Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Here I Am

It’s been awhile, I know. Spring finally gave us some warm sunny days here so we had to get out in the garden. You never know when it will get cold and rainy again. Like, say, tomorrow or the next day. T-Man took yesterday off work and has been working on replacing the fence and I’ve been digging and planting. I’ve planted my little fingerling potatoes (they sprouted in the kitchen drawer so they were good candidates) and transplanted my rapini (two kinds: Italian and Chinese – the latter is milder in flavour). I’ve got even more little seedlings in the greenhouse now. See?

Greenhouse1The tomatoes have already grown twice the size since I transplanted them into pots. There’s broccoli, lettuce, lobelia and purple alyssum and also marigolds and coreopsis for both decoration and dye. (At least that’s what I’m trying to convince T-Man who doesn’t like it when I pick the flowers!) I tried to save the seeds of the totally mahogany-coloured coreopsis I got last year to see if I can produce more of them. They were really pretty! We’ll see if they breed true or if they continue to be variable, which is much more likely the case.

I really believe more people should try growing things. It teaches you so much! Patience (waiting for the right time to plant and for things to grow), observation (watching the weather, the soil, nutrients, insects, growth habits, the light etc.), enjoyment (nothing like the taste of a veggie before it realises that it’s been picked and eaten!) and exercise (preferably without hurting yourself). Nurturing living things makes you realise that there is something outside of yourself that needs your care and attention. Yes, sometimes growing a garden is frustrating, when the weather isn’t cooperating or bugs eat your tender seedlings or whatever. But that is usually overwhelmed by the feeling of satisfaction when things do well under your care. The yummy eating and pretty dye colours are a bonus!

I was thinking about how I learned to garden. It was my dad who had a fondness for flowers: roses and dahlias and sweet peas and gladiolus. I remember him begging old nylon stockings from my mom to cut up for soft plant ties and using pieces of the TV antenna that got blown off the roof by Hurricane Frieda for uprights to hold his sweet pea nets. He would offer me a whole 10 cents (big money!) to weed a patch of his garden for him – and then tell me not to spend it all in one place. I loved to watch for worms when he dug in the compost and our compost box today looks pretty much like his did in the 1950’s. Thanks, Dad, for teaching me that dirt under my fingernails is a good thing.

T-Man also learned about gardening from his parents. His mom is in her 80’s and still gets out in her garden almost daily. When his dad was alive they had a similar arrangement to ours: He does the “big” stuff (heavy pruning, mowing, digging) and She does the “little” stuff (planting, weeding, deadheading, harvesting). Of course there’s some overlap but T is much stronger than I am and I like fiddly stuff like planting tiny seeds and pulling little weeds better than he does. Our kids are getting more into gardening too, now that they all have some dirt of their own to play with. One of the reasons I plant so many seedlings is to have extras for them.

“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill - except for learning how to grow in rows.”
    -  Doug Larson

On the knitting front, I’m slowly plugging away at the Papyrine Wrap:

Papyrine_prog1Notice I changed its name again. I didn’t really like “stole” and “shawl” has been done to death so I decided “wrap” was better. After all, you wrap things in paper, right? This wrapping paper is for shoulders. I’m currently running behind on my One Repeat Per Day promise though. I’ll need to do several repeats for a couple of days to catch up.

Sadly I had to frog over an inch of one of my Monkey socks due to a mistake that I couldn’t otherwise fix. Darn. I wish I had noticed the problem sooner but that’s what I get for knitting on the bus, in semi-darkened rooms and while reading. But it’s supposed to be my “relaxing” knitting for when I get tired of the paper piece. I have the Monkey pattern memorised now but obviously I still need to actually look at it once in awhile. What’s up with that, huh?

So the grandkids may be coming over later today, but I won’t be babysitting. Just visiting. Apparently Stargazer has to go get his foot x-rayed this morning to see if he has a cracked or broken bone. He was playing at a park with bigger kids yesterday (including his sister) and ended up being the bottom of a heap at the end of the slide. His dad took him to Emergency but it was busy (of course) and the triage nurse didn’t think anything was really wrong. Unfortunately the little guy had a bad night and can’t put weight on the foot this morning. He’s only two and can’t really explain exactly what’s hurting. Hopefully it’s not too serious.


Asylim said...

Nicole and I will also be getting into some gardening soon. (Next year probably.)

We're moving in the next four months into a 3 bedroom rancher here in Langley with a nice sized yard. (Not huge, but not to small either.)

Condo's going up for sale here soon. :)

Louisa said...

Wow! Congrats, you two. Can't believe you want to move again so soon though. Not my favourite occupation which is likely why we've been in the same house for 30 years!

Asylim said...

Well we don't really but we decided it would make sense before the baby is born.

Once we move though, that's it.

There are also other things in play here but I'll wait till we see you in person next before sharing that. :)