gabriola garden

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Upside Down Tomatoes Thriving--Garden Glorious!

Those readers of this blog who are curious about how our upside down tomatoes are doing will be glad to know that they are flourishing! Some of them have tiny tomatoes and most of them are in flower! We've had some glorious days of sunshine and the plants are just soaking it all up!

The rest of Sara's garden is also magnificent! She gets so many compliments from neighbors and people just walking by that she asked me to print out some information about Iguana Juice, which is the miracle fertilizer responsible for the huge increase in yield this year! The Delphiniums, Foxgloves, and Campanula are towering over the Rose bushes and Daisies. "I've never seen Foxglove that's eight feet tall," said a passer-by. "Well now you have," chuckled Hedgehog.

Instead of filling this post with words, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Our garden is so popular that someone came while we were elsewhere and snipped all the pods off our huge red poppy plants. Sara left the pods on the stems in order to let them dry. Ah well, I guess they thought they could get high--but they'll soon discover that these are not Opium Poppies (those are illegal) they're just a cousin of the opium variety--grown strictly for ornamental purposes.

Hedgehog and Jim made handmade signs and posted them on the edges of the garden. "Please do not steal these flowers or seeds. These plants were grown with love and nourished by our family. Learn to grow your own!"

Gone are the days when people used to leave their doors open all over the island.

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posted by Tim at 4:05 PM | 1 comments

Friday, July 04, 2008

Organic Gardening Pays Off With Gigantic Flowers

Six-feet-tall Campanula! Seven-foot-tall Foxglove! Even taller Delphiniums! Sara’s garden hasn’t seen flowers this high ever! Last summer her blooms were spectacular, but she’s been building up the soil of her flower beds consistently ever since. She uses composted horse manure, composted kitchen parings, Mother Earth Super Tea Grow and Bloom, and grass clippings as a form of mulch. All this, in addition to our super-growth-inducing primary 100% organic fertilizer—Iguana Juice Grow and Bloom**.

Complementing the Campanula, Foxglove, and Delphiniums, Sara grows about a dozen different kinds of Roses. The Hybrid Tea Roses Brandy, Blue Girl, Sunflare, and Intrigue are especially beautiful this time of year, and the Cecile Brunner Rose is particularly prolific, with it’s delicate blooms popping up all over the place and the plant reaching heights of five or six feet.

Sara’s Catmint plants are especially beautiful this year with their purple flower-covered branches bursting forth from the centre into all directions. Her Lilacs have bloomed in late spring with their lovely scent and she is growing three kinds of Peonies, all of which are still very much active.

Hedgehog’s barrel has reddish Lilies this year, along with an assortment of colourful annuals and Sara’s Honeysuckle is attracting hummingbirds to its prolific array of flowers. The sweet nectar of this plant is like a magnet to these tiny birds with their wings flapping a mile a minute.

The upside down tomatoes are flourishing. Out of the ten buckets, only one pepper plant died, soon to be replaced by a fledgling tomato plant. It’s a challenge watering the buckets, but if we aim the hose just right, the arc of the water enters from the top. Some of the buckets are open at the top with annual flowers gracing the opening, some still have lids on them with only a two inch hole for the water to enter.

Sara and I get a great deal of pleasure working in our respective organic gardens. My vegetables this year include Sweet and Hot Peppers, Cherry and Beefsteak Tomatoes, Kale (which Sara prepares with olive oil, garlic, and slivered almonds), Spinach, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Squash, and four kinds of Lettuce, from Butter Lettuce to Crinkly Leaved Red and Green Varieties.

With the contamination of the commercial tomato crop, it’s nice to have a safe source of tomatoes within a few yards of our home. Sara and I have been talking about setting up a hydroponic grow space in our basement, so we could grow vegetables year round. A great way to reduce our carbon footprint! Not to mention cutting down on our car trips to the store and reducing the amount of money we spend on the outrageously high priced gasoline.

**Iguana Juice Grow and Bloom are beginning to be known in our neighbourhood as “that magic plant food that Sara uses.” A number of our local gardeners have written the name down and have gone to the Advanced Nutrients website to check out this product, as well as Humic Acid, Fulvic Acid, and that other Grandma Enggy organic wonder product, Seaweed Extract. The most avid gardener (next to Sara) has actually purchased Iguana Juice (both varieties) at a hydroponics store in Victoria.

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posted by Tim at 3:18 PM | 1 comments