Monday, April 24, 2017

First Day In The Garden!

Not so clean and pretty anymore! :) But that's okay, my new gloves got nearly FIVE hours of use this morning!

I was up at 6:30 this morning and did my new usual routine of driving the dogs to the other side of the river for their 45-minute walk.

I don't know what Marlene sees, but this is the second morning where she just parks herself by the lake and stares. Yesterday the other two looked on but today they lost interest. I had to pull her away!

It was a cold morning though, close to zero and the grass was crunchy to walk on. But the sun is really hot and I was able to spend lots of time in the yard. There are two little plots on either side of the stairs that I cleared of most weeds and junk. The plot on the left has some perennial lilies that I will transplant once I can dig a little deeper into the frozen ground. I already have a little fence around one side, and I pulled out some more lattice from our haul last year to prepare making a fence for the second plot - but I want to wait until the flowers are transplanted before I set it all up.

This photo shows a more realistic view of the size of those two plots. They aren't very big, but they'll do for my container veggies! Plus, this is where I will plan my cold frames for the winter gardening. If I need to, I'll put more containers just behind the wheel barrow. But I'm trying to avoid doing that as well because of so many roots and bushes there, I tried last summer but found it impossible to clean up.

There is a terrible root system here and the landlord could care less about it. We've tripped over the roots too many times so this year, I took out the ax and cut a bunch of them out. There are still a few big ones, and I don't want to hurt the trees attached, so I decided to dig up as much as I could and put some patio stones down as a walkway.  At least this way we won't trip over what's left of the tree roots. That was quite a task.

The last thing I did was clean up the bird feeder and surrounding areas. Oh my gosh the amount of sunflower seed shells!!! There is an old flower box that holds the feeder. It was mostly weeds and grass with some wildflowers. I decided this is where I'm going to scatter my butterfly and bird flower mix next month. I read that once you take all the weeds out, layer your bed with top soil, newspaper and cover it and there should be no more weeds when you're ready to plant. Testing this theory!

My strawberry plant from last summer was under the snow and I dug it out and added some potting soil to the top and watered it. It's now hanging in the sun, I hope I get some strawberries coming back this year! Being a "newb", last year I left the strawberry plant out when it was blossoming and the darn chipmunks and squirrels ate all but 3 of my berries...I'll be more careful this year if I get more fruit!

Hmmm...I wrote that I ordered more seeds yesterday...well, I guess I'd forgotten I'd ALREADY ordered more a few weeks ago! Does that mean something??? ;)

I did admit to my obsession, so let's leave it at that. I actually forgot about these! I got my cukes and radishes. And the cherries were on a whim, I have to look up how to grow them.

I planned ahead for my winter cold frame garden. These will all be planted in late summer.

When we went to pick up the mail, we dropped by my neighbour's place. She had to put her 16 year old Yorkie to sleep last month, poor thing had liver problems. But yesterday she got herself a little puppy she named Patch. He was SO ADORABLE and smelled like a little baby! :) I wanted to walk away with him!!! Speaking of dogs...look at these two photos:

I live in a little village in the Laurentians. Just walking to the mailbox, Alex and I saw TWO LOOSE DOGS!!!  There are two parks and a loose dog per park. By the way, the second photo isn't closed in, there is one side (to the left of the photo) that is completely open and leads to the main road of the village. Two loose dogs...and this is above and beyond FOUR of our direct neighbours who leave their dogs untied. I'm so glad we got photo evidence. Alex sent an email to the "canine inspector" (who brushed us off the last few weeks); the person at town hall who is in charge of the inspector's contract; and the mayor. There is no denying that the residents need a reminder to keep their dogs tied. And this is in the village where I now drive through, go figure. I hate people and society sometimes, why can't they just follow the rules? What is the point? I can't wait to move away from people into the woods. I'll be happy to put up a big fence and let our dogs have the run of OUR property while no other dogs can roam inside their sanctuary...Sorry for the's really a problem here with the residents and it bugs me so much.

So this is my window garden. All of my seedlings and herbs are ready to go and getting sun from the only sunny window in the house! I love this view from my desk.

It's just 5pm...I'm pooped. First day in the garden and my hands are so sore I feel like weeping. Nothing helps...If any blogger pal out there can suggest a home remedy...PLEASE. Kristina maybe? You always have so many ideas and I'd love to hear some of them! I've tried Advil, Tylenol, muscle knuckles and joints ache when I use my hands a lot and I easily drop stuff because I lose my grip. Doctors gave me generic excuses...anyway, I poured a white wine spritzer, lit a candle and wrote my blog post! Now I'm headed up to bed with Alex to watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie, "Rope" with Jimmy Stewart, then we'll have a nice relaxing dinner together, chicken is on the menu!


  1. the wine should help! you got a lot done! i re-potted the rest of my seedlings all morning. now i just have to find a million people to give plants to! i watered forever. it's so dry here. i can't wit to see everything you grow. that window is truly special!

