Garden-sitting for the Alters, Part Two

August 9, 2009

Anyone who knows anyone in Toronto will be able to tell you that this city has been plagued with the worst summer weather this year — nothing but rain, rain, and more rain. Add a 34-day garbage strike to that (not to mention no daycare, community centres, ferries to the island, etc.), and you’ve got about two million people wearing their cranky pants like they were never going out of style. But I’m finding that one of the best ways to get out my frustration is to head over to the nearest garden and pull up weeds for an hour. However, because my garden is teensy, I usually go to the Alters, who have kindly let me garden-sit for July and August.

So here’s a little update: The beds of seedlings (beets, pea shoots and a bunch of other stuff) are sadly not doing very well but I can’t quite figure out why. I’m guessing it’s either a lack of sun or animals, except they’re pretty well guarded with chicken wire. The peas are faring the best, but who knows if the beets will make it. Here’s the pic:


Here’s a close-up of the peas (I don’t have a macro lens on my camera, so they unfortunately look a bit blurry):


On the bright side, however, the lettuce is doing quite well — it’s growing in these crazy vertical stalks rather than stubby little heads. I didn’t know lettuce could grow this way, but it looks healthy:


And although the kale at the back of the garden is covered in slug holes, the ones at the front look fab:


The squash and zucchini are also surviving the rain-and-no-sun problems, although I accidentally stepped on one of the zucchini stems while trying to cut back some dead flowers. Grr.


And finally, there are the herbs — the basil looks to be in stable condition but also appears to have finished growing. The sage, after a bit of pruning, looks pretty decent, and the container pots are still alive and upright (one got knocked over by a raccoon but survived the trauma):



That’s it for now! Feel free to offer any tips/advice on how to cope with mass amounts of rain… In the mean time, I’m going to stay home today and clean (and also sulk).

You can stand under my um-ber-ella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh, under my um-ber-ella (Day 251)…

November 6, 2007


Sorry for the long subject line but I’ve had that Rihanna tune stuck in my head for days, especially now that it’s been pouring rain here in the YYZ.

On the bright side, the lousy weather actually gave me a perfect idea for another green change: using a big, sturdy golf umbrella, and sharing it with others who’ve left theirs at home, in a cab, under their seat at a restaurant or … well, any of the other kazillions of places umbrellas get left.

Investing in a good umbrella means it’ll last longer — usually, the bigger the size, the more it’ll be able to resist strong winds. This means fewer of those cheap compact ones end up broken and in the dumpster. Also, it’s a great excuse to go up to that cute boy getting drenched at the bus stop — you can offer him a little shelter, and perhaps your phone number, too.

But in all seriousness, I will be using my big brolly from now on, or just going without, because there’s no harm in getting a little soggy anyway — I might even end up jumping in a puddle or two!

Photo courtesy of solidether on Flickr