Friday, June 19, 2009

My Tiny Garden

I have been doing quite a bit of gardening lately, which is not something I have ever excelled at. It seems that when someone gives me a flowering plant I end up inadverdently killing it and that makes me very sad. A while back my sister-in-law had bought me a stunning orchid plant and even though I tried my darndest to keep it alive it eventually perished. Although it did last quite some time! Another time a co-worker had bought me a miniature cactus plant (almost bonsai-like) but unfortunately during the summer it withered down to nothing. Let's just say that it ended up looking like someone had dribbled water on green tissue paper. I did not water it excessively to the point that it would shrivel up like that and so I blamed it on the humidity in the air. But I have to say that my most painful memory was in Grade 3 (yes, unfortunately I do remember that far back!) when the entire class planted seeds and we had to chart the progression over a three month period. Well you can guess the outcome of this story. Mine was the only little pot that remained empty. Absolutely nothing grew, no roots no plant. Nothing!!!! I seriously think that I am cursed in the green thumb departement. My mother can grow just about anything. Even if it is dead it comes back to life. I just don't get it.

Well fast forward to summer of 2009. I really wanted a garden this year. I don't know why and what propelled me but I needed to see something grow and thrive after a very long and grey winter. My brother helped me till the soil (bless his heart) and me and my sister-in-law went shopping for vegetables, herbs and the dreaded "F" word......FLOWERS! I planted some of the vegetables we got early on and she planted the ones we got lately. The ones she planted are doing well. The ones I planted well.......we'll see if they grow well. Her thumb is also more "greener" than mine.

The reason I dread flowers is because I haven't seen good results lately. Last year early on in the summer me and my s-i-l planted two Asiatic lillies. We have very heavy winters here in Canada and so I was planning on covering them but alas did not. More so because I was occupied with other things and do admit I got lazy. I doubted that they would survive the winter but yay!!! they did. In late May one day when the weather was nice I ventured into the garden to plant the vegetables and was taking in the beauty of the lillies when I beheld its voracious nemesis. Yup!!!! The dreaded red lily beetle. For those of you who have lillies in your garden you know what I am talking about. There is really nothing to do to get rid of them except for uprooting your lily plant. Once you are infested that's it!!! They just feast on Asiatic, Oriental and Tiger lillies and fritillaries (don't know if I spelled that right). It is a bright scarlet beetle that eats the leaves at an alarming rate and lays eggs under the leaves so you don't see them and it is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. I had to go into the leaves with gloved hands and physically remove the "stuff" . I can not really use pesticides because I have planted an herb garden near it so I don't want to take the chance. If any of you out there are thinking of planting lillies look on the internet before you do and read up on this "horrible pest" because you are going to think twice before you plant any of these flowers. I didn't know that this pest even existed. I want to try and save the flowers but "they" start feasting in April so you can imagine what havoc they have wreaked in my garden. It might be too late but I am trying to make an organic "pesticide" with cayenne pepper, garlic and onion along with water but do not know if I will get positive results. Well I know the red beetle is part of nature but I sure hope it would go live somewhere else during the summer and not in my garden. Geez, I only have two plants, I could not imagine what I would do if I had a whole bed of them.

I tried to take some pics to show ..... here they are.
I have planted cucumbers, red peppers, green peppers, cauliflower, red chilli peppers, 3 different kinds of tomatoes, cabbage, fennel, parsley, and mint.

We wanted celery and green beans but we would have to plant seed indoors for that because we could not find them in any nurseries as growing plants. Don't mind the weeds in the front. I am not a seasoned dedicated gardener. I do what I can though.

This is the smaller garden path across from my back balcony.

And these are my pretty lillies in peril............

Yesterday my s-i-l was tending to the garden and she gave me two beautiful peony flowers. She planted a pinkish/lavender peony near my lilies but the flowers have already bloomed but have withered. Here is a parting shot of the two she cut for me. Have a beautiful week everyone!