Inch by inch, row by row…


Spring is here again and so began the second year of my backyard garden. The lawn is still infested with weeds because, really, no matter how hard we try, there is no way we could beat the frickin' weeds. But eh, if you can't beat 'em, you embrace 'em, and that's what we're doing. We only weed out the weeds from the flower beds/vegetable patch. The lawn can fend for itself. Troy did reseed the lawn to overcrowd it just because we had some grass seeds sitting around doing nothing. Will the overcrowding work to reduce the weeds? Only time will tell. In the meantime, I'm not going to sweat it. Life's too short to fuss over the lawn. So the next door neighbour has a perfect lawn. Good for them!

Our purpleleaf sand cherry tree is in bloom. The young elm tree in the front yard is no longer naked. The magnolia is still as small as ever, but it produced some really huge flowers while it lasted. The chives Troy picked up from a roadside plant sale last year have been producing a lot of flower buds. The chives we picked up from a nursery, however, didn't show any signs of flowering even though they're coming back with a vengeance. I thought I had killed the tiny clematis I had last year, but surprise, surprise, it's grown back and it keeps growing every day. Will we see some clematis flowers this year? Once again, only time will tell.

And the honeysuckle! The honeysuckle is so pretty. Even without the flowers, it looks so pretty. But it's showing some flower buds already. Soon it will look glorious. The Sweet Woodruff in the shady corner of our garden is also growing like crazy. I hope it will fill that whole otherwise dull corner. We even got some ferns growing in the shadiest corner of the garden. I planted three varieties last year. I guess having one out of three coming back is not bad since I heard ferns are rather particular about the type of soil in which they grow.

To put it shortly, all the perennials are coming back. We planted some cherry tomatoes last year and already we got some volunteers growing. Not sure what to do about them. We'll probably just let them grow because we're lazy that way. Plus that way we get to save a couple of bucks because we won't have to buy any vegetable seedlings to plant in the vegetable patch.

Last year I was beating myself for not picking up a peony plant at a plant sale. To make up for it, I picked up not one, but two peonies from a nursery a couple of weeks ago. They're two different varieties. I'm actually thinking of picking up another. I just love the look of peony flowers. So pretty. Can't wait to see them bloom. One of them already has some flower buds when we bought it. The other one still has some growing to do.

Last weekend we saw that the two honour-system, roadside plant sale stands on the road between Waterloo and Stratford were back! We stopped at both but only bought a couple of plants from one because the other one hasn't got too many varieties out. Mostly just strawberries. I do need some strawberry plants for my brand new strawberry planter (it's the one with some funny pockets all over it) but I need to decide the varieties I'd like to have first. Anyway, I love roadside plant sales. They make me happy.

So, how is your garden growing? Do you have a gardening song? My gardening song is appropriately called The Garden Song. Check this out:

I actually heard the song for the first time during our honeymoon in Nova Scotia. We went to a ceilidh in Pictou and one of the performers sang this song and the song gets stuck in my head every now and then, especially when I'm gardening.

Another gardening song of mine is Sarah Harmer's cover of Nanci Griffith's "Trouble in the Fields", which is a rather depressing song, but I'm a sucker for depressing songs. I couldn't find a video of it on YouTube but you can download the song to listen to from this blog if you're interested.

So, hello again!


Do you like my lat­est indoor gar­den art instal­la­tion? :) It’s called “Jesus and His 5 Prick­ly Apos­tles”. I had three choic­es for the cen­tre piece: Bud­dha, Jesus, and Yeti. Bud­dha is a bit too short to stand out and Yeti is a bit too tall. Jesus is just the right size. I’m rather proud of the final result.

4 of the 5 Prick­ly Apos­tles come from Ikea. We picked up three of them on Sun­day. I did a blun­der by water­ing the cac­tii right after repot­ting. I should’ve wait­ed a week, but I didn’t learn about it until after I watered the plants. Ooop­sie! I hope they’ll sur­vive.

Let’s Talk About My Addiction

Hel­lo, my name is Fir­da and I’m a plant addict. Right now I have this crav­ing to go to a nurs­ery and buy a boat­load of plants and seeds. Last night I gave in to the temp­ta­tion and bought myself some seeds off eBay, from a nurs­ery in New­found­land no less. And today I spent all morn­ing brows­ing eBay for more seeds of exotic plants, but so far I’ve been good and haven’t ordered any more. This would all be fine and dandy if we didn’t live in a cramped apart­ment and if over half of our din­ing table wasn’t occu­pied by pot­ted plants already.

