Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes

The Sun is up. And there is heat in it.  The mornings are crisp and very cold, and the odd time it rains the only thing that happens is you get dark spots in the dust.   I wake up to the sun streaming through my windows every daybreak.  I look out and see the glittering promise of the lake (I also deliberately avoid seeing the giant walmart and the industrial area of town with its pellet plant and saw mill that also dominate the view from my window).

After Ten years (less one month) in one of the Rainiest places on the planet, this lack of rain is positively novel.  For all those years  my yard was graced with moss and liverworts, as well as other vegetation capable of surviving months of being semi submerged in water and tucked away the deep deep shade of a town nestled on the northern slope at the base of a mountain on the Northern Coast.  I lived with rain soaked summers with high temperatures hovering around 18 degrees C.  I never owned a sprinkler – my yard dripped and oozed in moisture and thick green moss and algae which overtook anything that didn’t move too frequently or too fast – like my canoe.  My summer wardrobe varied from my winter wardrobe very little.  In summer I wore cotton socks instead of wool ones in my rubber boots, and I paired down to a lighter weight rain jacket.

Since moving in January I have not worn any of my rain gear.  I have donned rubber boots to walk in the thawing slush, but as spring approaches I realize this is a community of sprinkler systems and sun umbrellas.   Digging through my wardrobe (which is bigger than you might imagine given my apparent distain for fashion) I realize I own only one pair of shorts – which I bought for camping season last year when we drove to the Okanagan.   My kids are utterly fascinated by sprinklers having never seen them before, they also get to go outside without the rigmarole of head to toe full body rainsuits.  As such they might actually learn to ride a bike.
Up north on the coast, I used to try my hand at gardening,  I had almost no successes.  My Tomato plants drowned,  my strawberries drowned.   My squash rotted on the vine.   The few things I found success in were hellebore, rhubarb and peonies.  Although my nasturtiums were pretty good for a few years.

This year I’m determined will be different.  It gets HOT here.  The ground is only as wet as the water you add to it.  DH and the kids have built two wonderful little raised beds, and I dug up my front yard and called it a flower bed (then promptly declared I was planning pumpkins in it.   When we put the soil into the raised beds, Chicken Little crawled through it in near nakedness,  he laughed and enjoyed the feel of mud between his toes as he watered the soil with his latest toy – a sprinkler.  I bought cucumber seeds, zucchini, pumpkin, beans and peas.  I provided jiffy pots and we sat on the lawn (without getting soaking wet bums)  and we planted one little seed in each pot.   The Kids check them everyday looking for growth.   Once the frost has passed we will put those little pots into our garden.   Little Peanut can dig the holes with his spoon, and Chicken LIttle can water the earth with his sprinkler.   We will wear sun hats, and shorts and sunscreen.  I feel like I’m living on a whole other planet – so far from what I’ve come to accept as normal.

Original Watercolour

 ©RiverWalker Arts 

And with all this gardening on the brain, again I’m painting vegetables!