It appears that I'm not much of a blogger. Maybe this will change. Maybe not. I've been up to lots - quilting, gardening, embroidering ... but when it comes blogging about it - well, I'm just not that into it.

So, for the time being I'll be posting photos to flickr. See you there.

february flora

I know it's a cliche (because of V Day), but I love flowers in February. I need them this time of year - they bring cheer to my winter doldrums.
february flora - valentine's tulip
This pink tulip was a Valentine's Day gift from my husband to his girls. Stella has a special relationship with flowers. She has been saying that she wants to be a florist for the last year. She draws beautiful flowers and can remember the names of lots of wildflowers. Anyhow, her little 4-year-old face just lite up when she saw the tulips from Todd.
february flora - snowdrops
These baby snowdrops have just popped up in my garden. They are my favourite sign that spring is on its way. I'm especially happy to see these ones because I planted them last spring when I was miserable in my nauseous pregnant body. It was an accomplishment to do anything 'extra' - and believe me, bending over and digging in my garden was definitely extra. But I did it. These snowdrops remind me that I managed.
february flora - helleborus
Look what else is blooming in my garden right now. The lovely Hellebore Ivory Prince. The flowers are cream, pink, and green - a wonderful colour combination. I got three of these plants for my birthday from my mom and dad - a perfect gift.
february flora - me
My last February flower is me. Yup. 35 years ago my mom named me after this wildflower.

happy valentine's day

happy valentine's day

I love, and am loved. I am so grateful.

winter garden - vegetables

winter garden - red russian kale
Last year I decided to give winter gardening a try. Why not? I had the empty garden space and some good resources ('A Year on the Garden Path: A 52-Week Organic Gardening Guide' by Carolyn Herriot and the West Coast Seeds catalogue).
winter garden - swiss chard
I figured that even though we usually have mild winters here on Vancouver Island, I should give my garden some sort of protection. I'm glad I did. We have record breaking snowfall in December and, damn, it was cold.
winter garden - hoop house
After a little research, I decided to construct a mini hoop house out of PVC piping and row cover fabric. The pipes are attached to the sides of my raised beds by 'U' shaped electric plastic tubing clamps. This allows for easy removal of the hoop house when not in use. I could only find row cover fabric that was 3' wide, so I bought that and sewed 3 stripes of it together - my fabric piece is 9'x12' and is plenty big enough to cover my hoop house. I did consider using plastic as a cover (this was recommended by a couple sources), but decided on the fabric, as I did not want to worry about my plants getting enough water. This set up has worked well.
winter garden - spinach
We enjoyed freshly picked lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, kale, beets, cilantro, and bok choi from September to November. The cold and snow stopped us from harvesting anything in December and January and killed off the lettuce, cilantro, and most of the bok choi.
winter garden - purple sprouting broccoli
A couple of days ago I did a clean up in my sweet winter garden and was so pleased to see new growth on the spinach, swiss chard, kale, and purple sprouting broccoli. Spring is a comin'.

bibs, baby, bibs

bibs, originally uploaded by golly g.

I'm sewing these as fast as Violet is dirtying them. OK, maybe I'm not quite that fast.

It's so nice to use these. Well worth sewing. Love 'em.

blueberry love

blueberry face
We can't get enough of them. Really. This year we bought 20 pounds of beautiful local berries. We ate about 5 pounds fresh and I froze the other 15 pounds. It seemed like lots at the time, but we've almost finished them off.
blueberry faces
Violet and Stella love them. It's so satisfying to feed them delicious healthy food. It's especially wonderful to feed Violet blueberries because she is still not very interested in non-mama-milk food. We just defrost the berries and put them through our handy dandy baby food mill.
blueberry bye-bye
Last fall we planted 5 of our very own blueberry bushes (2 Dukes, 2 Bluecrops, and a Blueray). We read that in order to get the bushes well established, we should pick off any flowers this year. That way the bush can use it's energy on roots and branches instead of fruit. So, no fruit from our bushes this year. But next year, we'll be rolling in blueberries. Or not. That could get messy.

dreaming and planning

Yes, we do still have patches of snow on the ground.

But the snowdrops are starting to push their way up, and my herbs are springing back to life, and my favourite seed catalogue arrived. What's a girl to do? Plan this year's garden, of course.
garden - june 2008
We have big plans this year - planting a small orchard and adding four new raised beds for vegetables.

Todd and I spent the weekend discussing fruit trees. How many? Where? Which types? We poured over info from Le Couteau Farms. So far, we are considering two cherry trees (either Rainier, Van, or Bing), two pear trees (Anjou and Bartlett), and a Yellow Egg plum tree. Todd received a MacIntosh apple tree from the girls for Father's Day last year. We thought we'd get another apple tree to help with pollination. Other early bloomers we like are: Empire, Fuji, Gala, Honey Crisp, and Spartans. Anyone have experience with these any of these apple trees?
garden - july 2008
As for the vegetable garden. Even with the new beds, I know that I'll want more room!
Here's my seed list:
  • blue lake pole beans
  • edemame beans
  • jade bush beans
  • bolero carrots
  • nelson carrots
  • sultan cucumbers
  • lemon cucumbers
  • red russian kale
  • letttuce
  • arugula
  • mache
  • conserver shallots
  • ching chiang pac choi
  • galena peas
  • alderman peas
  • super suger snap peas
  • jalapeno peppers
  • potatoes
  • gem zucchini
  • sunbrust zucchini
  • gold rush zucchini
  • bright lights swiss chard
  • stupice tomatoes
  • prudens purple tomatoes
  • sungold tomatoes
  • sweet basil
  • fern leaf dill
  • cilantro

Yup. I need a bigger garden. Come on spring - I'm waitin' on ya.

(These photos are of last year's garden).