Archive for Gardening

Chocolate Mint

The chocolate mint in the metal container is doing so marvellously well, I’d really like it if you–yes, you!–would come by and cut/pinch some for your tea or a garnish on ice cream or such.

It will spread more if you do this. And it looks so entirely happy I plan to devote the entire container to just chocolate mint over time as it spreads. (maybe with a few spring bulbs mixed in for early spring colour.)

Here’s a link for some ideas.

Would you like your own plant of chocolate mint? No problem. All you do is: (from link above)

Regrow from cuttings
With mint, you definitely get your money’s worth. Chocolate mint will grow from cuttings from your original plant. Just snip off a stem and set the cutting in a pot of soil to regrow. (These regrown chocolate mint plans make sweet gifts.)



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It’s Neighbour Season

As (some of) the days are nicer and we’re out gardening and walking, there’s a dramatic increase in neighbour-to-neighbour connections.

I’m surprised at the number of people I’m seeing that I feel I haven’t seen since fall struck. Could it just be that we all have our heads down, with rain hoods and umbrellas shielding our eyes and just getting home after errands asap.

Anyhow after a couple of days puttering at the co-op and also at my traffic circle garden, I’ve been seeing a lot of familiar faces. i’ve met two new neighbours from old neighbours and started to say: Hello! Block Party!

I’ve dug out some of the compost and started a new little (tiny) veggie patch for (old) seeds of radishes and lettuce–let’s see if they sproout.

The grape hyacinths have of course done very well, but I prefer things I can eat. (Do you need some grape hyacinths? Just dig a patch up–they’re yours).

Gardener chat after a long winter includes: How did your rosemary fare? I lost all 3 plants in the roundabout – and also the one in a pot a neighbour gave me. Now perhaps she was disappointed I hadn’t planted it so took it back, or someone thought it was up for grabs, as I sometimes pot up things that have spread. Anyhow–gone! gone! gone!

I think the huge, old (6′ plus) rosemary near the building on a south facing wall died too. R.I.P. very sad.

At least one lavender, sage and the bay tree are all in good form. And the flowering currant, fiebeis, is absolutely lovely.

So, we’ll see what happens next with some of the scruffies: curry plant, tall lavender, etc.

Presumably the mints will return as per usual.

See you round the ‘hood.

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The garden changes daily…

The garden at 5th & Trafalgar seems to change daily. Yesterday I noticed some California poppies come into bloom. Some of the large irises have bloomed and for some reason bent over. Of course long gone are snowdrops and more recently grape hyacinths.

Now it’s almost wilted entirely I finally googled “spring garden shrub yellow pom pom” and found that it’s Kerria Japonica.

I’ve planted potatoes in bags, a variety of greens and am trying to start from cuttings “kale trees”.

Yup. They’re a thing.

Oh, and the grass and weeds of course need attention regularly.

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I’ve got mail!

I bought a little mailbox at the Brock House annual bazaar and put a pad of postit notes and a pencil in it. so far I have notes:

xoxox love sydney (in a child’s printing)

Thanks for the chives – Joan West 1st

This garden gives me a smile.

and then at the opposite end of the positivity spectrum.

This garden would be a lot better if it was only plants — no plastic signs, lights, ornaments.


In the past month I’ve introduced at least half a dozen people to the marvels of chocolate mint.

and a neighbour with a hose much closer (but not quite there) has offered his water source. It’s been hot and dry so that’s allowed me to give the garden a good watering.

Now we’re heading into fall I can probably count on natural rainfall from here till next spring.

The mints, oregano and marjoram will die down for the winter soon- so do stop by and harvest some for drying.


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July in the Tra-Sixth Garden

chocolate-mint.jpgThere are herbs to be picked. For some things, picking is a great favour to me because many plants like a regular haircut to keep at their best.

Among the herbs you could take LOTS of, are:

lemonbalm and chocolate mint – I’ve been throwing some of this way–in to the compost!)

lavender – it’s beautiful right now – but needs some cutting back. Take up to 1/8th of it, by cutting stems back by about 12″ – i.e. please don’t just cut the flowers off.

sage – cut back about 4’6″ pieces. I want it pruned to get bushier.

marjoram and oregano – on the Westside – marjoram is lighter in colour; oregano darker.

Dig up a 4″ piece to plant yourself. Take from close to the concrete circle part.

Enjoy, please


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Happy Hallowe’en – Upcycled Decorations

HappyHalloweenBannerThanks to Jane and Cynthia for cutting out the letters,and Em and Lukas for arranging and Janet for picking up the ribbon to tie it all together. The banner is made from 5-lb coffee bags generously collected and donated for Art from a local coffee shop. Because they’re foil and plastic fused together,they can’t (yet) be recycled.

SkeletonI started seeing these milk jug skeletons several months ago when I was working on PETE the PolyEthylene Bird.  The second milk jug skeleton will be easier,but this guy has gotten thumbs up from my neighbours. When the wind blows,he’s particularly charming,I think.

Hoping my neighbours are giving out treats for Hallowe’en as I’ll beat the Cemetery for All Soul’s and I do think it’s a little misleading to decorate and then not be home to answer the call of “Trick or Treat”.

Hmmn. Maybe I could put a pillow case out by the skeleton to invite donations of treats!



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I Close My Eyes – Chalk message

ICloseMyEyesOut walking with my friend Nancy last night and saw there were new messages at the Mary-Go-RoundAbout garden.

Nancy added Y.IM.B.Y. – YES! In My Back Yard.

I also introduced Nancy,another artist,to the installation on Stephens between 5th and 6th where there’s a notice saying the animals are all hibernating for the winter but will return in the spring.  In the meantime, they’ve decorated for Hallowe’en- BIG TIME!

Then we walked through Tatlow Park – a little park I’m very familiar with but have never walked through that late at night with no lights. At the end of our walk, I said to Nancy: “It was very dark and I was a little bit scared. What about you?”

She: Yeah,but I figured you knew the way.

Fond memories of long ago visiting with my kids and more recently the LocoMoto Art installations. Hmmn,must take the grandkids there next time they’re over.

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