Category Archives: YARD, for gardening

A Reviving Hope

“Hope” is the name of a Montreal-based charity, working for children in Iran with cancer. On the occasion of the Iranian New Year, Norooz, on March 21, this organization was one of many, holding especial booth at Noroozi Bazar and selling new year related material, except they allocated a percentage of the profit to the cause.  To raise more funds the organization also sold small pots of Coleus blumei.  I could not resist buying one, although I knew the trip back home would take me 2 hours and was not sure if the tiny thing would make it that long in minus 12 C. ! It did, and it sat on our Noroozi table as a sign of hope.

My tiny Coleus spent most of the spring indoors, half sleep I guess, until early June, when the weather was warm enough for me to re-pot and gradually transplant it so that it has now grown to a saturated red, full of leaves and medium size plant ready to survive yet another winter indoors.

Hope is the name of my Coleus – the name of the process whereby with love and care, any living could recover and revive.

Shade of White

Planting Vegetables: Preparation & Care

Like thousands of other Canadians, and probably thousand more gardeners who reside in Zone 5, I started my flower and vegetable gardens around the end of May, Victoria Day long weekend. That’s when we are fairly certain that the frost will not hit the gardens.

I have two long and narrow vegetable and flower beds in my back yard, lying under a pleasant mixture of sun and shade (6 hours sunlight, daily). I have already shared several posts on my flower bed and my experience with perennials throughout the gardening season. Here, and here are two examples. So, I would like to allocate this post to planting and caring for, and hopefully harvesting a few types of vegetables that I just planted in my garden. I do invite you all to join me in with your comments and tips and questions. Let’s have a happy green forum right here!

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“Too cold, too soon,” say green tomatoes!

Yep, the cold weather is here, too cold for the unripe tomatoes that is. Story of my life. I plant the sidling sometime late May and wait some two months for them to grow tall enough to give our daily share of  “home-grown love“. But then, when the cold weather arrives just now, the plants are still full of unripe green tomatoes. Sometimes I have to pick them, and let them ripe indoors – they do mostly if they are left unwashed in a cool place with lots of light. Will keep you posted on how they do. Read more »

Things money cannot buy

This country song says “Only two things money can’t buy, and that’s true love and homegrown tomato” So sweet 🙂 but I would definitely add Iranian basil to the list- the ones grown at home in diaspora!

My baby vegetables

Just wanted to share the joy of watching these baby vegetables growing– by obvious inches really, every day! My tomatoes are plenty, but they will look much prettier when they turn red – soon, vey soon!

Care for Calirachoa; they are worth it!

Calirachoa is known as “million bells”, because it produces many blooms during the growing season. They are similar to petunia, only more elegant and less aromatic.  I love the million-coloured, million bells because they make gorgeous hanging baskets, although they do quite well in garden as well.  This picture, by the way, I took from an open flower market apparently run by two families “Wilson et files/ Martino et filles”.  They offer a diverse variety of annuals and vegetables with fair price, and friendly service.

Here are a few tips about Calirachoa: 1) Needs full to partial sun, well drained, fertilized pest free soil. 2) Try to keep the soil moist, but it can tolerate drought but not for long (always avoid watering the leaves thereby avoiding cultivating fungus). 3) Pinch off dead leaves and dried blossoms by hand. This keeps the plant healthy looking and nice of course, AND will encourage more blossoms.

As always, please don’t hesitate to share your experience, and Happy Gardening!


Growing peppers in container

I have tried growing tomatoes, zucchinis and cucumbers in containers without much success.  But different types of pepper, jalapeño, sweet pepper and hot pepper, do fantastic in container – even better than in the ground!  I have read peppers need to have a relatively warm soil to thrive and apparently a container provides that environment better than does a vegetable bed in the ground.

All you need to watch for is not to overcrowd them. Take a 30 cm. (12 inch) container;  use top, draining soil; plant three seedling – not more– deep in the soil.   Place them in half to full sun, depending on how hot the weather is.  They like warm but not too hot.  And do not over water.  I use natural fertilizer (Hen Manure) for vegetables right from the start.  Read more »

Replanting spring flowers

replantingtulips2Okay…. Back to the gardening business!

Here in Montreal (zone 5), spring comes to the supermarkets and flower shops way before the official spring, March 21th. I personally find it so hard to resist coming back home from shopping without a pot or two of tulips, narcissus or hyacinth. I need them for my norooz sofreh anyway, and lots of people need them for their Easter or for no particular reason at all! The point is, you can easily preserve this beautiful plants and have them flower next year if you replant them in your garden by following the simple instructions below:

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Vase ideas1

hollyFlower arrangement and photography ideas while awaiting the gardening season!