garden, life

July Garden Tour – on two feet ! 💃💃💃

I can walk! After doing the June tour on crutches, I finally got an X-ray and found out that what I thought was a sprained ankle was actually a spiral fracture of my fibula. So, I’m madly rehabbing my ankle constantly and being very careful but I’m thrilled to be mobile again. I have even more appreciation and compassion for people with permanent mobility difficulties. I tried not to whine, really.

Can you say ‘atrophy’?

Vegetables and irrigation

Needless to say, the garden isn’t quite where I envisioned it would be pre-wipeout. Although I give my husband, who is more of a landscaper than a gardener, full credit for managing single-handedly as well as he did. Hand watering the vegetable containers alone could take an hour or more to do properly, so in the last few days I finally built a drip irrigation system. Hallelujah!

It’s not pretty (yet, but the tweaking is half the fun) but it only takes four minutes per zone to get everything watered through. It’s mind-boggling to me, I wouldn’t believe it if I wasn’t seeing it but the plants are showing the difference just from two days watering, and plants don’t lie. Why did I wait so long???

Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, carrots, leeks, lettuce, dill, etc.
Peppers!
Cucumbers and tomatoes. I was amazed at how quickly these tomatoes ripened after I removed the leaves beneath them, and others, in order to direct all the ‘power’ to the fruit.
Onions were not bad, but I think I can do better next year. Leeks still to come though!

The Garlic Experiment

I grew garlic for the first time last year, not altogether successfully. I didn’t know that the ‘flowers’ that garlic throws up are called ‘scapes’, and beyond being my new favourite raw vegetable to snip over my salad, now I know that you need to clip them so the growing power goes into the bulb, not the flower. One of those duh-in-retrospect moments.

This year has been much more successful, due mostly to better planting, fertilizing and watering – and snipping the scapes. There is just no comparison with grocery store garlic when you slice into it. So satisfying!

But check this out, last fall I planted some of my garlic in the ground (left) and the rest of it in half gallon containers (right). I transplanted the container garlic into the ground in the early spring, and the difference was unreal. It was all absolutely huge, whereas the in-ground garlic developed into several smaller heads. I’ll also wait longer to harvest it next year because I just pulled out this monster (bottom right) the other day! I intend to use the bigger heads as my seed garlic in the fall.

And now for the flowers…

The sunflowers are lovely but I’m rethinking my decision to try to use them as trellises. While kind of amusing to go bushwhacking hunting for peas, beans and cucumbers, it’s not especially efficient – or user-friendly. So the vegetables will stay in the containers close to the house in future, and the back garden will be for perennials, annuals and herbs.

Sunflowers everywhere!
Dahlias on Ilam Road, named for our house in NZ where we first fell in love with them.
Gladiolus, here there and everywhere. They always make me think of my oldest BFF, who has given them to me on many special occasions.
Echinacea
Lilies
I would have enjoyed eating this artichoke, but the flower isn’t a bad consolation prize.
Wild kingdom – not ‘the spider on the fly’ but the ‘fruit fly on the crazy translucent spider on the honey bee on the cosmos’.
I grew these cosmos from seed. Check out the mutant on the left – it’s taller than me! Easy for a person, tougher for a flower!
The calla lilies have finally found a home.
This is an orange calla lily that hasn’t flowered yet but I love the sunshine and the petunias surrounding it.
View from the shady spot.

Alright, we’re off to our favourite spot on the west coast for my 50th 😱 birthday holiday. Be kind, stay calm and stay safe.

❤️ Amanda

garden, Health, life, mental health

Deer Decimation 😣

Well, yesterday was DD day at our house. Apparently, the deer around here read WordPress, and my May Garden Tour post was an invitation. Whoops.

They ate the kale…

They nibbled the potatoes …

And snarfed ALL but two of the bush beans!

And that’s not all…

So when the deer come chomping, the gardener(‘s husband) builds a fence.

Fingers crossed…

But there’s always something positive happening in the garden. I’m thrilled that this method of interplanting worked. I planted radishes and carrots together so the fast-sprouting radishes shade the finicky slow-sprouting carrots until they germinate. Now I’ve pulled the radishes and the carrots are perfectly thinned and ready to keep growing.

Radishes, carrots
There’s always something positive in the garden.

❤️Amanda

Health, life, mental health

Love. Not Fear.

View at Medium.com

It has been far too long since I’ve published anything but this article is important enough to share. If you allow your fear to spiral out of control, that lowers your immunity and makes you more susceptible to getting sick.

Stay informed, but focus on connection and gratitude. Turn off the screens and get outside. Wash your hands, and stay home unless it’s essential to go out. Stay safe and healthy out there!

❤️ Amanda

family, life

Mom fail

I’ve literally been counting the minutes.

As much as I love the texts telling me how well things are going, and the fact that the bathroom stays MUCH cleaner, I have really, really missed my boy since I left him in Ontario for university.

So that wonderful creation called reading break has arrived, and all day I’ve been giggling and wheee-ing (not weeing!😉) to myself that I get to see him tonight.

His room is clean. I’ve bought his favourite groceries and left some treats on his bed. My husband and I have discussed how we’ll split the driving to pick the girls up from rehearsal at 7:30, and our son from the airport at 11:16pm. As usual, he’s going to do both because that’s the wonderful kind of guy he is.

So, all I had to do was wait in anticipation.

Around 5pm, I get all excited that he must be on the plane and on his way.

At 5:15pm, I get a text: “Where are you guys?”

😳🤯😱🤬🤪

Um, yeah. Nice welcome home. Poor kid had to cool his heels for 45 minutes until we got to the airport.

Note to self: Double check arrival/departure times ON THE DAY. This is not the first time something like this has happened. #brainfog

Good thing we all have a good sense of humour.

Now it’s time to enjoy having the clan back together. This is one happy Mama!!!

❤️ Amanda

awards, nominations, challenges, writing

50 Word Thursday #27: Friendship

Oscar coughed and shifted in his recliner. Felix checked his watch then stared out the window, dying to open it and let air into the dark room. Silence the whole two hours he’d been there. He hoped that by remaining where he was, he might do some good, even there.

(50 words)

I haven’t done one of these for a while but I’ve missed them. It’s a great writing warm-up to pare down my writing before I get some words in for Camp NaNoWriMo. I failed at Camp in April because I was M.I.A.: Lost in the Garden so I’ve lowered my word count goal in the hopes of getting my writing moving again.

So far so good, but fingers crossed…

❤️ Amanda


Kristian from Tales from the Mind of Kristian is hosting this week.

The Rules:

• Find the muse within the photo or line provided and follow where it leads. It can be a story, anecdote, poem. Anything!

• The Story must be between 50 and 250 words, in 50 word increments. (so 50, 100, 150, 200 or 250 words)

• Link back to this post with the tag 50WordThurs so that everyone can find it, or post your response in the comments on his site.

• HAVE FUN!