Friday, November 25, 2011

good morning Nanabijou

the Sleeping Giant + the sun = awesome team!
November 25, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Climate History, Geologically

Of course I'm in favour of green initiatives, environmental conservation, and cleaning up our act. I'm so glad to have watched the recent surge of community gardening from inside a greenhouse, and knee deep in local soil. It's been great. I've been outraged by deforestation, greed at the expense of resources, filth, apathy.

I also believe in science and logic; I can thank my Dad for that, and hours of Quirks & Quarks radio shows together. Politically motivation often ignores science, add that o media hype, and we get hysteria..., and here we are. Geologically, biologically we living in just a blip of this planet's existence (do you remember high school physics?). We've certainly done some damage in that time - there's nothing wrong in trying to turn that around; but the Earth has been both much warmer and much cooler at various times throughout its evolution, this is not new people.

R pulled up some stats from Environment Canada last night of temperatures in November during the 1940s. It's too bad older stats aren't more easily available online (I know I can find them at some libraries..), but I don't really need to. I mean, if you're curious go right ahead and look 'em up. It's true - the Earth has experienced some wild weather over the last hmmm, 4+Ga years. (Gosh, that's a long time!)

So, can we just not bother with the nonsense from now on, please. I'd rather talk about greening up our streets with more trees, creating natural parkland in urban centres, community gardens that fuel food banks and teach children, clean food, water, and spaces.

All my life I've been sensitive to toxins, hormones in food, additives, preservatives, dyes, and all other shit pumped into our systems. I was one of those kids who got rashes from the rain, who couldn't eat red candy or orange cheese - which in the 70s was "weird" to most of my friends. Ultimately it's toxic crap that's making me sick today, something from this infectious world. "All natural", "organic" is not a current trend to me, it means something a little more basic than that - and doesn't involve politics or a cool logo.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

hello winter

It felt very much like winter yesterday when I wandered down to Vickers Park after a visit to the clinic. Crunchy snow and bright sunlight usually means the air is pretty crisp, and that it was - and it was beautiful!

Vickers Park pano
iPhone 360
James M lens, Ina's 69 film
not sure who drew this heart
but it made me smile :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Tracks of the elusive 
Snow Basset -
a sure sign that 
winter is here.
I'm happy to see the snow today, the big fluffy flakes. I'm ready for it, ready to feel festive.
Autumn was so beautiful this year and winter has come in gently, but I think those nice bike riding days are over (not that all bike riding days are over). Today's snowfall is also beautiful, and that is real winter cold out there too. Bring it on old man winter!

The garden was blanketed by 9am, making it pretty in a whole new way again.

Dear Garden Diary,

The new garden look enormous compared to our previous dedicated kitchen garden. R moved all the soil, I took the photos and made soup. (I don't know how I keep ending up with this end of the straw...)
Okay, the yellow brick road is a bit much in this doodle, but - like I tried to explain to R, I'm imagining some recycled brick as the border between grass & sunny perennials and garden, in a colour like the Bora Laskin building. A yellow brick road yes, and about a foot and a half wide.
The doodle above will be one of many garden plan doodles from now until the end of winter. So many possibilities. :) I probably could have made more plans the other day when I did this had I not spent so much time putting eyes on the beets and bees in the flowers.

This was the soil we had delivered in..July, I think, from LCR Estates. On a rainy day, in the evening. Must have been right before we left for Oz. R (with Ms help) moved it all in the rain from the drive to the dog run. It's beautiful triple mix, and has already filled the whole west side garden (new this year after having to remove all the rocks and pebbles because a certain dumb Basset kept swallowing pebbles). The vet bills this year far outweighed the gardening bills. 

