Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Humble Bungalow Garden is growing...

We are trying to keep up with our Humble Bungalow Garden.
It's size and needs have gotten away from us...
Created by an industrious Hostess over the past 30 years it is a pleasant place to sit and relax.
There are heavily planted beds and very little grass!
The point that I am getting at is that it is a LOT of work to maintain so I have hired a strong man to help me whip it into shape and I am hoping that we can keep him on for a few hours each month to keep things looking tidy.
At least until I retire and have more free time to tend it.

I picked these Euphorbia blooms as we removed one 
to make room for a dedicated asparagus bed.

Looking down from the sundeck
2 robust rhubarb plants
limelight hydrangeas
garlic in the raised bed between the rhubarbs
and the new raised bed

I bought new organic soil to fill this bed
but did not buy enough 
(24 cubic feet is not the same as 49 square feet!)
so I am making two more trips in the Volvo wagon
until it is filled
and then Mr. HB will be planting the asparagus
which apparently takes a few years of growth before a decent harvest can be expected.

Keeping Mr. HB fueled I actioned some spaghetti and meatballs
Lidia Bastianich's recipe that I found online.

You make the sauce first and then brown the meatballs in oil before adding them to the sauce.

Homemade pasta 
and the Kitchen Aid Pasta attachment.

Dinner is served...
we really work up an appetite when we are outdoors in the garden.

West Coast Seed packets are scattered about the kitchen
Touchstone Gold yellow beets
Oregon Sugar peas
Bright Lights Swiss chard
Gold Rush Zucchini

I have some leftover seeds from last summer which we'll use as well.
I like the West Coast Seed Company as their seeds are fresh and reliable
they also specialize in heirloom varieties
their seeds are also untreated non GMO seeds
which is important to me.

The company is located in Richmond BC and is Canada's No.1 Seed
Are you growing food in your garden?

I love being able to walk out to my garden and pick some fresh vegetables for dinner.
I think they taste better when they are home grown and freshly harvested just before serving.
The seed planting will happen on the long weekend in May.

Many varieties are available for growing in pots too so you don't need to have a big garden to grow food
you can have a balcony with pots
or a sunny window sill.

On my walk the other day I noticed that the neighbours down the street have removed all the grass from their front lawn and are making it into an enormous vegetable patch!
They have dressed up a homemade scarecrow 
in a red plaid shirt with straw filling
and baggy pants.

If you have never tried growing food from seed
I hope that you'll try it
or at the very least...
Please support the local organic farmers markets in your area.
Bon appetit.


  1. No seed has ever come to fruition for me, I've just cleared a little patch to make my own little Sissinghurst moon garden from cuttings - fingers crossed on that one.

    1. Good luck on the moon garden try to use some rooting hormone on those cuttings and they'll be much more successful.

  2. I think Euphorbia makes an unusual vase arrangement looks delightful on your table.Lucky you, the weather here is grey,raining,hail..just going to light the log burner to keep warm.

    My favourite veg asparagus,it has just started to appear in the farm it best steamed.
    How do you cook yours? Ida

    1. Love asparagus steamed or broiled, I have it on the BBQ too.

  3. Leslie: Such a beautiful green in the Euphorbia blooms. I am looking for the hydrangea that has similar colour blooms.
    Like you, I want a gardener once or twice a month - I am retired, but I say - let's help these folk who are trying to run a small business!! I use that same bit of wisdom about my cleaning lady - she needs the money, I don't like heavy-duty cleaning and there is no middle-person. She gets all the money!!
    A few blogs ago, you asked about something that made us happy. I tried to send a note from my Net Book - I find typing tough on mine and am always hitting a button/key that takes me to somewhere I don't want to go - but I want you to know one of the things that made me happy that day - the White Crowned Sparrow and the Golden Crowned Sparrow both arrived on the same day - big smiles all around. They visit for about two weeks now and then again in October!
    Have a great day. It is wet here at the moment, but the garden just gleams in this weather.
    Peg - Paris Tea - shop is closed just now, as they are on a tea buying trip! Once it is open, I want to get you another packet of this tea!

    1. Peg I think I'll order some tea from them when they reopen, you must not spoil me like this!
      Aren't the flowers like beacons of joy when the skies are cloudy?
      Hope that you are keeping positive, my fingers are crossed for you while you await the diagnosis.

  4. The Euphorbia is wonderful. It is one of my favorites. You did a lot of planting. I know it will be wonderful. The pasta looks divine. I could use someone full-time to follow me around the garden. Enjoy your time in the garden. Bonnie

    1. Oh a full time gardener would cost the earth!
      These master gardener's speak Latin so well and they command a high price for their expertise.

  5. I recall that asparagus takes 5 years to be productive, that seems unbelievable? Gardens can be so time consuming. We live on 10 acres and about half of it is paddock and the other half is real garden. I did away with our orchard as i was too scared of snakes to go out there, so I have slowly been putting fruit trees inside the garden boundaries. I have about 14 citrus trees in beds between the back lawn and the chook yard, one side has silverbeet under them and the other side of the path has herbs, basil and oregano and sage. the bed near our shed has 3 eureka lemons underplanted with strawberries.

    I tried to talk my husband out of planting 2 big lawn areas 10 years ago, wanting beds and trees instead. He got his way and now won't do any of the mowing, so through summer I spend 2 hours on the ride on lawn mower every 5 days. But then if I had the beds they would probably be so much more time consuming. We have a neighbour who has the most magnificent wedding garden and has been trying to sell her house and garden for 10 years now. She told me not to go overboard with the garden, make it as low maintenance as possible and leave the botanic gardens to the government. When people go to view her place the women all loove the cottage and fabulous garden, but the men can only see all the gardening work and weekends on a lawn mower and say no. It's hard to get a good balance! I do think ground covers and mulch are key to cutting down on the time in there weeding too. But is so expensive when the scale is so huuge.

    1. Your garden sounds vast!
      The asparagus that we are planting is 3 years old already so it's 2 years after we plant before we can harvest 5 years!
      I say spot on Jodie you know your stuff!

  6. I am going to try to grow some veggies this year, who knows, maybe I will have success! :)

  7. My last year's lettuce reseeded! Makes me very happy.

  8. Wow that's impressive...
    we have slugs here that love to dine on our lettuce so I buy from the market stands.

  9. You really have a lot going on your property. No wonder hired help is needed.
    Although living on the countryside, I am terribly urban, and have no motivation of gardening. Only yarding. I too have hired help. Hampel keeps the grass short. He has already started the job ; ).
    But, I favor the local products when they are available!

  10. I'm so envious of your rhubarb. I planed mine a couple of years ago, but it doesn't seem to be thriving the way I'd like. We have lots of volunteer veggies popping up left over from last year, but thus far have only planted our tomatoes. What zone are you in? I'm wondering how BC seeds would do in my Zone 5 area of the US.

  11. Your garden is delightful, so nice to have both flowers and vegetables. I try to plant a few vegetable seeds every year, and a couple of tomato plants. I have a few perennials, including a peony from one that was grown by my grandmother.

  12. Beautiful garden. The only edibles I grow are fresh herbs. The rest I do try to buy from the local farmer's markets.

  13. Visiting your blog the first time. Nice garden pictures. I'd like to invite you to visit my blog. I posted yesterday on my potager garden. Very interested in gardening, and other subjects as well. Thanks for an interesting post. (Halcyon Days: