Category Archives: Garden

So that Loaded Christmas Cactus Opened

And it’s still flowering! I moved it into the kitchen from the living room and set it on the central island there, as my coffee table (old vintage blue trunk) gets filled quickly with knick knacks, namely art supplies as I sit and doodle on the couch.

I’m officially renaming this Christmas Cactus, Birthday Cactus. The cactus will likely be moved again tomorrow. I’m hosting a little potluck with friends and family Saturday evening to celebrate my 36th Birthday (which is on Sunday) and we’ll need the island for food and wine.

I’m baking salt & pepper wings and also making from scratch two vegetarian quiches. The salt & pepper wings were on sale tonight at my local grocer. They are uncooked but oh so tasty.

I am rather loving the price checking war going on between Sobey’s and the Atlantic Superstore at the moment. Fifty percent of the groceries I bought yesterday were reduced to beat the competitors price. And here in Saint John, NB there are only those two chains of grocery stores to shop from with various locations scattered around the city. They can continue to battle it out. It’s fabulous for my wallet. There does exist the odd veggie, fruit and meat market but they are very far and few between and only located in the Historic Uptown core.

Happy Friday everyone!

Loaded Christmas Cactus!

Have you ever seen so many buds on a Christmas Cactus?

My mom gave me this cactus when I moved into my house a few months ago. She has three or four of them growing in her house. I sat the cactus in the sun room and forgot about it. I really did forget about it. I didn’t water it. I didn’t talk to it. I didn’t touch it.

About a month ago my mom was visiting as she has been known to do on occasion and walked into the sunroom and quickly stomped out of the sun room through the living room and into my studio horrified, cactus in hand exclaiming “IT NEEDS WATER!” I looked at it all withered and spiny and starving and giggled “Mom it’s a cactus and not a succulent.”

She placed it back on the corner stand where it was originally dieing. That night I went over and looked at Herbert (yeah, I’ll call him Herbert) thinking, maybe you do need a little water. I carried him into the kitchen, filled a bowl of water and sat him in it. He drank for a good hour and afterwords I returned him to that corner stand in the sun room.

Two weeks ago, Herbert had little itty bitty buds. I gave him more water and moved him into the living room.

Today he’s full of buds! And he’ll likely bloom right around Birthday time and not Christmas time.

Front yard flower – Lily

lily

You know how you move into a new home and you’ve got no clue what was planted or not planted, will grow or not grow, is a weed or not a weed; with the latter being the most important question.

So, I just let it all grow this summer to see what popped up.

Well, this lovely lily opened yesterday along the foundation facing north in the front yard. It really is that fuchsia and vibrant in colour!

lily flowers

Amazing! And it’s amazing that everything surrounding it, is sadly, weeds.

You might also like the backyard blossom

Backyard Blossom – The Miniature Plum Tree

This tree is loaded with pretty petite white blossoms. Each blossom turns into a miniature plum complete with mini pit and at the mature size of a blueberry they are the sweetest little plums I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.

I’ll be regularly updating the Garden 2009 Set on Flickr with both photos from my current residence with my folks and that of my own house once I move in 😉

Secret #4 – Saying Good Bye

One sunny afternoon I sat on my deck in Vancouver, brush in hand not knowing what to paint. I stared down at the piece of two by two foot freshly gessoed masonite board firmly planted on my lap. The sky was ultramarine blue, the garden glowing green and most colourful that day in late July, 2004. My senses were overwhelmed by the beauty of this environment. I glanced down at the board and at a the light grey shadow there; my shadow.

I gingerly traced it beginning to fill in whimsical areas of enchantment with much excitement and more importantly, contentment. Continue reading

Secret #1 – Learn to Grow Food

garden2008jessicadoyle

In my last post I said I have many secrets. And this is the first post in which I’ll share with you my hopes in becoming less reliant on the machine created by man. Through the use of technology and ancient wisdom we do indeed have the knowledge today to become more independent and in essence get off that damn grid either completely or in the least partially.

I am teaching myself how to grow food. This undertaking began three summers ago on my deck in containers in Vancouver. I miss that apartment and deck something awful at times. The view brings tears to my eyes and floods my senses with memories so vivid and very much alive today in a most humble and appreciative way.

North West View of deck garden in Vancouver.

