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!