Winter's back, dangit

_MG_7564w.jpg

Residing in the freshly sorted dining room, I stare out the window. The grey blanket of clouds outside bathes the room in cold, stingy light. Beyond the window glass, in the flattened, sad looking greyish brown garden about a 1000 chaffinches are wandering about, looking for food by promenading over the lawn and turning leaves. Some get the luxury of catching the few bugs that have regrettably managed to crawl their way up into the surprising cold that this mid-April Sweden has to offer.

_MG_7569.gif

The weather reports are alluring, tempting, with the ample temperature of ”Just around freezing” the coming six days, without as much as a hint of that long wished for warm, soothing sunlight. One of my gently cared for cucumber plants have already frozen on the patio. I can admit that my attempts of keeping the patio at about +15C with the help of a heating fan has failed because the icy gale celebrates the coming of “spring” by refusing to relinquish any of its powers. I haven’t totally failed because even when it was a bit below freezing out, the patio kept a temperature of +10C. But this is, of course, way too cold for cucumber plants, dangit...

I feel like wandering out on the lawn, getting on my knees and, with fists turned to the dark sky, beg it to forsake it’s cold grasp and let us gently into the spring season. I mean, the lawn had JUST gotten rid of the last remnants of the thigh-deep snow and now snow is flaking down from the skies in true guy-in-the-grocerystore-queue-that-scrathes-his-scalp-that-tad-too-much-manner.

_MG_7468w.jpg

I guess that images of wonderful, messy times (aka, last week) on the patio will have to do, while we hold our breath for spring.

Needless to say, I am not pleased. Last year we went from winter to summer in a week, it was all very confusing and very much Monty Pythonesque. And while I do love Monty Python, I prefer my seasons a little more… balanced and predictable. But now I’m being silly, what’s more predictable than a fucking freezing April in Sweden? Nothing really. Do you know who the original April fools are? Lemme tell you. Swedes believing that they can go outside in thin jean jackets and those fancy new vans they’ve excitedly bought in anticipation of warmer weather, just because it’s hot and sunny a random April Tuesday. They’re the fools. Year after year they do it. And year after year, they get caught in the literal ice cold realization, as the sun is starting to set, that it was all an illusion, a prank made by nature and the sun in a devious, probably very entertaining, scheme.

Now, the reason for my moaning is of course the fact that I filled all my windows with little plants that then needed bigger pots and then all of a sudden, I had too much plants and too few windows, so out on the patio they had to go, especially since I need to start planting the next generation of seeds that demand their space in said windows. You could say I should have foreseen this event, but sometimes I like just living in denial, okay? I’ll solve it till next year (okay so I probably won’t, but just let me live a little!).

Because, even if I’m not one to wear a jean jacket until the end of May, I am too a forever hopeful April’s fool.

 

Managing my obsessive planting in GoodNotes (4)

_MG_7120w.jpg

As I’ve said before, when I turned to the dark side and ordered my iPad, I wished that it would come into sooo much use that I wouldn’t regret or angst over the amount of money spent on a tech thingie when I already had other tech thingies. But seriously, together with and thanks to, Goodnotes, it’s the best tool I’ve ever had. I never type on the iPad, nor edit pictures, but I do sooo many other things.

One of them is to keep track of what I’m actually doing in life. School, calendar, lists, information and slips I may need in the future that WILL get lost in the vast expanses of our house (JK, I can lose things on a dime), recipes I want to try and recipes I’ve tweaked to my liking, house things, and... the plant things. Having bought an overwhelming amount of seeds that needs categorizing into each of their month of planting, ways of planting, where they should be located later on etc, and of course the instructions on the packets is good to save for a forgetful seagull like me.

So what does an avid user of GoodNotes do? Start a new notebook of course, complete with a front cover. As you can see down below, not all of my books have covers yet, but I am working on it (in ProCreate on my pad, lavv it)!

