Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hello. My name is Niki and I have a problem..

It's true, I'm addicted to seeds.. in my foolishness, I thought that because I ordered so many things last year (partially because of the book and the need to grow certain veggie for the sake of photography), I would be able to get away with a small seed order this year. Ha! Once seed fever struck, the orders began to pile up and now my veggie seed box went from organized to out-of-control! Check out the photo - and this is after I weeded out all the old seeds and stuff that didn't do well enough to deserve a second chance. I think I need a bigger box!

I'm still waiting for one more order (from, and once that comes, I should be finished with my seed orders. I think I have enough to plant a few acres - too bad I only have 2000 sq feet!

Yesterday morning, we went to the Seaport Farmer's Market in Halifax.. it's a busy place - plenty of people bustling around - but it's so much fun to wander the aisles checking out the eclectic mix of offerings. One booth might have felted wool bags, and the next one free-range eggs. Further down are Egyptian pastries and then my favourite coffee place - Java Blend (the BEST cappuccino in the world). Anyhoo, I went to the market with a purpose (two purposes actually) - I needed to get some seeds from Owen Bridge, the owner of Annapolis Seeds (and I wanted a brioche from Julien's French Bakery for Sunday morning baked french toast - a family tradition).

Side note - the brioche french toast was amazing.. mmmm.. why didn't I take a photo!? Next time..

I had a list for Owen - I only needed 7 seed packets (and not all were for me!).. but, when I see seed racks full of such unique varieties (Suyo Long Cucumber, Chiapis Wild Tomato), I can go a bit crazy! Plus, it's almost time to seed tomatoes, so if you get a chance, you should check out his booth at the market - he'll be there every Sat for the next few months I believe. Buying transplants from a garden center in the spring is convenient, but it certainly limits the amount of varieties you can grow - especially when it comes to heirloom tomatoes. Even if you only need a handful of plants, it's far better to grow your own rather than limit yourself to the whims of a nursery that might only offer Big Beef and Scotia tomatoes (the horror!).

Back to the topic at hand - This is the time of the year when I find the garden seems to be so small. I'm tempted by the vast array of seeds out there, but I know in reality, space is limited. Like most gardeners, we have our family favourites (Lemon cucumbers, Purple Podded Pole Beans, Sungold Tomatoes) and we need to grow these each year. But then there are always new (or new-to-us) varieties that I want to try. In mid-summer when I'm watering the garden, it seems HUGE, but now, when I'm hoping to cram in dozens of new veggies, it seems postage-stamp small..

Such is the lot of a gardener I guess.. but then I wonder.. do we really need that flat expanse of lawn beside the garden (another 2000 square feet).. do the children really need a space to play soccer, tag and badminton? hmmmm..

Happy Gardening!


  1. A lawn is a waste if it has the potential to make a great garden! Plus I think a garden is more beautiful anyways! Some people like to cut grass,so you have to save a spot for them though.

    I think that Niki should get free seeds, since she helps to promote the selling of them. C'mon seed companies...give Niki a seed credit card.

    (sounds like I'm on your side eh?) pete

  2. "do the children really need a space to play soccer, tag and badminton? hmmmm"........or does the dog need a place to run or do we really need to sit out there and admire the garden when we could just as easy have a tiny tiny path around it!! ahahha....well Yes they do!!

    As for the addiction and Rene's seeds...remember today?...remember our order at orange tomatoes and melon and purple beans...ahem...your addiction is catching...sigh...but it feels oHHHH so good.

  3. the way..I loved this blog))) You made me smile big time. Glad Owen is at the market.

  4. Ah Brenda - you reminded me about my latest lapse - funny, but I remembered that after I wrote this post.. opps! :)

    Can't wait for those Charentais melons - fingers crossed for another hot year!

    Pete - I don't need more seed! Especially free seed.. I'd need to buy a big plot of land somewhere to plant everything! :)

  5. I know where the meetings are held and I could be your sponsor because I am well on the way to recovery. Oh dear, the plant list for ARHS was just posted. I think I am having a relaspe!! What the heck Niki, we could have worse habits.Hurry up spring!!

  6. You and hundreds of others - I have a weakness for plants too!

  7. We also have this problem of wanting to expand the garden but knowing we'll be cursing in the summer with more watering and weeding to do we're going to squeeze some veggies in our mulched flower beds....we'll see what happens...I love planning for spring!

  8. Thanks for your seed company recommendations- just sent a small order to Renee's and Johnny's, also picked up some from Annapolis seeds. I'm wondering if your readers might enjoy watching "My urban Garden",a 26-minute film available free-to-watch on the National film Board site.It profiles 4 seasons of a Halifax garden in 1984 and is very inspiring, especially to those with limited space.

  9. Hi Garden Girl - thanks for your recommendation about that film.. I'll check it out soon! Enjoy your seeds!


Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)