First up I need to clarify the meaning of the last post. A lot of people thought I was talking about gardening hardship, when I was actually talking about work deadlines. I was REALLY tired and not too with it when I wrote that post. Please excuse my lack of clarity.
Hardening off (back and forth forever) is certainly a pain in the butt, especially now that the kitchen floor is covered in trays and we can barely open the fridge door. However, my complaints were about NOT being able to garden rather than being overwrought by the work I have before me. Sitting at my desk and plugging away at a computer when there is a backyard out there that needs to be transformed into a garden is a certain kind of torture.
All I want to be do is garden!
But this is life as an adult so moving on….
It rained a lot this weekend, but I was out there anyway. It was my first weekend off (sort-of. Not really. But mostly.) since Xmas and I decided ahead of time that I was going to take full advantage rain or shine.
We got very wet and I’m suffering for it now, but at least the garden is starting to look like slightly more than an anthropological dig or an uprooted burial site on a television crime drama. Now it looks like a mud wrestling pit!
Here’s what the yard looked like just before we moved in.
Here it is, this morning, it all of it’s “glory.”
This week, as I take some of my strongest and largest seedlings and older transplants through the hardening off stage (acclimating them to outdoor life), it occurs to me that this process is a lot like that line in the Miranda July film, “Me and You And Everyone We Know.”
Back and forth, forever.
Or maybe it’s the exhaustion talking. It also pretty much sums up where I am with deadlines, and I don’t think it is too far a stretch to imply that these are very poop-filled times. Very poop-ified times, indeed.
On a brighter note and continuing in the theme of poop, an enormous cube of composted duck manure has been sitting in front of our house for weeks waiting to be moved into the garden. It gets a lot of stares from the neighbours when they walk by. Maybe the shifting will start to happen this weekend. Maybe.
Back soon(ish). Or when I am a human again and not just a productivity machine. Or never. Or tomorrow.
The new yard came with violets… lots and lots of violets. They’re blooming now and even though the yard continues to look like the excavation site of a dead body on a television police procedural…
I’m in heaven.
I have longed to have the space to grow enough violets to make cheerful springtime jellies. A few years ago I set about making this dream real by installing white and purple violet plants into a shady corner of my community garden plot. I began growing them in a large trough on the roof, too. Then we moved here and I inherited a yard of them.
Between all of these locations I should have more than enough to candy, make my jellies, and eat fresh in salads. I like the young leaves, too. Of course, we are currently in the process of digging up the yard, but I’ve been careful to dig around the violets and set each one (barring a few casualties) for replanting. I plan to carefully extract the plants from the grass that is growing around them, and replant them into their own swath along with the three other colour varieties I have collected over the last few years. You think I’m crazy for taking so much care with a plant that spreads like a weed, but I can’t wait for you to see it.
Man, do I ever love having a yard.
We are excited about hosting a wild bee nesting box in our new garden as a part of a study on wild bee populations in urban habitats that is being conducted by Scott McIvor through the Packer Collection (PCYU) at York University. You can see how the nestboxes are constructed here.
We can’t wait to see if any bees take up residence in the little paper cells. In his enthusiasm, Davin started checking hours after the PVC box was installed. Needless to say there are no bees yet but I did see one resting on our compost bin and another came out of a hole in the ground as I was digging up sod. We are also curious to see how general insect populations change as we introduce more diversity to what is currently a plantless yard.
Scott is also tracking cavity nesting bee populations on green roofs. If you have a green roof and would like to be involved you can get in touch via TO Bees.
I’m generally not a big-leaved tropicals person. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s more that I like to see them rather than grow them.
As a city dweller, I’ve never had much garden space available to me. And, well, big-leaved plants are terribly GIGANTIC. They are also tropical, which means they need a warm and humid place to overwinter indoors. My living spaces are small and dry. As a result, I’ve simply opted out of growing these plants. I oooh and awe at them while visiting greenhouses or tropical locals, but I’ve always managed to keep a mental distance from them. These are plants for looking and looking only.
And then I went to Thailand.
A lush balcony garden in Bangkok.
From the glittery, tiled temples to the lush, statuesque plants, everything in Thailand is BIG and FABULOUS. Even in a congested metropolis like Bangkok, the Thai people still manage to find the space to go big. Now there is no excuse left and I want to go big, too.