Every day for the last forty-eight days, something marvellous is happening for every Albertan. Hard to believe if you digest any news media with all the stories of doom and gloom, boom and bust, layoffs, and human tragedy. But it is true. Somewhere overhead in the snowy, cloudy, fog-draped sky the sun is shining for approximately four extra minutes everyday. And that little bit of encouragement is all that is required to elevate the gardening books and seed catalogs to prime reading material in my house. Along with the extra delivery of daily sunshine, the things that are growing, and pictures of things that will grow, entice me to begin to plot and plan.
Dreams of an Orangery
The plotting and planning exploded this week, encroaching on my dreams and enticing me to add a Victorian style orangery, complete with lemon trees, to the house. Books, TV, and my dreams, are priming my imagination and I can see a lemon tree thriving in the orangery. The orangery will be the perfect home for my scrappy Meyer's Lemon tree that is struggling to survive a dry indoor Alberta winter. If trees have spirits, mine is gutsy and feisty. Despite losing leaves and battling some pesky thing that spins webs, it valiantly clings to life, nurturing the fruit on its limbs. This week the tree gave up three perfect lemons as a reward for the crazy bird who dreams of spring and a Victorian-style orangery.
Lemon EncouragementThree lemons is a bonanza of encouragement for this dreamer, prompting a gathering of the seed catalogs, and a curation of seed possibilities to plant someday soon. There are three, count them, three Vesey's catalogues with pages marked up on the table, and Mel Bartholomew of Square Foot Gardening fame is grinning back at me from the stack of reading material. The curated list of seed possibilities is growing far more profusely than my little lemon tree. It is the ever-growing seed list and the hint that I need an orangery and rototiller that cause my husband to begin to throw out cautious inquiries as to how serious I am.
|Meyers Lemons 2015|
Last night he threw out one of those inquiries regarding the length of the seed list, linking it to the size of garden plot I have today, and questioning whether everything will fit into the current space. Silly man, of course it won't. So I found it necessary to explain to him how gardening-dreaming works. First comes the dreaming stage where I make a crazy long completely unrealistic list with all kinds of wonderfully named seeds. How can one resist Fairy Tale eggplant, Bandit leeks, Tango lettuce, Mr. Big peas, and Valentino beans? Seriously, have you read a seed catalogue lately? If not, you should! Never mind that we don't eat much eggplant, or that one might be better off with Provider in your life, instead of Valentino. Anyway, first I create the crazy list and I keep adding to it because it is fun.
Those extra four minutes of daylight translate into roughly one extra item being added to the list per day. And list items are not limited to seeds they can include an orangery and rototiller. In fact, if we are contemplating planting Fairy Tale eggplant, I might need a Weed Wand and an Enchanted Bird Feeder. However, at some point very soon, I will cull the list. I will remind myself of my seventy-two seedling tomato fiasco several years ago and place a limit on the number of seeds. I might resist the urge to order the tiller since it will be difficult to operate within the confines of my square foot beds. I might postpone the drawing up of plans for the orangery and contemplate a Snap and Grow Greenhouse instead. It all depends on how much Moonshine I get into, and whether I go with the Knuckle Head or an Expert - pumpkins - they are all pumpkins! If there are pumpkins then I will most certainly have to keep the Fairy Tale eggplant and the Weed Wand on my list so I can create some Brilliant (celeriac) Allure (corn) while I Tango (celery) with Valentino. Now do you understand the challenges of gardening-dreaming?