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Archive for April, 2008

Stay or go; read or sow

Should I stay or should I go; should I blog or should I sow?

Monday through Friday, my first afterwork activity is predetermined. By my Westie. And today if he hadn’t, as usual, nudged me with his nose toward the door, the early evening sunshine would have pulled me outside for a long walk.

Now that I’m home I’m left with the other two options: blog (ie. read old favourites and new finds, comment, write my Earth Day post) or sow. Again, the choice is easy. This awaits me:

Renee's Seeds -- 2008 stash
West Coast Seeds -- 2007/08 stash

I’ve sown about 1/4 of these seeds and am ahead of schedule compared to last year, on time compared to 10-12 years ago, but very late (for indoor sowing of herbs and flowers) according to last frost dates for zone 8. My garden is an experiment in pushing all kinds of limits, including space and time. I do have to follow a calendar of some sort, though, and need to sow the sweet peas NOW or wait until fall. Credit goes to Thomas Hobbs for this late and spontaneous addition of sweet peas to the balcony garden. He featured them in hanging baskets this past Saturday on the morning news gardening feature.

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“Think of me”

Blooming on my balcony and illuminated by the sun this afternoon:
Yellow viola
In the language of flowers, a yellow pansy = “think of me” (source: A Handful of Flowers)

Addendum (April 21st): Yes, a yellow pansy (Viola x wittrockiana) does mean “think of me” but this flower is a yellow violet (Viola), which means “rural happiness.” My goof. I did a bit more research based on Tess’s comment. Thanks, Tess!

A bit of a beautiful distraction because I’m supposed to be sowing the rest of my seeds this afternoon. I’m both late and on time with this task — late according to the West Coast gardener’s calendar for indoor seed starting but on time with my own journals from past years. I spent a little too much time in the urban garden this month and not enough my own. Blame it on hanami and sakura intoxication.

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Yellow hyacinths after an April shower
Lemony-buttery hyacinths in our condominium’s courtyard garden. A daily dose of spring colour.
Yellow hyacinth after an April shower

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Ribes sanguineum

Ribes sanguineum (?cultivar) seen on yesterday evening’s walk

…[P]erhaps the key to a happy life is when one has good memories to look back on and great plans to look forward to….a simple line of advice that keeps ringing in my ears—take pictures and make plans.

from Tracey Clark’s post Word to Fly By on Shutter Sisters

Yesterday, inspired and energized by sunshine (in the sky and in a pot), I took photos. Today, inspired and energized by a growing collection of “stars” in my Google Reader, I’m working on the plans. A work-in-progress that I need to begin NOW so I have a happily productive spring gardening vacation.

  1. Make a planting plan. (Guides: 1, 2)
  2. Take sowing lessons. (Guides: 1, 2)
  3. …then sow the seeds! Follow with TLC, of course.
  4. Study garden photography techniques. (Guide: 1)
  5. Prune the 800+ photos in on my computer.
  6. Nominate my favourite gardening blogs for a Mouse & Trowel award.
  7. View the spring-flowering shrubs at Queen Elizabeth Park.

Maybe a bit ambitious for today, but if I focus, achievable in two-and-a-half weeks of vacation. Tomorrow, I set priorities! This morning…I’m starting with #7.

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