new beginnings

Wow. Two years of silence and I find myself wondering if I really want to keep doing this. So many things have changed in the last two years, some good and some not so good.

Rather than try to explain my absence I’ll just kind of pick up again and continue writing about my day to day life. Hubby is now retired so life has changed a little but for the good. He doesn’t like gardening quite as much as I do, but he is around more to help with maintenance and the heavy lifting.

I’m impatient for Spring to really and truly arrive. The last few weeks we’ve had a lot of rain but I won’t complain. Last year we had some extreme drought conditions (weird, with living on the “wet” coast). Some areas of BC weren’t allowed any watering at all and many of our nurseries lost valuable stock.

Today’s temperature: 10ºC  . Cloudy with the occasional shower.

My love of gardens comes naturally

I grew up in a gardening family. My paternal grandfather had an amazing garden full of flowers, vegetables, fruit trees and berry bushes. He had a goldfish pond (and threatened the grandchildren with unpleasant things if we dared harm those fish). The very back of his property was a favourite spot because it contained Salmonberry bushes and he didn’t care how many we picked and ate, whereas he did limit us when it came to his other crops. If you’ve not heard of Salmonberries you probably don’t live on the west coast of North America. The fruit is almost raspberry like in appearance, but the colour is a deep golden yellow to a deep orange-red. They are luscious, sweet, juicy and the very best kind of berry to offer up to hungry grandchildren!

My Mom

My Mom

My childhood home contained a good-size vegetable garden that Mom tended diligently. That space harboured a plentiful supply of peas, beans, beets, spinach, potatoes and peas that were picked and preserved, as well as strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and a big ol’ cherry tree. She grew the food crops out of necessity; her real love was her flowers, and that remains true even today.

When I moved out on my own it was apartment living for a lot of years and I sorely missed digging in the dirt. This was before the days of community gardens. For several years I lived not too far from my paternal grandpa and would occasionally stop by after work for a cold glass of lemonade on the back deck and a tour of the garden. My Grandmother had passed away, he was remarried and his new wife (my step-grandma) was as funny and kind as my grandma had been. I adored them both.

butchart gardens

Butchart Gardens

I love going to plant nurseries and gardens just to walk around and take it all in. A couple of years ago my hubby and I went to Vancouver Island with his sister and her husband, who were visiting us from Ontario. One of the things we did was tour Butchart Gardens. What an amazing place! This was one of B.C.’s rare “heat wave” summers and we went early enough in the day to be able to enjoy it all without dying from heat stroke.

my tour companions

resting in the garden

I think I could have stayed all day, wandering around and taking photos but my companions weren’t quite as enthusiast. This is a favourite photo I took while they took a little break and I continued experimenting with my camera.

Longing for the sun

click for bigger pic

Even more than wanting to be warm without socks and hoodies, I’m anxious for the sun to stay out for longer than a day at a time. I miss the sun. This photo makes me smile because I remember what a gorgeous August day it was, and how perfect the yard looked to me. I think while the yard still looks so barren and empty you’ll be seeing a lot of photos from last year on here.

This past Monday I managed to cut the edge around 90% of the new garden space, then dig about a 3′ x 3′ piece of sod out (where the raspberries are moving to) before the rains took hold again. The raspberries were planted too close to the deck (my fault), and I’m digging out a 10 foot x 3 foot area for them first. I’ll turn it by hand and add some compost and build it up with soil from the existing vegetable garden. We’ll add the wood ties later. After removing the sod from the rest of the new section I’m going to rent a rototiller. The beds are going to be raised but this soil is heavy (and clay-based) and turning it all by hand would not be good for me or the hubby, who has offered to help on his days off from work. After that I’ll get a couple of yards of good garden soil delivered, which I’ll then have to transport from where-ever it gets dumped to the garden in the back.

I did manage to plant some garlic and was pleased to see that I have some green onions coming up that self-seeded from last year. Bonus!

I’m taking a one day beginner landscaping course at a local nursery in a couple more weeks, and found a program online to map out my garden so I took all sorts of measurements on Monday. As well, I ordered a couple of interesting looking gardening books, which arrived unexpectedly today (surprised the heck out of me since I used amazon’s free shipping option which usually takes at least 5 days if not longer). There will be more on these books and the author later.

Since today was a lovely day to be outside ONLY if you are a duck, I spent my time immersed in code, trying to learn as much as I can about WordPress. I’ve not stretched my brain like this for a while and it feels good (and struggled with “a while” vs “awhile”, so it was nice to have Grammar Girl to fall back on).

My garden books are calling… can you hear them? Since the new washer/dryer won’t be arriving until the middle of next week (our 23 year old pair packed it in), I also have that time when I’d normally be doing laundry to enjoy the new books. Who needs clean clothes anyway?