Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sunshine! Seed! Hope!

With the faint risk of snow in Friday's forecast, it might be a teensy bit premature to be getting excited for spring.

Out with the old (below), in with the new! Beets, cilantro, onions and . . . a tulip?! Surprise!

Nevertheless, the sun is shining and it was a gorgeous day to re-pot the lavender (which I haven't taken a photo of on the grounds that it's ugly and is currently requiring the agricultural equivalent of "life-support". By putting it into damp, water-retaining soil, I've probably done the equivalent of hooking up a diabetic patient to a glucose-drip IV...). If anyone has a fresh, viable lavender plant to give away, please let me know!

Even with a trip to awesome, awesome, awesome Costa Rica this winter, I've really been feeling the "SAD" this year. It's probably exasperated by graduate studies.

Chamomile seeds on top of the soil, awaiting sun and warmer temperatures!

Vancouver really is the most wonderful city I've ever known (I've also enjoyed Hong Kong and London, but they just don't have the wild, wide-open spaces feel of Vancouver . . . only a short drive away and you're in the wilderness - proper wilderness, too!).

But the sole downside (well, okay, apart from the exorbitant cost of living!) is the rain. You do get used to it; you get tougher. I don't even carry an umbrella - it's either raining enough to justify my MEC raincoat, or it isn't.

V for Vancouver & Victory and "peace", too. Look - a shadow! Yippee!

November through February is the hardest stretch. There are a few ways to battle the greyness - one is to get above the clouds (or in them) and go skiing/boarding. The white snow blindingly reflects the sunshine, so getting enough light through your eyes for your suprachiasmatic nucleus is no problem on the slopes).

But for all the teasing we get from envious neighbours "back east", I think the biggest upside to that cold, miserable rain we put up with over the winter is that we actually appreciate the sunshine! We get outside; we walk, we bike, we ski, we hike! And we garden, too! Even if it's just a little balcony garden overlooking an alley - we know how to make the most of the sunshine, and how to be happy about it, too.

Enjoy the sunshine today! Get a big breath of fresh Pacific air! And remember that the warm spring comes much, much earlier on the wet and wild West Coast (nah-nah nah-nah boo-hoo Ontario*!).
*My disclaimer: I lived in Oakville (near Toronto), so I know whereof I speak. It's rubbish. I've also lived in Calgary - it snowed . . . in June. Vancouver is "just better", as Jeremy Clarkson would say.

A blurry bud (trailing rosemary) and some sun and blue sky!
UPDATE: It did snow on Friday! Ah well.
...and again the next week! (I love the bird tracks in the snow)


Tomato Seedlings, etc. by donation
Coming Spring 2012!

To my fellow gardeners in Vancouver and the GVA,

I always end up with extra tomato plants and other seedlings, and each year I unload them on my friends and coworkers. 

This year, I thought I'd help to raise a little money for youth outreach in urban Vancouver. I'm planning on setting a "recommended donation" price (nominal - in the "toonie" range in keeping with my Green, Broke and Living in Kits lifestyle!) on each of my little green adoptable friends.

Please stay tuned for availability, varieties and 'pricing'! If you have a particular herb or veggie you're looking for, please do comment below / contact me. I just may have seed, or I can propagate from stock I already have. I have tons of mint, by the way, and if you can't grow anything, you can certainly grow mint successfully!


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