There is still a large heap left in the dog run, which R plans to move this weekend. I guess I'll take photos and make soup. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Met a dog named Kone today ("snow" in Ojibwe). Walked in blowing snow again, hello winter. Came home to find 1012 Gardening Guide from Stokes Seeds in my mailbox, hello winter reading.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Superior Sunrise

15 November 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011


After the Remembrance Day service in Waverly Park I took a walk up to the garden on the ground of the Heritage... where I found peace, love, and the season's first snow. Fitting, and refreshing.
sunflower in the peace garden
red elderberry
in a yard on Regent and Van Norman

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dear Garden Diary,

8 November 2011
Yeah, I took this photo using my iPhone, dangling it over the balcony's railing. Dangerous. Earlier yesterday I dangled it over a bridge on May Street. This is why I have to return to using my Nikon for photos, with it's sturdy strap - less likely to slip through my fingers to a watery or pottery death. I've been so distracted with the iPhone photo apps lately that I haven't bothered updating about the garden. These things happen.

Well, we cleaned (R did most all of the gross work) and tucked away pots, preparing for winter the best we can. If we weren't basement hoarders we might have more space to store things. hmm.
R also did all of the digging, creating additional vegetable garden space. There is now three times the space and half the grass lawn. We're definitely putting a yellow brick path in to boarder the grass and perennial garden because we are corny like that. grin. Beyond the mugo pine the potentilla will be taken out and a gate will be put in its place.

This is exactly what happened with my first garden. Over eight years I slowly turned sod into garden. This is only my third season with this yard. Heh heh... We'll always have to have sod in the dog run - and the dogs will have have the run of the "dog forest" to the west of the existing path. It used to be a lovely, kept formal garden with lush grass that could only be manufactured. It was beautiful.
But it wasn't my kind of garden, and I think R feels the same (he grew up with orchards and bees, and did the dogging after all). It's fun to have a productive yard, and we both want to use this new space wisely. We now have the space to properly plant after our over-zealous seedling shopping sprees, we vow not to screw this up. We had more tomatoes than we could handle this year, giving them away from a box on our door step in the end...

I've said it before: our most challenging hurdle (more even than having a Gromit) is leaving the garden at the peek of the season. That's a toughy.., summer vacation time is summer vacation time - and family beckons. In the real world family trumps gardens, so the gardener has to adapt. I'm thinking there has got to be a way of planting around our three week adventure away.

I am so excited to have space for root vegetables in our own backyard. So excited. I think a couple fine brussel sprout plants would fit too. grin.
There's still a heap of triple mix waiting in the dog run to be put into the new garden, some lime, meal, and whatever compost I can come up with. It looks good and wormy already, so we're off to a good start.

Now that it's November, it's time for doodling gardens not digging in them..., taking long baths, settling in for winter. I can't help looking forward to next year, feeling so much better after feeling so off for so long. I didn't even realize how ill I've been until I started feeling better - things like balance: just in the last two weeks, while walking downtown noticing that I feel more steady than I have in years, and my body moves more cooperatively (if that makes any sense). I can breathe a little deeper, sleep a little deeper, think ahead again. It's actually quite remarkable, and a little scary.
Whatever infection that started this all - back in 2009, I'll probably never know..., and honestly I don't even care about knowing anymore. It all makes sense, the culmination of an infection (undoubtedly starting in my kidneys, as per my initial complaint, spreading, finding equilibrium with my immune system, reacting autoimmune: "lingering pathogen") combined with a toxic overload - mold most likely, and god only knows whatever else (Ryan Building). Stress. Miscarriage. Depression.
I won't disregard gardens and greenhouses either, sadly. There's a reason why products get pulled from shelves and tests are run on soil. It could happen to anyone, really, for so many reasons - making it hard to fuss about - unless you plan on living in a bubble, or worse: in fear.

It took two very different approaches to medicine: Western and Eastern, two hemispheres, an acupuncturist from the picturesque Leura Mall, and four local female doctors practicing in four unique healing directions to bring me back. The last month has been like an awakening.

I believe that by the time next spring arrives I'll be back to where I was, maybe even better.

CURRENT MUSIC: Watching the Wheels - John Lennon

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hipstamatic Tree

(one of ) my favourite tree(s)
PACI, Waverly Hill
30 October 2011