On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow!

Today was the official kick-off to gardening season. We spent some time this afternoon turning over the soil and doing other spring yardwork tasks. Once the rain started coming down, we moved inside and planted some seeds. This year we borrowed a fancy-dancy seed growing operation from Linda, complete with full-spectrum lights, etc. I’ve tried to start seeds inside before with mixed results — I’m hoping this set-up will do the trick.

Chives, Parsley & Sweet Basil were the first seeds to be planted this year. The plants in behind the white pots are ones we picked up at the Niagara College open house last weekend.

Tazo’s Lily

When my beloved orange tabby cat, Taz, died a couple of years ago Nikki gave me a beautiful orange lily plant to commemorate his life and the happiness he brought so many of us. Each year when the first orange bloom opens I always stop and take a moment to remember one of the best cats that ever lived.

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Grounded

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For some reason the transition from ASLE/Vancouver Island adventures back to normal day-to-day life in Niagara has been a tough one. I felt out of sorts all last week, and I’m sure it wasn’t just because of the difference in time zones. I guess it was a busy week — laundry, unpacking, getting caught up on emails and all the other things that pile up when one goes away.

Yesterday we decided to slow down and just spend the day out in the garden. It was wonderful and exactly what I needed to feel connected to this place again. We weeded, tidied, trimmed and planted. The last of the seedlings we started indoors are now in pots or in the herb garden. I’m sure I’ll never get over the sense of amazement I feel when I look at a happy, healthy plant in the garden and remember that a few months ago it was a tiny little seed planted with lots of hope in the makeshift greenhouse we rigged up in the living room.

Fake Grass

I just read a news story about fake grass. I don’t know what to say.

I guess I could say something about how tired I am of this ridiculous obsession our society seems to have with perfectly uniform lawns. I could also say something about how so-called “weeds” like dandelions seem to be important for the health of bee populations, etc. I could probably also ponder the reasons why someone who doesn’t like to deal with plants bothers to live in a dwelling surrounded by yard.

I think instead I’ll take solace in a good book and dream of a day when more interesting approaches to gardening dominate our yards and neighborhoods.

UPDATED: Here is another story on the same theme. Sigh…

Frosty

Ok, so articles like this one really irk me. If you don’t feel like clicking on the link I’ll summarize: the title is “Impatient Gardeners Lose Out to Jack Frost” and it goes on about some poor guy who “gambled” on planting early and “lost”. He didn’t lose because his plants were died of frost exposure, he “lost” because he had to go out and cover his plants with sheets the past two evenings when the GTA region got a little chilly overnight.

Dramatic overkill much?

It got chilly in Niagara too, so we covered the wee veggie plants with sheets. It took about 3 and a half minutes to cover them and the plants were protected. There is one lettuce plant that looks a little unhappy, but all the rest seem to have survived. I certainly don’t feel too hard done by and, as I previously posted, if the worst case scenario had happened, if the frost had zapped the life out of all the veggies we planted it still wouldn’t be as dramatic and dire as this reporter makes it sound.