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!