gabriola garden

Friday, October 26, 2007

Clones Come to Sara's Garden, Hedgehog Keeps a Secret

The last of the beans, squash, and zucchini were harvested yesterday, and Sara’s flower garden has seen better days. Much of the foliage has turned yellow because of the season and this morning we woke up to frost all over every plant.

Despite the inclement nature of most of our weather these days, Sara is still acquiring plants for her garden, and we have to dig up more and more of our lawn area in order to accommodate her plantings.

She’s also picking up large containers of manure from ranches and farms around the island and composting it for spring application. Some plants she’s planting in barrels or large plastic containers that she buys from Toys-R-Us in Vancouver.

These plants are perennials, so even if their foliage dies off during the cold winter months, we’ll have some lovely flowers in the spring or summer.

She was given some Day Lilies, Irises, Margaretas, Rudebeckai, three Styrax Japonica saplings, and about seven barrel fulls of Lilac bushes that are over six feet tall. The Lilacs are actually budding in our West Coast climate. We pray that the buds survive the worst of the winter cold.

Since most of the plants she received are in fact cuttings or clones, we anticipated their arrival by purchasing some Clone It, the best cloning gel in the world. We dipped the new comers into this Advanced Nutrients product, and planted them in the fertile mix of composted manure and rich soil.

Sara broke some Styrofoam boards into bits and pieces and placed them on the bottom of the containers, after drilling drain holes on the sides and bottoms of the barrels. Good drainage is absolutely essential for container gardening. Nothing kills plants like being waterlogged.

We also used some No Shock in order to alleviate the stress of transplantation. Then in three weeks time, after the plants had a chance to sprout new roots, we’ll fertilize the barrels with Iguana Juice Grow, our time-proven base fertilizer.

The plant food will nourish the plants through the winter, even if the above ground part perishes in the cold. Usually, here on the mildest coast of Canada, we have new shoots sprouting well into November or December.

Our coldest months are January and February, but nothing is etched in stone. Perhaps we’ll have lots of snow, perhaps not. World weather has become highly unpredictable, with certain States suffering droughts in the southern U.S., while others are experiencing severe rains and flooding.

The California wildfires are very frightening to us, living on an island as we are. We pray that the conditions that set off the fires in ‘California (the Santa Ana dry winds from the desert knocking over power poles) never come to Gabriola.

I managed to get photos of some of Sara’s flowers still in bloom, such as Snapdragons, Foxglove, Daisies, Black Eyed Susans, and Achillea Yarrow. Also, her Cosmos plants are thriving with golden green, lacy foliage growing like crazy, as well as some blooms that are still open.

I won’t be blogging every week from now on, since other commitments have taken precedence. While Jim is in school, Sara and Hedgehog took advantage of the sunny day to go to the pumpkin patch to pick some big ones out for Halloween.

Hedgehog is making her own costume with Sara’s help, but she won’t tell me what it is. I guess I’ll find out on the 31st! Happy Halloween!

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posted by Tim at 4:28 PM | 4 comments