There's a tulip in my house. What's more - those masses of tulips and narcissus I planted last fall? They're coming up too. Shit's getting real.
Their appearance should be no surprise, since the whole of last week was freakishly warm for February. Temperatures of 9 and 15 and even 18 degrees Celsius?! It's got me on edge though, since they're more vulnerable now to the elements, and varmints. As I was pulling up the hardware cloth and brushing away the blanket of leaves I'd heaped on the tulip beds last fall, I was hoping, hoping, hoping I wouldn't see any green tips. But I did, and lots of them. I gasped, or groaned. Babies go back to sleep!!!! It's not time yet!!!!
I've mentioned it before, but I'm really weirded out by my changing outlook on seasons. It's so unlike me to be anxious about spring. At least I know that underneath my apprehension is pure, itchy-palmed anticipation. Fortunately, everything's gone according to schedule so far. I'll take that as a sign that I'm headed in the right direction. And sure, the season's hardly begun, and everything could still go wrong, but..... It's a good thing I'm a dogged optimist who loves to plan ahead!
Yesterday I took a time-out from wedding work to plant seeds for my winter sowing experiment. Have you ever heard of winter sowing? It's my first time trying it out, but on paper it looks like a lazy-yet-efficient way to start seeds that need a few freeze-thaw cycles in order to germinate. If you do some Googling you'll read that many of the plants that do well when winter-sown are the ones that tend to self-sow.
Basically, you sow your seeds into clear, plastic containers in mid-winter and just leave them outside. Once the temperatures start to warm up the containers act as mini-greenhouses, triggering germination and protecting the emerging seedlings. You do have to keep an eye on the containers in order to ventilate them at the right time, but you end up with stocky little plants that don't need to be hardened off, since they've spent their entire lives outside. Of course I'm hedging my bets (all this week I'll be seeding indoors into soil blocks too) but if the winter sowing turns out well, I'll be very happy indeed.
Happy sigh! Building this little business is all I can think about. Some days I focus on growing stuff, other days I'm corresponding back and forth about weddings, dreaming all the while. Making something from nothing, telling stories (mine and yours) with flowers - talk about flow state!
Signing off, with dirt under my nails once more,
Well I just got home from an incredible week spent exploring London, England. Land of the Queen, David Austin roses, and Monty Don. Spring has already sprung there in balmy zone 9. Camellias and other flowering shrubs are all on the verge of exploding into colour; everywhere I walked there were geraniums, pansies, and mini-cyclamen in planters and window boxes. So, so jelly.
I haven't forgotten that the inspiration behind the Toronto Flower Market was London's Columbia Road Flower Market. Obviously it was one of the highlights of my trip. The market happens every Sunday on a short stretch of road absolutely packed with market stalls, flowers, and people. I walked up and down about 10 times taking it all in. It was hard not to freak out. I freaked out.
I ended up choosing a bunch each of bupleurum, tuberose, and dried lavender. The man I bought the tuberose from had labeled them "Tudor Rose" which I thought was a delightful play on words. I couldn't tell if he really thought tuberose was called Tudor rose but I don't care.
Note to self: congratulations on remembering to bring your clippers all the way to England - next time bring some clear tape, and try to find a better vessel to use than a pot! Also glad you had some self control at the market, but a handful of lilies or roses woulda looked nice nestled in all that bupleurum!
My eyes are full of flowers now. That taste of spring was exactly what I needed to slingshot me into my first season. Back to wedding quotes now - let me at'em!!
Talk soon <3
I am Allison, intrepid leader of Posy Gang. Let's have a conversation about flowers and weddings and small business and everything else! I'll start with my thoughts...