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Ruth Marlene Friesen - author and site owner of Ruthe's Secret Roses - Welcome!
Ruth Marlene Friesen: Welcome!

This site is like Ruthe, the heroine of my novel, Ruthe's Secret Roses

Ruthe is . . .
intimate with God,
prays a lot,
a bleeding heart for the hurting,
a big sister,
rescues friends,
has creative ideas,
likes to give surprise gifts,
loyal to friends,
dreams of love and marriage,
dreams of writing a book
goes the extra mile

So this site offers;
good books to read!
help to become Friends with Jesus,
The One Ideal Real Friend
a cure for loneliness
An Older Sister's Coping Secret
how to pray Panic Prayers,
& regularly/daily
how to grow in faith
Christian mentoring,
how to share your faith

Psst! I've got FREE taste treats of the novel ready for YOU! DOWNLOAD the first 3 chapters as an eBOOK in beautiful colours, or read the first 8 chapters on this site, if you have time to stay a while. Start READING HERE!
OR, you can subscribe to a daily series of installments by email until you have read the 8 Chapter Sampler:

2013 - My Garden in May and June

my neighbour, Joe Homontowski, tilling my garden for me

The May long weekend, (Victoria Day on the Monday) I was able to get the garden prepared and mostly sown. My neighbour, Joe Homontowski, borrowed a rotortiller from someone at their church, and late in the afternoon, came to work through my garden.

By that time I had tidied up the garden some, prepared the soil in the old fridge planter, and added more soil with a spade. I did not know yet, what I'd sow there.

deep tilled and very rich soil! east side seeded

See that deep-tilled, rich soil! That looks so good to a gardener. Joe mentioned that the soil was more fluffy and soft than it used to be, which I take as a compliment, as I bury my kitchen waste as compost in the garden, as long as the ground is not too frozen to turn over a hole with a spade.

I also bought a small soil testing kit and found that my garden is high in all the nutrients it should have! No wonder it does well.

Joe had just left and I was ready with my basket, and fanny pack of seeds - so I started raking and sowing immediately, and got the east side done yet that same day. I got the west side done on the holiday Monday.

the garden seeded before I left for week see how the trees filled out while I was away

This is how my freshly seeded garden looked a week later when I headed off to Calgary for a week. That's on the left. You can't tell here, but the cucumbers were up already!

On the right you see what I saw when I got home on Saturday of the same week; notice how the trees have filled out and are hiding the house again for the summer.

June 30th tour of garden in the rain flowers in my container garden

I've been truly very busy, but on Sunday, June 30th, it hit me that if I was to do this May-June photo story of the garden, I better get out there and take some photos. It had been raining and was still overcast, but the following photos show what the garden looked like at the end of June. (Today is July 9, and there is much more growth and blooming flowers already! Yes, I'm taking photos for the next photo story).

Here we come to my container garden and floral corner. Unfortunately the rain caused the garden dirt to jump up and muddy the containers. The largest round pink container is the drum from the dryer which has not worked for a number of years. I have pink dahlias coming up there, and some smaller filler flowers. I think some are suppose to be white and some purple.

he two smaller pink pails have extra large purple petunias (and a few are lime green). To the right is a pot with red begonias that look like roses, but they are turned to face the tree (sorry, I forgot to turn them again). Beyond them are a row of 8 pale pink gladiolus that I found on a sale. I'm looking forward to seeing them!

In the foreground you see a pumpkin or squash that volunteered to come up from the compost I buried there, and also a green onion, and I think 2 garlic plants survived the fall planting and through the winter.

spinach, radishes and cucumbers beets, broccoli, and swiss chard

Let's swing our gaze to the right along the east garden. Here I have spinach (which seems to have a very short growing life), some radishes, which have lots of leaves and even flowers, but no radish to speak of, and two rows of great-looking cucumbers.

Other years I've sown cucumbers on the other side or too close to the zucchini, and they didn't have a chance at all. This year I should have an abundant crop of cucumbers! That's the vegetable that has ZERO calories!

Further along we see beets, broccoli, and swiss chard. I've learned to appreciate the latter, as it keeps growing and is a fine stir-fry with mushrooms and onions - all through the summer and fall. Swiss chard does not stop until it is covered with snow!

two hollyhocks survived the winter. mystery row in front of car

Ah-ha! Look here at my two hollyhocks. They survived the winter. Since this is their second year I will have blossoms this year and hence forth. I've tried for years to grow hollyhocks, and they never got a good start and for sure didn't make it through the winter. This time I had surrounded them with bags of leaves, and they pulled through.

