View from the deck on a glorious morning in early June.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Imbolc has come and gone. Lazy season is over!

Imbolc,  for those unfamiliar with the old Celtic calendar, is February 2, better known as Ground Hog Day. It marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, the beginning of the last section of the darker season in the Northern hemisphere. In more temperate regions the first signs of spring are possible. Snowdrops live up to their name.

In my personal calendar this marks the end of the yearly retreat to indoor leisure. I work hard in summer and have big plans for this year. I might even do the farmers market again, with perennial bedding plants and reflexology. The dark time is a welcome break from outdoor activity. I have enjoyed it. Now it is time to stop indulging in carby treats and work on getting back into gardening shape.

More to the point of this blog, it is time for garden plans, the earliest starts, and the ordering of seeds.
On February 3 the first seeds went into pots, Bandit leeks from leftover seed. Supposedly leek seeds have a short shelf life but I noticed no difference between 2011 and 2013. Nothing is lost by planting these, I am ordering more. On the same day I placed a small order for early greens and tomatoes with Stellar Seeds, a small Kootenay start-up. They have to be supported.

The bulk has been ordered from William Dam, who I have been dealing with since my first pathetic efforts in the early seventies. I was glad to see them on the Steve Solomon approved list. I like the way they have been refusing to treat seeds with fungicides long before organic became a bandwagon. And, let's face it, there is a bit of ethnic sentiment involved. How can an old Dutch woman resist a catalogue that includes Glory of Enkhuizen, or Langedijker winter keeper? Not that I grow those, I stick to short season cabbages.

My order is a bit like a theme song for a TV program "Market Place", "Where the folks are saving money spending money they ain't got".
William Dam offers a selection of size in their packages. Choose from your basic retail size to seed by the kilo for professionals, with sizes in between for substantial savings. 
Ideally a group of gardeners should get together, it may come to that in years to pass. Meanwhile, I have ordered extra large packages of leeks and certain brassicas and carrots. I still have beans and peas from doing that in other years. I have offered to share them on the Nakusp Communicator Facebook group. We'll see what comes of it. And then there is the TEOTWAKI factor. I like having at least one year worth of extra seeds around.

Meanwhile, the first tiny leeks are poking up. Bad news: the cover on the greenhouse is showing serious signs of wear and tear. I am hoping to get one more season out of it, but will probably just buy another one next time the Clearview Car shelter comes on special at Canadian Tire. Remind me again why I do this? Because it keeps me sane in a mad world is why. My bottom line was blogged about earlier.


  1. Interesting but tiring to think about all psychic energy that goes into the "plans" for spring. The winding down phase of our lives led me and the Mrs. to give up our massive veggie garden. Too much for too little need now that our boys are long gone. Also while I maintain some of the showy flower gardens the conversion to self sustaining woodland flower gardens is well under way. A labor of love. A I look out at the cold white windswept landscape this morning the time of rebirth still seems far away.....:)

  2. When we first moved to the country I could not imagine anything more boring than gardening. I started with vegetables and figured the wild flowers were decoration have a point. But this is what I love to do. So.


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