Monday, January 21, 2008

Planning Ahead

The Bag Lady got her first seed catalogue in the mail on Friday! She loves seed catalogues. She loves all the pretty flowers and spends hours poring over the catalogues, dreaming of landscaping her yard. Of course, when spring comes along, she is usually too busy with ranch work to DO any landscaping, but the dreaming certainly helps to pass the dreary days of January and February.

The Bag Lady never actually orders anything from the seed catalogues. She did one year, but nothing that she ordered survived. So she buys her bedding plants from the local nursery. They have an excellent selection, and everything is guaranteed to be suitable for this cold, northern climate.

It may come as a surprise to some of you who don't live in Canada, but we can grow an amazing assortment of things here. Our long days of sunlight make up for the shorter growing season. At the summer solstice, the sun rises at around 4 am, and sets around 11 pm. For a few days around that time, if the sky is clear, it doesn’t get totally dark. Unlike during the winter solstice when it is dark at 4 pm, and stays that way until 9:30 am!!

The Bag Lady grows mostly perennials because she likes to see the same things come back every year. She has experimented with several different flowers, but has her favourite old stand-bys. Peonies, for one. Delphiniums and hollyhocks to attract the hummingbirds:

Irises because she loves purple:

She has a clematis vine that threatens to take over the yard :

And rock soapwort that DOES (take over the yard):

And she has lilies. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know their proper names. She planted a whole slew of them, but not all of them grew, and she’s not sure which are which.

The Bag Lady also enjoys a little whimsy occasionally.

Oh, and it was minus 30 C here yesterday morning, which really makes the Bag Lady long for her flowerbed! So this post was intended as a mental health break for those of us who are getting a little tired of all that damnable snow. Did it help?


Hilary said...

Brrrr -30 (-22F) is just too cold! You come visit me this spring and work some gardening magic on my tiny, postage stamp yards. I have such a black thumb but I'd like to grow me some whimsys! ;)

Leah J. Utas said...

Love the boot planter.
Lovely, colourful photos for a deep winter's day.

the Bag Lady said...

Whimsys are easy to grow, Hilary! Just don't use boots that you ever want to wear again (oops!)

Thanks, dfLeah - the Bag Lady was having a little attack of cabin fever.

Sarah said...

I spend a year living in northern Sask, and wow was it hard getting used to all that sunlight in the summer! And you're right, it never really gets dark around the solstice, it was too weird. But then I was equally weirded out around Christmas when the sun didn't rise til 9:30 am and set at 3:30....

Sarah said...

oh my I just re-read my post and I am not a good typer this morning... :)

the Bag Lady said...

Sarah - the Bag Lady loves all that sunshine!! When she was younger, she always held a party on the longest day of the year (or on the closest weekend) - we would party all night long! Those were the days...sigh.

Crabby McSlacker said...

(Thanks for the temperature translation, Hilary)

Because OMG! That's just too cold. I'd be thinking about spring too.

And I agree, great photos and what a lovely yard you have. No wonder you're looking forward to seeing the flowers again.

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Crabby. The Bag Lady takes great care when photographing her yard - has to be-head all the dandelions and plan her strategy so the weeds and junk don't show!

It has warmed up today - our high temp is supposed to be somewhere around 0C (32F). Quite balmy compared to yesterday.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

That's just way too cold!

What about indoor gardening? Seems like you'd be able to do that all year round. I remember when African violets were all the rage and every household seemed to have some growing in little pots under their special lights.

the Bag Lady said...

BG - the Bag Lady's green thumb doesn't seem to extend to indoor plants. She used to have lots of them, but well-water isn't good for them (too much soda), and she forgets to water, even though she has a plastic garbage can full of rain water that she saved.

She does have a few plants left - an indestructible vine that was her mother's (so has to be at least 15 years old; probably more like 20). It seems thrives on just the dust on it's leaves! (Reminds me - better water it.)
Mom had African violets and so does mom-in-law. The Bag Lady would probably kill them, too.

In a month or so, the Bag Lady will start some bedding plants for her veggie garden. She did that last year, too, then forgot to water them. Can you believe it?

Hilary said...

I'm with Bunnygirl... we should all have a little pot growing under some special lights.

Oh.. wait.. nevermind.

Reb said...

I don't know why neither of us can grow indoor plants, mom was so good at it. Maybe just an aversion developed after watering all of mom's?

JavaChick said...

I love seed catalogs too! I have spent many a winter afternoon/evening poring over them and thinking of all the things I'd love to grow (which is funny if you know how much I hated it when I had to weed the veggie garden as a kid). I have a small yard, so there is only so much I can do, but I've made the most of it.

Oh, and I do sometimes order seeds from the Vesey's catalog, but I've never ordered live plants...Just seems to make more sense to buy them locally.

Scrumpy said...

Bag Lady -

You just come on down here to San Antonio and work your magic in our completely ice and snow-free garden. I'll bake you anything you want and make sure only the friendly animals sleep in the guest bed with you in return.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df Bag Lady,

I am such a city girl. I don't know anything about growing plants, but you do an absolutely amazing job. Hang in there. You will be puttering in the garden soon and then I will expect more pictures.

I will say that when I was younger and tried to garden, I did order catalogue seeds and they never worked for me either!

Thanks for the lovely pictures.


the Bag Lady said...

Reb: there were lots of things mother could do that I can't...starting with keeping my house spotless. Sigh.
Javachick - aren't seed catalogues the best!? And tiny gardens can be exquisite. When I lived in the city, I had a little pond with goldfish, surrounded by flowers - it was cute.
Scrumpy's Baker - no snow and ice? No freezing cold? It's a deal! What's your address...oh, wait. Where do you keep the un-friendly animals?
dfTerrie - Thanks for the compliment. I don't really know much about gardening, either. I just plant stuff and hope for the best. The fittest survive!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your comments this morning - I LOVE your bags, and it was fun to read your postings about gardening and see your lovely photos. Love the boots planted with flowers, too!

P.O.M. said...

A seed catalogue??? Who would have thunk it?

Your flowers are incredible! If you're ever feelin' crafy and don't know what to do with all those dang flower photos... you can turn them into note cards. (One of my clients sent me one, that's where I got the idea).

the Bag Lady said...

Hi, urbanhomesteader! Thanks for coming by, and your compliment about the bags. Hope you stop in again!
POM - what a clever idea!! The Bag Lady will keep that in mind - have to take more photos now!