet time on the porch  swing in the shade (feet in the warm sun), a light breeze, my book and cuppa, surrounded by roses. That’s my cherry on top!


I know. I know. The rose bushes need a trimming, too.  I’ll save that for tomorrow. ūüėČ

WPC – cherry on top

This is “The May”

It’s a little difficult to believe. ¬†For me, anyway. ¬†But here we are … Looking the end of May in the eye. ¬†I’m just not quite sure how that happened so quickly. The garden has been busy! ¬†It seems to have gone from dormant, winter mode into full-on spring/summer growing season within days! ¬†Okay, maybe weeks.

Let’s take a quick walk around and see what has been happening this month:

The primula and …

 The bluebells are showing off.

 The forsythia is almost finished, but the hardy kiwi is leafing out.

 In the kitchen garden, the garlic is well up,

¬†The parsley has returned – it doesn’t always make it through the winter – and …

¬†The asparagus looks like it’s dancing! ¬†I covered the early sprouts with a cloche to protect them from pillaging chickens. ¬†And it worked! ¬†This meager offering is my best asparagus crop. Ever. But don’t they look funny?

¬†The apples are blossoming, and …


So are my darling haskaps.


We had the first bud break in the vineyard yesterday.  I think this is the Baco Noir. (Note to self Рlabel vines!)


A family friend refers to this time of year – when the choke cherry trees blossom, the maple buds swell, and the tender young leaves start to emerge; when the landscape looks frothy – as “The May”. ¬†A lovely, and promising description.

But! ¬†Enough of this! ¬†There is work to be done…

¬†By the looks of that rhubarb, I have some harvesting, chopping, freezing and preserving to do. ¬†I’m off ……

Victory in Harvest

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900 pounds of grapes! ¬†This year’s grape harvest represented a brilliant victory for our little vineyard. ¬†Last year, raccoons had a bit of a party just a few nights before harvest. ¬†They left us with 320 pounds of fruit. ¬†Nice, eh? We are struggling to figure out how they managed to compromise the electric fencing, but they did it. ¬†This year, however, we were vigilant – patrolling the fencing every evening and morning for the weeks before harvest – and it payed off beautifully.

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That 320 pounds took us all day to pick; we were a team of just two Рone removing the bird netting, one picking grapes.  This year however. we were joined by family and friends to make a bit off a party of our own.  Not only were we finished by early afternoon, we had lots of fun together.

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Take that raccoons!  This year, it was our turn!

WPC – Victory

A Walk in the June Garden

However many years she lived, Mary always felt that she should never forget that first morning when her garden began to grow. – Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Finally Рgreen and growing.  Even though we are a full two weeks behind the usual growing season this year, the June garden is full of promise.

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In the vineyard, the grapes are just beginning to flower.  We are working hard to double the plantings in our little vineyard this spring, so these little flowers are very encouraging.

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The Hascap berries are fully formed and just thinking about turning blue.  They should be ripe in about 2 or 3 weeks.  Do you know about hascaps?

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The hops are reaching….. reaching….. reaching!

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The French Tarragon is at it’s peak! ¬†Yum!

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The hard neck garlic is looking hale and healthy.

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And the strawberries are coming along.

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Do you remember the cold frame that was buried under several feet of snow this winter? ¬†Well, here’s what has been going on in there… the carrots, kale and lettuce thrived… and are now giving us an early harvest. ¬†We’ve happily been enjoying the kale for weeks.

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The irises …

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bleeding heart, bluebells, lambs ears, and ….

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the first poppy!

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¬†If you ask me, nothing says “June Garden” like the sight and scent of the lilac.

So, This Is Spring, Is It?

Julie, from the very lovely Frog Pond Farm tells us April is Garden Share Collective Month. ¬†Here we are one week into the month, and I feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my garden, poor thing.

This is what happened here yesterday…… yup, another 15 cm of snow to add to the 350 cm or so that we have had since early February.

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And this is the kitchen garden this morning.  Under the snow are the raised beds. I guess I can forget getting into the shed for a little while yet.

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The grapevines should have been pruned a month ago, but instead, they are up to their armpits in snow. They will have to wait.IMG_3325

And my poor chickens are desperate for a patch of bare soil, bless them.

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It’s a very sad story, I know. ¬†But it is not all doom and gloom – not at all. ¬†Gardening is for optimists, even at the best of times. All this snow pretty much guarantees us of a full and healthy water table this summer. That’s very good news. ¬†And, hurrah!! The maple sap has started to run…. albeit, about three weeks behind schedule.

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And under the grow lights, the tomato, pepper and onion sprouts are encouraging me everyday. ¬†Since I can’t access the my pots, which are in the garden shed, I’ve been using yogurt containers, egg cartons and other recycled items to start the seeds. ¬†So far, so good.

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¬†Tomorrow we are going shopping for some vineyard trellising posts!!! Thats the sign of an optimist! ūüôā

Wishing you all, Happy Gardening, where ever your garden is.

A Juicy Reward

The very first pressing of our first crop of grapes.

When we planted the vines, we had a lot on our plate.  The house was under construction, we committed ourselves to completing all the interior finishing, the children were young and very busy, and I re-entered the workforce.  So….the timing was not ideal.

And even though our little vineyard graces a nice south-facing slope, we can’t avoid the fact that we are perched on the edge of the North Atlantic Ocean.  Our winters are long, our summers are short and spring is all but non-existent.  (Autumns, however, are glorious!) There is no guarantee of the sufficient heat units required to ripen wine grapes.  So…..the climate is not ideal.

For the first 3 – 4 years, the deer (bless them) rejoiced in these new baby plants, chomping off every fresh shoot leaving the vines looking more like bonsai trees.  When we had the resources, we fixed that problem with electric deer fencing (and a concoction of peanut butter and vegetable oil).  The vines grew beautifully. When the grapes were ripe, flocks of birds descended and cleaned us out.  Enter bird netting.  It worked beautifully until the  raccoons figured out how to un-clip the bird netting.  The result was a raccoon party in the vineyard.  So we bought and installed raccoon fencing. Take that!  So……the situation is not ideal.

In spite of all of that, after about 8 or 9 years and a steep learning curve, voila! We were rewarded with (two days of removing fencing, netting and more fencing, back breaking harvesting, sorting and pressing by hand) several gallons of our very own grape juice……ready for fermentation!! 

A very satisfying reward! ÔĽŅ

ÔĽŅ

More Rewards!