April Flowers In Season Garden

April flowers…in season…in my garden.

I am not a gardener by any stretch but I interviewed a gardener for an article coming out next month and it inspired me to write a little more about the topic.

April flowers at my place

Purple Pansies

I love spring. Sigh. And the rain stopped for one day here in southwestern Canada so I feel hopeful again. Even if it lasts a mere moment before the rain comes back for more.

One of the things I love doing when I get home from a long day at work is walk around my flower beds and visit my flower friends. It’s remarkable how much they change in a day. Watching them grow before your eyes is an experience I can’t put into words but it fills me with wonder and awe and I feel my stress and anxiety melt away.

I found these pansies last summer, blooming in the middle of the front yard. My husband was mowing so I grabbed my shovel and rescued the plant, transplanting it in a front flowerbed where it was safe from the mower’s blade. What began as two flowers is now…quite something to behold!

April Flowers Hyacinth

For some reason I always forget these flowers are called grape hyacinths. Hyacinths, hyacinths. These are perfect flowers for me because they come up every year, low maintenance and have such a nice fragrance! They attract a lot of happy bees as well, which I’m glad for.

April Flowers Yellow Pansy

This is my newest yard rescue, found in March—again in the front yard—and is now safe from the lawn mower in my flower garden. I keep calling these plants pansies but you know, I’m not quite certain I’m right. When I Google it similarish flowers come up but not similar enough to remove all doubt. Perhaps this is my summertime quest.

April Flowers Daffodil

And this is my daffodil. What’s funny though, is I didn’t know I had a daffodil because I’ve never seen it before. This will be my third summer at my home and I’ve never had a daffodil. And I’ve never planted a daffodil. And yet, there it sits. Regal and daffodilly. And right smack in the middle of my flower bed. So. There we go. I have a daffodil.

My yard has a lot of shade so many of my flowers don’t show up until closer to summer. But right around the corner I’ll have tulips, lilacs and lilies so I may have to do this again.

Other times I wrote about gardening (but not April flowers)

Indoor Gardening Herb Tips for Non-Green Thumbs

Take it from me. Growing herbs isn’t as easy as the Internet tells you. So here are some indoor gardening herb tips from someone who has tried, failed, tried again, failed some more, and is now a successful herb grower. With a little help from the Internet.

indoor gardening herb tips

The sad story

Living in the country is wonderful but it turns out I’m a terrible at most of the things that make country living look quaint and picturesque on Pinterest. Like gardening.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Last year I grew loads of things all over the place. And then…there were bunnies and deer and rats and all sorts of bugs. All of a sudden. And they enjoyed my beautiful garden.

So I thought perhaps I should become an indoor gardener until we can build a fence or a greenhouse. I salvaged the plants I could, potted them, and moved them indoors. But…it wasn’t so simple. In fact, they didn’t like the indoors much.

The happy discovery

In my front garden I have a small planter with chives and mint. All summer I enjoyed cutting the herbs as I was cooking, running back and forth between the garden and the stove. But by autumn they had withered so I left the container out over the winter and remembered my little herbs with fondness.

But then! The snow melted…the sun came out…and my little herbs are growing back!

It gave me hope. Maybe I can’t do a full garden yet, but what about herbs? I’ve tried them in the past to various degrees of success. But what if I gave it another go?

The next step

I did a bit of searching to come up with a great little herb garden but wasn’t sure what would work best. There are so many options! And then we found the big kahuna of herb gardens—AeroGarden Sprout LED with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit. Like, what? Gourmet herb seed pods?

We found it on Amazon and I thought it was both silly and amazing. Going with the three-herb version for the first time around I set up the little machine and set it up in the kitchen window.

And I waited. And waited. And waited some more.

A week or so later the waiting was over. I have kitchen herbs! I’m thrilled with it and can’t believe how well the little system works. I’m thinking I can use the AeroGarden for the herbs I’m not sure how to grow, or haven’t had good luck with. And then the ones I feel more confident with I can keep out on in the front garden.

One herb at a time.

indoor gardening herbs

Indoor Gardening Herb Tips

  • Herb roots like growing away from light so if you’re growing in jars or bottles, go for a colour rather than clear
  • Many herbs can grow in just water—cut a five-inch stem, strip off the bottom leaves, and place the stem in water to root. Once the roots develop you can plant into pots
  • Using a grow light supplements lighting for herbs. This is good if you don’t have a south-facing window or don’t get 6+ hours of sunlight per day
  • The herb varieties that do best indoors: cilantro, basil, parsley, oregano, chives, thyme, and sage
  • Take it from me. Growing herbs isn't as easy as the Internet tells you. So here are some indoor gardening herb tips from someone who has tried, failed, tried again, failed some more, and is now a successful herb grower. With a little help from the Internet.

