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Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

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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Tenderheart

Image Credit: Tenderheart by Astrid Photography.

Phew. I just caught myself in time. I was about to call this post “January Round-up” but then recalled my strict policy against using this chemical and don’t want to give it any unintentional endorsement.

My favourite gardening and green living web sites are starting to publish tips, finds and new ideas for the coming growing season and so before I lose track of them, I’m going to process all those posts I’ve recently starred. Here’s the first batch:

Composting — Composting basics: compost without a yard
Containers — Self-watering
Inspiration — Grow where you are planted, Plan a garden
Seed-starting — Make your own pots (I’ve been saving toilet paper rolls for the past few months), Gayla’s Downloadable Seed Starting Plan, Lazy Gardener’s Chart, West Coast Seeds’ new site.
Veggie-Crafts — Knit your vegetables

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A few weeks ago when I was rearranging space to store seasonal stuff (a frequently-repeated task when you live in a small apartment with no storage), at the back corner of the top shelf of a hard-to-reach, seldom-used kitchen cupboard (there are too many of these when you are less than 5 feet 4 inches tall), behind the electric fan, flashlight, old batteries, plumb line and wallpaper roller, I found this tin, which I was sure contained an assortment of kitchen hardware:

What's in the tin?

To my surprise (which later turned to a bit of worry about my memory lapse) I opened it to find this:

Seed collection 2

A collection of seed packets, evidence of annual Spring Garden Fever going back to 1995.

Seed collection 1

So why blog about this. For a few reasons:

(1) This year, I MUST schedule sowing dates on the calendar. And then NOT PROCRASTINATE. I confess many of these packages were never opened. I’m in strong favour of being more spontaneous and living in the moment — but a bit more discipline and time-sensitivity is necessary when you’re growing a garden.
(2) Just like judging a book by its cover, I know I bought a few varieties because of the pretty pictures on the packages. Through experiences (ie., poor germination) I’ve learned the ones that come in the plain brown wrapper (West Coast Seeds ) are the best.
(3) I’m a pretty ruthless declutterer but I will always find a box, drawer or scrapbook for used seed packages — for purely sentimental reasons. As I sorted through the tin’s contents, I recalled sowing perennials and herbs the first summer my parents lived in their Labelle Avenue home. My mom told my proudly she had done some weeding — and to my horror I realized she had removed all the Aquileglia (Columbine) I had just planted.
(4) On a more serious note, I hope that twenty years from now, we will still live in a climate that will allow us to grow such a diverse variety of plants. Thinking about this strengthens my resolve to grow a low-impact garden, even if I have to forego my favourite plants. (This will be very hard.)

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Even though I’m having trouble keeping up with all the blogs I regularly read, as part of my fall cleaning, decluttering and simplifying strategy this morning I added another subscription to my Google Reader: Apartment Therapy. I’ve read this blog occasionally before but I’m now going to commit to reading it regularly and trying some of the ideas.

If I can create a clean, simple, functional interior with stuff and systems that don’t deplete my energy (as they are currently doing), I hope to have more time and space for gardening….and reading about gardening….and writing about gardening…and photographing my garden….and planning future gardens.

Today I am reading Apartment Therapy’s gardening, PlantTherapy and Flower Box Awards archives.

I love this ingenious, award-winning doggie-proof planter. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about my Westie chewing or digging, although I recently learned to keep the bone-meal out of snout’s reach as he wants to snuffle up the container’s contents.

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