Sunday, June 14, 2009

Green Space how did I Exist without You?

I am in love with my urban garden! Each week the plants seem to grow wilder and more out of control... it is fantastic. I was extremely nervous about growing actual edible plants, especially as the plants inside our apartment aren't really doing that well. So far, container gardening has been fabulous, and the eco-fiber planters and organic soil has been holding up wonderfully!
(Our strawberry plant circa June 14th while it was sunny)

I used to curse our terrible netting that covered our balcony, as it meant no bird feeders. But after speaking with a few friends who were extremely frustrated due to birds chewing off their flower buds... I was thankful for the ugly thing after all. One thing about having a tiny urban garden, we don't have to worry about animals, birds and less about pests!

There is something magical and real about having life grow and flourish just outside your living space. I've found myself stepping outside for a few moments each day to closely inspect our little forests, checking on progress, marvelling at how the pea tendrils cling tenaciously at our cotton trellis. Feeling silly for being surprised that strawberries form from the middle part of the flower- who knew? Even though my dad informed me that I should be trimming the flowers to promote berry growth, I just can't bring myself to clip off a potential berry. (Our biggest pre-berry! It's been so fun watching the petals fall and the middle flower part grow more and more berry like!)

Having this extra green/potential food space also has been helpful with easing feelings of loneliness that have been creeping up lately. Although moving
back to Halifax was the best idea, this is the first place I have ever lived where making friends has been extra difficult. Most likely a side-effect of old university friends drifting apart, the fact that my best friend and I "broke-up" around the same time she left my brother (loooong story!) and that I work with women who are twice my age. (our pea plants are growing like wild things!! No actual pea pods yet... or flowers... I keep checking.... )

I had hoped that practicing yoga would help meet some kindred spirits... but although somewhat of a community, yoga is still a very solitary practice and I'm finding myself feeling isolated even while surrounded by other yogi/ni's during a packed class. It isn't really acceptable to say a few words to someone after class and follow up with: "So you wanna be my friend?" lol. I am way too weird sometimes. Hopefully yoga in the park will help :)

In the mean time I have my little miniature faerie space. Some days I haul out my guitar, sit in my little urban oasis and just belt my heart out (it helps that we have a wall of maple trees and the church facing us... so I can pretend no one is listening). I've started writing again and soon (hopefully) will have a new song to add :)
(our carrots actually look like a little forest, a miniature rainforest. Reminds me of fern gully- anyone else remember that movie? lol I was a eco-warrior since childhood.)

How are your gardens growing? :)


  1. You green looks great! :)

    I am loving and getting so much out of my own containers gardens right now, too. Mine are all flowers, except two herbs - mint and basil.

    Interestingly, I'm also wishing I could make some new friends. And somehow the plants feel like little friends to me. Not the same as people, but something...

  2. There is something to be said for a small balcony garden...! :)

    My garden is doing okay. We just came off of a couple of weeks of ultra cool weather where daytime temps were at the most 50*F. Pretty chilly for everything but radishes, peas and lettuce. I even had a mini-green house over my tomatoes to keep the poor plants warm!

    I had to replant my soldier beans today. Don't know what happened - they either rotted in the cool weather or bad batch of beans.

    But as of today, this is what is up/growing:
    swiss chard

    (planted as plants)
    brussel sprouts

    (still waiting on)
    summer squash
    winter squash
    soldier beans
    great northern beans

    Now that things are in and seem to be growing I have a bit more time to work on my knitting. I sat out on my porch today for a couple of hours and listened to the birds and the wind as I knitted. Mmm...

  3. I just finished a veggie garden on the side of our house and will post some photos soon!!! I just noticed the radishes are coming up and so are the onions! I LOVE it!! I too find myself outside a lot just admiring my plants. I love being surrounded by life...speaking of which I just noticed my fishies have laid eggs and are caring so tenderly for them!

    We should go for a coffee sometime! :)

  4. Wow, your container gardens look terrific! Your peas are already so tall! I imagine you on your balcony, practicing and writing songs, like Feist :)

  5. But you are making friends....!

  6. Emma: I have one container of flowers- but only 1 of the three are flowering... I'm hoping that the others will later. haha- they DO feel like little friends!

    Kristin: Wow!!! your garden is FULL!! someday :) you can make mini green houses in a soil garden? there is still a lot for me to learn :)

    Alli: YAY ONIONS!! your fishies have laid eggs?? Oh Andrew will be jealous, he's been wanting his rainbow fish to lay eggs forever! fun :)
    We should go for coffee! MMMmm fair trade mochas at JustUs! :)

    Theresa: Thanks :) Soon you're garden is gonna be fantastical! Oh, if only I were as awesome as Feist.

    Rose: awww- thanks! you're right of course, blog friends have been unexpected and helpful. I had no idea there could be so much support out here! :)

    I guess there have just been some changes in my life, and although we have about two couple friends in Halifax, it's been slower going. Summer is here and I'm so ready to go and do stuff! I'm sure it will happen, I just need to be patient.

  7. omg! I so want to come over and hang out on your balcony! We could drink coffee and play guitar.
    I love these pics! Your faerie garden is fabulous and looks so inviting. Sending your plants tons of growing love.
    ...neighbourhood rabbits have been munching out on my lettuce.

  8. Loved your Starbucks posts (ironically, I had Starbucks two days in a row when you wrote those, and I almost NEVER go there!). And love this one! Your garden is beautiful. I'm having trouble growing things...but each year I get a little better at it.

    The friend thing is tough. I went through a couple years when making friends just didn't happen for some reason. Then suddenly, around the time I got my 4-year degree, I suddenly ended up with three good friends. And after my master's, I ended up with tons more! It just depends on timing, I think. Hang in there! You have lots of blogging friends, though! ;)

    Would love to hear more about your songwriting.

  9. Sucks about the friends thing- I know it's not the same, but I think a few people pointed out that you have loads of bloggy friends though! I went through a time kinda similar (in between uni and work) when I began to have different timetables to my current friends. I actually started volunteering at some places and got to meet a lot of like minded people- perhaps volunteering at a yoga studio, or joining a community garden might help you meet some new face to facers! I went to a film archival place and a radio station and it was great fun and lotsa new friends!

    Also- I was reading this and thought of you with your greening of your workplace:


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