Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In the Spring, the mind turns to Thoughts of......

Not much of a green thumb am I, but yesterday the girls came home from the grocery store with $20-worth of assorted seeds, and I am not going to let them go to waste. Anna's criteria for picking the seeds seems to have been related to the vividness of the flowers pictured on the package. And it seems that Holly grabbed whatever was within her reach. So we'll be planting 3 varieties of sunflowers, some pink petunias, purple violas and multi-coloured sweet williams, which apparently won't bloom until next year. Sigh.

If it had been up to me, I would have bought violets and impatiens, already sprouted and blooming. Much easier to plant flowers than seeds.

I read the back of each little packet to see what kind of sun requirements are necessary, and I think I have a fairly reasonable plan for where each flower will be planted. I want Anna and Holly to see that I will give this my best attempt, and frankly, watching seeds grow is pretty exciting stuff. Science is everything, after all.

So this morning I put Jasmine in a carrier on my back and headed out to the shed to locate the wagon, buried under deck chairs and seat cushions. We walked to Home Depot, selected a few planter boxes to hang off the deck, and found some appropriate soil. I had to ask one of the employees to load up my wagon, which he then pulled up the cash register for me. When he offered to follow me to my car to help me load the bags in, I had to explain that I was only walking a couple of blocks, and he offered his best wishes that my wagon would hold up all the way home. It did.

I have to add here that people of all ages point and stare at Jasmine when she's in the carrier. I think babies in strollers must be invisible, because when Jasmine is up at eye level she attracts so much attention! I'm not sure if it's because she is just SO CUTE, or if people are stunned that I can carry at 20 lb child on my body, or if it's because just the sight of a mother carrying her baby is so unusual, or because the girls and I are just busy doing our thing and Jasmine is happy to be along for the ride. I don't know. But it's interesting.

Anyway, I', waiting for the warm weather in a couple of days before I plant the seeds. I sunflowers are going along the front fence near the side walk so that I can tie them up to fence if they actually grow. I'll also plant some near the fence at the end of the driveway.The petunias are going in the planter boxes on the deck railing and the violas are going in a hanging basket. The sweet williams are going to be planted near the air conditioner and along the front of the house, although those areas don't get much sun, so we'll just have to see how they do. In my raised garden in the backyard I plan to plant some lettuce and some climbing beans. In the past, I've had good luck growing lettuce. Hopefully this year I'll remember to harvest it before it gets big and bitter.

I had hoped to convert my entire front yard into a vegetable garden, but a little research revealed that a garden planted under two towering Manitoba Maple trees is doomed to failure. Too bad, because I was really ready to embrace the 'Food not Lawns' manifesto.

When the East York Farmers' Market opens in May I will be able to buy some basil and parsley plants which will also be planted in containers on the deck. I'd like to harvest and freeze some herbs throughout the summer.

So let the growing season begin!! I'm dreaming of my someday-farm and growing vegetables and (hopefully) having an orchard. Dreaming is so much less work than doing......

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