Posts tagged ‘growing from seed’

Winter gardening

arugula seedlingsNew year, new plants! A batch of seedlings sprouted on my windowsill last week and with that I am on my way to my 2013 goal of growing more of my own food.

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.

winter seedlings

January 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm 2 comments

Windowsill gardening

One of my most successful gardening endeavours this year is happening indoors. I’ve grown several pots of basil from seed on the window sill of my studio this summer and the plants are doing so well in their few inches of sun.

It’s such a satisfying thing to grow a plant from a seed. The ritual of tending to plants brings me endless peace, and basil brings an extra reward. When I water the plants in the morning I brush up against the leaves and experience the earthy summer smell of basil – it’s an amazing signal to my brain to wake up and enjoy the day.

September 20, 2012 at 8:09 am 2 comments

End of summer garden

This weekend feels like the end of summer. The weather is still warm, but it is changing, as is the light, which is thinner now and less intense. Shadows are more pronounced and I see them invading sunny places earlier in the day. I don’t mind – there is something beautiful about the dance of tree leaves in the shade.

The plants of summer are still growing – yellow impatiens, a pot of blue forget-me-nots grown from seed that are just catching their stride, green tomatoes, mint, oregano and chives – but they’re slowing down. Two strawberry plants joined the garden this year and I’m pleased about that: from what I’ve seen in other people’s yards, they don’t wither away in the cold. I’m hoping the Asian greens will stay with me, too, if I don’t eat through them before winter arrives. Gai lan (Chinese broccoli) is the one below with the beautiful white flowers.

I’m looking forward to spending the afternoon outside on the patio in my wicker lounger chair saying farewell to summer and enjoying the beginning of fall. Next weekend I’ll find a garden store so I can plant kale, chrysanthemums, and winter pansies.

September 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm 1 comment

First tomato


Finally! Months of coddling tomato plants grown from seed have produced an actual tomato. As you can see below, there are more on the way. I’m sure they will be wonderful, too, but the first tomato brings the clearest sense of victory. Our patio is shady, part-sun at best, and it takes a good stretch of warm weather to make veggies grow. Double victory!

I was paralyzed by it, of course. How does one consume such a precious treat? If I had some buffalo mozzarella handy, I’d have gone for a classic caprese salad without a second thought. But I don’t. So I decided on a home-grown theme. Arugula, basil, chives, and parsley from my garden, olive oil carted back from Spain and sea salt that was a gift from my husband. Such specialness, and oh-so-good.

August 19, 2011 at 8:50 am Leave a comment

New beginnings

The comforting signs of spring – warm weather, the return of colour, longer days – are everywhere right now. Finally! I love spring for the sense of possibility and renewal it brings, the joy of new growth, the way we all sink into our more relaxed and real selves.

Normally by March I have a scraggly group of seedlings growing in various pots and trays in the sunny south room in our house, but not this year. This year instead of filling up pots with dirt and flowers we’re emptying them out and packing them up for our new adventures in beautiful Vancouver. This year I’m the one doing the growing. New city, new house, new garden, new job and the excitement of sharing it all with family and friends old and new. It’s refreshing and energizing in the same way spring is.

I feel exactly like these two beautiful sunflower seedlings – newly awakened and basking in the warm sun drawing in strength and energy for the season of growth and beauty that lies ahead. I can’t wait to see what else is growing when we get there.

March 17, 2010 at 11:00 pm Leave a comment

Welcome to fall

sunflower head with ribbon

Calgary’s fall has been less than idyllic so far. We spent 10 days vacationing on Vancouver Island in mid-September, and when we came back the weather was hot and balmy, as if it was still summer. A few days after that it turned cold with the first frosts of the season. Since then, we’ve experienced chilly rains and more than a few days of snow, most recently paired with blustering winds and temperatures dipping to -10C.

Aside from braving the cold for a few brief moments today to hang this beautiful sunflower head from Eagle Creek Flowers for our backyard birds to snack on, I’ve felt mostly deprived of the usual joys of experiencing the fall season outdoors. At its best, fall is one of my favourite seasons. It is soothing and peaceful to watch the plant life in our garden reach its full life cycle and prepare to rest for the winter months. And while I miss the warmth of the summer months, enjoying more time nesting in our cozy house is a welcome shift as the seasons change.

We’re spending this weekend, Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, visiting Lake Louise for a couple of days and after that we’ll enjoy a family dinner to celebrate the holiday. With luck we might also squeeze in the Harvest Country Drive, which is happening between Calgary and Red Deer – a seasonal, farm-friendly activity in our region that I’ve never experienced. My hope is that the whole weekend will provide a thorough dose of fall and some much-needed time outdoors, walking, taking photographs and experiencing nature before the long winter settles in.

October 9, 2009 at 1:33 pm 1 comment

Garden bouquet

garden bouquet

Isn’t it lovely? All picked from my very own garden! I know I will spend the rest of the fall and winter dreaming of this moment of having a vase of fresh cut flowers resting on the patio table on a perfect late summer day.

September 8, 2009 at 9:41 pm 2 comments

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