Victoria Day Weekend in Winnipeg is spent in one of two ways; either at the lake or working on outdoor projects. My long weekends generally are spent in an unproductive combination of sweat pants, sleeping in and not brushing my hair. This long weekend was a little bit different. I celebrated the long weekend by doing what so many home owners do – yard work.
My mom and my grandfather have the most intense green thumbs. My mom still has my poinsettia from Grade 12 which has morphed into a tree. Between the two of them, I grew up with the idea that summer means plants and a large garden. Until now I haven’t had a huge interest nor had the resources to pursue gardening as a hobby. I’m not sure what has changed that. Possibly feeling more connected with prairies. Maybe just feeling like I’m putting my own roots down. More likely, it’s the feeling of horror when the cashier rings up the bill for our groceries. Whatever the reason, I had green ambitions this year. In March I had done a bunch of research and compiled a list of plants that met the following requirements:
– bee & butterfly friendly
-native to the prairies
This list is on a grubby sticky note that I have been carrying around with me for roughly 3 months, and prior to the weekend, I had yet to actually pick up any of the listed plants. This isn’t because I haven’t tried. Every time I walk into a garden centre I get super overwhelmed and after wandering around the aisles not finding a single item on my list, just beeline it out of there. Did I mention that most of my list has the latin names of the plants? No wonder I haven’t been able to pick them out.
Mike sent me to on an expedition to pick up some yard waste bags. As I was driving I knew May Long weekend was the reckoning. The do-or-die moment of planting. My first stop was a stand full of seed packets. Who knew there were so many kinds of tomato? I randomly grabbed a few packets, carrots, peppers, catgrass. After I threw those in the cart, I was questioning whether or not they would have time to grow. So then I moved into the live plant area and successfully found one of the plants on my list (salvia). After about an hour I made my way back home and started unloading my purchases, only to have Mike point out that we actually were not prepared to plant anything because we had nowhere prepared to plant them. Right. This hobby takes a little more planning than video games. We spent most of Sunday afternoon weeding and raking up the existing flower beds. Only to have to clean the gutters out….directly into the flower beds that we had just finished clearing out. Sigh. Apparently there is a method to this yard work madness.
Monday we went to my parents place. We nabbed a few plants off of my list including lamb’s ears, lily of the valley and bog lilies (they look nicer than they sound). The trunk of my car was stuffed with plants before we left. We transplanted all the flowers Monday evening with our furry overlord supervising. We always bring the cat into the backyard while we work. Normally it’s without incident, but last night a rabbit hopped into the yard. It was one of those time slows down moments and I was watching in horror as Rocky tried to cut off the rabbit as it ran towards the fence. Luckily the rabbit was smarter than the cat (not a huge achievement) and it got away. And that was when I realized I should let go of Mike’s shirt which I was clutching with both hands.
So everyone made it through a working weekend alive. So far at least. I keep anxiously checking on the plants to make sure they haven’t died. I’m hoping that I have inherited a green thumb. If not, there’s always St. Norbert’s Farmers Market.