Garden Gnome Ecosystems

Creating a sustainable system for gnomes to play in.

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Painted succulents

I’m back. And I have a new plan. Picture posts with a maximum of three sentences once a week. Recipes and plant care tips when I learn something exciting.

I’m making an exception to the rule of three sentences this time.

Spray painted leaves = no photosynthesis. Spray painted succulents = plant abuse.

Sad rescued aloe with much spray paint removed, acquired today for $1.


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Mountain Farming

A couple months ago, when I could hardly stand to think about another 5 years of university, a job posting showed up on my Facebook newsfeed. And on a whim, I applied, thinking that this job might be a great way to find out if the farmer’s life is a life for me.

Next thing I knew I was on a train. I slept through the trek across the prairies, and woke up just in time to watch all the trees go by on our way through the mountains.

Jasper train station

I got to stretch my legs in Jasper. Nice, after 15 hours on a train.


The train stopped in the middle of the bridge over lake something-something (I was sleepy, and it was hard to remember all the lakes we passed). The guy fishing on a board must have had incredible balance.

Now I’ve been in the mountains for a week, living in a renovated bus and pulling weeds.

In the evenings and early mornings I eat wild strawberries and try to get to know the wildflowers.

IMG_1495 IMG_1496 IMG_1494 IMG_1493 wild rose IMG_1491 tiger lily

This morning I helped two spiders out of the bus – one before breakfast, one right after. At night I listen to the wind tear around the stove-pipe and rattle the doors.

Every morning I eat a big bowl of oats with nuts and seeds and fresh strawberries on top. And then I pull weeds, and top-dress plants, and pick strawberries, and pick rocks. I’m not sure yet, but the farmer’s life might be the life for me.

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Blue-eyed Grass, and being on the right path

When I first moved into the house I am in now, I found blue-eyed grass, and I knew right then that I was exactly where I needed to be.

This spring and start of summer has been a whirlwind of change. I gave up the job that I loved (and still love) working in communal community gardens in an (almost) food-desert, to go work on a little organic vegetable farm in BC for the summer. I joined the Co-op program at my university, so I’m in and out of the job I’m at before I head out to BC, interviewing and interviewing and interviewing for positions in the fall. I’m neglecting the blog. Sorry, loyal readers.

blue-eyed grass at university

Yesterday I found this in a neglected bed at the university, right after my first interview for a Co-op placement. Today, I met one of the potential replacements for the position that I am vacating. She’d met my mom at a workshop a few month before, and chatted with her about healing gardens. My mom had suggested I get in touch with her about perhaps building one where I work now, in the position she’s being considered for. She’s super passionate about gardens and youth. I’m sure the other potential candidate is just as great.

All this time I’d been wondering what possessed me to up and accept a position a thousand miles away, when I had a dream job here. Now I know. There’s great energy in the air, and it’s my time to fly. There are others to do the work, in their own way, with their own gifts.

I’ll get back to pictures of plants and recipes soon.


Life Unfurled

It’s funny how our lives are reflected in nature sometimes. I’ve been tired, cranky and withdrawn for a few months. As much as I kept hoping that the ferns would pop up, they didn’t come. The little bumps that I knew were fronds in the making refused to unfurl. Yesterday I finished all my coursework for the year, and switched from school me to garden planning me. And there they were.

There were a few other plants coming into bloom too, so you get pictures of those too. Except rhubarb. It doesn’t bloom. So you get pictures of crinkly leaves and grass that needs to be pulled.







I’m ready for a more open season in life.

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I’m tempted to apply an Instagram filter, and caption the photo with something like #red #blackcenters #tulip #spring #grow #pretty #sobright #etc…

Anyways, tulips for your viewing pleasure. And for my digital garden notes: “today the tulips bloomed, and I thought about turning the compost.”


Happy Wednesday all.