Garden update and taking a break from electronics.

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Happy early birthday Joe!

I’ll start with some happy news: I’ve finished the shingles acupuncture/chiro treatment! I’m symptom free and feeling good. There is still a small rash on my back that is quickly fading, but no pain, no itching anywhere! I feel so good that I’ve rebooked my Covid vaccine for next week – so psyched!

It’s been four weeks yesterday since I started on this crazy shingles journey. During my appointment on Tuesday, my Chiropractor and I were discussing my healing progression. She remarked how quickly I healed and was impressed by all the tools I used to help it along, like making a healing cream. Not having anything to compare it to, I wasn’t sure if it was quick or not but she had clients come to her for help after they’ve had it for six to eight weeks! I’m so grateful I went the natural route and it healed as quickly as it did. Once I’m vaccinated for Covid, the singles vaccine is next on my list…don’t want to go down this road again. 😉

On the garden front, I sowed some seeds in my raised bed during my lunch break. I don’t think there’s a finer way to spend a hot spring day, than out in nature, planting seeds for future salads and smoothies! Lettuce, spinach and parsley are in the ground. I wanted to plant kale but for the life of me, couldn’t find the seeds. I’m sure I had a packet. But apparently I don’t.

After my chiro appointment this evening, I stopped at Home Depot to buy a 100′ garden hose. If only that was all… I’m now the proud owner of more seeds (hello kale!), more flowers (welcome home pansies!), and other things! While waiting in the check out line, I asked Mom – more liked begged – please, this is the last time I am allowed to go in or near a garden centre…except for fertilizer. That’s it. She laughed.

I love seeing a plowed field, especially our old field. My parents, grandparents and great-grandparents farmed this land.

And the last bit of news for today. I need a break. A real break. I’ve decided to take advantage of this three-day weekend by making it an oasis – spiritual, emotional, mental and physical. I don’t have an off-grid place to go, so I’m making my home that place. I’m turning off my electronics, which means my phone. My phone that I use as a camera, that is glued to my hand and goes EVERYWHERE with me. I’m putting it in a desk drawer and will see it Tuesday morning. If I feel the need to take pictures, that’s what my camera is for. I intend to spend as much time as I can outside, enjoying the garden – but not overdoing it. Maybe I’ll pitch the tent down by the river and sleep there a couple of nights. Maybe I’ll do a little night photography…maybe a bonfire…

So, until Tuesday, have a great rest of the week and weekend!



Let the planting begin!

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Momma and poppa goose dropped by for a visit with their babies. So much cuteness!

When mom says go, we go.

This evening found me building a raised garden bed. The first of many to come. I could hear my dear cousin’s voice in my head while I filled the wheelbarrow with earth…take it easy cuz…it helped me to stop at one bed! Thanks Ger!

Raised garden bed.
This is where the lettuce, spinach and kale will go.
Someone’s ready to climb! Birdhouse gourds. It always amazes me that this grew from a seed put in soil.
Tonight’s sunset

Was anyone else tired today? Maybe it’s the heat, but mom and I were both very tired this afternoon. I went for a walk around the house hoping to get some energy. I stopped to smell the lilacs…so awesome! Then picked a handful of dandelions for a tea. I threw in some lemon balm for extra flavour. It didn’t pick up my energy but it sure tasted good!

Lemon balm dandelion tea

Easing into Monday

Monday, 17 May 2021

(Cover photo – Dukes: do I smell ice cream? Me: slurp…no.)

Spring is a busy time at work. I have a big project coming my way this week which will keep me occupied until the end of the month. All my current projects will be put on hold until this one is out of the way, so June is looking busy too. I’d rather be busy than have nothing to do.

Now comes the time to test what I’ve learned the past three weeks during the Shingles break. Take time for me to: do things I enjoy doing; exercise; spend time in nature; relax; don’t stress; eat well…

I have a habit…strike that. I had a habit of working long hours, skipping breaks and lunch so I can focus on the project. When I get in the creative zone and things are going well, I don’t want to walk away from that moment because it might take me a long time to get it back. So, like the energizer bunny, I would keep going until it’s done or I couldn’t physically continue. I realize it’s not the most healthy way to work and I’m going to find a way to get in the zone and still have time for health breaks. It’s about finding the balance. And baby steps.

