Favorite Flowers for CB Climate: Garlic, Parsley, & Chives

My fourth post on backyard gardening in Cape Breton!

Previous posts are here:

    1. Rudbekia Laciniata - Autumn Sun
    2. Strawberries, Blueberries, & Mint
    3. Fall Bulbs ... I've updated this post with photos as the bulbs have started to flower

If you are new to gardening and want to try something pretty much guaranteed to grow, then plant garlic, parsley, and chives.  A treat for the cook in your house too!  I also think parsley and chives are pretty and use them as border plants.

  • There are two main kinds of garlic - hardneck and softneck.  I'm not going to go into the differences - easy to find online.  I've only ever grown the hardneck variety.  The garlic found in most groceries stores comes from China and is the softneck variety.  Garlic goes in the ground in late fall and pops up very early the next spring.  It grows very tall with a strange curving spike at the top, called a scape, which is also edible.  I break the scape off so that the energy of the plant goes to making larger bulbs.  If you pick the scape early, it is much like chives and can be cut into salads.  If left longer, then it can be a bit tougher and is better cooked the same as garlic bulbs.  Leave one or two plants with the scape on.  It will eventually straighten out and that's when you know the bulbs are ready to harvest!

  • Parsley and chives are planted in the spring and come back each year.  If left to flower, they will reseed themselves... little baby parsleys will pop up everywhere  :-)   Don't worry about these stray parsleys, though ... just pick'em and eat'em!  Not much else to say, other than plant as much as you can because once you get used to adding them to your meals, you never want to run out.

I use an old wooden sandbox as a raised bed.  This sandbox has no bottom, so it works perfectly.  Last year I planted sunflowers in it.  When the sunflowers were done (early fall), I pulled them out, topped up the bed with manure and top soil, planted the garlic bulbs and then finished it with a layer of mulch.  And the sandbox seats now holds parsley instead of kiddie bums!

I bought Bogatyr Garlic from Vessie's Seeds.

Parsley and chives came from Farmer's Coop.

Photos - taken May 12, 2016.

Converted sandbox, with hardneck garlic and parsley.

Parsley used as border plants around roses and lilies.  Each plant will grow significantly, creating a lush green border.

Chives used as border plants - have to plant more soon!

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I have discovered a few very nice plants and decided to post them here. I invite other gardeners to share their favorite plants for our lovely CB climate.
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madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
I just found you with this post... hey goCB folk, can we have a local gardening section? This is great. There is a lot on FB but with the exception of two I follow, most people seem to think that the rest of us can't google, or pinterest, and don't realize that most of that stuff is not of local relevance. This woman is different. Original local content! Thank you. Now I am going to look back on your earlier posts.
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
Good idea Madeline .... we have gone ahead and created this new section and added Joanie's posts to it ... look forward to you and others adding to it also ... LIVING > Parks, Nature, Outdoors > Gardening & Farming
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Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
Michael ... best place for ideas is under: PEOPLE > BLOGS & OPINIONS And we also have GOV > POLITICAL COMMENTARY And under BUSINESS there is STARTUP and a number of other options. Hope that helps!
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Joanie Cunningham My Post Follow Me
Thanks Madeline :-) Do you have a favourite plant that does well in our CB climate?
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
This is only my fourth year gardening here in CB and I grow a lot... I have a three sisters bed of corn / beans / squash plus kale, chard, beets, tomato, green pepper, kohlrabi, garlic, strawberries, peas, carrots, cucumber, zucchini, lots of berries bushes,... I'm still eating the last of the chard and yellow beans from last year. From what I have experienced, and from what I have heard, every yard is different. It is so local that one yard can be different from the other, and I am just learning mine. It would be easier to say what doesn't work in my yard. I don't have the sun, or perhaps I haven't had the summers these past three years, to get tomatoes or peppers to ripen. Last year was bad for the string beans but I heard that from a few people, everything else is great. This year I am trying leeks, eggplant and artichoke for the first time, wish me luck, and it seems to be a better year coming for tomatoes. The only thing I have tried that I would not try again in my yard was cauliflower. It might have been a poor year, but I just wasn't inspired to try again. But to finally answer your question, it Kale must be the best there is for my yard. I do love it, but it is also hardy for this climate.
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madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
Maybe the coolest thing, for me, is a small peach tree that actually gave me my first four peaches last year, a nectarine tree that produces well after just three years in, and two pear trees that I hope will start to have fruit this year or next. I was amazed that such things could grow here. I think people mostly don't realize it. It might have been the settlers who came, from poor classes, who were just used to turnip and cabbage, plus the development of new varieties since then? When I was a kid here all there was in the Pier were sour cherries and apples!

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