Category Archives: Tulips

Only Child goes walkabout

Dowtown Toronto -  not green like Only Child's area

Downtown Toronto – not green like Only Child’s area

Last evening I went for a long walk, for almost an hour, in my neighbourhood. It is one of the two ways I exercise (gardening is my other one). With the weather recently turned spring, almost like summer, I have upped my time outside to get one on-one- with nature – the flowers, trees, and just no snow on the ground.

As I walked, I peeked at the gardens and outside the houses. There was certainly lots of greenery  – trees starting to get their leaves and the evergreens (well some) becoming  brighter green. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths. But as I went further into areas I don’t usually cover, I couldn’t help notice two things. Not as many front lawns turned into gardens – do we really need all that grass to cut and water? And too many big mansions sprung up and in the works. Is bigger really better? At least, it is not like the condo take-over throughout the downtown Toronto core, where you have to look up up and more up to see sky and sun, the latter “glaring” off the metal and glass of the too-high condos. Their design is nothing to write home about (or anywhere else). They are so far from nature, from trees, from plants, from flowers.

This is more like it. Front of my house in spring

This is more like it. Front of my house in spring

But at least in my neighbourhood, despite a few big mansions (and I don’t call putting upper storeys on bungalows “mansions”) greenery and colour are there. And it is so peaceful (despite the odd lawn mower being used, but I do draw the line at leaf blowers).

My walk also eased some of the pains and kinks in my body and mind. Walking also helps me resolve something in my life – dealing with a client, something that has come up in the actual work, sorting out plot and character problems in my novel.

I’m not really sorting out my time problems overall. But for the time I walk, I can live in the now and enjoy what’s around me.

As long as it isn’t snow and heavy rain and winds.

I am thankful for this weather change.

Here is more information on the Top Ten Benefits of Walking daily

http://www.tescoliving.com/health-and-wellbeing/fitness/2013/october/top-10-health-benefits-of-walking-everyday

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Gardening, Gratitude, Scenery, Sharon A. Crawford, Trees and Shrubs, Tulips, Walking

Only Child gets gardening finally

00240021Over the weekend we had lovely spring – almost summer – weather and I finally got out in my garden on Sunday. I cleaned off the patio table (bird shit – but at least it means the birds are back), brought out the rakes to the backyard. Took a side trip to the local gardening centre a few blocks away and bought some pansies. Some I repotted and all were set outside – on the patio picnic table, on an old baby’s porcelain bathtub I use to hold plants and on a couple of stands on the front veranda. Brought out a folding chair for the front. Even spent a bit of time sitting there reading and drinking some wine. And eating my meals out on the patio.

The garden is coming to life with tulip plants, irises, peonies, sedum, lamb’s ears, hyacinths, day lillies (the plants, no flowers yet), some onions that didn’t come up last year, chives, and my big surprise – a mum plant sending up new shoots. Usually these mum plants don’t do this – at least not the big ones I buy in the fall, even though they are supposed to.

The photo at the top is not from this year’s garden. It is what my garden and I aspire to. When there are some actual flowers, I’ll take photos and post.

So I got busy raking the grass and cutting off last season’s dead branches from the perennials. Lots to do here, but I am taking it gradually as it is too soon to plant anything new, although when I was growing up in the 1950s, Mom and Dad were out turning the soil and planting seeds – in April.

I am also assessing the damage done by God’s winter weather and what I need done – who will do it – and what I can afford to do. I have put it out there for all this to be fixed and where necessary for the money needed to do so to come to me.

I firmly believer that whoever causes damage must repair it, or at the very least, provide the tools (people, money, etc.) to do so.

But for now I will enjoy being out in my garden.

And doing a search for a new rain barrel. The old one and its setup unfortunately have to be replaced, “unfortunately” because it will cost me money.

 

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Gardening, God, Home and Garden, Only child, Tulips

Only Child wants to garden outside now

Only Child's memories of garden past summer of 2010

It’s cold and gray outside and the date is APRIL 19, not NOVEMBER 19. Some places, such as Calgary, Alberta, have snow. What happened to spring? I want to garden outside and am weary of contenting myself with almost daily tours to see if the tulip and hyacinth plants have grown another fraction of an inch and if there are  any bulbs (a few, not open). The chives started poking above the ground late last week and I grab hunks of it to add to baked potatoes and  other culinary creations. Then I do a tour of the inside-the-house plants – the coleus and others that I hope to place outside sometime this spring. It might have been the best year for my indoor plants but the jungle inside isn’t good enough for now.

I am my late mother’s daughter and it’s in  my genes, in my nature to garden. When I was growing up we were out in the garden planting seeds now. As I write in my memoir:

In April, when the first tulip showed its face in the flowerbed under the living room window, Mom had to get out in her garden and do her vegetable, fruit and flower business….

So on this April day in 1952, “Princess Sharon,” age three and a half, with arms crossed, stands between the hedges overseeing the family garden. Dad planted those hedges to separate garden and lawn, and I, his princess, am raring to go gardening. At my shoes, rhubarb sprawls to the left and right, like flat green feet extending from the bottom of the hedge. I’m wearing a cotton dress with large flowers scattered throughout the material and Oxford-like white shoes and socks. The garden itself appears bare and white like sand on a beach except for the couple bent over their shovels, turning the soil from back fence to hedge. I cart out my small shovel and dig in, but I make only small dents compared to Mom and Dad’s efforts. Mostly I hover, watch, and listen.

(Excerpt from You Can Go Home – Deconstructing the Demons, copyright 2011 Sharon Crawford).

In this April of 2011 I am certainly doing a lot of hovering, watching and listening. The latter for the birds – few and far between but I did see the first robin in late March. I also have the excavation by the side of the house (to fix the basement leak) to “hover, watch, and listen” over. But that work is almost done. And maybe I should be thankful the weather has been awful (except for a couple of days of warm grace) – otherwise I might have been ranting about not being able to get at all my gardening because of the mess of earth and tools all over my patio and some  spreading out onto the back lawn.

We were definitely spoiled last summer – the most perfect summer with weather beginning hot in April and lasting into the fall. Thanks to El Nino. What do we have this year? No Nino? Last summer I knew it wouldn’t last/couldn’t repeat itself and to savour it day by day.

Maybe that’s the key. Find something special about each day and enjoy and savour it – one day at a time. After all I did start my tomato, pepper, nasturtium, marigold and peony poppy seeds indoors over the weekend. They and other plants will eventually get outside. And the tulips, hyacinths, pansies and chives are growing (slowly) outside. Patience is a virtue – one I never cultivated.
Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Gardening, Only child, Only child memoir, Spring, Tulips