I love plants. I have 36 of them in my office – some people would say that’s a lot, but I think there’s still room for more. Plants have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up on a farm and we had plants in pretty much every room of the house, not to mention the extensive garden my mom maintained, and of course all of the wild things growing in the bush on our acreage. When I left the farm to attend university I crammed as many plants as I could into my first basement suite and never really looked back. Over the years I’ve inherited people’s hand-me-downs and adopted discarded plants left on the side of the road. I can’t say no to a plant in distress (much to the dismay of my husband), but at least now I have an office where many of them can live so our house isn’t a total jungle anymore. There’s no big secret to success with houseplants – just light and some water (but not too much water, most people over water their plants and that’s what kills them; my office ones get watered ~once a week, when the soil feels dry).
Not everything always looks perfect (ie our stunted frankencarrots), but our 2 bunnies Turbo and Rocky agree that produce straight out of the garden tastes so much better.
Three years ago we moved from an apartment to a little house, and with it came my first own yard. I’ve had a lot of fun learning about outdoor gardening, which makes indoor plants in a nicely controlled environment seem like a breeze in comparison. Everything in my garden is a constant experiment where I can’t control many important variables like sun, rain, temperature and bugs! Our mild climate does make for a pretty long growing season and one of my first priorities was planting as many bee-friendly perennial flowers as I could, which actually re-emerged this spring as promised. This year I also set up some mason bee houses – these solitary pollinators don’t make honey or wax, and build their nests out of mud. We’ve also got plenty of vegetables including radishes, beans, peas, basil, parsley, leeks, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, cucamelons, yams, potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, chard, spinach, squash and hot peppers. Not everything always looks perfect (ie our stunted frankencarrots), but our 2 bunnies Turbo and Rocky agree that produce straight out of the garden tastes so much better. We also inherited an amazing grape vine that is growing through a gigantic rhododendron and produces delicious purple grapes. Last year we had a furry helper harvest the grapes at the very top (affectionately named Tyson, as he had a chunk of his ear missing). Another fun aspect of outdoor gardening is the concept of ‘garden art’ where miscellaneous pieces of rusty junk can be repurposed and become ‘art’. It’s amazing the treasurers you can find at garage sales and craigslist, or even just in your own backyard, as was the case with my dad’s old broken BBQ destined for the metal recycling heap until I bought some bright red spray paint and proved that anything can be a planter!