Old Things Garden 

I have a vision but I’m not exactly sure I have the skills to carry it off.  As ascertained yesterday I know veggies and grow them well. Flowers, well not so much. 

We have this big kick ass circular driveway which left a lot of space to fill. We dumped a LOT of top soil and put in some seriously big rocks. We then hauled up an old wagon on the property. We’ve added in several more old finds like a sewing machine, one side of a different sewing machine stand, a bedpan, a small wagon wheel and 2 radiators. Hence the theme. Oh and new to this location is a set of runners from an old wagon or sled that we (no actually just Ron) dug out of a rock pile. 

That was the easy part. The hard part is what flowers and bushes to fill the space with. They must be seriously prairie hardy as the wind is brutal out here and conditions aren’t for the faint at heart. We lucked into a mature front yard to salvage but that came with a few serious weeds. Some of the items made year one after the transplant but not year two. I also picked up a few plants from friends and some on sale late last year. 

That comes with the issue that I don’t recognize what it is coming up. My sister, who’s no techie, informs me that there is an app for that. My cousin had also told me that but alas I have never loaded it. 

The concept is to have free flow flowers. The ground would have mulch. The flowers would vary in height, colour and textures with blooming times rotating. I can see it. Making it happen is a lot harder. 

We have a small rototiller which is awesome. Except when you spend 4 hours tilling and it’s that or weeds. So this year I decided we would use the space for a temporary green as we work towards the best plant options. We’ve planted 19 hills of netted gems, 2 pumpkin plants, 4 acorn squash and 19 hills of Yukon gold. Oh and two crazy looking pepper plants that I picked because the peppers are wild colours. This means a lot less tilling and weeding and more eating. It will also fill in the space nicely while we figure out what else to fill in the space with. And potatoes flower so it’s a win win! 

We also laid out the main walking path, albeit didn’t permanently lay it down, which will help again with the weeding and the traffic patterns. 

 It was a stellar long weekend weather wise. It was a weekend full of hard work but so worth it! For a short time period the circular garden and the veggie garden will look so good! 


Gardening Genes 

At the time it seemed like no one was paying attention but apparently they were. 
I was in communication in the past week with both of our offspring regarding how to plant something. I’ve already forgotten the details but I totally recall that it felt like a win in the long term parenting column. 

I’ve been gardening my whole life. Every farm kid has garden chores to do. The two years in Vancouver we had containers. The move to Saskatoon got us back to a bigger garden space. The move to a farm garden was pure bliss. I’m a bit dismal with flowers but I’m keen and decent at veggies. My favourite summer hash tags are #eatwhatyougrow and #growwhatyoueat. There is something so rewarding about growing, harvesting and preserving your own food. 

I’m so glad to see that both our children are becoming keen on doing this as well. Now excuse me while I go enjoy a raspberry smoothie with home grown raspberries! 


Garden Variety Nurse 

It might seem a stretch to connect nurses week with gardening but trust me that there is a correlation.

One must travel back in time to see the connection. Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I started nurses training (in 1977) we were allowed to wear “one small pair gold, silver, or pearl earring only”. No necklaces were allowed (but apparently I was a rebel even back then as I am wearing one in my grad photo)and a watch which was necessary for taking the pulse. Nurses wore white and student nurses wore blue. In the Operating Room, when we did our six week rotation, the word student was taped on the front of our surgical hat. Rules weren’t made to be broken and standards were high with few exceptions to the rules.

Fast forward to my evening working in the flower garden. I work gloves but somehow I always manage to get my fingernails dirty. This then entails a very intense hand and nail cleaning at home. My entire summer I will spend 5 mins per evening scrubbing my hands at home. Although standards in some areas have relaxed dirty fingernails or nail polish are a huge no no in the Operating Room.

So while gardening is very good for the mind of the nurse it’s less so for the back and the hands. I am going to strive for a bit more of a moderated balance approach to gardening for my back’s sake. For my hands there is always a scrub brush or two found around the sink.