I am unaccustomed to having my time taken up with something other than home work...cleaning and cooking, writing and gardening. I have been busy with volunteering for Hospice this week, and the work I do around the home has shuffled its way to the back of the line.
And Spring has arrived in the Cariboo. Warm days and nights have suddenly decided to visit for awhile; there will still be nights, no doubt, where Frost might rim the hardy, perennial plants which are beginning to show through the soil.
I have begun to utilize the little greenhouse Graham built last Spring. It was built too late, really, to start seedlings and tubers and bulbs then. But this year, I have it there...all ready in which to plant.
Its warm inside my little greenhouse. During the days when Sun shines, but a cold Wind blows, it is beyond words wonderful. It provides a buffer from Wind, which can wreak havoc on my body. And it has the unique greenhouse scent...that wet earth and new greenery smell.
Yesterday, on the way home from another volunteering job, I stopped at the nursery. It sounds like that might be a great, fun thing...but it's always a bad idea for my finances when I stop at a nursery in early Spring.
I don't have the huge garden I once had on the Coast; the cold and dry conditions here take care of any great ideas I might be nurturing about large gardens. Another drawback is the absence of good Soil.
And so, with the inability of the thin Soil which covers the Rocks and Boulders in this place to sustain anything other than Rocks and Pebbles, I do a lot of gardening in containers and built-up beds.
With the greenhouse, instead of waiting until night time temperatures correspond with plants and planting, I can start my containers earlier, with little plant plugs. These plugs are much cheaper, I tell myself as I stand at the cashier's counter, than if I'd had to wait for more clement weather. Because by that time, all that would be left in the nursery would be the larger, more expensive plants.
Cheaper or not, I still plunked down a fair bit of cash, for these tiny baby plants.
I picked out heavenly, deep blue Petunias, white Petunias, red Geraniums, minuscule filler plants like Bacopa and Alyssum, Osteospermum and Calibrachoa. My favourite filler plant is the ethereal Diamond Frost Euphorbia, which is rather new. It shines with an unbelievable, Snow-flake-like glow in the early evening. And I could not forget white Pansies...the small plants grow enormous here, all Summer long.
For the vegetable garden, I bought tiny Tomato plants, Walla Walla onion sets (even though they won't be the same in taste and texture as the onions which actually grow in Walla Walla), Strawberry plants, Red Cabbage, Squash and Kale. I planted Lettuce and Mesclun seeds about two weeks ago...and I discovered they decided to pop up through the soil just yesterday.
I want to grow Carrots. The Carrots which grow here are unbelievable for the crunch, texture and sweet taste. It must have something to do with the climate, because I have not tasted Carrots quite like the ones which grow in the Cariboo. But the Carrots will be seeded directly into the built-up ground, as will Cucumbers, Beets, Peas and Sunflowers.
Last year I planted Raspberries, Rhubarb and a Gooseberry bush. All are doing very well. The Apple tree Graham dug in through Stony Soil looks to be full of blossoms...my fingers are crossed that we will not experience a deep Frost, which will surely decimate those tender pink flowers.
I plan to buy a Weeping Willow this year. It will be planted on the East side, between the house and the new Woodworking shop Graham just built last year. It will give shade to the deck during those hot, still afternoons we experience in the Summer. I identify strongly with the Weeping Willow...it bends but rarely breaks.
And even if I bought the majority of the plants required for the pots and built-up beds...there will yet be visits to the nursery, possibly each one after a volunteering visit. Nurseries calm me...there is great peace to be found wandering the aisles, smelling the good, earthy, humid scent which is so identifiable.
I still intend to buy Snapdragons, Echinacea, and Sedums. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a supply of different Grasses, mostly Carex...all do well here, once established.
I am accustomed to having an Herb garden. I don't have one as yet...all of my Herbs are planted here and there throughout the Flower gardens. But this year, Graham has plans to build another garden bed...and it will be large enough for all my Herbs to be transplanted into it. Some Herbs will overwinter, while others must be treated as annuals in this harsh climate.
My mouth is watering already at the thought of fresh Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Lemon Balm and Dill. Parsley is already planted, has come up well, along with Chervil, which has seeded itself. I am going to try to grow Lemon Grass...a first for me.
I intend to be in the greenhouse all weekend, planting the Window boxes in order for them to be ready and full for their debut outside. Perhaps there will also be time for seeding.
And in so doing, I will find strong serenity...even if laundry has piled up and the bathrooms need cleaning. Those jobs will wait.
They must wait, because my itchy, green fingers need to feel granular, moist Soil, Water and tender baby seedlings.
And my mind, body and soul require the serenity I will surely find in the little greenhouse...