Digging In

Spring is actually here – date-wise, that is. And Mother Nature is sending little signals too. Have you noticed that it is still light out at 7:00 pm?

Spring is Peter’s favourite time of the year. In early March he started looking lovingly out the window at his vegetable garden. Sadly, it was covered in those piles of dirty snow left over from that big dump we had in January. Not to be deterred, he found some garlic heads left over from last year’s harvest, and planted them in an out-of-the-way corner of the living room. Since he didn’t have any way of separating the seeds in the old plastic containers, he cleverly found some old playing cards and used them to divide up the space. For several days he watched over them, like any proud parent, as they slowly stuck their hopeful little tips out of the soil.

Next, Peter turned his attention to the front porch where he had carefully placed Christmas decorations in our 2 large pots, creating lovely Christmas arrangements. By March the arrangements were looking a little out of place, but they were frozen solid. Finally this past weekend a few tugs worked, and Christmas is now gone until next year.

Then Peter made up his shopping list and headed for a garden centre where he spent a wheelbarrow full of money on seeds and fertilizers. He even scored some elusive curly kale seeds. (Last year we had to settle for Russian kale, not a wise political choice this year). Then he unearthed his old gardening clothes and went outside to do some fertilizing. Today he is looking for another project – maybe he’ll find my hair dryer so he can thaw some frozen ground.

And for me? My job is to oversee the flower gardens. Two years ago I planted some exotic tulips, orange with yellow centres and a fancy name like “Emperor.” And they were very regal – until the squirrels ate them. Last year I found a great spray called Super Hunter that did the trick. So, in the fall, I ordered some more bulbs and planted them with some bone meal and a generous handful of hope. Now every day I go outside with my magnifying glass to check for signs of life.

Meanwhile I’ve been reading some garden literature. Did you know that there are people called “plant influencers”? You can find them on tic toc or You-tube, or Instagram. One gardening site on You-tube has over 40,000 followers. The influencers tell you what plants are trending; what plants you absolutely need in your garden to stay current. Houseplants are especially popular right now.

It seems that gardening has become a hobby for the very rich. One plant that was mentioned, “Thai constellation monstera,” sells for $800 for a 6-inch beauty. These plants are often hard to find, lasting only a few hours on social media. Once you get your hands on one, then you need equipment such as humidifiers, grow-light systems, and special fertilizers. Imagine how you would feel after having spent all that money on your special flower, only to have it wither…and die!

As for Peter and me, we are mostly sticking to tried and true. Think tomatoes, squash, geraniums and of course garlic. As soon as the ground thaws completely, we’ll be digging in.


Peter’s hopeful garlic buds

5 thoughts on “Digging In

  1. Thanks for the early spring gardening issue. Like you both, I am a gardener. However, now that we are condo-ers, my garden is a 10’x20’ allotment here in Aurora. I did garden at the Saint Andrews Park allotment in King City, but gave that up this year. I was finding I didn’t get there as often as was necessary. I make do, Sandra, and get enough garden time to mostly scratch that itch. How d’ya like that split infinitive? Masterful, I’d say. Your friend, Blair


  2. So happy Spring has sprung. Although a condo owner like Blair, I am looking forward to taking advantage of every nook and cranny to adorn my balcony with colour and greenery this summer. Happy Spring to all.


  3. As you said, spring is here. Good luck with all the plants. May all be in abundance. Arash is using all the egg cartons as a initial bed for his seeds.


  4. Another love we share: gardening. Hope you two have a great year!

    Oh! Do you remember planting seeds in egg shells in primary school?

    I’ve decided to cut back this year –boo hoo–little time, and much hesitation owing to the battle with weeds out here in the country. Every solution involves much expense and/or tons of grunt work. Didn’t plant garlic this year, and I’ll be happy to pay the $20 /kg for great local stuff. I hope I can find curly green kale. It did not do well last year, but the purple did. I swear it is a coarser, less tasty version. Basil is another plant I grow tons of. Must have been Italian in a past life.


  5. Happy Gardening you two!! It’s fun and a sure sign of Spring except where did all this snow come from this morning???


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