Monday, 31 August 2015


Flowers from my mother's garden

Last autumn I got hold of a some Helenium autumnale plants. They remind me so of my mother's garden. When leaving for University for the autumn semester I used to pick a big bunch to bring with me and they lasted forever. So I post this nostalgic picture for you to enjoy.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Autumn harvest

Late summer

It is now late August and at the moment the weather here by the Bay of Fundy is glorious.

I reported on my Kale growing in spring and that I was able to harvest some for a delicious meal. As I have now learnt Kale is a biannual plant which sets seeds the second year and I have been enjoying the huge plants with little yellow flowers this summer. Now the seedpods are ready to be harvested, so I have got plenty of seeds for next year. Not bad.

I have to report though that my gardening season has not turned out the way I planned it to be. My dear STRONG dog pulled my arm so badly in the beginning of June that I couldn't do anything in my garden until July.  The major part of my vegetable patch is now covered with weeds. This was really disappointing, but I am so happy that my arm now has healed.

My herb garden has been great, producing enormous amounts of Tarragon, Oregano, Parsley, Sage and Chives. My Arugula grew so vigorously that I had to cut it back. New herbs that I planted this year are Anise Hyssop, Peppermint Mint and Cilantro. My eldest son is very fond of Cilantro, which I personally find resemble Stink Bugs on Blueberries! Apparently some people get that sensation and others don't. I do like it in some cooking together with other herbs and spices though.

Below Tarragon in its natural state and Tarragon being dried and put into little jars for the winter.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Spring Harvest

This year has been an unusual one weather wise, but finally spring has arrived and we have got some decent weather. Lovely.
But suddenly everything has to be done at once in the garden. The grass is growing like mad and the seeds needs to be put into their right places. Before that all the weeds that have thrived will need to be removed...

The tulips are at their best, the bleeding hearts are starting to bloom and the forsythia is at its peak.

It is also harvesting time! My kale was eaten totally bare by the deer. I was glad to be of service as they had a very tough time. I did not approve of their feast on my little apple tree though. The kale now has got new delicious leaves ready to harvest. Yesterday I served newly harvested kale that i braised lightly with chopped chives and garlic to go with pasta and salmon. Delicious!

One of my favourite vegetables is parsnip and I have tried to grow them several times but without any success. The greenery has been amazing the second year. The tiny roots were left in the ground over the winter and I kept the plants as they were quite decorative. The other day it was time to clear the plot for another crop and below you can see what I found. Has anyone any good advice on how to grow parsnips? This year I am going to try a red and white striped beetroot instead.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


Today I found the very first spring flower appearing in my garden. It is a lovely little blue Iris. Most of the snow is gone, only a little bit is still left among the trees in the upper part of the garden.

On the window sill there are lots and lots of seedlings waiting to be transplanted outside or to be brought out into the greenhouse. 

 I just have to clear out the mess in the greenhouse first, but more importantly some warmer winds need to present themselves.


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Health program report

Less weight and more energy

You may remember that I earlier mentioned about a book promising a healthier life for those who went along with a 12 week program aiming at changing ones habits and lifestyle into a healthier one.  


Week 1 and 2
The first steps were to stop eating added sugar and white bread. This I have managed to do more or less without any problem.


Week 3
The next steps were to eat more vegetables, berries and herbs. This I did with delight!


Week 4
Also eating more fish and other seafood I do enjoy, so that has not been any difficulty. The advice to cut down on hydrogenated fat and saturated fat, has maybe not been so easy to follow. The hydrogenated stuff is no problem to avoid, I usually don't use margarine, but butter I use in moderate amounts when baking and cooking. I think I will continue doing so!


Week 5
The next food stuffs to cut down on or stop eating altogether were white rice and pasta. We love pasta and quite like rice as well, so this has been more of a challenge. We have not totally stopped eating pasta, but eat it more seldom. I  found a multigrain mix that we like and substitute the rice with.


Week 6
The next step has been to eat root vegetables, raw food, garlic, ginger and probiotics.  All this we love, so no problem.


Home made probiotics - fermented vegetables

Week 7
Eating protein prevents you from getting hungry. Eating milk protein like cheese, cottage cheese and eggs is good for you. I love cheese!


So far  we feel fine and despite the fact, that we have not been following the advice 100% but have had some cake, chocolate etc at festive occasions, I have lost 4,5 kg (10 lbs) without any effort.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Dogs and gardening

Addition to the family

It is now quite a while since I posted anything on this blog. It is not easy to write in an inspired way about gardening, when snow storms are roaring outside. And we have had snow coming up until the beginning of this week.
Finally warmer winds have come our way, melting the snow. Hurrah! 

In the meantime we have added a new member to the family. His name is Damon and he is a gorgeous Siberian Husky. He has been helping me rearrange my pots and plants. 

Luckily some of the plants were possible to save. You find them them on the picture above together with the culprit.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Snow in Nova Scotia

Snow record and spring feelings

Being back in Nova Scotia is great, but I must admit the adjustment was not easy this time. Mainly due to the weather. The Annapolis Valley this year held the record for Nova Scotia on the amount of snow for December through February - 302 cm! In March we have had 3 snow storms, since we arrived 10 days ago giving 50-60 cm more so there has been a lot of shoveling in addition to the good work done by a plow and snow blower. We are all safe, but the mailbox is still missing. It could probably be found in the huge snow wall framing our road.

Well it is white and bright and extraordinarily beautiful outside.

A couple of days I got some seeds put into little pots - Tomatoes, Red Peppers, Celeriac, Arugula and Basil. Today I could see the Arugula starting to show.  Spring is on its way!
We have also passed the Equinox, which the Canadians call the First Day of Spring. I always celebrate the Equinox with cake and getting presents. This is not a special Swedish habit like celebrating the Summer Solstice. I celebrate the Equinox because it is my birthday. This year I had a very good one.