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Garden Bliss & Blunder, Issue #020
February 03, 2023


FEBRUARY is a border

between Winter and Spring

February is the month of Love

… for love

… in love

,… giving love

and accepting love.

FALL in LOVE ...with an EEL?

If you are looking for love among some BONY FISH

find an EEL to be your Valentine -

because each one

has more than one heart

… who knew?

Not my cup of tea, though.

Love, is mostly uncertain,

but it does create some urgency

- one day every year.

A day when your intended might just pass you by

- unnoticed, hidden in hat,

scarf and muffler. (no eel here)…

But in our fear of missing out,

we look for answers elsewhere

and ask friends for advice

while others look for signs in heart shapes.

But that’s not where Valentine’s magic is….

What if it really is that bundled up OTHER

walking down the street?

Or perhaps, even a four-legged love

(like Lucy).

Just be sure to open up to love


Enough hibernating;

bundle up and come on outside.

A day like this sharpens your senses.

Go for a walk or better still,


Listen carefully to each step you take

as your boots crunch through the crusty snow.

Follow the gnarled lines

of naked branches against the sky.

Taste the snowflakes that land on your gloves.

Breathe deeply and smell your neighbour's woodsmoke

as it swirls from the chimney.

And when you return home,

the warmth there will feel even warmer.

adapted from Victoria Magazine (Feb. 2000)

Photo - Jen Bird - @beesnapspics


If your birthday is in February,

your birthstone is the Amethyst.

Named for its supposed power

to prevent its wearer

from intoxication…. (really?)

a = not

methustes = drunkard

So, pour the wine and wear the stone -

and let me know if it works.

As for me?

I shall wear my ring

from an ‘old’ love.


Photo: Wikipedia

On Feb. 8

there is a ceremony called “Hari Kuyo” .

hari = needle

kuyo = memorial service

Japanese needleworkers save their broken needles

throughout the year,

and honour them in this ceremony

for their good service.

I like this idea,

although have never broken a sewing needle….

However, I do remember

breaking a needle in a patient’s arm

when I was a student nurse.

I was so nervous and he was so handsome.

He forgave me.

so I shall honour him.


Oh the excitement of getting seed catalogues

… so many choices? how many?

Sigh, my excitement does NOT lie in seed catalogues

but, in ROSE catalogues.

I don’t start seeds

but my passionate garden friends do -

They have such funny stories

about their cat sitting on the seedlings,

or getting those wee seeds all planted -

then the phone rings -

and forgetting which seed is where.

I love those stories.



There is a SEED VAULT in Svalbard, Norway

- a remote but accessible spot near the North Pole

with the capacity to store 4.5 million varieties of crops.

Currently, it holds more than 1.1 million seed varieties,

originating from almost every country in the world

and holds the most diverse collection

of food crop seeds anywhere..

The objective is to safeguard

as much of the world’s unique crop genetic material

as possible while avoiding unnecessary duplication.

...and see more here:

seed vault


In the middle of winter,

when the snow or ice or both just keep coming,

we wistfully think about spring.

I do this…

and when I have no live roses,

I resort to sketching those dried from last summer.

Here is something else you can do

and perhaps make you feel better,

energized and excited… I hope

Look last year’s garden photos - All seasons.

What do you like? or Don’t?

What would you like to change and can,

or want to change and cannot… money, time, effort.

Perhaps you want to have LESS GRASS?

…. see what I did here:


Side garden grass - before

After grass removed

Or maybe you are starting from scratch

and need some expert help…

Like we did...


- under some major construction

And a few years later

Don't despair if you need expert help.

I have created a list of questions you

need to have answers for

... before you actually lay down dollars for help.

Here they are and if you would like a pdf copy, please send me a note


What if

you have a spot

that is always damp or even wet?

You might need a RAIN GARDEN...

Some are an easy fix

and some, like ours,

might need a French Drain


Perhaps you just want to add more plants

(roses for me)

.. or veggies?

Start your list and find some ideas here: garden-ideas.html


Be kind to yourself and everyone you meet

… who knows what they are dealing with

If you have time, Volunteer…

find something that speaks to you

and speak back.

Food bank, homeless shelter,

reading to a child or someone who has limited sight.

I framed this treasure from a dear friend, many years ago

… reminds me of Susan

Tell your family and friends, you love them

… even the four-legged ones.

You will get more back than you give .

And don’t forget to send some Valentines…

who doesn’t love to get real mail these days?



you could

leave a little envelope

on your mailbox for love notes

… like the one Lucy will hang out for Valentine’s week

If she can find her way out of her snow fort...

My Little Bird Book

When I sell a copy of my book

(The Little Bird Who Fell From the Sky)

for a child who attends a school,

I donate one to their school library.

If you wish to purchase one with another for a school,

please send a note to:

They are now in schools in Ontario, Labrador, New Brunswick,

Latvia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Quebec, BC,

Arizona, California, Florida, the UK,

Massachusetts, Tennessee, Missouri,

France, and Nicaragua

You can order here:

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