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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Something new...

This year I bought Tom a little greenhouse for his birthday.
It's just a pop-up one that can be put away in the winter so we thought
we'd try something new.
Our weather never gets super hot and it most always cools down at night
so hot weather lovers like tomatoes, cukes, peppers and basil never really
do much in terms of production.
A friend of mine told me about a type of permaculture called
straw bale gardening...
Basically you soak bales of straw for about 3 days,
keep them moist and fertilize for about 1 or 2 weeks until the inside
of the bale has cooled down.
Wetting them like this starts decomposition of the straw and it heats up pretty good.
I fact when I stuck my hand down into one it was very warm.
Once they cool down, you dig a bit of it out and put a bit of soil in the hole
and plant your seedlings...
The bales keep moisture in so you don't need to water as much and after 2
seasons, you just cut the baling twine and let them rot into the ground.
You can even put them straight on concrete.
No need for bending down much.
Great for people in wheelchairs and those with mobility issues.
Here's hoping the experiment works!
I'll update periodically on the project.
For more detailed info here's a link...
Meanwhile....out in the garden...
things are bursting in bloom...
In fact my dark purple lilac is loaded with flowers this year... smells heavenly and bees, hummingbirds and even a little spider are all in on the action...
What a place to wake up in the morning!! A bed of lilac flowers!
Busy, busy, busy, I don't know where to start.
At least the bumbles are focused!
I keep having to hose off these little hornet nest starts since they all seem to want to be
in my glass house and this is not really an option...too close for comfort when they get big
and the hornets get territorial...
Anyway, the sun is out and so are the weeds, so off I's your garden growing?


Melody said...

Mmmmm,lovely flowery photos!!
I grow my potatoes in a big pile of straw (contained inside a ring of wire fencing)~ they seem to thrive! Will stay tuned for updates on your/their progress in the wee green house!
On an unrelated note, is that a mid 70's baby blue Ford P/U I see in the background? :)))))

the wild magnolia said...

A lush kingdom you have there on the island.

Great idea for the winter greenhouse and hay. Some smart cookie came up with the idea, and you, smart cookie to get it for the hubs.

Beautiful shrubs and all.

the wild magnolia said...

had to return for this post script comment:

i adore the chubby little bumble!!!!!!

acornmoon said...

That is so interesting, now I need to investigate straw bayling some more.

Mairéad said...

Your garden looks beautiful. Hope you get lots for the salad..

Stone Angel said...

I feel like I am there with you - so beautiful and fragrant.

Anonymous said...

the straw bale project fascinates me. as does the pop up greenhouse---keep us posted.