fence building

I feel untoward pride at having built a (small) fence in the backyard, to replace the rotting plywood slotted in between some conduit tubing, that separated the yard from the alley. It’s not exactly perfect — I think I’d change the spacing of the slats and maybe anchor the posts in concrete rather than the spike/wedge anchors I used — but it works, and I built it! I’m going to cut off the bottom gap with a planting box in which there will be sunflowers. (I’ve got the cedar and the seeds, and just need the soil, and some hammering.)

Meanwhile, an array of herbs have gone in: thyme, tarragon, oregano, dill, cilantro, parsley, sorrel, and dill, and there is still the sage and rosemary. The peas and beans are coming up, as are the radishes, spinach, lettuces and beets. And I’ve planted leeks and kale. Still have tomatoes to put in, and likely some more greens of various kinds. The fig tree looks to bear fruit this year too!





An extraordinary week of sunshine, so much sun, that even though I was away for a few days I was motivated to return home and start the process of getting the garden ready. It had helped that I had used the days before I left to rid the plot of the buttercups that had taken over. But on Sunday, in full sun, and with the help of Alec and Maya, and cheering of Alejandra and Nina, a garden box was built, a bit shaded, and to grow the lettuces in. Yeah  lettuce!! Trips to Home Depot and Rona to get dirt, empty dirt bags, and some seeds have been planted — for lettuce, for peas, and green beans. Soon will lay out some more dirt and plant some radishes and carrots, and start in with the herbs. I am motivated! The sun helps!

Growing like a weed

Will it never end?!? I swear that these weeds grow a foot overnight. I have a new appreciation for the ability of plant life to invade and conquer. I must be resolute and WEED EVERYDAY. 

On the other hand, I did manage to claw back about 6 inches of sidewalk with a bit of edge work. I cannot believe that the grass had crept out that far. I almost had a sod farm going. 

Pictures to come anon.

the first weekend of spring weather

It was sunny. It was warm. I weeded. I dug up dead looking maidengrass. I pruned back a sad looking lavender bush. I planted pansies in pots. I planted heather and a pretty blue ground cover and crocuses and peony starts in the front. I planted strawberries where the maidengrass had been in the back. (And don’t tell, but I also planted dahlia seeds in the front (variety: stargazer). I will only confess if they actually come up.) 

The rhubarb is coming up, and the chives are thriving again. I can see sorrel coming back, looking to be nicer than last year. The horseradish is starting to sprout. 

The weeding though…it has barely begun. There is a creeping vine like monster that I once thought was innocent, but is now my mortal enemy. I will not be vanquished!

flower name aphasia

I returned home from my 12 day trip to find a garden that had grown into a jungle. The fig tree, for one, had extended its limbs by what seemed to be feet. Can a tree really grow that fast? I am confronting the fact that I have no idea how fig trees grow. The red flowers, whose name I found out, but now cannot remember — only this: a variety of freesia that don’t smell — had all blossomed and the weight had them tipping over and crushing the calla lillies, which had grown and bloomed. The horseradish had grown leaves; the russian red kale had gone crazy; the oregano and broccoli and sorrel had all bloomed. And the parsnips or whatever the hell they were were almost coming out of the ground. I did what I had to do and went on a cutting rampage. And here’s what there is to show for it:


I have been a bad gardener.While I have managed to mow the lawn, and maintain a semblance of watering, I have done no weeding. And the weeds they are a-growin. And taking over. Taking over the sorrel. It’s that bad. I have not taken photos of weeds because I have wanted to suppress the evidence of wrongdoing.

Part of the problem has been the weather. Who wants to weed when it is late June and cold and rainy and miserable? Who wants to be reminded that even though it is summer, it is NOT summer? Not I.  But today is sunny and warm and lovely, and I will weed. And figure out how to maintain a constant flow of lettuces. And mow the lawn. And do some other work as well. And maybe read a novel. Does this make me a fair weather gardener?


(future) figs



 Can you see them? The little green knobs growing off branches? Lots of them? Everywhere! It’s not the Garden of Eden but it is still a fig tree. Complete with figs, ripening. Just waiting for me to harvest them and eat them. Or maybe make fig compote with them. Or do whatever else can be done with figs. The sparrows just better not get to them first. Though it just goes to show that birds must have some intelligence since they know what is delectable and delicious.






game day

It’s not even 8am and the helicopters are already circling overhead. Georgia Street is closing at noon in anticipation of the 5pm start of game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals. I intend to be nowhere near the masses. Setting up a viewing area in the garden would make an interesting combination of the anxiety of a must-win game and inner peace. Kind of like this very odd flower that has made an appearance in both the garden and in the front.

It hung out for a long time as a pod on a spindly stem. And then one day the pod started peeling back, and then soon after the separate stems and flowers open to reveal what I am now calling the fireworks flower. I want to oooh and aaahh. But I have no clue what sort of flower it really is.

I hope that the Canucks bring the fireworks tonight though.

old and new

There’s lots of work going on around here these days — around the garden but not quite in it (and that’s a good thing). The house is getting a paint job.

 The bath room is getting a door. 

But also there is a nice surprise coming up. I thought they were weeds. But they’re not. They’re:

these beautiful things. What are they?


One of the first mysteries of the garden was this:

what is it? a weed?

I had no idea what it was (it was a lot smaller when I started wondering). And then it started growing. And smelling. And the smell seemed familiar. And then I realized what the smell was: horseradish!

This was confirmed by this (shamelessly stolen from google images):

  and this: .

I have a huge horseradish plant in my backyard. I have no idea how to harvest horseradish, other than digging and pulling up. And I don’t have much of an idea what to do with it once I manage to dig it up. But it is kind of neat to have horseradish in the backyard. Just in case. And is there anything to do with the greens?