Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Garden meanderings ... and Lasagne.

If any of you have really, really good memories, or are even vaguely interested, I shall offer you one more update on my lasagne gardening saga. Calm yourself - this could be very exciting.

OK - it's not exciting at all actually - nothing much has been happening. This lasagne has been cooking for 13 months now and that stubborn bloody grass is still under there!

Can I just say we have had a really crap summer here in Alberta. A distinct lack of warmth and sunshine, with enough rain and dull, cool, cloudy days to make me think fondly of a British summer! Surely the composting organisms should be going nineteen to the dozen? (Did I mention it snowed last night? OK, we won't go there). Call that a summer Alberta? Shame on you.

So my harsh, angular garden design (purposefully so, by the way) has not yet been softened by new plantings - which now puts my garden another year behind in some proper growth and height - I don't really like new, young gardens, but it's exciting to watch them mature. See all that bark up there in that photo? That is mostly flower-beds-to-be.

So right now, my view of this quick-cheat lasagne lark is disgruntled disappointment - but then if I wasn't such a lazy bugger to begin with, I'd have just dug up all that grass and been done with it!

Of course I had visions of sweeping new borders, with tastefully scruffy blasts of colour and the joyous pleasure of flexing the credit card at garden centers this year - but lack of new planting space has kept me alternately swearing and praying that the composting fairies get their respective fingers out, and get on with rotting down last year's discarded lawn.

On the plus side, the collection of miscellaneous bargain-priced, end-of-season shrubs and trees that I manically planted last September all survived the winter and did well this year (why pay $180 for a tree when you can get it for $60 at the end of the season - admittedly, you are offered no guarantees for your $60 but I am optimistic - well, you have to be, to try and garden here).

My husband was quite pleased with the general lack of plant-related spending this year - right up to the point I brought home some stone pavers so he could finish off a pathway. Ha!

Anyway, the rest of the back garden looks respectable, if just a little bare - only a few splotches of colour from small old flower beds not yet incorporated into the would-be new large areas.

But all in all, the mini-veggie patch did quite well. However, the tomatoes refused to grow, ripen or redden after about June - so not sure what their problem was - stubborn buggers - I think they threw a wobbly at all the far-too-cool weather this summer and they just lost the will to live.

So Autumn officially starts today I believe - or perhaps it was back in June. The mountain ash provides some splashes of juicy colour, ready for the Bohemian Waxwings to return for their seasonal feeding frenzy.

And the hardy Potentilla - ugly and messy as heck for most of the year, let's be honest - earns it's keep, to offer some late-season buttons of sunshine.

Oh well - 'till next year.


  1. Wonderful -- not for you, perhaps, but for other Albertans whose gardens didn't perform this year.
    I still have four little trees in pots that MUST be planted before the frost turns to freezing.
    Laughed at your potentilla. Yes, they are reliable. My white one and my pinky/peach one are still blooming. Actually, my Explorer rose still has flowers on it.
    As for the lasagne gardening, I have a friend in BC, in the Okanagan, who swears by it. But she's been a terrific gardener all our lives, which is a long time. I don't know how many times she has given me the "recipe" for lasagne gardening, but I haven't tried it. Just the other day, however, someone said he'd build me some raised beds, so maybe...

  2. Lovely photos. I've struggled with the gardening this year but for different reasons, too hot and too dry.

    What's the magnificent flower in the first photo? It looks like a wild rose.

  3. A frustrating summer for gardening, but there's always next year - one has to hold out for that hot summer when all will grow and grow.

  4. Kay - thank you for all your comments - I trust this lasagne will be cooked by the spring!

    Me - I think the top flowers are a Double Flowering Plum - Prunus triloba "Multiplex", I reckon. Absolutely gorgeous for about a month (May/June here, might be earlier in Ontario!).

    Rob - yep, onwards and upwards!


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