The small vegetable garden at Maison Jésus-Marie, initiated last year by Sisters Léa Dulude and Lise Bernier, has been expanded this year. Encouraged by the success of their first harvest, Sisters Léa and Lise have taken advantage of all the space available in the inner courtyard.
An open space, thanks to the size of the tree, allows for more plants and a variety of new flowers. Almost the entire bottom of the mesh fencing is now decorated with flowers and various climbing plants. It's a great way to make use of the available space and benefit from the sunshine.
With the help of Jacques Jodoin and Michel Caron, who were responsible for carrying the bags of soil and enhancing the garden, the two "urban gardeners" planned their new area of cultivation by integrating new varieties of flowers and vegetable plants.
This was how Lise transplanted all her lavender plants into a new space while developing another corner of the garden with cucumber and cauliflower seeds and a few other surprises...
Continuing the family tradition, Léa sowed the seeds of vegetables grown last year. She gladly accepted from her sister Yvette, tomato plants also grown from seeds kept from the previous crop. She also received from her sister Claire, seedlings of tomatoes, peppers, basil, Italian parsley, chives, lemon balm (which exudes a lemon scent) and "marigolds" - beautiful yellow flowers, like the sun!
A new endeavor this year, Sister Léa started growing potatoes. "As a child, in the springtime, it was the dance of potato boxes that my parents had sprouting in the living room. On the family farm, we harvested the potatoes which were then stored in the cellar for use during the winter." Sister Léa remembers that her father identified the potatoes destined to sprout in the spring, and stored them in the living room. Then, he began the process of dividing the potatoes, according to the number of sprouts, before planting them in the soil. "What a wonderful memory it was at harvest time as we went to pick the potatoes from under the earth," she recalled.
Never short of anecdotes, Sr Léa also remembered that her father chose the large potatoes to be sold and kept the smaller ones for the family to eat or to feed to the pigs! "Today we pay a fortune for small potatoes," she laughingly exclaimed.
The presence of all these varieties of vegetable plants intermingled with flamboyantly-colored flowers and fine herbs, is a source of constant interest for the Sisters of Maison Jésus-Marie.
The vegetable garden is a cause for wonder and brings pleasure to the Sisters and staff throughout the building. Everyone exclaims as the new vegetables and flowers are emerging, and they enjoy watching the growth of the vegetables and their change of color.
In short, the inner courtyard of Maison Jésus-Marie has become an even more attractive place with all its colors and perfumes of lavender, lemon and other scents. If you do go through this garden, do not forget to look for the enormous basil plants! It is a curiosity worth satisfying with a visit.
Captions - Photos
Sisters Léa and Lise share the joy of taking care of this vegetable garden at Maison Jésus-Marie. "It's a pleasure to enjoy both good times and fresh air together. Here we see Sister Léa checking the growth of the various plants and Lise on a balcony full of flowers (photo taken last year).