Since I've sown various colours of hollyhocks received from a friend in the UK, I wasn't sure which colours I will get here. (But I can give you a hint of what you'll see in my next photo story. This last weekend the taller one broke out in a certain shade of pink flowers!)

Oh, this row in front of Black Beauty is a mystery. Last year I had a row of carrots here, but because of the shade from the tent garage, they didn't produce carrots even as big as my little finger. I left them there for the winter. So my first guess was that those same carrots were resurrecting this year, and maybe I'd get a better crop this time. However, on closer inspection on Sunday, I realized that those green tops look far more feathery than carrots would.

Now I always jot down everything I sow on a garden map, but I have no record of sowing fennel there, which is my next guess. They look like cosmos leaves too, but I haven't had any cosmos to sow. - So... I'm keeping an eye on that row to see what is coming up there.

corner by shed hollyhock shooting upward

The corner in front of the shed has a story too. I had dug up this corner by spade last year, and sown some flowers, but didn't have much to prove for it. There was a tree with large sweeping branches of leaves, and I figured it was due to the shade.

Neighbour Joe, decided to tear down his rotten, condemned garage a couple of weekends ago, and built a new one. While he was at it he cut down that tree, and cut back the branches from the large maple behind my shed, which sweeping big branches over his garage and working holes in it. Suddenly this corner is open and gets some sunshine.

I had sown some squash here, and decided to try to keep them to this corner this year so that they wouldn't take over the whole garden. Squash is so eager to grow it will even grow in the shade, but now that little triangular patch is taking fresh encouragement from the sunshine and beginning to really grow.

In the foreground are green onions and chives.

Ah, yes, another view of the hollyhocks. I hear they can get to be over six feet tall!

corn patch of 3 rows calendula patch

Here's my corn patch, with just three short rows. My digestive system doesn't seem to break corn kernels down any more, but I decided to sow the rest of the package I hadn, and to give these away.

Over here, moving back towards the house on the west side, is my calendula patch. Calendula is an herb of the marigold family. The leaves and flowers make a great ointment for skin conditions. I've allowed it to come up like a weed and ignored it in the garden, so that I could harvest some for my ointment-making. Usually I pull them up at the end of the summer. Last fall I did not. That seems to have really blessed them, so this patch, even though I sowed fennel, poppies and other flowers/herbs here. are dominating. So that means I should be picking a good harvest of the leaves soon to dry.

(Mind you, when I was weeding out there yesterday, I discovered there's a lot of goat's beard growing there too. I don't like that stuff at all! So I pulled it up and filled nearly a pail full. For that matter, I found a lot of portulaca, or as Dad called it, "fatta han!" But that's suppose to be good for diabetics, so I pulled and harvested that separately to dry).

daisies blooming in front of house daisies, petunias and mint along path

This year I have daisies blooming at the front of my house again. Last summer I'd pulled up their dry stocks, only to find that made them skip a summer of blooms.

This year I bought some pentunias and set them in among the daisies and the mint along the path to my door.

comfrey (herb), by rainspout at front steps peony buds

Speaking of herbs - as I've just been doing - notice that plant by the rainspout with the giant big leaves and the white flowers? That's my comfrey plant. Another herb that is good for skin conditions. I dry it and make it into ointment. Last summer I shredded some fresh leaves and soaked my feet in a basin of water with the comfrey, plaintain, and calendula. Ahw-w-w! So soothing!

This peony is budding, or was on June 30th. This weekend it's had big raspberry pink flowers!

neighbour's virginia creeper creates wall of fence newest flowerbed by trees border with Penny and Joe

My neighbours over to the east have Virginia Creeper climbing all over the fence. It creates a nice shady wall for my front path. - Though, my flowers would probably be glad of more sunshine.

On this west side, were there are just a few trees on the neighbours' side, I see some of my orange lilies, Kaiser Kronen, are finally coming up between the trees. On this side of the trees I dug up a new flower bed this spring, by spade. I planted some spare onion sets, there, but also various flowers. Right now I can't tell which is which there, so I dare not try to weed unless I'm sure to recognize the plant as a weed. I believe I put yellow painted daisies there, but they won't bloom until the second year. So we'll see later on.

Hey, most surprises in a garden or flowerbed are good and lots of fun!

Will you come back for another tour in about a month? :) Great!

Back to Patio for more Photo Stories
Christmas Cactus in Rusty tin (transplanted in May)

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