Today it’s all about gardening here at Happy Acres. For those of you who are new to my blog (Thank you so much for dropping by!) you might not know that I am also a gardener.
In the spring and early summer I spend a lot of time working in our different flower beds and in our fruits and asparagus areas. I’ve been now harvesting asparagus every day since mid-April. This was the first spear of the season.
When harvesting I only pick spears that are at least the diameter of a pencil. The ones I don’t pick grow up to be lovely asparagus ferns! So after reaping the rewards of this patch for our dinner table and freezer, I get to admire these lovely ferns all summer. It’s slowing down and the spears are getting smaller so next week will probably be the end of the harvest.
But in addition to harvesting, I also keep the patch weeded – a big challenge. In the fall I’ll be cutting them back and weeding and getting the plot ready for winter.
Dave planted our asparagus patch back in 2007 so it is good and established. We average about 25 – 30 pounds per season. This year looks like we’ll be in the lower range, but still enough to eat and have in the freezer for this winter. And there’s nothing like a bowl of asparagus soup on one of those cold winter nights.
I also take care of the blueberries. And they are just starting to turn. Last year my first day of harvest was June 11. From the looks of the bushes today, I may start harvesting on that day this year also. I saw our first one turned Friday. Dave planted bushes that mature throughout the summer so once I start harvesting, I’ll be out there every day for a couple months. Once the weather gets warmer, I get out earlier and earlier to harvest these berries since it can take an hour to harvest this goodies. From looking at the loaded bushes, it appears that the harsh winter did not hurt our blueberry harvest. And that’s a good thing!
This year we kicked a couple of our blackberries off the island and now have just one row of them. In the past with two rows, we end up with so many blackberries in the freezer. Since we don’t make wine and I’ve exhausted my ideas for recipes for blackberries, we decided to use that row for some other berries – gooseberries. He added a couple of them and finished the row with rhubarb.
The blackberry area was one spot I really haven’t done a very good job in keeping the weeds beat back. In the past, by the time I got to that area I was too tired and just let it go. This year I wanted to get it done right.
When we first planted this area with blackberries and blueberries we left grass between the rows. For a variety of reasons including the difficulty of mowing between the rows and the fighting the Bermuda grass, we decided to mulch between the rows. Anyway, this year I wanted to get and keep this area under control. I’ve been spending several-hour sessions in this area and on Friday completed the job.
Since we only have one cherry tree old enough to produce, we aren’t getting many cherries yet. This year the harvest didn’t even make a cobbler. I added some cherries from the freezer so I could make my Cherry Pie Cake (aka Cherry Upside Down Cake). We’ll be going to a local orchard this week to pick sour cherries for the freezer.
This year we have currants, both red and white. This is our first year for these bushes to actually have fruit.
I still have some work left in the sun garden. Due to the harsh winter, all of my lavender died except for three plants which are barely holding on. You can see them in the front. They are mostly dead with some green showing. I’ve ordered more to replace the eight I lost. They should arrive this week so I can finish up this area.
This lovely Oak Leaf Hydrangea is part of the sun area and has really gotten to be a beautiful plant.
As most of you know Dave grows a lot of the food we eat and freeze. I love how the main garden looks this time of the year. And you can imagine, it’s not hard for me to catch a picture of him out there working!
It’s always great to see our coneflowers and this is the first one of the season in the slope garden.
And because I’ve been spending so much time outdoors, I had to make some of my bugs off spray. It sure smells funny, but it keeps the bugs away.