Mid-May Update

I can’t beleive it’s mid-May already. We’ve been experiencing an unusually warm, dry May (although it is finally raining today). At times I don’t know whether to be running through the streets cheering on an early summer or frightened by how all this will translate come July/August.

One thing it has made me is hesitant. Every year I succumb to temptation and plant basil too early. I know basil hates cool, wet weather. I know how it suddenly flops over, rots at the stem and dies. I know basil. And knowing this I still insist on sacrificing at least one pack of plants every single year “just in case”. But not this year. This year I decided I wouldn’t even take a sideways glance at basil plants until the right moment. So far, so good. Only one more week to go until the frost-free date kicks in.

What I Have Done So Far

I’m ashamed to admit that not nearly enough has been done thusfar. I have not acquired new soil amenders. I tried to get on that last Friday but I was alone, bags were heavy, delivery was much too expensive and there were enticing plants to buy. I was certain this would be “The Year of Having Stuff Delivered” until I discovered that curbside delivery from a fairly local garden centre is $35. I live in an apartment which technically doesn’t have a curb. I can grab a cab from the Dufferin Mall parking lot garden centre for $7 and have the whole thing done in a few hours. So it’s back to option number two.

This year I’ve decided to suck it up and plant the remaining patch of rocky, clay soil in the side garden. The day lilies are so beyond compacted I’m concerned they won’t bloom this year. On Friday I went out and dug up a fairly large patch of them. A woman at the law office across the street happily took them all away in several plastic bags. I can’t believe how many plants came out of such a small space! If I’d been on it sooner I could have donated a bunch to the Parkdale Plant Sale.

The deck is starting to look good again this year. I have to admit that most work has been done there simply because of proximity. I have added some new additions to the alpine trough and replaced dead plants with living plants in the Giant Bowl Garden. The Giant Bowl is basically just a giant plastic salad bowl with drainage holes and soil. I’ve grown succulents and mint in it but the saxifrage and some spindly sedum are the only plants that have survived the winter in it. This year I decided to add irish moss, scotch moss and wooly thyme. I also added some little trinkets and rocks to make it diorama-ish.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

Subscribe to get weekly updates from Gayla

3 thoughts on “Mid-May Update

  1. thanks for the tip on basil. so that explains it. now i know basil a little bit better. Luckily, my basil has hung in there.

  2. I love the giant bowl! I bought this huge giant bowl-esque pot last year for super cheap (it was like $5 and was originally $30!!) and I had planned on doing this wonderful little herb garden with it, but I moved and now have no room whatsoever for a giant bowl outdoors. Now it sits in my living room all empty and lonely.

Comments are closed.