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close up of blue little flowers


Spring, the time for hope eternal. Greening grasses, blooming spring bulbs and the glimpse of the summer to come.  Those who garden have green blood racing through their veins, heart jumping with excitement over the thought of getting to the garden center first for those choice bedding plants. And most likely have started their own seedlings, but as all gardeners know, it’s never enough.

Well, not this girl. Sorta.

Oh, what a see-saw spring it is. I am overcome with excitement over building our new house and the thoughts of what I am going to undertake there, yard-wise. I have learned so much and can’t wait to put in everything – within reason- that I have yearned over for years.

I am so underwhelmed and, well pouty, to be honest, that I have put all this hard work into my current yard, only to not be able to have a garden this year – odds are we are gone by summer, September almost definitely- so there is no point.

Oh, I have early greens started and apparently a crop of parsnips and carrot decided to overwinter? Anyone else have this happen?

I dug down and the root vegetables are as hard as ever, and the green tops growing like mad. Interesting.


three honeyberry bushes planted

I have dug up some of the treasures I have obtained over the years, my three honeyberry bushes, all dug before they “woke up” for the season. This, in spring, means you are digging in mud I am afraid, but it’s very important to transplant before they get even close to budding.

They are as happy in 5 gallon pails as they were in the ground. Hardy little buggers.

growing plants near the fence

The reason they are in pails in the flowerbed, with flowers dispersed between them is because they are blossoming and in order to have berries this summer, pails or not, they have to be pollinated.

On the reading I have done on these, it has been said that the different species can bloom at different times.   That doesn’t make for any cross pollination success, naturally. I was very happy to see that all three of my honeyberries are blossoming at the exact same time, now I just have to pray for pollinators. I have read post after post on gardening forums of gardeners bemoaning the fact their honeyberries won’t blossom at the same time, so I consider myself lucky.

And as a learning experience, now I know they are very early blossomers, so next year in the new house I will plant early blooming flowers and  potted flowers to help lure in those pollinating insects.

And thank goodness I blog everything, I just went back and looked at what species I planted.

For those who would like to try these- and I highly recommend them as a blueberry substitute for our soil- I bought Berry Blue (2) and a Borealis. I would like to give a HUGE shout out to Hole’s Gardening Center for helping me out, they told me  Borealis as the best pollinator for Berry Blue and they were right on. Always ask the experts, it saves you those green tears.


close up of flowering strawberry plant


Green strawberries already and these strawberries overwintered this harsh winter successfully. Amazing. There is nothing better for successful growing than a south facing fence. Not yard, fence. The heat radiates from the fence back onto the soil, giving you extra warmth. This is one of the main reasons we went with an east facing backyard again, the beautiful morning sun in my kitchen and the heat of the day sun is all along one side for lovely temperatures for gardening. It gets so warm I was going to attempt grapes along it this year, alas, it will have to be next year.

If I have a fence by planting season.

flowering strawberry plant

I have learned so much from the last 4 years in my yard, what comes back – like the aquilegia and lilies below- and what doesn’t-blasted blueberries- and am infinitely grateful that going in to the next completely unlandscaped and un-gardened yard I won’t repeat the same mistakes.

Oh, I am sure that I will make quite a few new ones, mark my words.


planted aquilegia and lilies

I hope everyone is arm deep in their gardenbeds and getting excited for the coming planting season. I am trying to look on the positive side and embrace that this year is truly forcing me to learn how to be a competent vegetable container gardener. Which isn’t my first choice, but hey, it’s better than nothing!

Enjoy the plus 20 weather today!

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Mindy says

    That’s cool, I’ve never used them in a salad. I’m a gardening virgin for a lot of the plants I’ve chosen this year, will be interesting. My lettuce and cosmos have started sprouting as well! Yay.

  2. Mindy says

    Everything looks great! My beets have started sprouting, much to my surprise.

    • Karlynn says

      Oh remember, little beet leaves make amazing salad! I was more excited about the leaves than the actual beets 😛 SO jealous, I am planting so little this year.

  3. Michaela says

    I just got Nigel Slater’s book Tender, which is all about gardening. I can’t wait to get my hands in some dirt! I don’t have a yard right now, but once I do, there will be tomatoes and beets and basil and all sorts of delicious veggies and herbs.

    • Karlynn says

      Do you have room for containers? I am going to be trying all sorts of veggies this year in containers since I don’t have permanent garden space. You can do quite a bit, it’s surprising!

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