03 October 2008

Bulbs and Basil

(Jan Reus, left)
I'm getting the garden ready for winter. My bulbs finally arrived! I ordered some tulips ('Jan Reus' and 'Gavota') for the back (to go with the yellow tulips that were already there when we moved in), and a crocus-tulip mix for the front. Planting bulbs is a pain, but it's so worth it when spring comes around.

Yesterday I harvested the basil. Not that it needed to be harvested just yet, but I needed the pot it was in. I transplanted the French lavender into the pretty glazed ceramic pot and moved it inside. French lavender can't survive the winter outside here, but it smells divine, and I've been dreaming of growing it indoors. Hopefully it'll survive in my south-facing living room window. (Gavota, below)

I also re-potted my smaller hibiscus. I've been noticing for a long time that the soil was pulling away from the sides of the container and always looked dry. If I'd known how bad it really was, I would have taken care of it sooner. It turned out there was hardly any soil in there at all, the pot being much shallower that I realized due to the water reservoir at the bottom. The roots at the bottom had grown into the shape of the reservoir, and the soil was just a hard lump. Poor plant. I got rid of as much of the old soil as I could without destroying roots, then I gave it fresh soil and
plenty of it, followed by water. It already seems much happier.

Speaking of potting soil, I learned by accident that you really get what you pay for. I used to buy my potting soil at a store that shall remain unnamed (they don't just sell tires) because it was convenient. I never thought there was anything wrong with it, despite it being full of wood chips and rocks. Fortunately, when I moved I ended up in a neighbourhood with a proper nursery. I started buying my potting soil there since it was convenient, although more expensive. What a difference! The nursery potting soil is light, clean, and free of rocks and wood. The way potting soil should be. My plants are better off and I'm not breaking my back moving them. Completely worth a few extra dollars.

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