I am far from being able to produce enough to consume during a whole year or even a few months, however, each year my gardens do yield more and more. This year combined with the help and knowledge from both my Mom and Dad we grew some fantastic food!

Brussels Sprouts

We fertilized using only local organic oceanic and manure compost that we purchased or had ourselves. By growing your own food you not only know where your food is coming from; you will eat healthy, get in shape, save the environment and be all the more closer to not having to rely on imports to eat.

Rainbow Swiss Chard

In 2007 I did begin the planting of that years garden in Vancouver. It grows in other parts of that world now. I gave it all away, left it behind or sold what I could when I left for good. About a week after arriving back in Saint John from Vancouver I turned soil with my Dad in the backyard, and closed this blog down for two months to gather myself.

It is amazing that years can pass in the blink of an eye. You can see the full Garden 2008 set on Flickr here. And if you are on my facebook there are even more photos! Feel free to add me as a friend from the top left sidebar of this blog.

Tomatoes!

Photo Credits, © Jessica Doyle 2008
1. 2008 Garden Montage – Saint John
2. Garden 2006 – Vancouver looking West from the deck
3. 2008 Brussels Sprouts – Saint John
4. 2008 Rainbow Swiss Chard – Saint John
5. 2008 Early Bird Tomatoes – Saint John (Although in this climate they are late…)

About Wearing Industrial Breathing Masks or the Fine Line Between Hammer and Pen.

Brick(s)

Often, I’ve thought that it you devoted your life to doing the things you love then the money would follow. Last month I wrote a test. The test was three weeks in duration. The final grade was fantastic.

Come the middle of June I’ll begin testing again. This time however there is no fail safe… nothing to fall back upon.

I quit my part-time job in March. I began working for my bother and dad shortly thereafter except for three weeks in May when I devoted my time to online endevours. These last 10 days I’ve been working 8 long hours per day as the 2 family home we own and are working on has sold before it’s completed. Now, I’ve worked many full-time jobs in the past but never had a shop to tend to and the work I was doing was not, both physically and mentally demanding. Office jobs may be mental but they certainly do not get you up and moving around.

I sat down last night and gripped my pen as a hammer; my paintbrush as a chisel and my mouse as a plaster sander.

Good Grief! My fingers are manly and calloused. My shoulders hurt incredibly as I spent four hours today sanding the bathroom ceiling, walls and baseboard, then priming them with BIN; an industrial cover-all-stinky-ass-paint-primer-sealant.

Yesterday I scraped the two bathtubs with a razor blade removing years of built up dirt, grime and cocking revealing the enamel underneath. The day before that I hauled demolition mega garbage down two flight of stairs.

My bother jovially nick-named me Clean Up Crew. I call him the Stupid Foreman. Oddly enough he is a smart foreman at his day job. We dawned industrial breathing masks this past Saturday and sanded the shit-out-of the century old hardwood floors with industrial sanders that I couldn’t fathom operating. I was the clean up crew.

We are so close to being finished. :) I haven’t written much about the renovations and sometimes I ask myself why and maybe the answer is because I like the work…

I have nothing nasty to say.

I’m payed reasonably well and can sit and take a break when needed. I get to do varying jobs apprenticing as a mason, carpenter, painter and lastly a labourer AKA Clean Up Crew. And I’m supplied with proper safety gear to wear when needed.

Burning Bush Leaves

I’ve been working outside in the garden but alas it remains too cold for planting most vegetables and herbs as the rain has been heavy. I expanded the garden plot 2 feet by 30 feet. It took me five hours of chopping grass root deep then cutting… no yanking it out then falling and hauling it away to the compost pile. Next, my mother and I dug another 8 inches down and sifted hundreds of pounds of gravel out of the soil which in turn had to be piled elsewhere. Once we ad some black earth, sheep and cow manure, compost and lastly the greenery the Doyle garden will be well on it’s way to growing.

One year has come and gone since I landed back in Saint John on May 29th, 2007.

And I’m not looking back.

Photo Credits – both captured by me last weekend. You can see the beginnings of the 2008 garden here.

Growing Beautiful in the Garden of Eden

Drawn with professional Pilot pens and painted with Windsor and Newton Watercolor on very thick acid free textured cream colored stock. It is an ACEO which stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals.

Size – 2.5 by 3.5 inches

Update – The original has sold. Prints are available in 5×7 inch and ACEO mini print size in my art shop.