Thursday, October 11, 2018

Back to the Homeland


One thing that many of you may not know is that I was born and spent the first 5 years of my life in Lisbon.  Up to my teenage years, I would go back most summers and spend a couple of months with my grandmother.  My last visit, however, was back in the 90's when my grandmother passed away.

São Jorge Castle in Lisbon

I had been meaning to return but it was one of those things that just kept being put off until “next year”.  And now here we are, over 20 years later, and I finally made it back.

Praça do Comércio in Lisbon

Thursday, August 30, 2018

An Onion Experiment - The Reveal


This past spring, I decided to do a little experiment with onions.  I had read in a local seed catalogue that onions sown in April would grow larger than those seeded in February, which is when they are traditionally sown around here.  I was intrigued by this statement and quite skeptical, to say the least, so I decided to put it to the test.

I chose to use Copra's in my experiment as I have grown them for several years and normally seed a larger quantity of them compared to other varieties since they store incredibly well.

Copra Onions (2014)

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Best Type of Seed


You know what the best type of seed is?  One that has been shared by gardening friends.  These seedy treasures warm my heart, every time I see them in the garden.

Earlier this year, Dave from Our Happy Acres generously shared a number of different seeds and all of these varieties are now growing in my garden.

First up is a hot pepper - Aji Golden.  This year, the peppers were really set back early on when I went away shortly after transplanting them.  I didn't set the irrigation timer correctly and, of course, there was a heat wave at the same time with zero rain.  I've been taking good care of them since then but most of the plants are still runty.  Even with the setback, however, Aji Golden is performing admirably well, being one of the largest plants in the pepper bed (on the left in the photo below).

Aji Golden (on the left) is one of the few pepper plants
that is recovering incredibly well from the early setback

Monday, July 16, 2018

The State of Things...


Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been on top of things lately - my posts are rather sporadic and even keeping up with blog reading has been a challenge.  I've been feeling a bit guilty and decided that, instead of stressing out and trying (unsuccessfully) to keep up, I'll give myself an emotional break and fill everyone in.  I'll still be blogging, I'll still be reading & commenting, but the sporadic nature of both will likely continue for the rest of the season.  And this is why.

Monday, June 25, 2018

A Post-Holiday Update and Harvest Monday!


Some of you may have guessed - or not - that we were away over the past week and a half on a family vacation in Vancouver.  I usually unplug completely when I go away but this time my husband had work to do while we were there so I indulged in a bit of blog reading and writing.

When we returned from our holiday, there were some pleasant surprises, such as the roses beside the house which literally burst into bloom:

Never mind the underplanting of weeds - those will be history in a few days 😉

Monday, June 18, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day


One of the great things about the Fling - I've said this many times, but it's worth repeating - is all the amazing people that you connect with and get to know.  Each time I've been, a few new faces are added to my list of blogging friends and this year, Carol Michel from May Dreams Gardens was one of them.

I had heard of Carol's "Garden Bloggers Bloom Day" but, being a veggie girl, I never thought to participate.  But hey - I have blooms in my garden too - so I made a promise to her that I would join in....and here I am.

Buzzy bee enjoying the blooming spirea

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

HortusTV: TV for Gardeners (plus a lifetime discount!)


In the UK gardening shows are still going strong.  In North America, however, the pickings are comparatively slim...or, more accurately, we are starved.

Remember back in the day, when you could turn on the TV on Saturdays and have your pick of gardening shows?  I'm not talking about the reality shows that dominate the airwaves these days.  I'm referring to shows that actually taught you how to garden - the shows that valued substance over "show" and fabricated drama.  If you're over 40, you know what I mean.  If you're under 40, then let me be the one to tell you that TLC originally stood for "The Learning Channel" - where you actually learned stuff.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard " I had no idea that's what the letters stood for".  It's no wonder.

Learning Channel logo from the early 90's
Photo from the aptly titled article "What Happened to the Learning Channel"

Then there's HGTV - another channel that had fairly good programing at one point until the reality show hordes took over.  In fact, there are so few gardening shows on it now, reality or otherwise, that I'm thinking it should undergo a name change too...that 'G' really shouldn't be there.

You know what the problem is?  These channels are run by executives that HAVE gardeners, not ARE gardeners.  They prefer manicures to dirt under their fingernails and their mandate is fat bottom lines not quality programming.