Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's day and Lolo's stick

The weather has been splendid around these parts lately and we've spent lots of time planning and working on outdoor projects. We set up a cedar swingset and sandbox in a corner of our back yard for Julian last weekend, had a family friend over to discuss plans for a deck extension, had a fence installed, purchased outdoor fabric to replace our swing canopy and cushions which were completely destroyed or blown away by a severe windstorm last summer, purchased a garden in a box for our flower bed out front and a lilac hedge to disguise our fence... and yesterday, on the occasion of mother's day, we all headed for our front yard to plant a wee cherry tree seedling to commemorate Logan's birth. The tree was a gift from the Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources and honestly I'm not sure how well it will do considering it is just a twig really. But we will nurture it and care for it the best we can.






I really like the idea of planting a tree to celebrate the birth of a child. Stephen's parents have two great big trees in their backyard planted when he and his sister were born. When Julian was born, Stephen's father took a new shoot from Stephen's tree and planted it in another corner of the yard for Julian. It is such a wonderful tradition and I am very proud to have Julian's and Logan's trees in my front yard, even if Logan's tree is more of a stick for now ;0)


I had a great mother's day too. Julian and daddy made a beautiful card for me and I got orange gardening gloves (my favourite) with lots of seeds to plant a children's garden in the corner behind the swingset. It gets full sun so I thought we'd try growing some sunflowers. It'll be a fun project for Julian and I to tend to this summer and I can't wait to plant them.

Stephen and Julian have already dug up the grass and put in edging and topsoil so we'll be all set for planting next weekend. I can't wait. I am however a novice gardener and need some help. I've never planted anything from seed before and am not sure about the diagram on the back of the seed packages.

It says to sow 3" apart on the left side but the diagram on the right shows the plants spaced 18 inches apart? Huh? Which is it? 3" or 18"? This brown thumb (I'm a plant killer) would appreciate any advice she can get ;0)

And finally, a little mother's day knitting miracle: we were rushing to get the kids dressed up for church on Sunday and I couldn't find a pair of shoes for Logan. Lots of singles but no matching two. I searched high and low and deep into the dark recesses underneath our bed and not only did I find another giraffe shoe just in time, but I also found this:


It's just enough leftover brown cashmerino aran to finish my monkey! I can feel this bad knitting karma thing starting to turn around...

Phew!

17 comments:

  1. Hi! I like to grow sunflowers too. I'm not sure about your seed packet's instructions, but the seedlings usually need thinning out--so it may be a bit of a combination. I usually plant them 3" apart at first and once I see which seeds 'take', I thin them out (you can always transfer the seedlings to a new area, sunflowers are hardy). The 18" apart is needed for the remaining sunflowers. It's basically an estimate too. Sunflowers are eager to go, so even if you get them a bit too close together or not quite deep enough and they will still be happy. Good wishes for your garden!

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  2. Are you sure that the rows arent meant to be 18" apart, and the seeds planted 3" from each other in the row. Love the pictures of your boys and you too, so lovely. I am so glad you found some more cashmerino to finish that monkey off too.

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  3. I think purplepaste is right. the plants get huge, so when they grow bigger they need more space :)

    good luck!

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  4. First, you look absolutely fabulous for having recently had a baby - it obviously agrees with you!

    Second, about the plants, we did sunflowers last summer, and you do need to thin the seedlings out to allow 18" between them once they've germinated - voice of experience, learned the hard way - although the woven sunflower look was quite interesting, the plants were seriously stunted...

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  5. Happy Mother's Day and the photos are beautiful! Good luck with the planting!

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  6. Your garden is going to look great! I planted some sunflowers the other day, I just plunk them in where ever I feel I want them. Sometimes they're an inch apart (if I drop a seed somewhere) and sometimes they are 6 inches apart (depending on where I'm planing them) ... I think sunflowers are pretty fool proof. They'll grow pretty much anywhere.

    The plants get huge in height, not width (except the flower) but I don't think you will need 18" between them. I think you only need 18" between them if you're planning to harvest them. If you're going to beauty only I say just put them where ever you want.

    Then again I'm not a professional gardener and I could have just given you advise that will kill your sunflowers (though it has never killed any of mine).

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  7. I can confirm that you are supposed to plant them 3 inches apart, then thin the seedlings to 18 inches apart (that's what the little picture with the seedlings is supposed to mean, although you'd think they could just say it). My sunflowers last year developed trunks--not stems--that were more than three inches thick. They were about eight feet tall and looked more like trees than flowers. In fact, our chicken took to roosting on one of the flowers!

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  8. Peggy3:28 PM

    As others have said, plant the seeds 3" apart and then thin to 18" after they germinate and grow for a short period of time. You of course can fudge these numbers a bit. If you have good soil (may need to add a little compost), then you might be able to get your sunflowers 12-15" apart. You could also plant some small ground cover-type flowers around your sunflowers (not too close! Those roots need to spread). That will "use up" some of the open space underneath and make your flower bed prettier. I have alyssums (annuals--very easy to start from seed) and violas (perennials). Both seem to do well in short Montana seasons and they bloom forever.

    I grew some sunflowers last year (in Montana). Actually, I had sunflower bird seed and they sprouted like crazy all over my flower garden. I was thinning plants all summer, but I did keep a few that did extremely well.

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  9. I know very little about planting, but I am happy to hear that you also have lots of single shoes around the house.
    I love your blog.

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  10. Congrats on finding the leftover ball of yarn needed to finish your monkey and especially on getting your knitting mojo back!

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  11. I love the idea of planting a tree for a new born baby. We're going to be going tree shopping next weekend for our new little one... we're going to plant a weeping cherry for her, and plop it in the ground in the middle of "her" garden. I can't wait!

    As for the seeds... I'm a v. laid back gardener... since sunflowers are so heardy, I would just go out, throw the seeds, and cover. Once they germinate, I'd seperate them. You could also germinate them in dixie cups inside and then transplant them into the ground 18" apart once they've sprouted. I always think that is eaier because you are cutting your digging in half :)

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  12. When Annie was wee (she is a big 9 year old now!) we made her a sunflower "house"- we planted big sunflowers in a ring (maybe 8 feet in diameter-a couple of meters) and left an opening facing the house. We planted shorter ones around the outside of the ring. When they grew, Annie had a living playhouse-she would set up a chair and take her lunch out there with the dog. Way cool.

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  13. What a great tradition of planting tees for the birth of a child!

    I think the diagram on your flowers means to plant each flower 3" apart, and then plant the rows 18" apart so that there will be enough room. But you don't really have to plant them in rows...

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  16. Hi - I've been following your blog for a few months and wanted to say what a great blog it is and that I'm really glad your knitting mojo is returning as you have been such a great inspiration!
    Keep up the great blogging and knitting!

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  17. Darling pictures! Happy gardening :)

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