    This is such a random topic but I’m so happy with my AeroGarden herb garden system. It’s a bit pricey but I have herbs now! So many herbs! It’s giving me my gardening confidence back!

    And if you were wondering if I ever used my garden encouragement signs the answer is YES. And they’re awesome.

Easy DIY Garden Signs for the Non-Artistic [tutorial]

DIY Garden Signs

DIY Garden Signs

Here’s a quick and dirty tutorial for easy DIY garden signs even when you have zero artistic skills. I know because I did it.

What you need

  • Reclaimed wood (pallet, bed frame, etc.) upcycled into a sign-like form
  • Sandpaper
  • Sponge/paint brushes (various sizes)
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Containers for water/paint (Solo cups will do)
  • Stencils or craft letters
  • Mod Podge or glue that dries clear
  • Sealer/finish spray/wax

Please Grow

What you do

  • Using staples, nails, etc. create sign-like shapes from old pallets or bed frames
  • Once you’re happy with your sign shapes, sand, sand, sand. Serious here—if there’s any kind of finish on the wood the paint won’t absorb. If you’re going for the distressed/weathered look (pre-actual weathering) sand extra! In fact, sand extra anyway. You’re welcome
  • Paint your pallet sign however you want. If you’re going for the washed-out look mix paint with a bit of water in a separate container and wash over wood with a sponge brush. This is an easy process and dries fast. Allow paint to dry before adding layers
  • Once your undercoat is dry, stencil letters/images with a pencil and paint in as desired. If you have zero artistic skill like me then glue craft letters to your sign using a clear-drying glue. Allow to dry again
  • Add any further embellishments and allow to dry
  • Seal using finish spray or clear wax and allow to dry

It’s a straightforward craft but adds so much character to your garden. In my case, future garden. I don’t have a lot of experience with vegetables so I thought I should go the route of encouraging my seeds along plus reminders (#pleasegrow #intaflowers #lettuceeat #wtf (water the flowers)). That said I’m also planning a sign saying “I didn’t plant this” because I’m quite certain I will grow many mystery plants. It’s just how things go for me.

DIY Garden Signs tutorial

I still have some finishing touches to put on my signs but this is the general idea if you’re looking for a fun project on a cold winter’s night. Watch my Instagram for the finished products in all their glory. Or however they turn out.

Snails and My Crazy Tomato

snail on red brick

A few nights ago I went out for an evening walk and came upon this snail. I thought it was picturesque.

Ever since I have seen snails. EVERYWHERE.

I feel bad for people who both live in the wetter areas of Canada and attempt gardens because after a good rain…or the hint of maybe rain, those guys make a beeline for the good stuff.

I don’t worry about myself though because this year I decided to play slo pitch instead of have a plot at the community garden. My alternative was to try my hand at a deck garden.

And things are going pretty well!

Mint in the moonlight

I have The Mint that Won’t Die going strong as ever.

Freezer lettuce

Freezer Top Lettuce (in TWO varieties!) for my salad cravings—salad on demand really as there’s never enough to stock up.

upside down tomato

And last but not least the Crazy Upside Down Tomato.

No really, crazy.

Up until two, three nights ago (actually, the same day I started seeing snails actually…) all of the vines were growing UP. Then one morning I opened the blinds and discovered ALL THE VINES WERE NOW GROWING DOWNISH.

Crazy tomato.

Anyway, since I’m seeing snails everywhere concern for my fledgling garden (actually it’s my skills, which are fledgling, the plants seem to be OK) is growing.

Because…snails can climb, right?

Well, at least I’m prepared for the inevitable. I hear rough surfaces bother snails bodies and I haven’t swept the deck in months.

Dandelion… Barometres?

I know a little (but not a lot) about dandelions. However, I was confused the other day when it was raining and I came upon this dandelion taking the weather like a champ.

What I thought I knew about dandelions was they would be all fluffy and feathery when the weather was good, and then close up when storms came.

So what was happening to the dandelion I saw? Was my original belief incorrect? Are west coast dandelions more used to the elements since it rains so much here? Was it just not raining hard enough? Was this dandelion a slow learner?

So many questions.

Picture turned out good though.