Happy May Long Weekend, YEG!

Ahhh, May Long. When we celebrate Queen Victoria by filling our shovels with dirt.

I had a great weekend. Garden all planted and ready to go just like mine? LOL. Me neither. Let’s call it “succession planting,” shall we? That makes it sound like we planned it that way.

I did make it to the Muttart plant sale on Saturday and the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market one yesterday. I walked to both, which really limits what you can carry back (which is probably for the best). Also it turns out the Muttart Conservatory is really far from my house. Learning! And growing! We got there at 4:30 and all that was left was bedding annuals and enormous tomatoes. I got a couple annuals and a dill plant, since the dill seed I planted was old and shows no sign of emerging.


That’s right, I know how to use the panorama feature on my phone. NBD.

I was going to do some cleanup and stuff for you, Internet, or at least put away the blue curtain that is drying on the deck; but then I remembered that no one is reading this blog because they’re thinking that I’m some kind of photogenic-garden-haver. ALTHOUGH. One way I’ve evolved this year is that I got one of those garden organizer thingies that goes on a 5-gallon bucket (this one) and I am (a) carrying it around to where I’m working in the garden at that moment and (b) putting it away when I am done. So hopefully no more abandoned tools all over the garden. I’m trying to be better, Internet. My husband and I have watched a LOT of Mike Holmes over the years (he is our surrogate dad, which makes us adopted siblings I guess? whatevs) and sometimes our extreme Holmes knowledge really forces us to admit that our own ways of doing things are half-assed and bad. So I’m just trying to be more Holmesian in my approach. And you know that guy brings the right tools in the first place, stays organized, and then puts his stuff away after, like a grown-up.


The view inside my mini greenhouse (visible in the picture above). The plant in the big pot (visible on the left)  is a sucker from my Juliet cherry that I potted up for a friend who is setting up her garden this year. I AM EXCITED TO BE GARDENING VICARIOUSLY THROUGH OTHERS.

I was going to write a post about potting up suckers but, to tell truth, I don’t really know how to do it. Here’s how I did it: dug around it. Hacked it out of the ground. Planted it in a pot. Prayed to the fruit-gods. It seemed to work.


Not the greatest photo, but here’s the obligatory bee picture.

My yard contains two cherry trees, a crabapple and the ornamental double-flowering plum. My neighbours have two apple trees. Both the smell and the buzzing of bees are palpable when I step outside the back door. Also, I put cinnamon all over the raised beds to try to deter the ants. It’s heaven.


I’ve queued up a few more pictures to be posted over the next few days. I hope you are as garden-drunk, tired, dirty and content as I am at this moment.


Link to Buzzfeed, of all places

Buzzfeed – I tried 7 Cheap and Easy Pinterest Gardening Hacks

I’m normally lukewarm on articles of this type, except this one involves ACTUALLY TRYING DUMB PINTEREST IDEAS and then evaluating whether they are great. What, would you say, is the ratio of Pinterest ideas pinned to Pinterest ideas executed? 1000:1? 1,000,000:1? This is one of my pet peeves about Pinterest. Another one of my pet peeves about Pinterest is that it makes me feel bad about myself.

‘Counter’ Cucumber

“I’m gonna grow some plants on the kitchen counter, ok?”

I’ve been feeling a bit sad that I didn’t get around to starting any seeds indoors this year, and then I remembered that old saying, “the best time to start seeds indoors is 4 weeks ago. The second-best time is right now.” SO I DID. It’s actually the perfect time to start some fast-growing seeds that only need a couple weeks’ head start on the warm weather. It’s too late for peppers and tomatoes, which are my very favourites to start indoors (the smell of tomato seedlings! AAAAH!), so I’ll pick up a few of those at plant sales. But cucumbers and zucchini are the next best thing.


Greg’s Pumpkin isn’t an official variety. It’s a pumpkin from seed collected from a plant from my friend Greg. It’s a Great (Greg) Pumpkin.

Good seeds to start indoors right now:

  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini and other squash
  • Melons
  • Pumpkins

I’m growing these right on my kitchen counter because I know if they’re downstairs I’ll never remember to check on them. I’m a bit scattered these days, and I always have five dumb little projects on the go. Plus, it’s only for a short while — as soon as they start to sprout, I’ll move them outside during the day and even leave them out there as long as it stays warm.

All of these plants will benefit from being planted in peat or newsprint pots so you don’t have to transplant them. They’re little babies who don’t like to be moved.

It’s also not too early to start planting outside. Good seeds to start outdoors right now:

  • Carrots
  • Most greens — kale, spinach, lettuce, mustard greens, arugula, swiss chard
  • Peas
  • Beets
  • Corn
  • Turnips — if you want to grow turnips, presumably because you are allergic to all other foods
  • Potatoes (from seed potatoes)

A-Pear-Ently it’s my Pear’s birthday.

On this day in 2013 I bought an ‘Early Gold’ pear at the Earth’s General Store Get Growing Day. (This year’s is Sunday! – more info. I am going.) I can’t remember which vendor had them but I think they were from Bon Accord, AB. My pear was about one and a half feet tall, just a stick really. I took this picture later that summer.


The first time I ventured into the back 40 this year I actually almost started to cry because I saw this:


It’s taller than my garage roof. It has never bloomed or produced any fruit, but I don’t even care because I love it.