Magpie, Magpie, How Does Your Garden Grow?

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newly grown strawberry fruits


I have a lot of container gardening going on this year, with success in some areas and absolute failure in others.

The beautiful, leafy Mesclun – a mixture of delicious greens – below is a roaring success and I am so excited to harvest it in perhaps a mere week now, if the sun ever shines and helps it out.

I am sad to say that my container of spinach suffered at the hands tail of my brothers big black Lab and took an unrecoverable dive off the deck. It was a very sad rescue attempt, with me ending up chasing the dog and banishing it from the deck.

It wasn’t pretty. I was mad. There was cursing and fist shaking involved.

Greens are made for container gardening, they are hardy, usually don’t give a flying hoot about soil quality  and just need watering once in a while with no commitment on your part really. My sister didn’t feel like planting any ornamental flowers in her pedestal planters so I threw in some lettuce seeds for her. The planters are bursting with salad for her to enjoy in a few weeks time.

leafy mesclun growing in a white container

My Lupines are back in all their glory, adding color and cheer to the backyard.

close up of colored violet Lupine flower

My Aquilegia are stunning, as much as I am not really a fan of white flowers, I do find them gorgeous, how can you not? I think they would be more stunning in larger groups than I have currently planted.

Aquilegia with white flowers

Honeyberries! Yes indeed, they are already turning blue, but as I have mentioned before the trick is to just leave them. I will keep an eye on them, but once they are blue I let them sit at least another week. You don’t want them to start to wrinkle and dry out, but the flavor just sweetens the longer they sit on the bush.

How can you not love these? A bush berry that is fully ripe in June! In Alberta! Almost ridiculous, isn’t it?

bush berries that soon will ripe

My Crimson Passion cherry, carefully transplanted into a bucket this spring as to make the move with us to the new house. It didn’t produce last year so I am curious whether these turn out or not. Last year they just shriveled up after this point.

Crimson Passion cherry with some new fruits

Ah, peonies. Old lady flowers. I love thee. How they make me want to move to a cottage and surround it with my flowers.

pink peonies flowers in full bloom

My first Columbine but not my last. Technically the Aquilegia are columbine as well, but they don’t have the traditional shape like the one below.

I start almost everything from seed, so it takes two years until they flower usually. I adore the shape of Columbines, so interesting.

close up violet flower of columbines

Jacob’s Ladder. Trustworthy, early blooming, hardy flowers.

blue violet colored jacob's ladder flower

My potatoes have already been hilled once, beans are popping up, green strawberries abound and there are a few carrots and parsnips sprouting up in the back. Mainly I have flowers this year to enjoy more so than produce and that’s ok.

My raspberries are exploding this year and I am hoping we get to enjoy them before we move. They are blossoming like mad and I can’t help but stop and look, thinking to myself please, let us be able to enjoy these just once! It can take so long to establish some bushes to the point where you get more than a handful of fruit and to move the year they finally explode is driving me crazy.

I am laying down the law with Mr Magpie, this is the last move unless it’s to the country. And yes, I admit that it’s all my doing, I was the one who wanted to move to the south end of Edmonton, I am the one who fell in love with the house  and planned out my dream kitchen while he just gamely smiled and nodded and let me. He kinda rocks and I am a lucky girl to have him.

So maybe I just need to lay down the law with myself then.  No moving for at least 10 years. Right?

If you haven’t already, go and enter my Happy Gardening Giveaway and win yourself some lovely gardening books!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!


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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. TonyPreston says

    The best part about having your own garden is the day that all the fruis and veggies are ready for harvest isn’t it! Makes putting all that back-breaking work and setting up fencing and hours of concocting fertilizers all worth it! Good job and do update us when you’ve started to eat up your glorious produce!

  2. Michaela says

    Hopefully your new house is everything you want from it and more!

    I’m hoping to plant some vegetables on my deck this summer when I move back home. Any suggestions? The lettuce definitely seems to be a good idea, and I may also try to raise a tomato plant (I think it’s too late to grow from seed.) Our hottest months aren’t until September and October so we have a while left in our growing season.

  3. Acanadianfoodie says

    Beautiful garden… I miss my lupines – first year without them – I moved them out to plant more tomatoes, but I see a couple rearing their heads, and I am cheering them on. Wonder why my lettuce is so much bigger than yours. We’ve been eating it for two weeks now – and have way too much for 2 people. Everything is so precious when you grow it yourself. I would have my heart aching for my garden, too – if I were you. We even have the same peones! I have others, too  – but that one was the first to blossom and is at the very same phase as yours!

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