Tribute Garden Update

After some heavy rain last week, it’s time to cart Violet into the yard so we can work on our Tribute Garden. I’m not entirely sure how this endeavour will go because so far she has been more interested in pulling up the plants, rather than encouraging their growth.

Let me bring you up to speed on our efforts:

As I explained in THIS post, the garden area is very dark. Under the tutelage of an experienced gardener friend, I was instructed to monitor the hours of sunshine in the planting areas and subsequently research which plants require the corresponding amount of light.

It turns out that some leafy greens can flourish with as little as 2-3 hours of sun per day and peppers and carrots would be alright in one area of the plot that receives more light.

Next came the tilling. I bought myself a Garden Weasel and worked that land. I pushed and twirled so long and hard it was almost romantic.


Onward! To the local greenhouse/garden supply shop I went! These folks were really helpful and I bought some seeds as well as some pre-started plants.

Just in case you’re thinking, “Hey! That’s cheating! You bought pre-started plants!?” I have a response for you:

I want my first foray into gardening to be a positive one. I fully believe in the importance of food sustainability but I’m no farmer. I know my own personality enough to realize that if I don’t see results, I’ll probably quit. With less than perfect gardening conditions and no pre-existing gardening skills, I feel like I should set myself up for success.

Also, it’s kind of late in the season to start planting. (Note to fellow novice-gardeners: You can’t just up and start a garden whenever you get a hankering for some fresh produce.)

Another tip I’ve picked up: Plants are like goldfish. They do their own thing and it’s acceptable to leave them on their own for a few days and, in the initial days, you need to climatize them to their surroundings! I let my pre-started kale and pepper plants hang out in their new home for a few days before immersing them in the ground just like how you would dangle your new pet goldfish in a plastic bag in its aquarium before setting him free into the alarmingly cold expansive waters atop your dresser.

The next stage is where I made my first critical error of gardening that I hope will not have too harsh of effects. At the gardening shop I picked up some bags of composted manure and seaweed-treated soil (okay, my first error was calling it “dirt” and not “soil” at the gardening shop but I don’t figure that will actually impact the growth of my plants). I told them the estimated-dimensions of my garden and they recommended a quantity of soil/manure. When I got home I really felt like I had bought too much of the stuff to fill my tiny garden. I only used half of what they had sold me.

My cynical side believed I had been gouged. Imagine! Trying to upsell me on DIRT!

My realistic side figured that I had probably overshot on the dimensions I’d given.

Both sides were wrong. After again consulting my gardener friend, I was reminded that I was supposed to have removed some of the old crappy dirt to replace it with new crappy dirt! (See what I did there? Because I had to add manure, right? “Crappy” dirt…get it now?)

In any case, the plants had been planted and it was too late to turn back. Instead, we must wait to see what turns up! #MelHal




Out of the Darkness

Today I’m trying to focus on growth in the darkness.

It has been a dark week. Like many others, I have spent countless hours glued to the media. At first, I was waiting to hear “breaking news” that the horrible man had been captured and eventually I was watching the funeral services of the men whose lives he stole.

It has been hard for me and who am I? Sure, I’m connected to the RCMP because my dad is a member but life went back to normal for me shortly after midnight last Thursday when the gunman in Moncton was taken into custody. Life for the families who were given bad news has been changed forever. There will be plenty of days in my life that the recent events in Moncton won’t even cross my mind. That can’t be said for the families who are living our worst nightmare.

I have been wanting to plant a garden for a little while but conditions for gardening around my house are dismal. It’s too dark. There’s one patch that sees some sunshine though and the internet says that some things can grow with dappled light if given enough attention.

We’re in a time of sadness and a time of mourning. We want to come together but we don’t know how. We want to express something but we don’t know what. I can feel connected to the families affected directly in Moncton but I won’t reach out to them. That would be absurd. I’m a stranger. I can’t offer them anything they want.

But we can’t do nothing. Nothing won’t do any good. What happened in Moncton feels completely senseless and it’s upsetting because it can’t be fixed.

I want to offer something, somehow. I want to offer something good out of the darkness.

So, I’m putting plants in the dark garden in my yard and hopefully, with enough care, they’ll be able to grow. They might not flourish but maybe, with the right amount of encouragement, some sprouts will push through the ground to reach for the light.

My garden will need more attention than other gardens but it will be worth it because my garden will be a tribute to the members lost last Wednesday night. Every time I tend to my plants I’ll be forced to remember them. I’ll remember Cst. Ross, Cst. Larche and Cst. Gevaudan but not the man who took them away and brought darkness on our communities. I can’t promise my garden will grow but I do hope that, eventually, something will come out of this darkness. #MelHal