Sunday, June 30, 2013

Desperately seeking a snail's pace in my urban garden

We have been trying to get to our little allotment garden every day.  We want to enjoy the open access to this small piece of land while we have it - the City of Toronto will be closing off access while they do important maintenance work.

There will be other ways to get to our lovely little piece of dirt but they won't be as pretty and will certainly cut off access to neighbours, known and unknown who stop for a chat while we tend to our dirt. Contact with friends and neighbours that I enjoyed frequently while on maternity leave and that I deeply miss now that I am working again.
I am, at best, a mediocre gardener. Having always been an experiential learner I tend to kill a lot of plants before I get the hang of something - year after year I learn more and my gardens improve.  My home herb and flower gardens are great example of this learning.  I'm so proud of them that I will likely dedicate a whole post to that alone.

For now, my vegetable garden is a learning curve. 
We had our first harvest in June and I cannot tell you how proud I was.  Tarragon, radishes and garlic greens. Not much I know but the satisfaction was something I enjoyed long after my radish cucumber goat cheese sandwich was digested.

I just can't believe the luxury of it. Marlowe running amok while Fenner and I see what's new and growing in the little garden. A chance to chat with each other in slower moments than we have at home when it feels like I'm always leaving for work or coming back at the end of the day to a spent and tired family - feeling tired, spent and distracted myself.
This little garden in the community has become a sweet relief for me. A place where I can enjoy the fruits of physical labor with my girls. I feel like time and the rush of priorities slow down and we can just focus on the plants and each other.

Watching the donated clematis fighting the good fight against the aggressive hog weed


The only moments that seem to be fleeting are those that don't have the luxury of space and time to occur in our city lives.
I do love this garden of ours.  It is the best multipurpose space in our neighourhood, giving so much more than vegetables.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Sweet moments from the month that tried to kill us

I am having a terrible time sitting down and focussing right now.  This past month has been just beyond expectations in terms of family joy, work commitments, training, sadness, a bare minimum of knitting and a little bit of cottage time.
 
There have been some significant events that require some time to write about well - birthdays, neighbourhood care, gardening and family moments.  While I try and stop the speed of the summer; here are some of my favourite moments. In no particular order but all from an amazing and exhausting month of June.
 
We are all looking forward to a quiet and low impact month of July.  Just riding through it, get into the water at the cottage and sit with my sisters in our favourite places. I have high hopes.
 
Cousins in the City

Neighbourhood East Side Boom

Toronto Yacht Club on a 6:00 am Training Ride
 
My traditional birthday pie perfection.

Birthday Brunch made better by 45 km of biking

New lichen colony in my Mom's garden

My Friend Max helping me drive the boat


First Cottage Kayak with Friends

My first harvest of 2013

Welcome to Toronto dinner for Lara!


First Road Rash and broke 700 km on my bike

Family road trip to see our missing Sister

Our first pie eating contest. I'm so glad I said yes.

My flower and herb garden like it has never looked before

First blooms on the Mystery Butterfly Weed - I had no idea what it was

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Poppy Season

The neighbourhood poppy garden peaked in the last week.  We've been watching it closely as the weather has warmed up.

Jason and the girls have been able to monitor progress through the week and then on Saturday or Sunday morning Fenner takes me over with Marlowe to give me the tour.
Last weekend there was a poppy that was in mid-bloom so Fenner got to remove the egg shell and watch the petals release.
It was so cool to watch everything relax into shape.

It has become an annual tradition to watch this garden bloom.  It starts with that first single flower

   
 and within five days the whole garden is aflame. In about two weeks the poppies are done and the irises begin.



First the yellow irises then the purple and then the Spring corner goes green.

This garden marks Spring for us.  The flowers are such a welcome relief at the end of a long cold winter.  The house was recently sold and the new owners take possession in August.

Given that it sold before the flowers were out and are taking possession long after they've peaked, I can't help but think that they will have an amazing surprise waiting for them that first Spring.