ORC Week #3 – Vegetable Garden

This week I’m sharing some vegetable garden progress. I’ve been dabbling in growing vegetables and flowers for a few years and every summer I try to learn something new, however my knowledge is still very basic.

These are some of the doube early and parrot tulips that I planted in the fall. I filled one planter bed with about 100 tulips bulbs plus I tried adding some garlic too. In the springtime I love to be able to cut flowers from the garden before planting vegetables.

One thing I learned the hard way before is to leave the tulip leaves until they turn yellow. As tempting as it is to tidy up the leaves they are needed to feed the bulb for the next year, otherwise there will be no flowers the next year.

Now that the tulips are almost done I’ve added some spinach where there were some gaps and I direct sowed some kale seeds as well.

Spinach is supposed to do better in cooler weather so I put some here in one corner of the box with the tulips (I still have to paint this side of the planter).

This is about one week after putting the seeds directly into the soil. I figure I have the seeds left and the space so we’ll see what happens. Growing from seed was a first this year and while it was exciting to watch them grow throughout March and April indoors, they haven’t been very successful.

I ended up turning to store bought these seedlings to get a jump start on the limited growing season in Canada. I definitely have a new appreciation for farmers and growers.

These are the seedlings from the nursery first planted.

Now the swiss chard and kale are filling in. I painted these raised beds with dirt in them so it wasn’t the best job but it’s better than they were before.

Also these chives came back from last year, somethingI didn’t know they did. This kale made it through winter and now we’re hoping that these flowers will turn to seed.

A reminder of what the yard looked like last summer.

Back in the early days at our previous home I would plant kale, swiss chard and brussel sprouts in the gaps between the limelight hydrangeas and cedar hedge that I planted. The trees were small enough that there were still big enough gaps between them to let enough sun in.

We also had success with planting zucchini in random spots in the yard too…like this giant one below!

So if you have an outdoor space but don’t have planters maybe there’s somewhere you could plant directly in the ground. Swiss chard and kale are so easy.

Swiss Chard in September, grown beside a cedar hedge.

 

Next week I will have some advice from my friend Isabelle of Paradise Herbs here to give some tips for growing. She has recently set up a farm in the Slocan Valley BC where they promote self-sufficient living and sell culinary & medicinal herbs.


Last summer Isabelle was visiting for a girls weekend here and suggested getting the overgrown mint out of the raised bed in our yard. That idea prompted me to move it into my front hanging baskets where it can no longer spread out of control – plus it means staying home and using what we already have.

To see what everyone else has been working on for the One Room Challenge click here.

 

One Room Challenge – Week 1

Over the next 6 weeks I’m going to join in as a guest for the One Room Challenge. Basically, over the course of 6 weeks, participants share the progress of their space, broken down into weekly blog updates, for a final reveal on May.11th.

This was a last minute decision for me to join so I’ll be sharing progress on a backyard project I’d already been planning to do. My plan does include plants so I may have to do another reveal later in the summer once things have filled in and leafed out.

 

 

This was our yard when we first moved in, during summer 2014. The backyard shares fences with 6 other neighbours and there was not one single plant or tree here even though the house was nearly 20 years old.

At least one good thing about this was that I could choose whatever I wanted to plant. Below is the garden in August last summer (2016). There is no privacy in our yard so my focus was on getting all of the plants growing first before thinking about building a deck or putting in a patio.

I’m a new gardener and absolutely love planning what to put in the garden and seeing it grow. Along the fence by the back last year I turned this empty space into a spot where herbs, swiss chard and kale thrived. It wasn’t the prettiest setup but it added a lot of salad greens and was a good spot for vegetables that grow in the shade.

My plan this year is to build a long and narrow planter box along the edge of the fence where I can plant vegetables and have vines growing up trellises to create a green screen.

In the winter when all of the leaves are gone, the black trellis and black planters will be more interesting to look at than the plain fence. I would really love to stain the whole fence dark grey but right now I’m not prepared to talk to all 6 neighbours who share to the fence to ask if they’re okay with that.

This is a photo of the planned area that I took yesterday – we’re still waiting for spring here in the GTA.

These are some inspiration images of black planter boxes and privacy screens. Follow along on Pinterest for more images of beautiful gardens.

 

Below are the photos from my mood board which are linked to the original sources.

Elana Nathan

Interior Salvage Design

Kriste Michelini via Gardenista

To see the other guest participants and 20 featured designers click here.

Thrift Store Farmhouse Table

Table Process

Farmhouse tables with light wood and trestle or pedestal bases are my favourite style for dining and I was determined to make it work in our small kitchen and on a small budget. Many tables in the market aren’t narrow enough to fit our space so when I came across this one at a thrift store I knew it would work after a major refinishing job.

Thrift Store Farmhouse Table

Thrift Store Table BeforeIt took hours and hours of scraping and sanding until I was able to get it right down to the wood so that I could stain it a light driftwood grey.IMG_3697


For the pedestals I took an electric sander to get rid of all that varnish and gloss to reveal the solid wood below. I am not a perfectionist when it comes to furniture refinishing in our house because I’d rather get the job done and I know that it’s going to be subject to heavy use and abuse.
before and after pedestals IMG_5502

Thrift Store Farmhouse Table Refinished DetailPedestal TableThe next step is going to be constructing a banquette to go along wall which is why having a pedestal base was important to make it easy to get around the table.
Limelight Hydrangea & Boston Ferns

You can also check out this table featured on Apartment Therapy.

Featured on Apartment Therapy