Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Forest Garden Update

This year, I can see, that the forest garden is turning a corner. We inherited a homestead orchard containing apples, pears, serviceberry, chokecherry, currants, grapes and plums. It had been tilled and planted up with squash. There was also a tilled veggie patch beside. I have been converting the orchard into a forest garden and the veggie patch into a sunny demonstration garden.

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Grape planted with golden garlic (Allium moly), and oregano. Some bread seed poppy (Papaver somniferum) is also making itself at home in the area. 

September 2010, I fall seeded a bunch a lot of plants including good king henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus), nepeta, kale, perennial sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani), bloody dock (rumen sanguineus), alliums, mustards, chicory, parsnips, lupins and much, much more.

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Yellow: Zizia aurea and golden alyssum (Aurinia saxatilis) in the distance and goji berry.

Season 2011: Wonderful growing season though I did have quite a few brassica flea beetles mid-summer. Little would I know that was my initiation into what was to be the zoo of flea beetles. Garden was expanded. Paths and beds put in.

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Perennial leek 'Oeprei' with little violets (Viola cornuta) as part of the sunny demo bed.

Season 2012: Season started early followed by late frost, once in 100 year drought and hungry pests. Then we added another baby to the family and it finally rained. Garden was messy at best though I did get some produce.

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Viola odorata 'bicolor' with English daisy (Bellis perennis) and rhubarb.

Season 2013: Still ansy from 2012 and with a new baby in tow, I try covering the ground with limited success.

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A hairless version of Sweet Cicely (Myhrris odorata) beneath an apple tree. On the other side is my tallest Hablitzia and wild ginger (Asarum canadense) too.

Season 2014: Perennials like Blue chives (Allium nutans), buckler leaf sorrel (Rumex scutatus), hablitzia, walking onion, rhubarb, strawberry spinach (Chenopodium capitatum), patience dock and more are really starting to shine. The ground is growing more edibles, beneficials and beauty than it is weeds (which have their edible, beneficial and beautiful side of course). I feel we have turned a corner.

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I rather like how Seakale 'Lilywhite' (Crambe maritima) and Blue Alkanet look together. I imagine they'll be even more spectacular in bloom.

I was happy to see good survival of soldier mallow, poppy mallow, monkey flower, and overwintering of roots like turnip, fennel and parsley for seed. Lots of new plants to the garden too like udo (Aralia cordata), Beetroot bellflower (Campanula punctata) and variegated daylily (Hemerocallis sp.). Any plants that don't go in nursery sales this year, will be planted either in propagation beds or in the forest garden proper. The forest is really filling in now!

2 comments:

Cassandra said...

What beautiful photographs, it is lovely to see how your garden is progressing. from Cassandra in Nottingham, UK

Ottawa Gardener said...

Hello Cassandra! Lovely to hear from you.