Posts filed under ‘Container gardening’
This sweet brown vase was a gift earlier this month: it’s the latest addition to a collection of tiny vases that are perfect for my small garden.
Once again these vessels are filled with spring flowers. I’ve been enjoying the zen-like art of flower arranging once or twice a week lately and it’s a reminder that few things make me happier than walking outside to my own garden and cutting flowers for a bouquet.
I love photographing them, too, and the small arrangements are the perfect size for my teeny studio.
Here are a few photos of my garden as it welcomes the spring. I love living on the West Coast all times of year, but early spring is when I appreciate it most. Nothing made me more crazy living in Calgary than seeing spring on the calendar and snow on the ground, and each year spent in Vancouver (this is my fourth spring) reminds me how glad I am to be here.
I know many of you are still struggling with the dregs of winter, so I hope these images feel encouraging and hopeful – something to tide you over until things warm up all over the country. I promise I don’t mean to gloat!
I arrived home from a weekend away on Vancouver Island to find my paperwhites in bloom! Many people grow these at Christmas time, which is a lovely thing, but I’m always away for the holidays so I start mine after New Year’s.
I discovered paperwhites (narcissus papyraceus) about five years ago and I’ve been growing them ever since. It’s a comforting winter ritual: visit a garden shop in December, load up a paper bag with bulbs, and spend a quiet hour potting them up once the holiday chaos subsides. A few days near a bright window is all they need to start stretching green and skyward, and star-shaped white blooms open up a couple of weeks later, bringing brightness to dreary winter days and helping to stamp out the January blues.
Paperwhites are easy to grow. Follow these directions in this video if you’d like to try (the video also includes info on growing amaryllis, which are beautiful, too).
Arugula and Asian greens like pac choi and mizuna stand up to slugs better than most of the leafy greens I’ve tried growing in the past. I am trying kale again as I’d love to be able to grow my own since I eat it almost every day. I’ve never had much luck with kale as the garden critters like it as much as I do, but here’s hoping the new year will bring fresh success.
Do you do this, too? I am constantly saving eggshells, crushing them into sharp bits, and sprinkling them over the soil in my garden. I’ve done it for years now. Despite this, you can see that the slugs and snails are still having their way with my poor plants, and it is not even rainy season yet. I don’t know how many eggshells it is going to take.
I know there are other things I could try – chemicals, sharp sand that scratches soft slug bellies, saucers of beer that might tempt the little buggers to drown themselves. I’m attached to the idea of eggshells, though – they’re free and it’s so satisfying to have something useful to do with them, and I love that they are harmless to my little ecosystem.
A little too harmless it seems. “Munch, munch, munch…yum!” say the slugs as they wind their way past the scattered bits of eggshell and enjoy the feast of plants I’ve served up.