Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Getting started, again

Several exciting things have happened since my last post, all garden related!

#1: Our landlords finally had the garage removed, and then he built a fence (well, gate, but it's really difficult to move, so it's a fence). We now have a large concrete slab in the backyard, which is awesome!!

#2: I had to sift all the dirt around the garage, which was a time consuming, slightly tedious and exhausting job, as it involved shoveling all the dirt out of the ground onto the concrete, then shoveling it all back in through a sifter, to remove the garbage bits and larger rocks. It's all done now, but it probably took me close to 30 hours to complete all of it!

#3: Then I had to bring in our "new" dirt, out of Mike and Dana's yard, and top everything up.

#4: Tax return = splurge on plants. I honestly think we overdid it. Oh well, the garden will be rockin this year and kinda sloppy looking next year?

All kinds of things have come up, the irises were/are stunning, I'm waiting on our bearded irises now, as they are just about ready to pop open! Lots and lots of purple, although we've tried to spice things up a bit with regards to colour. We have a bunch of annuals that are all different colours (although mostly in the pink/purple/white/red range). Janine's put together her hanging baskets, although there is one that only my father on his giant ladder can reach, so we don't have that one up and running yet.

The lupine this year is stunning, it's one of my favourite flowers and it's SO gorgeous!! So happy!!

That's all for now!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I began my spring tidy today, I removed the cover of dead and decaying leaves off the garden, a process I will happily repeat in the fall! It kept all the weeds from growing over the winter! Yay!

Many of the bulbs we randomly planted last year are peeking their heads up. My mom gave me a big bag of daffodils (Janine HATES daffodils, but I put them in because they are free, oh well for her!) and they are starting to peek out now too!

I pulled the dahlia tuber out of the ground in the fall, along with the elephant ear, because I was concerned it would rot. I should have just left them both in the ground, as I didn't store them properly and they both rotted. :( Very sad. I shed a few tears over my Elephant Ear, because it was my favourite and it had just been recently purchased in the fall.

No pictures today, just an update! But I will take pictures over the weekend and post.


Friday, January 22, 2010

A food post!

In the dead of winter, I have to find SOMETHING to write about. My dear friend Alex wrote a cookbook, no easy feat, and regularly updates her blog with all sorts of tasty things. Unfortunately for me, Alex uses all the ingredients I'm allergic to, sending me hunting for different thing.

A question I get asked when revealing that I am allergic to the things people eat most frequently and without thought, is "that's awful!! What do you EAT?!"

Well, I eat a lot of rice. A LOT of rice, and rice in it's many forms: cooked and ground (flour). I also drink rice milk. In fact, I think that discovering that I was allergic to so many things forced me to take a good look at what I was putting in my body. It took me several months to get used to the idea, but now I have a decent arsenal. The great thing with GF or vegan cooking/baking is that you don't need to limit yourself on the combination of ingredients! Especially with the wide varieties of flours available (brown and white rice, sorghum, millet, oat, quinoa, teff, potato, arrowroot, tapioca, etc etc etc). It's rather exciting! I am also no longer afraid of Xanthan Gum, that scary ingredient on many processed foods (it's used as a binding agent, any GF cook will tell you it's a necessity in their kitchen!).

So, I decided that I will post my accumulation of amazing Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free recipes, along with substitutions.

One of my favourite blogs is, I Am Gluten Free. It's a woman (a Jewish children's performer no less) and she is constantly experimenting! I am not an experimenter, I am far too annoyed by failure! Anyways, her blog is fantastic, I've made waffles, cinnamon buns, all kinds of things off her blog.

I just found a recipe for GF Hot Cross Buns, on Gluten A Go Go ( They look delish! An upcoming recipe? I think so.

An amazing bread recipe I found is an Oatmeal-Millet bread, , although I had to use quinoa instead of millet flour because I didn't have any on hand, turned out GREAT! Especially when I changed the settings on my bread machine!! :)

That's enough for now!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winter is upon us!

It has been over 2 months since my last post! Not too much has happened in the ways of the garden. We had a freeze over in the middle of December that made me panic, as I hadn't put the bulbs in the ground yet (bulbs acquired from my mom, as she, as usual, over-ordered from Vesey's and we reap the benefits!). My only casualty from the batch was an amarylis bulb stupidly left outside. Stupid stupid stupid. It was going to be lovely, too. Stupid! Anyways.

I planted some daffodils, some more lilies, rearranged some plants, added more dirt, covered everything in leaves.

We forgot to pick the remaining lettuce and it died... oops. The leeks are still growing though, although they are in a state of dormancy until spring. Maybe they will actually be a half decent size for next summer instead of the pathetic wisps they currently are. Which reminds me, I need to get the garlic in the ground. I FINALLY got my book back, Carrots Love Tomatoes (great book!) so now I can know where to plant them.

The garage is supposed to come down soon, but our landlords seem to be dragging their feet about it. I'll probably offer to take it down, then round up a party with some sledge hammers and just bash it until it falls in. Good times! :D

We are really really broke, so no big plans for this years garden... Last year was a significant financial investment, and we won't have to have quite such a showy repeat this year. The Van Dusen plant sale will come up, and we will probably buy a couple native plants, and then we'll buy some grass, but other than that, it will be a pretty low key season!

Cheers for now!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mushroom post.

This is just a post with mushroom pictures that I've taken. They're so pretty, thus I post!

The end of summer = HALLOWEEN!

Fall is now slowly coming to a close. I have begun wintering all our plants, raking up and dumping piles of leaves on everything. Since our disgusting, nasty, dangerous garage is coming down, we moved all the plants out of the way. The strawberries got HUGE, Janine divided them and we have multiplied from 4 small plants, to something in the area of 12-15... crazy! The poor plants have had to live through 3 different transplantations in the time we've owned them... hopefully they'll survive another major move back when we get the ground all settled in again!

What also grew was the rhubarb! Upon digging it up, I discovered that the root balls had DOUBLED in size! Insane!!!

We finished off our last bag of frozen summer blueberries... which is incredibly sad as it's only November. However, we do still have like, 5 bags of whole strawberries, plus 5 or 6 bags of mushed up strawberries intended for jam, a bag of blackberries, two bags of tayberries and god only knows what else.

Halloween related, we ended up getting two lovely pumpkins out of the garden! Thanks, Talia for the plants!! One of them never turned orange, but all the kids thought it was OMGSOCOOL because it was a "black" pumpkin. Haha, not so much. Green, actually! I carved them up and put tealights and set them outside for the night of Hallows Eve

Also, I discovered a tree of crabapples in my neighbourhood. It's on city property, the apples are ripe, and no one's touched them... THUS, THEY ARE MINE!!!!!

I've also taken lots of pictures with my iPhone depicting all the mushrooms around, there are TONS and they have such wonderful colour. Granted they are highly poisonous, but they're pretty to look at! Enough pictures in this post though, next one!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall Colours

My garden is really starting to die back in extraordinary colours. My hostas are showing signs of impending winter and the edges are turning this enchanting orange colour. My pumpkins are ripening away, I may have one for Halloween!!

My mom received a huge Vesey's order today, I happened to be at her house while she opened it. I drooled, I will admit that. Made me think of what I want to order.

Speaking of ordering, I FINALLY found a water bowl that I like! I'm so excited, and it won't cost me an arm and a leg. Janine is giving it to me as a early Christmas present, but I have to pick it up since I have more free time than her. It's not super big, but it's very cute, and I will make it cute! We are putting in a bubbler, so that it will make happy water noises that don't sound like someone urinating. Excellent.

Oh, and here's a picture of my hydrangea blooming. I think it's confused...