Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spring Signs

Despite being very busy with school work these days, I managed to take a round in the garden to see if anything is going on. I was so happy to see that some things are starting to grow again. So it has started! Spring is trying to get through, and it is about to win!

Chives has started to grow, as well as parsley.

chives (I can't get the picture to rotate!)

Fresh parsley

Parsley just starting

I was very surprised to find out that my rhubarb is still alive and starting to peak. It was in a pot last year, all summer (and then all winter!). I neglected to put it in ground, as I never really came to a decision as to where it would be the happiest. I thought I had lost the plant, but nope! It's still there, and this year, it will come in ground as soon as possible! (Oops, forgot to take a picture of that one!)

Another nice surprise was garlic! Last year, I read that garlic can grow again if you plant the top back in soil after cutting it. So I tried that. I put some garlic tops in pots on the terrace and honestly forgot about them during winter. But today, I noticed they are growing! It worked!

Garlic growing from "recycled" garlic tops!

It is so fun to start seeing some life in the garden again. It only gets better and better from now on. Mmmmm, my taste buds are already looking forward to all the delicious fresh herbs and vegetables!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Big Project!!

Last year, my husband and I started planning a big project for the garden, but unfortunately had to set it all aside for a while. A few weeks ago, we put the project back on the table and after much researching and shopping around, I am extremely happy and excited to announce that we will soon be putting up a greenhouse in our garden!!! I've dreamed about one since a good while before we moved to Denmark, and I can't believe it will finally happen! We placed the order a few days ago, and in less than 2 weeks from now, it should be delivered at our door. Needless to say, I can't WAIT to prepare the place, put it all together and finally be able to use my new greenhouse!

Last time we went to the greenhouse showroom, I came back with my first related accessories.

A sowing/replanting tray, a PH reader and a couple of seed envelopes
Here's a rough drawing of our lot and an idea of where we want to place the greenhouse.

The plan is to remove everything that is to the left of "terrace 1", to open the way. There are bushes and plants that need to be removed or moved. There's also a fence on that side of the terrace that needs to come down. When that is all done, we will start preparing the actual spot for the greenhouse itself. We need to remove grass and dig and a few steps that I won't explain now. This location is very sunny, so it should be very good for the purpose. :)

Eventually, we will also patch the old garden patch and sow grass again, and make a new garden area next to the house. It's brighter than one might imagine as there's sun on that spot many hours a day in the warm season. I'm hoping that both the greenhouse and our house will offer extra protection on windy days. I think this year, we'll make it a garden patch, but eventually, the idea is to have high beds in stead. But we'll come back to that at a later time.

At some point in the future, we would like to redo the paving on both terraces. When that happens, we will make the terrace go all the way to the greenhouse door, and a little bit on the side of the house, so it will all be part of one big area. That, too, is a thing of the future. But if we can just get the greenhouse up this year, that will already be a big accomplishment (and expense, I must say).

I will share and explain every step of the process on here. So stay tuned! :)

Happy Early Spring!

Friday, February 15, 2013

An Inuksuk in my garden

What exactly IS an inuksuk?
An inuksuk (plural inuksuit) is a stone landmark or cairn built by humans, used by the InuitInupiatKalaallitYupik, and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America.
The inuksuk may have been used for navigation, as a point of reference, a marker for travel routes, fishing places, camps, hunting grounds, places of veneration, drift fences used in hunting or to mark a food cache.Despite the predominant English spelling as inukshuk, both the Government of Nunavut and the Government of Canada through Indian and Northern Affairs Canada are promoting the Inuit-preferred spelling inuksuk.
"The mysterious stone figures known as inuksuit can be found throughout the circumpolar world. Inukshuk, the singular of inuksuit, means "in the likeness of a human" in the Inuit language. They are monuments made of unworked stones that are used by the Inuit for communication and survival. The traditional meaning of the inukshuk is "Someone was here" or "You are on the right path."

The Inuksuk is not directly in our culture in the southern part of Canada, but it certainly is in the culture of the northern part of my homeland, and in my family, well, we like them! My dad has this tradition of building a little inuksuk wherever he goes on vacation. It's his "marque de passage"... a fun "I was here" note. I remember he made a small one the very first time he and my mother were in Denmark. It stood on the windowsill of the summerhouse where we stayed. I wonder how many new visitors it greeted.

When my parents and grandmother visited us in Denmark in July 2012, my grandma built a small inuksuk out of some of the stones that were covering a part of our lot. Even after my family were gone back home and for the remaining of the summer, this little 15 cm high mark of their visit stood on the side of our driveway, looking out for visitors and passer-by's.

At Fall, when my husband and I decided to get the stones removed and sow grass in stead, little inuksuk was in danger, standing right by the edge of the stone covered area. So I carefully picked it up and placed it safely in the shed, making sure it didn't loose any part of its fragile construction. It stood there all winter and today, I finally brought it inside and glued it together, to immortalize this little token of my grandmother's visit to my adoptive country.

Inuksuk built by Grandma - summer 2012

My biggest inspiration and drive for having a vegetable garden are the memories I have of my grandparents' garden when I was a child. It was always so beautiful and successful. Among other things, I remember the freshly picked carrots we got when we visited. My grandma or grandpa would dig them up, wash them with the hose and we'd play outside munching on the fresh root. My grandpa has been watching over us from above for a few years now (love you grandpa xox), but I feel so extremely lucky that my grandmother was able to visit us in Denmark and see where we live and even see my very first garden. She gave me tips, too! She lives in Canada so she can't be here all the time to guide me in the garden, but I want her inuksuk to stand and watch as I (hopefully) learn and gain gardening experience, year after year... Someday, I want a vegetable garden like the one my grandparents had back in the days. :)