Our 2021 garden; more firsts – and SO many kittens!

While heading out to do my evening rounds yesterday, I topped up the cat kibble – and got invaded by kittens!

There is only one adult cat in the kibble house in the above photo, plus Rosencrantz and her two are at their private dining area under the shrine.

All three litters of kittens were running all over the yard, playing with each other! The fact that most of them stayed to eat while I took photos – even with zoom – is very encouraging. πŸ™‚ It will be good for them to get used to each other, since we can expect them all to be using the cat shelter over the winter.

While checking the garden beds, the girls gave me a hand moving one of the mesh covers so we could collect our very first chard leaves!

These are the Bright Lights chard, with their brilliant colours.

In the other bed where we had planted chard and radishes, only a single chard plant has survived the grasshoppers, and it’s pretty small, still.

Here we have the largest of the developing Hopi Black Dye sunflower heads. These are the ones that were direct sown after last frost.

This morning, I found this.

This is another Hopi Black Dye sunflower, from the row of transplants. These are the ones that did not germinate until after the others were direct sown, so they were much smaller and further behind. Then they had their tops chomped off by deer. Yet here they are, spindly and barely knee high, yet the seed heads are starting to open before the big ones!!

Speaking of seed heads…

I collected the driest of the poppy pods. I was a bit concerned that the rain and humidity would create a mold issue, so they are now in the sun room. As you can see, some of them are even dropping seeds!

These are Giant Rattle Breadseed Poppy, and the pods should be much, much larger than this, but given the growing conditions of this year, I’m just impressed we have any at all. There are still others that are green, but starting to dry out. I am debating just leaving them be, to self sow for next year. Given how few survived, there isn’t enough for eating, other than a taste, but more than enough to keep seeds for planting in a different area next year, if we want. I wouldn’t mind even finding a spot to scatter them as if they were wildflowers, where we can access them to harvest seed pods, but also where we can leave them to self seed, year after year. At the same time, I’m thinking of ordering more of this variety from Baker Creek, plus trying a different variety of eating poppies I found from a Canadian source. This is something I don’t mind having lots of, as poppy seeds are among those things I enjoy, but rarely buy. Neither variety I’ve found are like the ones I remember my mother growing, but I believe she got her seeds from Poland.

As things are maturing, my mind seems to constantly assess for next year or, as in the case of the poppies, for a more permanent crop. For all the difficulties we’ve had with this year’s garden, due to things pretty much out of our control, we have learned a lot that we can apply to future gardens, what we want to keep, and what we need to change. Especially as we move from our temporary garden beds to our permanent ones. πŸ™‚

On a completely different note, today we had an early birthday party to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday at my brother’s. I was my mother’s chauffeur. πŸ™‚ We had a great time, and we able to see her great grandson for the first time in almost 2 years. They live in a different province, so it was fantastic that they could come out for the birthday party.

Between the drive and how long we stayed to visit, we were out pretty much all day, but my mother held out very well. She even seemed to like the necklace we got for her gift and put it on right away, though she was completely indifferent to the little bag I crocheted to “wrap” it in. Even when I suggested she could use it to hold one of her rosaries, she said nothing. Now that I think about it, I don’t even know if she took it home. I helped bring in and put away her packages, and it wasn’t in any of them, so unless someone tucked it into her purse, she doesn’t have it. Which is actually a better response than I was expecting. πŸ˜€

Some things just don’t change! πŸ˜‰


As wonderful as it was to see everyone, this introvert needs a battery recharge. I think an early bed time is in order! πŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer

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