Posts tagged ‘Zone 8 gardening’

Spring garden

lime clematis2

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!

primula in metal pot

sping garden 2013

one purple crocus

cinnamon hellebores

pink and white primulas in the sun

Advertisements

March 23, 2013 at 11:00 am 1 comment

Flowers from the garden

All winter long I’ve been buying cut flowers from the store. No longer. Now I just need scissors. My container garden is full of spring blooms: tulips are opening up, pale daffodils that came up late are just starting to fade away alongside the long, variegated leaves of the crocuses, which are quite beautiful all on their own even though the flowers are long gone. My hanging baskets are filled with a mix of primulas and the pink and orange ranunculus and purple periwinkles you see here. All are plentiful enough that I’ve filled a little vase with them.

For those of you who are counting, there are 25 flowers and leaves in this little vase, picked in honour of a sad but special day. Life is a strange place, and hard to deal with at times. Somehow everything feels a bit lighter with flowers brightening a space, especially when you’ve been outside carefully plucking them from your own garden. It’s easier to find a sense of meaning and calm when you’re surrounded by beauty. It’s a simple thing, maybe silly, but there’s a little voice in things like flowers from the garden that calls at you and pushes you to try to make the rest of your world just as right – whether it’s indoors, outdoors, or like these flowers on a windowsill, somewhere in between.

April 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm 3 comments

Spring bulbs already sprouting!

It’s hard to believe, but the first shoots of snowdrops and crocuses are peeking up in gardens around the neighbourhood, including mine. This photo was taken yesterday afternoon, which you can see was lovely and sunny compared to today’s drizzle and grey. (more…)

January 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm Leave a 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

First flower spotted: snowdrops

I spotted my first flowers of the year a few days ago: a couple of snowdrops blooming on my patio. I planted a handful of bulbs last fall hoping for spring blooms, and here they are already. I wish I’d planted a hundred more.

There are other plants in my garden right now – ivy, bamboo and violets all survive the winter here in Vancouver – but the snowdrops are the first sign of growth. Two seasons wrapped up into one tiny flower – a shoot of green and snowy white that pushes us to accept the thin hope of spring while chilly grey days with gloves and scarves continue for a little longer.


January 19, 2011 at 11:35 pm 2 comments

Other people’s gardens

Although I am enjoying new forays into container gardening since moving to Vancouver, downsizing from yard gardening has increased my interest in planted spaces outside my wee concrete plot. Perhaps it’s also because great gardening is much easier in this temperate climate than it was in good ol’ zone 3. West coast gardens are amazing and they’re everywhere! The long growing season, perpetual moisture and lack of bone-chilling winter cold all make it possible to create truly beautiful outdoor spaces.

As I walk around inspired and inspired again, I’ve decided to start a series of posts on other people’s gardens. I’ll continue to write about the progress and delights of my own garden, but you can also expect pictures and thoughts as I troll through gardens near and far admiring the handiwork of green-thumbed kindred spirits.

The photo above is from the charming Goats on the Roof Old Country Market in Coombs on Vancouver Island. We spent a few days over on the island when we first arrived from Calgary while we waited for our furniture to catch up.  Seeing the whimsical planting on this green roof was the antidote that instantly calmed my frazzled moving nerves.

June 8, 2010 at 2:18 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

Older Posts


Flickr Photos


%d bloggers like this: