How does your garden grow?

Truro is being judged in the 2011 Communities in Bloom competition.  As stated in their website, Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with focus on the promotion of green spaces in community settings.

Here at the Belgravia Bed & Breakfast, the yard work is continuous.  Just last month, I was lamenting to the key-note speakers from the Nova Scotia Provincial Heritage Conference that we had not yet had the time nor the resources to fix our stone wall which fell over in a frost heave two Easters ago.  There always seems to be other priorities…  (Like a husband finishing his Masters Thesis!)  They each took a look at our wall, but one said to me, “Fixing the wall is nice… BUT… Your real priority is cleaning out that garden on the side of your house!”

I knew exactly which garden he was talking about – the one located on the Prince Street side of our home.  Because it is set off the sidewalk, I was always able to argue that “at least it looks green from a distance!”  Apparently having all that greenery against the wood shingles is not good for them…

As you can see, we had our work cut out for us!!  In the eight-and-a-half years that we’ve been here, this particular garden has been sadly neglected, but not any longer!  D’Arcy & I spent a number of hours weeding, pulling, cutting, trimming and planting…

The yard is slowly, but surely coming along and will hopefully be looking great by the time the judges arrive in Truro on July 22nd!

The Back Deck

Heavy peonies and mock orange bush at the front of the house

South-west flower bed

The Belgravia Bed & Breakfast from Broad Street

The view from the north-west corner of the property

Ta-Da!! We can see out our kitchen window again!

We'll trim the rhododendron when it has finished blooming!

The dining room window

I love to sit on the front porch in the afternoon!

The garage

Our garden this year: tomatoes, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, radishes, carrots, peas, beans, beets, spinach, cilantro, rosemary, corn, cauliflower, cucumbers, watermelon and...

... one GIANT pumpkin! (If it grows properly, it could weigh up to 500 lbs!)

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The Garden Is In

The garden and (most) of the flowers are now planted!!

In the vegetable garden this year, we have planted cucumbers, peas, beans, carrots, onions, red cabbage, tomatoes, red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, beets and spinach.  (I think I’m missing something!)  We’ve also planted cilantro, basil, rosemary, chives, dill, oregano & thyme.

Today, under the “Belgravia” sign, we  put in some perennials & snapdragons.  We also got many of the front & side beds weeded, some sunflower seeds planted, and the vegetable garden weeded.  Hopefully the sun will shine again tomorrow and I’ll get the back bed cleaned out while D’Arcy mows the lawn.

I do love this time of year when it is necessary to be outside!

Gardening

The weatherman is saying that it is supposed to be a beautiful weekend here in Truro, so it’s time to get the garden ready. 

D’Arcy & I have always been fairly conscious about what we eat, however our interest in where our food comes from was sky-rocketed to a new level when our daughter was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies two summers ago.  Her allergies were so severe that we hesitated to take her into the grocery store; she would break out into hives if I sat her in the cart where a previous child might have been eating a cookie from the “cookie club”.   In the winter especially, when all the peanuts & tree nuts are out en mass, we had to feed her canned or frozen fruit & vegetables just in case somebody else had lifted their bag of nuts over our produce, leaving unseen dust behind.  It took a long time for us to come to terms with the fact that this small amount we can’t necessarily see is enough to send her into anaphylaxis.

Last year, we decided to plant a garden of our own. 

D’Arcy rented a sod cutter & a rototiller and away we went.  It was a family affair as we tore out a rock garden and started digging into the lawn.

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My father came down and helped us with the planting and we planted carrots, onions, garlic, beets, spinach, yellow peppers, red peppers, broccoli, sugar peas, green beans, cilantro, basil & sunflowers.  Oh yes, and tomatoes – lots of tomatoes!  We ended up with about 50o tomatoes, using them to make green tomato chow, salsa and tomato sauce.  We served and gave them away to guests & family, and told the other B&B’s in the area to come over with their baskets and take as many as they wanted… 

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It was very satisfying to grow our own food and oh, so convenient to just run out the back door to grab what we needed for supper (or breakfast!).

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Our bounty of sunflower seeds

Our bounty of sunflower seeds

We have long supported one local farm and buy the majority of our meat and strawberries at Riverbreeze Farm Market.  (They also have an awesome corn maze that is fun to go through in the fall!)  This year, we are going one step further and have joined Club Salad Bowl Gardens, a Community-Shared-Agriculture style delivery program. Every Tuesday, for 18 weeks starting in June, we will receive a box of organic goodies (whatever is ready to be picked!) from a local farm.  This will supplement what we just don’t have room to grow.  It makes me hungry just thinking about it!!

Happy Earth Day!

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