gabriola garden

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Brandy, Blue Girl, and American Dream

Our second heatwave of the summer just broke. I had to put a warm vest on this morning, since it was kind of chilly. They’re calling for showers on the weekend. Our garden will be grateful.

My vegetables are growing, along with Sara’s flowers. I planted the tomatoes too closely together, so I might have to cut a few branches to let the sun get to the fruit on the lower ones. Right now I have only a few tiny, green fruit, the plants are mostly flowering. We’ve switched to Iguana Juice Bloom at feeding time.

The squash and the zucchini are growing, but they have a long way to go before they become giant ribbon-winners. The garlic and the scallions are doing fine. The tender sweet peas and the scarlet running beans are thriving. The beans are mostly in flower, but we already have a few peas for the picking. Sara snuck some into the salad the other night, and they were crunchy and delicious.

Sara’s hybrid Tea Roses are blooming. Hedgehog’s favorite is the “Brandy” variety, while I am still amazed by the “Blue Girl.” It provides fragrant, large double flowers and is billed as disease resistant. I spray all the Roses with Scorpion Juice, just in case. This miracle liquid wards off all sorts of pathogens.

The “Purple Passion” Rose had only two buds open until now, with more on the way. Learning to prune roses is an acquired science. Hybrid teas, for instance, have to be liberated from dead, or diseased, or crossing over shoots in the spring. Any remaining branches have to be cut back by half. Always make the cut sloping away from an outward facing bud. Tip back all the shoots in the fall to minimize damage from winter winds.

Sara’s Delphinium “Magic Fountains” is also billed as Dark Blue/White Bee, because of the white center in each blue bloom. It just opened. Alongside her orange miniature roses grow some Coreopsis rosea “American Dream,” which you can see in the picture.

June and Jim will have had a double thrill, by the time this week is over. On Tuesday, Sara took them to Playland in Vancouver. They usually go before the Pacific National Exhibition opens, it’s not as crowded before then. June loved the rides that spin you in a circle, while Jim preferred the large roller coaster. They were disappointed that they didn’t win anything on the Midway.

Sara tried to explain to them that this is a big city amusement park, and it’s different from the local Gabriola Fair. Here the teenagers working the various attractions on the Midway know all the children and they go out of their way to help them to win, even a small prize. Hedgehog complained that none of the soft toys at Playland were worth the effort. “They were ugly,” complained our daughter.

Tomorrow night we’re taking them to Vancouver again for the huge fireworks. China is competing against Italy, the Czech Republic, and Mexico this year. We go to at least one each year and stay with friends. The ferry only runs at a certain time. These fireworks are truly spectacular—they’re synchronized to music. On Saturday night half-a-million people turn out to see them!

posted by Tim at 1:45 AM


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