Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween! Reflecting on the Harvest and Saving Seeds

Funny thing about Halloween... it's become a time of both reflection and planning.

It always puts me in mind of how the garden evolved over the past season, good or bad, what plants grew well, what should be divided next year, (all of my hostas!), and what veggies I want to grow in the raised beds next year.
 
Seed Saving at Wall Flower Studio

One way I look back upon the season is when I start sorting all the seeds that have somehow, miraculously accumulated before my eyes!

Thankfully I have a very tolerant family who seem to be able to overlook the little assorted dishes, containers and envelopes containing seeds that were collected on the fly, and wait for me to organize when they're perfectly dry, so they sometimes stay scattered around the kitchen and studio for a couple of weeks.


Next, when the seeds are dry, the sorting and packaging begins in earnest!
This is the part that ties in with Halloween because that's usually the time that I'm quite sure that all of the seeds I've collected, especially the ones from September, are dry enough to pack away. Nothing worse than finding moldy seeds in February, just when you're ready to start them indoors!

Just have to mention, saving seeds is also an enjoyable task because it justifies all those trips to garage sales. I'm always on the lookout to purchase little glass containers or spice jars on my travels. Vintage or not, these finds end up being filled and labelled with whatever seed variety goes in them. They're actually quite pretty displayed on a shelf all winter.

That aside, saving seeds is a small way of thumbing my nose at Big Ag, i.e. Monsanto, a company who doesn't believe in our fundamental right as human beings to save seeds and is cornering the worldwide seed market as I type. They want to continue polluting this planet and us with their nasty GMO products, and if you've followed my blog for a while, you'll know I'm not exactly a fan of those corporate criminals... But that's a story for another day. ; )

Finished products! All packed up and ready to send!
From my garden to yours, have a very happy, safe and reflective Halloween!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

It's Garlic Planting Season!

Garlic
I'm ready to plant my garlic, and even though it hasn't been placed in the ground yet, I can't wait until next year's harvest!

Last year was the first time I attempted to grow some, and I have to say, I was so pleased with the outcome. To be honest, I thought it would be more complicated, but it was actually a no-brainer. It's just like planting any other bulb in the fall, and then it's just a waiting game. Really, the bulbs do all the work! They just depend on us to give them the conditions with which to grow!

And, not only does planting garlic produce more garlic, but before one gets to harvest the garlic, one gets to harvest those delicious scapes! Cooking with garlic scapes can take the right recipe to a whole new level, especially when they've just been harvested fresh from the garden and used that same night! Perhaps it's also a state of mind.

Seriously, if you can grow tulips, daffodils or hyacinth, you can grow garlic.
Here are a few links to visit for more information about garlic:
~ http://www.haliburtongarlic.ca/
~ http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/09-011w.htm
~ http://www.garlicgrowers.on.ca/

P.S. My Etsy Shop is open again! I have a handful of listings online and will list more as the days go on, so please feel free to stop by Wall Flower Studio to have a look, or just to say hello! : )
Offering organic and natural products, from my garden to yours!

Thanks for visiting, and happy gardening!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Autumn Struts it's Stuff - Parade of Color in the Haliburton Highlands

Vivid Colour of the Haliburton Highlands

Simply can't get over the wall of colour happening now in the Highlands of Haliburton.
 It's really the best seasonal show I can recall.
Wanted to share a little taste of that here on this Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend.
Incidently, when I stopped my car to take this photo, there were a few wild turkeys in that clearing you see there, but unfortunately I scared them away.
Too bad! Would have been a nice touch considering what time of year it is. ; )
Have a great weekend!


Friday, 5 October 2012

Saving Heirloom Corn Seeds... Thanksgiving Style


Wishing all of my fellow Canadian friends a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!
Are you having Turkey or Ham?
I prefer both, but only if they're grass fed and free range.
As a side dish, I recommend some non-gmo, heirloom corn. Pictured above is 'Orchard Baby', and these I've saved from this years harvest, and for this basic human right, I'm always thankful! 
Enjoy! ~ K.S.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The Blooming Season - Flowers and Leaves Still Going Strong!


I can't believe the weather this year. Well, not just the weather, but the side effects of a (so far), frost free fall. The flowers just keep going and going, like that Eveready bunny! I'm certainly not complaining.
Normally by now, most of the leaves are off the trees,  and the hostas have turned to mush. Not so this year! It's just so nice to coast into the drivewy and still see some colour in the garden, espcecially since I know the monochromatic season, i.e. winter, will be upon us here in the Haliburton Highlands soon enough! 


Morning Glory, still going strong. They've put on a really good show this year. Blooming for months.


The perennial mums are just coming into their own. I cut some the other day for a fresh flower arrangement in my kitchen. It's nice to bring the outdoors in!
 

In the late summer, these Hydrangeas are completely white. I've never seen them go this pink before. Every year I cut some for drying. I still have some in a vase from last year. Great for wreaths and dried flower arrangements.

Here's a mix of flowers. Mums at the bottom left, Gaillardia, (blanket flower) above and Sedum 'dragon's blood', I think, above that.

I hope where ever you are, the flowers are still blooming, too!
Have a good week, and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Bumblebees Slowing Down in the Garden - Autumn is in the Air


It was rather overcast and cool here in the Haliburton Highlands yesterday, (Sunday),
and as I walked through the garden, the first thing I noticed were the many bees sitting idly about on the many flowers that thankfully, are still blooming.
There were a couple of bees flying around; however, most were as you see in the photo,
sitting still on the Gaillardias, reserving their energy.  It was sunny and warmer today, so the pollinators were flying about the garden, back to work and business as usual.
Sounds like a typical start to the week, I'd have to say!

But this is autumn and a change of season is not only on the calendar, it's also in the air.

Soon our pollinator friends will have disappeared from the garden entirely until next year, and as gardeners, I think I can speak for many when I say that most of us are already looking forward to the beginning of the next growing season in spring.