10 July 2007
Since we were in the area last week, after we left Catherine’s place, we dropped into Rob Baldwin’s because my Long Suffering Spouse hadn’t been there before. He was of course enchanted by all the blue spruces and other trees, and also Rob’s tractor collection. I was more interested in the coneflowers, and it seems that they are now arbitrarily mutating themselves. How do you like this one?
Rob drew our attention to a collection of beetles that were hanging out in the wild vetch and daisies, seemingly having a beetle-orgy. None of us have ever seen these before, but we also are not entomologists. Any one know what this beetle is? The females are about an inch long, bigger than the males, and metallic green with red and black legs.
Simon Q and Mungus always like to help unpack the groceries. Yes, the bags are en francais—we belong to Co-op Atlantic’s local store and all the bags are bilingual—but the cats are only interested in finding the kitty treats, in any language.
Saturday I headed off to Truro, River John, and Wallace Ridge. In Truro I stopped at the farmer’s market just at the same time as a substantial thunderstorm rolled in. Had a great visit with Lloyd Mapplebeck of Hillendale Perennials, and picked up a couple terrific plants: a double-blossomed tradescantia, a pink flowered catmint, ‘Candy Cat’ and a species goatsbeard with very fine cutleaf foliage. Then it was off to River John and a visit to Beach Lane Lavender’s second annual lavender festival.
Naturally, lavender farmers also have wonderful gardens--everything in full bloom too, from the flowering shrubs to the perennials.
Although the cool weather has meant bloomtime is about a week late, plenty of people turned out to enjoy music, walk the lavender field and pick bunches of lavender, enjoy a nice range of foods, and oh yes, buy some of the fabulous lavender products that Dave and Anita manufacture. My personal favourites are the hand cream, exfoliant scrub, milk bath, floral spray, and well, okay, just about everything else they make.
I’ve wanted to visit Thyme and Place Nursery in Wallace Ridge since I found out about the new business a few months ago. Saturday was the day to visit, and I’m glad I did. I got to meet the owners, Sonia and Allan, who moved to Canada from Britain last year and opened their business about a month later. They’re on the lovely Sunrise Trail, and not far from Jost Vineyards, as well as the communities of Pugwash and Tatamagouche, and their home is actually on a hill with the best view around. Their nursery includes a good range of perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees, (look at these gorgeous heathers!) as well as a unique and varied gift shop.
What really tickled me was the way Sonia was growing vegetables right in bags of potting medium. She told me this is a typical British way of doing veg gardening…in the greenhouse. She uses Jolly Farmer potting soil, from an organic company in New Brunswick, and the quality of the soil is obvious from the very happy tomatoes and salad greens she’s growing. Now that’s a way to avoid weeds, a lot of pests…I can see myself trying this too—in fact if the weather stays cool, I just might seed some mesclun mix in the greenhouse for myself!
I wish Sonia and Allan all the best—they’re being well supported by local customers, and they’re wonderfully helpful—as usual, I wish this nursery was a little closer to my home, but hey…visiting them again is a perfect excuse to go back to this lovely part of the province.
I mentioned that the weather here continues cool—and although I ended up in two thunderstorms on Saturday, we haven’t had any rain to speak of here. Not even the fog is coming with as much regularity as it usually does. I can tell because one of my explorer roses, Martin Frobisher, generally turns to balls of soggy Kleenex-like petals when it’s wet, and so far, he’s looking great. The garden is thriving, all in all, including the weeds…
But happily when I am out weeding or doing other garden activities—sometimes just walking around smelling the awesome fragrances—I always have my friend Tigger to supervise my efforts.