About Me

My name is Christine. I'm a visual artist, musician, traditional storyteller, DV survivor, and have been a fulltime caregiver for an individual living with various diagnoses. After my marriage, I learned how to play various instruments, started exploring various means of creative expression, worked with at-risk teens/families, volunteered with the local crisis lines, participated in starting up a family resource center, completed my BA, furthered my studies towards becoming an art therapist, managed homes for adults living with disabilities, and facilitated therapeutic music/art sessions. I was doing everything I could so my children and I could have a brighter life, present and future. My physical health, however, continued to show evidence of too many chronic stressors over many decades. This blog is about my journey in discovering peace and better health by meeting life in the most basic and, in my opinion, the most rewarding of ways - by focusing on the riches of simplicity. If you're a new visitor to my blog, you might be interested in starting here: Finding the Riches.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Urban Garden Report

June 25, 2011

My urban garden thus far consists of:

- 3 squash plants in 2 long, narrow plastic containers; 1 in its own container, 2 sharing the other container
- 3 strawberry plants in an upside-down planter
- 1 tomato plant in an upside-down planter
- 4 tomato plants in the ground underneath our living room window
- 2 parsley plants in a container
- 1 chocolate mint plant in a long, narrow plastic container which suddenly is now also home to approximately 20 or so mystery seedlings
- 1 mint plant and 1 tomato plant from the nursery still waiting for a new home
- 11 tomato seedlings still waiting for their new homes
- 6 indoor tomato plants, one of which has a serious water addiction

The upside-down tomato plant looks as though it's practising for its gymnastics debut. Maybe it has sensory integration challenges - it definitely is not presently comfortable with the idea of being upside-down. It looks like someone who's hanging by their ankles and trying to touch their feet. And I could be wrong, but it doesn't look as though it's actually growing. It doesn't appear to be dying either, so I'm hoping it will relax at some point so its energy can go into growing tomatoes instead of going into surviving its directional crisis.

The strawberry plants do not seem very happy at all with their communal situation. I've been removing a few curled and/or brown leaves every couple of days. Again, I'm hopeful that a few more days for adjustment is all they'll need to become their happily productive selves.

Out of all the tomato seeds I seeded in melon rinds and containers, only 6 did not come up. I still have 11 happily (and quickly at this point!) growing in their original (small!) pots, some on their own and some with room-mates, and have yet to figure out where to put them all!

I'm trying a few tomato plants inside to see how they do. So far, all of them appear to be doing well. One plant, however, looked extremely sad as soon as I transplanted it into its own pot and moved it indoors.  Within about half an hour following transplant, it was very, very droopy. None of the others displayed such a dramatic response. Overall, that plant requires at least twice the amount of water as the others, and looks extremely sad every morning. It may need to be relocated back outside.

The container where I planted the chocolate mint suddenly sprouted a community of seedlings this past week. Many seedlings. Many, many, many seedlings. It's a mystery. So far, the best I 've been able to figure is that they might be canteloupe seedlings from some we had tossed into the compost. Anyone want canteloupe seedlings?? My sister tells me it's far too late for canteloupes anyway. If they're put in earlier in the season, they're only ready by mid-September. Here in Manitoba, anything past then is at risk for the bite of frost. Poor little things, I'd hate to just yank them out and let them die. My sister has a plan - just pull them and transplant them randomly in public spaces around town! That's not unlike my "secretly plant ferns around town so I can harvest fiddleheads next year" plan ;-)

The only plants that I've put into the ground are 4 tomato plants under my living room window. They aren't dying and they seem happy enough - but they aren't growing. They just seem frozen in time.

I'm hoping to find folks willing to let me pick their unwanted fruit this year. So many residential yards have fruit trees, particularly crabapples, that eventually drop their fruit which then just rots on the ground. I can think of a few other uses for those apples :-)

Urban Gardener, out

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