Garlic is fine!!

garlicThis lovely garlic is what made my day 2 days ago….I have experimented with places to plant and failed in several, but it would appear we have landed upon a great spot. Barely raised with warmth from the house, basking in south sun. Mama’s happy!! Have I mentioned that garlic is a food group?

When you try and try again!

20180422_154030I have this lovely new Chromebook, and it doesn’t work quite the same as my old computer….It has taken me a couple of days to figure out how to move the photos around, I’m still not quite there, but I did manage to get this picture to upload, after a few frustrating attempts, and, naturally, once I figured it out, it wasn’t all that difficult. Just a new thing and it takes time to sort it out. That is really about life, isn’t it? We try and get frustrated and then often go back to the easy way of doing things. I do. When we perservere, even in the small things, it can be a great accomplishment. If it is gardening, just keep plugging away. Learning is half the fun of gardening! Sure there are lots of ‘mistakes’ we all make, but they are not really mistakes, they are steps toward the final goal. What would life be if we never had to struggle a bit and everything made sense the first time? Boring….and we would be a mighty spoiled people! No one really has the silver spoon with everything sorted….everyone has their own learning curve. We just never know who is going through that place at any given time. Patience…with ourselves, and with others.

Glitches

Did you ever have one of those days when you have the greatest intentions, but….something falls flat. Today. Not the day’s fault; far from it! The air was warm, sun out, lovely. I had every intention of getting on my bike for a ride…the first one of the season…and of making soup…and of uploading some pictures to this blog. Well…you don’t see any pictures so guess what? Nothing I intended happened.

One of the side effects I still have from post concussion is fatigue, and limited tolerance to loud noise. I have, because of the fatigue, added some shape to my body, not in a good way. I am not a big person in stature, so adding width does me no favors whatsoever, however, I know that the only one who can change that is me…I need to move, fatigue or no fatigue. And, having worked in the world of health promotion and mental wellness, I know all too well that moving the body increases the mood…so I would win in two ways…do I sound like I am talking myself into something? I am. And I need to. Today I started a healthy cleanse….healthy meaning I will ensure I get the proper nutrients, protein, etc from what I take in. This is my first step into changing me a bit.

My garden is my therapy…I really wanted to post some pictures, but I recently purchased a Chromebook, and things are not as straight forward when it comes to uploading photos to use. Let me talk you through the garden today. Went outside with Hubby to check our snow level…happily decreasing by the minute as the weather is warming….we looked at some deck furniture that needs attention, and decided to tour through the raised beds that sit on the warmest spot of the property. South facing, slightly sloped, they are always the first to bare off after winter. Imagine my surprise and thrill when I spotted three rows of new garlic tops emerging from the soil, already a couple of inches high!! I was so excited!!! I needed that little bit of hope today, to show me that growth is there, making its way to the surface, slowly….kind of like my winter…slowly my mind is emerging from the slump it gets into…growth, hope, renewed.

Back and Forth

Here’s the deal. Life gets busy. Priorities change. Some of the things that bring us joy can also frustrate us. That’s my story. I love to write. Love it. And yet, it seems that my follow through can get wonky. In the past 2 years, life has thrown a couple of curve balls…the biggest one was an accident that left me with a broken collar bone and severe concussion, causing post concussion syndrome. It took over a year for me to feel like me again, and with that, I had to learn a new way of living…slower, less driving, less stress.. as if that happened!

So once again I pick up my pen to write, and go forward on this journey. The blog will present the garden, some gardening facts, but also my perspective on how gardening gives me the therapy I need, both physically and mentally. I love to garden, that is no surprise, and for me, it is a connection with my past as well as a time to live in the moment. As a farm girl, with a ton of siblings and a mom who was passionate about everything outdoors, the gardens we had provided food, beauty, experimentation and lots of work/pleasure mixed together. We all gardened then and we all garden now, trying odd plants, various growing methods, and sharing our love with whoever will listen!

At this moment, I am waiting for the snow to all melt…long, long winter…so that I can walk through the garden and just be present with it. I love spring smells, old leaves decomposing, dirt thawing in the sun, wood coming back to life….I will enjoy it, and know that this year, our spring will be very short…soon the days will warm up to 20 degrees and higher, and the garden will take a different look. For now, I will enjoy the emergence of spring…just to be. I need that.

Sentimental Gardening

One of the things I like about gardening is the sharing side. Often I tell my friends to come and ‘shop’ in my garden…or come see what you like and I will share. I have an abundance of perennials and love to split and share. Equally I love to receive from others. I have a few things that make me pause as I pass by, and remember the giver. Perhaps my favorite is an old pump, given to Hubby by my brother in law. At the time he still lived on ‘the farm’ and had a nice attachment to Hubby. The gift of an old pump was not a small matter….it was heartfelt and respectful. This is the second garden our pump has graced….sadly, my brother in law has never seen it. He left this earth 10 years ago….he was the biggest male role model influence in my life…having come into it since before I can remember.

These are the gracious gifts we receive and what better place than to live in a peaceful garden!

image

Lady slipper from my neighbor who has moved away

image

Iris from my past home neighbor

image

More iris from a friend whose garden we helped while her husband was ill.

image

And yet another (geum) from a neighbor!

image

You get the picture….someday I’ll show more! Happy sharing!

Columbines

Oh the joy of watching the garden bloom! I particularly love seeing some

image

of these heritage plants thrive….I admittedly have had some issues related to bugs and, like many of you, am leery of using pesticides. The better choice is to take the time and focus on soil health. While we know that we cannot keep pests out of the garden, using proper plant management will go

image

a long way in ensuring plant health and thus, resistance to bugs.

I have worked to build compost and add amendments to the soil for tilth and nutrition. I have also tried to ensure air movement around my perennials and not crop things too tightly. In years past, my columbines have grown in spring,  only to be de-foliated by little chompers.  This year, we are enjoying

image

the good health and consequently, good blooms. I love these ‘old-fashioned ‘ ladies….hope you enjoy them too.

Mood changers

For those who have been following my post for a while, you will know that Hubby and I moved to our current location in central Alberta 6 years ago…..with the move came a new unfinished house (read boat load of work) and a whole lot of dirt! At first it was exciting to think of all the amazing possibilities but that excitement wained a bit as the inside took priority.

Suffice it to say it has been a process but my goal has always been to create outdoor rooms where you WANT to be…calmness from the day and a flow throughout the garden. We have achieved that and more….my friend recently visited from Germany and said “you know you live in paradise”, which, having toured gardens throughout Germany, was a great compliment to receive.

This year saw one of our final garden projects….which simply means a major build/construction project….changes are inevitable. We have small water features throughout but wanted one main water feature we could enjoy in the back AND one that’s child friendly for all the Littles.  We had a lovely berm created for a bit of privacy and we have completed this project. Can I tell you properly how it feels to sit and enjoy the sound of water, or watch a little enjoy it so much, or watch the birds bathing and drinking…..it is, honestly, a mood calming addition….and we love it!

image

Before….

image

During….

image

After…or now!

image

image

image

image