Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's an Orange Kind of Day

 The husband brought me home a Begonia elator the other day & what a lovely colour! With the skies being mostly gray with spring rains, the orange inside is a nice reminder that it is supposed to be spring.

It also goes quite nicely with the yellow daffodils I have blooming in the planter box just outside & under the window.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary

~ Mary Flemming rhododendron ~
Mistress Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells & cockle shells
And marigolds all in a row.

       ~ English nursery rhyme,
           circa 18th century ~
          (many versions exist for the
           last line, but this one is
           my favourite)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rhubarb - Is it a Fruit or Vegetable?

~ red fleshed rhubarb ~
 I find there is almost nothing better in the spring than that first bite of fresh rhubarb. Cooked with the last remaining berries from the freezer into a compote that can be used on anything from toast, yogurt, pork chops or in a smoothie in the morning - or, you can do what I do & freeze as much of it as possible to use later in the summer with other freshly picked berries in jams or wines. Last year's 'best blend' was blackberries & rhubarb!

The question most people have is: Is it a fruit or vegetable?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Spring 2012

Technically, today is the first day of spring - according to the calendar.

I took a nap.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 17th = Plant Your Peas!

~ snow peas ~
Get your 'green' on & go stick your finger in the dirt - makes the perfect planting hole for peas!

The snow peas have sprouted!

They were planted February 25th during a spell of clear but cold weather & covered with plastic sheeting to protect the soil from the rain & to keep out the birds. The soil temperature this year on this day was 5 degrees Celsius - much warmer than last year!

Now that they have sprouted, it's time to lift up the plastic off the soil by a few inches - might use pop bottle cloches to protect the seedlings from hungry birds.

Hopefully I'll find the time to build a pea trellis in the next few weeks!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Herbs From Seed: Rosemary

~ rosemary seedling ~
I sometimes do things the 'hard' way - ok - I do ALOT of things the 'hard' way... Meaning, I like to grow things from seed.

I like the process. Starting with sterile seed medium, clean pots, packages of teeny, tiny seed. Carefully putting a few seeds in each & then waiting-waiting-waiting for them to sprout & then caring for them til they are large enough to be transplanted.

I grow all my herbs from seed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Therapist is Required

This weekend brought a return of unpredictable weather where you aren't sure if you should wear 2 or 3 layers. Rain gear is an unquestionable must, but will it be cold or mild??

The photo here is showing a good hard hail storm - I'm so glad we didn't put a metal roof on the house because even this was deafening!

The pea-sized hail was bouncing pretty high up off the deck & I don't want to think about what it was doing to all those tender shoots & flowers that are out there! 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Taking Time to Smell the Rain

Well, we have another rainy weekend ahead of us. Mother Nature must feel I really need the time to think & plan out my veggie gardens for this year!!

I've been doing a lot of Internet reading of other gardening sites, re-reading a lot of my magazines & catalogues & as you can see...I did some updates on the blog site. I will see how I like the new colours, fonts & background - it just might change again!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spring Rain & the Doldrums

Well, I learned how to spell a new word today, even if I've been using it for years!

"Doldrums" - what caught my eye about this word is down towards the bottom of the Wikipedia page: The doldrums gave rise to a place called The Doldrums in the Phantom Tollbooth inhabited by the Lethargarians who do nothing all day, a place where "nothing ever happens and nothing ever changes", to depict the area in life where you become stagnant. The time when you stop questioning things and believe everything with no rebuttal.

eek! Well, I'm not that far gone with these rainy, gray days that have me locked up inside the house, unable to do much in the gardens. My greenhouse isn't build properly for me to start seeds in it at this time of year (it's too cold & draughty) and I don't have the proper grow lights in the house to start more than a few pots of things a time.

So I'm left with becoming dirty in the kitchen. Well, creative should be the term, but I do tend to make quite a mess!