cultivating & crashing

an organic collection of notes, observations, and thoughts

Tag: garden

Adaptive seeds

Next year I am buying my seeds from this company.


Balcony garden 2011

This year I tried my hand at growing some vegetables from seed, in addition to growing some plants of herbs bought at Jean Talon Market. Here are some pictures of the process.


– I loathe squirrels. Abhor them. Ils m’écoeurent.
– Shallow containers are best avoided. Even herbs and flowers will be happier with more depth.
– I must curb my overzealous overplanting. With the tomatoes especially, I should have kept no more than three or four plants and let them be sparse.
– Use mulch or anything else to cover exposed soil. Every single morning I woke up to squirrels wreaking havoc in my containers.
– Don’t plant anything edible above ground.
– This was a lot of fun. I plan on doing it again.



Photographs are too pretty to not take more. I hope I take more this year.

Balcony garden

I planted a garden in various containers and pots yesterday. I can’t wait for all the seeds to sprout!

Herbs: sage, rosemary, chives, oregano, thyme, green basil, purple basil, European mint and Morrocan mint.

Flowers: calliopsis and nasturtiums.

Vegetables: yellow cherry tomatoes, varicoloured carrots, different kinds of lettuce and ground cherries.

Third floor gardening

Life on the Balcony just became my new best friend.

Plant life

Yesterday I discovered that my thick, waxy plant was assailed by tiny yellow aphids. I cut off the two baby stems they were feeding on and put the vermin in the trashcan. :(

On the other hand, some weeks ago I plucked off a stem from Annick’s pothos and put it in water to sprout roots. Yesterday I potted it in a tin can that I modified with a kitchen knife. If it continues to look cheerful, it means it took root successfully and is on its way to becoming a large, elegant, draping plant. :)

Lastly, I look forward to moving into my next permanent place and starting a vermicompost.

house daydreams

Someday I’ll be really bourgeois and have furniture like this in my small, colourful, beautiful Montreal home.

It’s really expensive, so maybe not really. But it’s still nice to imagine. Someday, though, I would like to have a beautiful house with lots of wood and open space. And a jarden to rival those of the Italian women in my neighborhood.

Speaking of which, my microgarden is flourishing, and I wish I had more enormous containers to expand it. The basil is producing leaves larger than my palms, the sage looks like it’s about to jump out and join the circus, the thyme is happy-looking despite being a stout, hardy plant, and the chives are tall, dark and handsome. Still no sign of the wildflowers, but one ground cherry sprout has really taken off and is looking to find sun from beneath the monstruous canopy of basil. There is a patch I had left open for an oregano plant, but I might plant some more ground cherries there instead. We shall see.

Fish curry + fresh herbs

Last night we made fish curry and D. taught us some Sri Lankan etiquette, including how to eat with one’s hands and how to get another serving of food (you tell A that B is missing something, so A has to offer to B, who must take at least some regardless of whether they actually want it, and then will A offer you some, which you can accept only after you’ve declined a couple times). Which makes me wonder, what happens if only two people are eating together?

  • two onions, chopped small and sautéed in pan
  • meanwhile, a can of coconut milk simmers with a few tablespoons of curry paste (and tamarind, which we forgot last night) in a large pot
  • onion added to the coconut sauce in pot
  • salmon pieces put into the pot directly
  • zucchini and yellow squash julienned and fried for a bit in pan before adding to pot
  • red peppers also julienned, sautéed, then added
  • fresh red chili peppers, halved, added on top

No mixing until almost about to serve, lest the fish fall apart while cooking. Fresh whole basil leaves on top. We ate this with jasmine rice, blanched asparagus, and a salad of tomato, avocado, lemon juice, minced chives, and currants.

Also, this morning I put dill in scrambled eggs and sage in sautéed mushrooms and onions. Both proved to be noteworthy ideas.


I just planted some paper. Apparently it turns into wildflowers.

I’m a little bit fascinated by the idea of tiny seeds transforming, bursting slowly into bigger, living things. As with many of the important things, I’m afraid to nurture a growing creature takes a special quality that I don’t possess, a quality has nothing to do with GPAs, being financially responsible or well-liked. I fear I’ve spent too much time learning how to organize and control situations, to the point where I’ve forgotten how to be sensitive to and receptive of what’s happening. Maybe sprouting leaves will teach me.