Sunday, May 26, 2013

Life in the Garden

When I used to live in Calgary I always wanted to be able to start getting into my garden in March, forget about waiting until April or probably May like any sane gardener, I needed to get that dirt under my nails now.  My heart envied those folks on the west coast that had their daffodils and tulips up in February, it made me look at the snow, and well, stick my tongue out at it.

Five years ago my mother & I decided to move back to the coast.  Back in, this is where I was born and spent the first few years of my life.  I was even fortunate enough to have spent a great deal of those first few years on tugboats and fishing boats so the smell of the sea is home.

We bought a property with immense gardens (forgetting what immense work those immense gardens would take).  The first 2 years we let the gardens show us what was in them and by year 2 we also discovered this thing called horsetail.... A weed that dates back to prehistoric times... Living with this beast I can understand how it has survived thousands and millions of years. Wow, it seems you pull it and you think you have the roots when bam there it is again sneaking up in the same spot, well it seems like the same spot.

As a soap-maker I should be embracing this tenacious plant because it has a lot of great qualities to add to my products.  It contains a large amount of silica which is exceptional for hair products helping the hair be soft as well as sealing the shaft of the hair allowing for easy comb-out.  Medicinally this plant has a long history as a cure-all.  It helps the body retain calcium which assists in cases like osteoporosis, arthritis, anemia and so many other conditions.  Of course I just learned the internal medicine part now as I am righting this post.  Here are a couple of links to read more about it:

These are just a few sites to look at, a google search gives you quite a but more.

Oh yeah, back to the gardening bit.  So we quickly learned that horsetails love this climate and you have to be pulling them daily or they will take over your garden.  It doesn't matter that you have a wonderful ground cover which would normally keep the weeds down, nope there comes a horsetail right though the middle of it.  Stupid plant... So yesterday I decided I would help out with the weeding and took on a small garden that was so overgrown you couldn't see the "good" plants; those would be the ones you want in the garden after all a weed is just a plant you don't want growing there.  I filled up a full garbage bag with weeds plus another pail full, but oh does that garden look good.

Here is the garden I did yesterday:

  I planted this Fuchsia the year we moved in and it is now an amazing plant but I need to either move it into a spot by itself or trim back the Cotoneaster in order to allow the Fuchsia to shine.  This is in the same garden as I weeded yesterday.

And here is what it was like before....

I must admit this is a climate where you should be gardening all year long to keep the gardens looking nice.  Of course I don't but I think I am going to start doing a bunch more.  It is so satisfying to look at the gardens and see what they are doing in each season.  It totally thrills my heart to see flowers bloom all winter long and I am so incredibly grateful to be able to live here in my personal paradise....

Now to get those new plants in the ground....


  1. Your garden is beautiful, but I do not envy you the horsetail plants! My equivalent is fishbone fern..... I planted a few plants when my garden first went in (1994 that was) and have since discovered you cannot kill them with an axe :p

  2. Thanks Tanya! Yes ferns here get really out of hand too. Fortunately not quite as bad as the Horsetails but it's true each garden has its own villain doesn't it...

    Thank you again for your kind words...