Wednesday, 7 March 2012


So I had an interview yesterday to work at a local garden centre - starting part time, leading to full time during spring and the busy season. Today they called me back, my first shift is on Sunday! The only downside is it's likely I'll be laid off again in the fall. But I'm okay with that, I might be able to work some plans around that and besides, if they like me enough maybe they'll hire me back in the spring again or something. And I'll still have time to work on Loveless Arachne!

I'm still happy I found a job! And doing something I'm really interested in!

Speaking of gardening, I have been thinking ever since we moved into the new place last summer about gardening here this spring. I don't have a lot of space for a garden - there's a tiny little plot in the back that has a few flowers in it and the plot in the front that also has flowers. So I thought maybe I would make some raised planters and do some veggie gardening there and fill the other two plots with edible flowers!

My goal is to have an herb garden on the patio, and perhaps some snow peas up there too. And in the back yard I want a few, maybe three, planters with some veggies in them. But seeing as my back yard is north facing and doesn't get much direct sunlight AND there's a large tree in the back as well as shade from buildings I may have to rethink some of my gardening plans. There's a lot of dappled light, so I know the peas will be fine on the patio and so will the herbs. And besides, if I have to move the herbs to the front for a few hours a day I think I'm okay with that. I also want to try doing a hanging grape tomato plant that I can keep in the front where it gets a lot of sun all day long (south facing and all). I also want a strawberry plant this year, I love fresh strawberries.

So right now I'm thinking I will do spinach or chard  and probably lettuce for sure because I know they grow all right in shady areas around here. Because where I live is semi-arid desert, I know some plants that normally would like full sun might get a bit of a respite with some shade. They tell me (and by they I mean the online sources I've found through Google) that carrots and root veggies grow okay in some shade, but I've never grown carrots or beets in a planter before. I might give it a shot this year, and see how they turn out. I also want to try shallots or scallions. I was also considering trying a potato bucket and seeing how well they can grow around here, but I think potatoes need more sun that my back yard gets to grow to a decent size unless I want baby taters - which I do prefer but Mr. C doesn't. Mr. C wants me to plant spicey peppers or jalapeƱos but they definitely need more sun than my back yard can provide.

When I was a kid growing up my mom kept a really plentiful veggie garden, and I would love to just sit outside in the rain and eat snow peas and baby carrots straight from the garden. In the rain was best, because I'd just let the sky wash the dirt off for me. She grows zucchini and tomatoes every year with great success, but she has much less shade than I do and her garden is south facing. Still, her zucchini's are huge, sometimes they come out the length of my arm and I can only just get my hands around them.

There are a lot of things I love about vegetable gardening, I've always been way better at it than flower gardens but I do love keeping flowers as well. This year I really want edible flowers though, like violets and hollyhocks. I don't know if I will actually play with cooking with them or not, but making it an option means I'll probably pay more attention to the plants.

The best part about this plan? How much money a person can save by growing their own vegetables and food. Not only are you getting quality produce, but you also know exactly what measures of pest control and fertilizers were used. In my case I like to use the discarded water from my fish tanks to fertilize my veggies - it works great and there's little to no need for any chemical fertilizers with that amount of fish fertilizer being added.

There is so much pride I take in gardening and being able to provide for myself. I'm so looking forward to planting season this year!

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