  2. It looks warmer at your place than it is here. You are getting a good start.

  3. Gosh you've been busy but it's really paid off - everything looks so nice. Really like your window garden!

  4. YAY for you getting to garden and get started. I'm sorry you have the pain though. This may sound weird, but a friend told me once to put Vicks vaporub on your hands and then put on gloves. I can't say it works because I haven't tried (haven't needed to yet) but it's the only home remedy I know about ha.

    LOVE the way you have the little shelves in your window. I will have to remember that when we are at the farm more often. That would work just as good as any greenhouse.

  5. An arnica salve could help with your pain. If u can't get any, get some arnica oil and make your own. Ill send you a receipe if you want.
    There are endless things u can try to help with the pain in your hands but the arnica could be the easiest fix.
    I love your window garden ... my cats would all sit right on those little shelves ... lol I hope to be able to seed in my greenhouse next year ...
    You did an awesome job in your yard.
    I cover everything up with cardboard after I cleaned it up. It works ...
    I think your strawberry plant didnt survive :( you should see something of it ... like dead leaves. If you left it in the container over the winter it probably froze. It would survive if u plant it into the ground.
    Its been snowing here for the last 12 hours and there is another 12 or more hours to go. I really enjoy looking at your sunshine and garden pics :)

  6. I was going to suggest arnica salve or the arnica pellets to help with your poor sore hands. I'm always achy (in many spots) after my first full day in the garden, too, but as I use those (unused) muscles day after day, it gets better.

    Can one ever have too many garden seeds? Nah. All your seeds you don't use this season will still be good next year if you store them in a cool, dry place.

    We have a leash law for dogs here in our county and if one is spotted loose, the owners are given a reprimand or the dog is picked up and put into the pound. Then the owners have to pay a fee to get their dog out. We rarely have dogs running loose for any length of time, and we're lucky the leash law is enforced here. How frustrating that it's not in your area. (And downright dangerous!)

    Your seed pots and growing seedlings look so attractive in your window. All little promises of your garden to come.

    Your wine spritzer looks so good, I'm going to go pour myself one! Cheers!

  7. Patch is adorable! I had joint pain a year ago, but I haven't had to complain about it since I've been drinking herbal teas. I plan on ordering arnica seeds to plant if I can find them too.

  8. When I was a kid growing up in small town Manitoba 50 years ago, everyone let their dogs run loose. That's how they got their exercise. If you'd said to anyone in those days that they should leash their dogs, personally walk them around and then pick up their poop, they'd have looked at you like you were crazy.

  9. I love gardening, but oh, the pain. I hurt most in the beginning of the season, but as I use those same muscles daily, my body adapts and the pains subside. I am hoping that will be the case this year also.

  10. Hi Joyce :)) The wine ALWAYS helps lol...I wish I could take some of your plants! I can't wait until the last frost here...I want to plant some seeds outside!

  11. Thanks Gill :)) I'm trying not to do too much right now because I can't bring anything out until end of May.

  12. Thanks Leigh! :)) I love my window garden! I'm really hoping that I can keep it going all winter. The only thing that survived last winter were the chives.

  13. Hi 1st Man!! :)) I actually put on Vicks last night! I think the menthol helped to numb the pain a little so I was able to shift my focus to something other than the pain. But I can't stand that smell lol...reminds me of when I was a kid and every sniffle warranted Vicks!

    This is my only sunny window that I can put plants on because we have 3 cats and they are super curious. I have potentially room for a fourth shelf but it's too low and I foresee de-potted plants on the ground in my future if I dare! :)

  14. Thanks sis :) I was reading about arnica this morning. I did find some cream at, that's where I buy a lot of my natural products. I'm going to order it today because that pain was unbelievable last made walking the dogs a bit challenging, I kept dropping the leashes so I had to tie them around my wrists. But sure, please send me the recipe, if I can find the plant I'd love to make my own. Oh gosh, I hope your snow melts soon!

    The strawberry plant...well, maybe it's okay, it did have something sticking out of the dirt...I covered it with soil. I don't know why I did, but I did! :) I guess time will tell if it froze or not. I wonder if I should just let the straggly ends stick out of the dirt?

  15. Hi Mama Pea :)) Everyone is suggesting arnica, and I'd never heard of it! I'm ordering a cream today from my favourite tincture company. I get their passionflower for my shattered nerves lol. And we buy their echinacea, always have a steady supply for sore throats and sniffles.

    I'm envious of your leash know, we counted FIVE houses from here to the river where there are problem dogs...and we live a 5 minute walk from the river...not to mention those two unknown dogs from yesterday. It makes me hate living here. This morning I kept looking over my shoulder during our walk.

    I do hope that my seeds grow. I'm starting to worry about those peat pots though...the beets and spinach seem to be quickly fading away and nothing else has popped up.

    Well cheers! I hope you enjoyed your spritzer! Though I'm sure it would taste better in hot sunny weather rather than snow! :) Mine nearly put me to sleep lol...I love days like that when I've been so busy outside that one sip of wine conks me out! :)

  16. Hi Kristina :)) Are there any herbal teas in particular you find more helpful, or just generally speaking?

  17. Hi Debra :)) I have nothing against a dog running around as long as it doesn't charge me. I just find the attitude of the dog owners is so defensive and angry now. I just want to be left in peace when I'm with my little ones!

