Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Visiting Wonderland

Tick Tock Tick Tock...Wonderland..New York...Central Park..oh what a great visit! A week away, 'time out' from the garden to explore a city I barely know and a park that covers over 800 acres. Kwanzan and Yashino Cherry, Callery Pear and Eastern Red Bud (Cercis Canadensis with it's amazing bloom along the tree trunk) were outstanding. A tapestry of pink and white froth covered the landscape; Magnolia petals fluttered to the ground; emerging lime green buds shone from the overhead branches of maple, oak and American Elm. It wasn't just the canopy of trees that thrilled, but also the faces of the many people who passed by, smiles lighting up, reflecting a perfect day. We are each a gift I thought, celebrating our uniqueness, but also, celebrating what we hold in common, the pure pleasure of a beautiful spring day in a most magnificent garden.

And there was Alice, waiting to be discovered, near the Conservatory Water. A bronze child with the likeness of the sculptor's daughter, cast perfectly. I can't imagine her any other way but as she is, sitting with her long arms, high forehead, and well rubbed nose. Don't you agree she is perfect!

I felt like Alice that first day in New York...pulled on one hand by coach time tour constraints, my heart longing to cover every part of Central Park right there and then. The Mad Hatter whispered.... "back on the bus"!   Two afternoons found me back there, each visit as wonderful as the first introduction.

May I make a shameless plug for Showcase Productions. It was truly a pleasure, being part of their Spring in NYC Theatre Tour. (Don't miss "Kinky Boots" if you go!) Showcase Productions is a Not for Profit Society who raise funds through tours and productions, which help students pursue their goals through sponsorship and scholarship.

But back to the tick tock tick tock..like White Rabbit racing through the woods, time did not stand still for the garden back home. The electrical conduit hoops over the second raised bed have worked quite well as you might recall this was the first year I tried to extend the season there. It worked equally as well as the first raised bed covered with the Lexan and cost less... plus, I put it together myself..ahem..ahem.
The photo shows dwarf Kale..last year's. Looks kinda sad but I am getting early greens from them and this will continue for awhile until they want to make this year's seeds. Kale are biennial...that means..first year greens, second year the plants will still have greens but will want to make seeds. But they won't do that for a month yet I hope. Scarlet Kale has already germinated inside the picket fence garden..more say about that in another post. Behind the Kale sticks are spinach seeded late last year and this year. There's also some Asian Choy and Cabbage gone to flower, carrots, arugula, garlic and some mizuna here and there and new sprouts which you can't see. So, ripped out the old stuff from last year after the above photo was taken...and this is the bed tidied up below, seeded with Albino Beets, and Red Red Oak Leaf Lettuce (Thanks N for the seeds).
So much has germinated in a short time. I am rather thrilled with the Red Pak Choi which enjoys cool weather, as well as beets and Purple Mizuna. The chard has also germinated and Lolla Rossa Lettuce should be ready to pick and thin in about two weeks. All of these are under the hoops in the fenced garden, seeds in the soil mid March. As I have greens germinating too close together, they will be thinned and potted up or replanted elsewhere. (click on highlighted words to follow links) Cold frames are a great place to start your seeds to transplant early as they are pretty well 'hardened off' when you move them out of their environment.

purple mizuna
It's truly a glorious time of year....so I do hope you have had a few minutes to throw some seeds on your soil...push those peas in the ground (soak first in the house to awake them). Remember Mr. Radish..he loves the cold, and Ms. Spinach..oh she does as well. Alice says..."it's all a wonder!"

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What Were the Skies Like?

Pretty rough day. Spent the last three on Cape Breton Island..Boston marathon dreadful news..  our neighbours just over the border. "The Boston States" our people called it and some of the old folks still do.

Then Margaret Thatcher boos and hiss across the pond...and then... heart wrenching news..Rita Mac Neil died. She sang my brother's song.

"Buck up GB" I think.... driving, tears wet on my face listening to Rita's classic "Working Man".

"Home I'll Be" is another one of my favourites.


The sky held promise...."The Circle Continues" ...


Rise high Rita... angel clouds await. The band's gonna rock!