Despite a late start and two late-season snowfalls, my garden is finally up and running. And what is today: July 3rd? No wonder I always lose hope that anything will come of my gardening efforts in the far North. Back home in Arkansas, the vegetable season is nearly over by the beginning of July, and here my veggies are just getting started.
So how does my garden grow? Right now the corn and bean bushes are about a foot high, my miscellaneous melons have sprouted, and the radish and carrots are standing tall in their military lines. I also have more lettuce than I know what to do with. These pictures are about 10 days old already--and boy you wouldn't recognize the veggie beds now. Why, just this morning, Kevin looked out the kitchen window and yelled, "Sarah, come quick, a green monster has attacked your vegetable beds!" In fact, it was just my outta control brassicas. Turns out, I have the perfect conditions for cabbages, and, with a little help from the extended family of robins residing in our backyard, they've sowed themselves in every nook and cranny of the garden.
Sadly, the only things that haven't done much this year are the heirloom flowers. The bachelor buttons, daisies, echinacea and hollyhocks have all sprouted, but they're growing so slowly I don't think they'll catch up before the frost comes. Likewise, my sunflowers are doing their best, but I just don't think the backyard flowerbed gets enough sun. Unfortunately, when I was planning that flowerbed, it was early spring, and the backyard appeared to get full sun all day long. But now that our hundred-year-old oak tree has leafed out, there's barely an inch of sunlight in the whole backyard. Not that I'm complaining. Shade is something rare and precious on the Alberta Prairies. I'll just chalk it up to experience and buy shady varieties next year.
The bush beans made a surprise appearance--three weeks late.
Miscellaneous melons growing between my rows of corn.
The chives are flowering next to the strawberries and raspberries. (I ran out of compost and substituted potting soil instead. I think that was probably a mistake.)
For future reference, three kinds of lettuce is more than enough. Here are Black-seeded Simposon (front), Merveille de Quatre Saisons (back right), and Drunken Woman (back left).
But the real secret to my garden's success was the careful attention of my garden assistant.