During my lunch break today, I got my hands into some garden soil to fill paper pots. It was relaxing and enjoyable and difficult to pull myself away from it to go back to work! After supper I spent some quiet time transplanting Canterbury bells. One peat pot had thirteen seedlings which I transplanted into the paper pots. I had three more peat pots with seedlings and was wondering if there wasn’t a better way.

One of the paper pots ripped open, resulting in a mound of soil on the table. I grabbed a small box to brush the soil into, then would empty it into the bigger bin of soil. As I walked to the bigger bin, I had the thought, if I line the bottom of this box with newspaper, then add soil, I could transplant the seedlings into this box. Each plant would have enough room to grow and, when they reach an ideal height, I can either plant the box in the garden, or carefully remove each plant to sow in the garden. So I did just that and it’s great! I’m looking for another small box to transplant the rest of the Canterbury bells.

I purchased a cucumber plant at a local garden centre last week. There are four plants in the container and I must say, it’s seen better days. I think it got hit with frost, either at the garden centre, or while I had it here. I’m hoping by transplanting each plant to it’s own pot they will perk up. I have been having a hard time getting cucumbers to grow this season. The winter seedlings I started in March did well until the raccoon knocked the shelving unit over. They haven’t come back from that tumble. I’m going to try starting another batch and also try direct sowing. What will be, will be!

My seedlings spent their first night outside last night. They thrived! I was so pleased to see the sunflowers standing straight and tall. All week they’ve been flopping over. Same with the broccoli and cauliflower. They seem to like the fresh air.

Well now, wasn’t that a grand day!

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Today was the day I’ve been looking forward to since last Fall when the cold and snow arrived. A warm day with a breeze – to keep the black flies and mosquitoes away – and big fluffy clouds floating by.

A stand-up paddle boarder paddled by on the river. That was a first. Not long after, a small motor boat filled with young people went by. There hasn’t been that much action on the old river since I was a teenager playing in our boat. It was nice to see. This evening a neighbour across the field was having a party, playing loud calypso music. It made me think of the Caribbean islands I’ve visited. Mom joined me on the veranda to listen and then she started dancing, so I joined in. Dancing under the sparkling stars with the waxing crescent moon shining bright.

I spent a good part of the day transplanting and planting. I transplanted three fuchsia plants into a hanging basket and two more into a large pot. Then I tackled the tray of Hyssop which was one of my winter sowing experiments. I separated thirty-two tiny seedlings and ended up with fourteen containers! This was good practice for patience 😉

At some point during the day, I realized I didn’t have any Malva Zebrina’s started. I’ve been growing them for several years and love how hardy and beautiful they are. A quick search through my old seed envelopes and I found them. There were only a handful of seeds left but should be enough to grow a pot full of beautiful cheery flowers.

The last thing I planted today was a potato. Two actually. Two russet potatoes. I planted them in an old seed bag, another experiment. I’ve seen countless videos on this method, as well as using large containers, with much success. My plan is to grow all of my potatoes this way. Can’t wait to see how it works out!

We had an evening grosbeak visit us today. She was shy at first, flying away every time I stepped out onto the veranda, but eventually she got closer, especially when we were quietly sitting still for a bit. A pileated woodpecker dropped by for a visit as well. We had a Baltimore Oriole a few days ago but I haven’t seen or heard it since.

I went for a walk around the yard at sunset and found myself at the box garden, checking on my garlic. It needed a good weeding so I started pulling weeds and noticed several large dandelions and creeping Charlie. I feel like God started my medicinal herb garden for me 😉

I have been wanting to dig up dandelion roots to dry for a tea but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I grabbed ahold of the plant and pulled. It came out with such ease! Much better than having to dig it out with a shovel. I haven’t finished researching creeping Charlie so wasn’t sure what part of the plant I should harvest, so pulled some of the greenery for now. I washed the dandelion leaves, as well as Charlie, cut up the dandelion roots and placed everything in the screen to dry.

The dandelion leaves looked so good, I put a few leaves away for tomorrow’s green smoothie.

A few more photos from the day.