Posts tagged ‘zone 3 garden’

Plants are always the perfect gift

Our sweet neighbours brought over this hibiscus plant as a gift when they joined us for a glass of bubbly on New Year’s Eve. They’ve watched me spend endless hours puttering around our tiny garden and become wise to the fact that plants are always the perfect gift. The plant even came with a name – Judy.

Hibiscus plants are beautiful and I’ve always wanted one. It’s resting as directed in bright sunlight (well, as much sunlight as one gets in during a west coast winter) on the desk in my studio. I hope it lasts for years and years.  I’ve seen hibiscus trees for sale at garden stores, plants like this one that have been pruned into a 3 or 4 foot tall tree. There is something wonderfully tropical about these plants that’s particularly restorative in January: if I close my eyes and take a deep breath I can almost imagine myself wandering through a seaside garden in Hawaii and sipping in the sun.

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January 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm 1 comment

Goodbye garden

Here begins the slow goodbye as we trade our current in Calgary’s frigid Zone 3 for a patio full of pots in Vancouver’s lovely Zone 8. When we arrived in our current home almost three years ago the gardens were a blank slate. And now, just when things are finally settling in and filling out, it’s time to move cities.

I love gardening. There are few things I would rather do than spend my days planting, digging and tending to a garden: nothing is more peaceful, calming and real to me than cultivating a little plot of land and watching it grow.

What’s pictured above and below here – the pots and the six inches of dirt are similar to what’s available in our new place. I guess in some ways things won’t change at all. In Calgary I can see the first chives and my pretty violets starting to poke through the earth. I think if I can take a few of them along with me to Vancouver that will be enough.

March 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm 2 comments

Flower season begins

After several years of gardening in Calgary’s frigid Zone 3 climate, we are planning a move to balmy Vancouver, which I believe is Zone 8 (!). This weekend has been filled with househunting but also cherry blossoms trees in full bloom, magnolias unfurling, proud clumps of daffodils and pretty purple crocuses. (more…)

March 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm 5 comments

Remember tulips?

This cheery scene from our spring time backyard made me smile today as I was browsing through our photo gallery. Hope it has the same effect for you!

February 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm 1 comment

Bird call

When I put out this bird feeder a few weeks ago, I thought the neighbourhood birds would instantly catch on.  In the summer we hear chirping in the trees and often see birds hopping around in the garden, and I had a vision of seeing their cheerful selves gathered around during the winter, too.

But the feeder and all of its delicious premium seed remains untouched. Even the squirrels haven’t been into it. What am I supposed to do? Is it just that the house at the end of our street has better grub? They have flocks of sweet little chickadees at their feeder. What am I doing wrong? How can I get the word out?

I hate being unpopular.

February 2, 2010 at 11:29 am 1 comment

Dreaming of summer

When is it coming back? Why is it so short? As much as I try to love winter, it’s summer that is real to me. Warm, healthy air streams into our lungs, embraces us, lets us be whole. Flowers grow in the garden, waiting to be cut and brought inside to make sunny kitchens even brighter. We sit outside, we eat outside, we read outside, we play outside. Clothes, shoes and houses are breezy, open and relaxed. Green, pink, orange, red, yellow and blue are all around us.

Winter has its beauty and its charms. I’m struck today and always by the silhouette of barren trees against snow and an icy blue sky; I would miss that sight if it wasn’t part of my world. But today I miss summer, I miss plants and I miss warmth.

January 16, 2010 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

Tomato Basil Sauce (taste of summer)

This summer I spent a whole day chopping up a 25lb box of tomatoes and cooking them into a tomato basil sauce that could be stored away for winter. Well, winter is here. No doubt about that. It’s snowy and cold here in Calgary, and it was frosty even in Vancouver, where we spent the Christmas week.

So, freshly home from our trip and with not much food in the fridge, it was time to bring out a jar of that heavenly sauce for a simple pasta meal. I added a small tin of tomato paste to it along with about 2 cups of fresh spinach, some finely chopped almonds, grated asiago and hot chili flakes and served it over brown rice pasta for a delicious, simple supper that tasted just like summer. Vegetarian and gluten free, of course.

The recipe for the sauce is below. I highly recommend devoting a day next summer to finding a big box of tomatoes and making it. It was a beautiful way to spend a day, and the experience of pulling out a jar of your own tomato sauce in winter time is about a million times better than opening up a jar of Prego. (more…)

December 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm 2 comments

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