  18. Hi Starting Over :)) I definitely feel it in my shoulders and back today! But I know my body and that'll be gone in a few days with some good stretching...the hand pain though, I need extra help with.

  19. I share your frustration on the loose dog problem. Even living out in the boondocks as I do, people walk down my road with their dogs running loose. So far, I have not been out on my property with my dogs when they come through. It might not be pretty. We have a leash law but I am sure they think that "country" means let everyone/thing run free, no matter what the consequences. Drives me crazy. I love your shelves of little pots - love them! I know that everything aches after a long day of gardening but, as Mama Pea said, it gets much less so as you use those muscles more and more. I am going to have to try arnica, myself. You got an amazing amount of work done - and hard work, at that!

  20. Thanks Susan :)) I just ordered the arnica cream so I hope to get that this week. I'll try anything at this point! I've already had to give up knitting and needlework because of my hands...kneading dough is quite the challenge some days too! :)

    And I agree with your thinking...I actually had someone say that to me. Her dog pooped on my walkway and I asked her to keep her dog tied and off my property, and pick up the poop! She said "we're in the mountains, it's not like the city here"...GRRRRR!

    One of the things we plan on when we buy our place is major fencing as soon as possible. Our dogs are like our kids. We don't want them running loose and we certainly don't want any loose dogs coming onto the property to start trouble. It's the owners though, I can't change them, only me and the way I protect my own little fur family!

  21. Hiya! After reading everything that you did yesterday I am pooped too! :) That's alot of work - but you gotta make hay while the sun shines! My joints ache so bad all the time now its ridiculous. Arnica is good for sure! I also bathe with Epsom salts, that is more for muscle aches but every little bit helps!

    That dog issue makes my blood boil. The first dog, although I am sure is a nice dog, looks to be a bully breed. One that you don't want walking around unleashed...because you just never know how they have been trained. Such stupid, stupid pet owners around it makes me wonder. Actually it makes me sad. These poor dogs get a bad rap because of their stupid owners. I wonder what the town will say to you?

    I just love your sunny window and the shelves!! I can't wait to see what fabulous things you do with your outdoor space. So much fun to create and see it grow. Now if it would only stop snowing here and behave like its almost May and not November, I could actually do something productive outside as well.

    That puppy is ADORABLE :)

    Have a good day!

  22. Hi Dianna :)) I guess it was a lot of work yesterday, didn't seem like it at the time, but my body is telling me it was! :) I hope your snow melts soon. It's not fun at this time of year to get snow, I'm so grateful it (seems) to be over for us!

    I hope the arnica helps too. I hope I get it this week. I will likely need it. My neighbour's puppy is a doll. He's SO CUTE. Alex was playing with him yesterday and you just want to squeeze him neighbour is in her 70's and she doesn't drive so I'm taking her and Patch to her vet on Friday for his vaccinations. I feel good about helping her.

    The loose dog thing...did you note in the first photo, the owners walking in a different direction, NOT paying attention to their dog that kept inching towards us? My blood was boiling too. I also wonder what the town will say now that we can prove it...and furthermore? Those two parks are DIRECTLY in front of the town hall. People seem to be flipping their finger at the rules pretty openly around here.

  23. Sounds like you might have some form of arthritis. I know what you mean about loose dogs off their old dog (now passed) got attacked in her own yard when my neighbor came over with his dog (not on a leash) and when I went to their house to deliver a piece of mail that was theirs but got delivered to me their dog bit me in the thigh. This was years ago when I first moved here and they have leash laws too. There are always going to be those that feel they are above the law...just look at all the politicians! LOL!
    So glad you are able to get out in the sunshine and do a little gardening! Looking good but truth be told....most gardeners are sore after that first day out! LOL! A hot bath and some Tylenol would probably help. Look at all your little plants on your window shelves! Awesome!

  24. Hi Sam :)) The doctor said it wasn't arthritis because there was no swelling...whatever, I already know I have some kind of "itis"! I used to use my hands terribly when I was younger, I boxed as exercise and really overdid it and I feel it now. I hope that cream I ordered gets here quick!

    That's horrible about being bit! I've been bit by a dog too, when I was very young and I it was very painful and terrifying. Even when I'm walking my dogs now really early in the morning, I feel like I need to look over my shoulder.

  25. I have hand problems they ache terrible when they get cold and seize up, I were thermal gloves to keep them warm when I am outside, I also were support compression gloves a lot of the time in doors, I can no longer knead dough so use a dough hook on the kenwood, knitting and crochet is real struggle, sewing I now do by machine. I hope your hands feel better soon.

  26. Thanks Dawn...the thermal gloves are a very good idea. I hope the gel that I ordered helps. I refuse to give up gardening. Knitting...okay, I can do without it and I also have a sewing machine. I'm sorry about your hands!


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