Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tom and Barbara

Secretly this is who I want to be. I don't think I fully understood the whole homesteading aspect of the show when I watched it as a young girl. Mostly I just liked the way they talked and honestly believed my Grandma played the part of Margo Leadbetter (an uncanny resemblance to Penelope Keith).

Now 20 or so years on, Richard and I are embracing the idea of living simply and becoming somewhat self-sufficient. We've got a pretty large balcony, so a lucky enough to have a decent amount of space for living in the city - which means lots of place to play and attempt to grow our own food. Mostly we don't know what we're doing. I did find this excellent book though recently, on sale at People's Co-op Books on the drive. Such a treat! It has so many great things in there, from step by step instructions on how to begin growing from seed, to a guideline for making a herbal tea garden complete with handmade teabags. Love it! Its been super helpful, so I thought I would take you on a little trip through our first gardening attempts. Be sure to check out the website. We got our first few plants awhile back at a local community garden, so while shopping at Home Depot recently we thought we'd pick up a few more and some potting mix. Of course us not driving often makes expeditions like this a little tricky, but luckily this time a Capers shopping trolley came to our rescue. Living where we do, we got no strange looks whatsoever.

Plants so far - basil x 2, arctic kiwi, lavender, some cute succulent, a few cacti and jasmine.

I've since been warned not to buy plants from there, apparently they often come with diseases. Oh no! My theory is that we'll love ours back to health if this is the case.

My next gardening stop was The Vancouver Seed bank for some winter veggie seeds. I have gotten a bit of conflicting advice about starting seeds at this time of year, but I figure that it has been super sunny and warm so I may as well give it a go. I honestly thought the seed bank was another pot store, but it turns out they have a fairly wide seed collection, so I picked up some broccoli, cauliflower and dwarf kale seeds. Yum!

As Friday was lovely and sunny, we decided to head over to Urban Garden and grab some sees starter, etc. We were lucky enough to be given a bunch of window boxes and flower pots. So we got to work transplanting the plants we'd already bought, and sowing our peas and salad mix.

Unfortunately waking up to grey, rainy skies on Saturday dampened our spirit a little, Murphy,s bloody Law. So rather than continuing on in our gardening frenzy, we popped up to Figaro's Garden near Commercial Drive to take a look while we waited for the sun to come out. That store is such a treat! We managed to get some great new potting mix and a few more garden treats.

Plant stock take x 2 - rainbow chard, hot pepper, cilantro and an eggplant with beautiful purple blooms!

So while I was a little worried about my seed babies (I've been dragging them around the balcony to get as much sun as possible), we figured we'd leave the plants out in the drizzle for now (but doesn't the jasmine look so happy in her new, roomy home!) and head down to the pub for some beer and a yarn, with yarn and our lovely friends Robert and Amber. Perfect for a rainy evening. Ciao!


VegMomma said...

I must youtube The Good Life now. How did I miss out on that one?
Your garden looks great. I'm glad to hear that it rained a bit, since ours has been left to fend for itself.
I missed beer and yarn?! Keith and I will tag along next time we have available babysitters... so, in October. Ha!

becka said...

Yes you must! It was a great, great show. Felicity Kendal has the most fantastic voice, and Penelope Keith as the social climbing neighbour was always a treat!

Kate Gabrielle said...

Ooh! I want to live like Tom & Barbara too :) I'm obsessed with that show, I watch it on Netflix all the time!