I’m blam­ing my addic­tion on my late moth­er. I used to think that she loved her plants more than she loved me (not true at all, she loved me until the day she died). She’d scrape soil off the gut­ters for her plants. Hav­ing new planters would make her so excit­ed­ly hap­py. She’d ask strangers for cut­tings of plants she want­ed. She actu­al­ly had an ICU sec­tion for all her plants that weren’t doing well. Know­ing that I loved flow­ers, she’d put her best flow­er­ing plants right by my bed­room win­dow and keep them flow­er­ing.

Sad­ly, I had zero inter­ests on plants when my moth­er was alive. Water­ing her plants was just a chore, a big pain in the butt, made worse by my jeal­ousy of the plants for get­ting hours of spe­cial atten­tion every day from my moth­er. When she went away for a mon­th, many of her plants were dying from aban­don­ment by the time she got back (my fault, guilty as charged). I was sure she was going to kill me, but sur­pris­ing­ly, she didn’t make a big fuss of it. I was so relieved. Though I did feel guilty to see the many plants occu­py­ing her ICU sec­tion after­wards. Of course she nursed them all back to health. She was good at it.

When my moth­er died, I did what I knew my mum would’ve liked me to do with all the flow­ers we received from peo­ple express­ing their con­do­lences. I tried to keep them alive for as long as I could. Since I had zero idea on how to han­dle flow­ers, they didn’t last very long. It made me sad and it made me wish I’d inherit­ed my mother’s green thumb.

Well, what do you know. Five years lat­er, here I am. My moth­er might not have passed her green thumb on to me but she def­i­nite­ly passed me her addic­tion. I like to think I’m not as big a plant addict as her but I’m get­ting there for sure. And it all start­ed four years ago, when we bought a peace lily plant from a super­mar­ket to com­mem­o­rate the first anniver­sary of my mother’s pass­ing. Since then, the urge to buy and grow more plants just keeps get­ting stronger and stronger. So you see, it all comes back to her. My moth­er. The orig­i­nal plant addict among the two of us. With­out her blood run­ning in me, I prob­a­bly wouldn’t recog­nise the joy of watch­ing tiny lit­tle seeds turn­ing into plants.

Just one dark lit­tle secret. Unlike my moth­er, some­times I wish some of my plants would die a nat­u­ral death so I could buy some new ones. I think that makes me the Darth Vader of the gar­den­ing world or some­thing to that effect. I know it’s evil, but I just can’t help it! Though I’m sure I would stop wish­ing death upon my plants once we have a house of our own that I could fill up with as many plants as I want. That would be so freak­in’ awe­some!

Grow, Avocado, Grow!

I’m so in love with my avo­cado tree, which is not quite a tree yet since it’s only about 8 cm tall, but it’s thriv­ing to be a tree. It’s grow­ing about half a cen­time­ter a day. If you’ve ever grown an avo­cado tree from a seed before, you’ll know how fas­ci­nat­ing this stage is. It’s the first thing I check when I wake up in the morn­ing. It’s like hav­ing a baby but with­out all the extra expens­es or the lack of sleep.

I start­ed the seed some time in late April in a shot glass full of water. The growth was quite slow, but after a cou­ple of failed attempts, a slow growth is bet­ter than no growth at all. After 3 or 4 months, the roots start­ed grow­ing like crazy. Weird­ly enough, a bunch of stems came out of the seed instead of just one. None grew past 1 cm. And then some time last mon­th, one stem popped out and it was look­ing excep­tion­al­ly strong and healthy. I thought to myself, this is it! This is the one that wants to be a tree! I decid­ed that it was time to trans­fer the seed from the shot glass to a ter­ra­cot­ta pot to encour­age the growth of the wee lit­tle stem.

I was wor­ried that the move would kill the plant, what with my black thumb rep­u­ta­tion and all, but it was some­thing that I had to do. I filled the ter­ra­cot­ta pot with some cac­tus soil mix and trans­ferred the seed. The next day, I checked to see if the avo­cado plant is still alive and grow­ing, and it was! Yay! At that time I just knew that everything’s going to be all right; that I will at last have a love­ly avo­cado tree.


Hap­py grow­ing!