Category: urban gardening

March 24, 2019

First phase of spring planting done!

I got two of those grocery store miniature roses for my birthday this year – they’re really sweet but (I find) almost impossible to keep alive, let alone blooming, indoors. Roses want a lot of water, and the tiny pots they come in just aren’t adequate. I kept them alive long enough for the weather to warm up and then repotted them outside – if they’re anything like last year’s (overwintered and just leafing out) they’ll be happy as clams!

I also seeded my regular wildflower planters with a combination of local mixes designed to attract bees and hummingbirds, and planted two pots with nasturtiums – one with a multicolour mix and one with Empress of India, which should be a nice intense red.

In a few weeks when the garden stores have their full selection of annuals I’ll be picking some for the railing planters and maybe some herbs too, but I’m scaling back operations this year – I’m pregnant and due in early September, so I don’t imagine I’ll be up for much more than watering this summer!

Mar 18, 2019

The first of the bulbs I planted in the fall have bloomed! (Not counting the crocuses, who counts crocuses)

These miniature irises are delightful. I think the next to pop will be the hyacinths, but there are a couple of anemone buds that *may* have survived the February deep freeze. Time will tell!

Feb 11, 2019


ugh. UGH. It just keeps going! We got almost a foot of snow last night, with more expected this afternoon. It’s not supposed to warm up through next week and maybe beyond. My poor, poor, flattened anemones.

Feb 3, 2019

Winters out here are typically pretty mild; we get a couple days of snow per year, usually. Temps rarely go below -1, -2 ish. A couple of years ago we had snow that lingered for…a week, maybe? And it was kind of a big deal. The coldest I can ever remember it being was about -10, and that was definitely a big deal. Meanwhile the rest of Canada rolls their eyes at us.

Well, after a maybe-slightly-milder-than-average December/January we’re catching the fringe of the polar vortex and are expecting several days of unusually cold weather. Of course, my rose already has tiny new leaves growing and my early spring bulbs are fully up. The anemones even have flowerbuds out. I’ve covered the rose with an upside-down tomato cage and a shrub cover, and made the bulbs a little lean-to of sheet acrylic draped with row cover. That should at least keep any snow and the worst of the frost off, and hopefully they’ll pull through. Everything else is on its own!

Hummingbird breakfast!
#hummingbird #hummingbirdfeeder #annashummingbird #birdfeeder #backyardbirds #urbangarden #urbanwildlife #pacificnorthwest

My Schlumbergeras are blooming again!

I repotted them a couple months ago in a more freely-draining soil than they had been in, and it took me a while to figure out how to keep them happily watered after the change.

Today was a beautiful fall day, and I took advantage of the sunshine to plant my spring bulbs.

Lots of sunset colours caught my eye this year, so we now have one planter filled with two types of orangey-pink tulips plus white hyacinths and another featuring orange and black striped crocuses, white narcissus with pink and yellow coronas, and blue hyacinths for contrast.

Then we have these gorgeous, gorgeous red-purple anemones that I’ve paired with dwarf irises and white narcissus.

I can’t wait to see everything in the spring! Most of these bulbs will bloom March/April, with some hanging on into May and the crocuses starting in February.

This tiny personage is an Anna’s Hummingbird, resident of the cedars at the back of my yard and a frequent visitor to my deck garden.

She (I think? Based on colouring, I’m not an expert) likes to perch on the top of the tomato cage, and I’ve had several opportunities to watch her (or her kin) drink from the feeder attached to the kitchen window.

May 24, 2018

11 days ago I planted this tomato seedling after accidentally severing it from its root ball. I buried as much of the stem as I could and did my best to keep the soil moist. Tomatoes can grow new root systems, but the biggest hurdle to clear was keeping the plant hydrated enough to avoid vascular collapse long enough for rooting to occur. Think of it like cut flowers in a vase; the stem alone can draw water for a few days, but eventually the flowers wilt.

As you can see, the plant is alive and healthy today! It’s still quite small as all its available energy has had to go toward growth below the soil, but it should take off soon. Meanwhile my father-in-law’s plant is fully 2 feet tall 😅

May 13, 2018

Disaster! A runaway tomato cage decapitated one of my tomato seedlings today as I was preparing to plant mine in it’s final home.

The victim wasn’t the seedling I had planned to keep for myself, but ‘you break it, you buy it’. So, now we have a two-part science experiment.

Hypothesis A: the root ball and remaining stem will send out new shoot(s) and continue to grow

Hypothesis B: the rootless stem will produce a new root system and continue to grow

It’s maybe not as hopeless as it seems; tomatoes can grow roots nearly anywhere along the stem and particularly from leaf nodes. This is why you should bury tomato seedlings up to the top few sets of leaves when you plant them. The deciding factor will be if the planted stem can hang on long enough to grow new roots.

I might be buying a seedling for myself next weekend!