I’m still using GoodNotes 4 because the 5th version messed with my documents, so I’m just waiting that out for a while longer.

IMG_0739w.jpg

One of the things I like, and prefer in the 4th over the 5th version, is that the document pages previews three in a row, instead of four. It’s easier to see what kind of pages I’m looking for when they’re bigger in size. Although, you can opt for adding bookmarks which is really handy when having lots of similar looking pages close to another, making the thumbnails harder to see what you’re looking for, but that is an extra step and you have to add them all yourself.

IMG_0742w.jpg
IMG_0747w.jpg

I used a simple gridded A4 paper in the GoodNotes (Version 5 has dotted too!) to make a chart of the plants and their schedules. I just used the geometric… button, and lined it all directly in GoodNotes, and then copied it for further use. Preferred months to be planted in brown, pink flowering times, and green harvesting times for edibles.

IMG_0743w.jpg

I made a chart for where the plants will like spending their time, just to get an overview of what I need to regard when planning the garden. From the top; just outdoors, warm locations/half way sheltered, and then green house. From the left to the right; Sunny, half way shade and shade. And no, I’m not surprised that no plants want to lounge in shady green houses. But hey! In the future, maybe some plants will fit in that category, ey?

I also made small notations about the life span of the plants so I can hopefully make less terrible decisions when it’s time to shove them out into the world. I don’t want to have to dig up plants next year because I’m stupid, not in control of anything and/or forgetful.

IMG_0744w.jpg

And here you have an example of the specific plant pages. The ones I could find of the internet, I added from there. The ones that I couldn’t find, I photographed and added instead. We’ll see how I like it and keep up with it! I forget so much from year to year so I think it’s gonna do me good to save stuff…

IMG_0745w.jpg

In conclusion; without the pen, the iPad would be just another random tech thing for me. With the pen, it’s the most awesome tool to do almost anything. We’ll see how long I’ll keep on with GoodNotes 4 instead of the 5th, and if this actually makes me keep track of my shit.

Third time is the charm even for gardening?

Honestly, things kind of just got out of hand. In more ways than one.

I was supposed to cheerily submit a post last week about this topic, but when I sat down by the kitchen table to take some photos of the seed packets I looked around the kitchen and saw things that didn’t belong and you know that itch to instantly do something totally different than the thing you actually set out to do sets in and you find yourself five hours later, having turned the entire kitchen upside down, rebuilt shelves, cleared out the fridge, washed stuff up, sorted, decluttered and gotten annoyed by exactly how many bags of cinnamon you have? No? Come on, I know you do. Oh, and there were four of them. Four. Yeah, I don’t know either.

Anyways, that’s what happened last week. No pictures of seed packets were taken and no plan was made nor any seeds planted. The kitchen looks great, though.

So, today I tried again. I sauntered into the kitchen around 11 AM and made myself three large cups of coffee to kick start up this sack of potatoes of a body and figured I’d just clear the dining room table and sort my packets in there instead seeing as the kitchen table is full of spice jars because what I ACTUALLY WERE SUPPOSED TO DO today was to assemble a spice rack so we can use the kitchen table again, but let’s not derail us any further.

I sat down, spread the packets out on the dining table and gleefully started planning my attack on the beloved activity of putting small pieces of green into small portions of soil and just hoping for the best. I managed to take some photos, go me!

_MG_6979w.jpg

But then I thought, “We’re supposed to plant all these dang seeds, and gosh jolly there’s a lot of them, but where?” The patio is a fucking disaster and the little plastic pots I’m supposed to plant in are somewhere in the middle of it. I grabbed my witchy cup of coffee and ventured out onto the patio.

_MG_6983w.jpg

“Dang, there’s a lot of stuff here.” I stared for a long time at the patio, breaking a sweat because even in Sweden, in February, glazed patios hold the lovely temperature of 35C/95F in the sun. I lifted a bag of fire wood, had nowhere to put it, dropped it again and thought; “We should keep these in the garage, but there’s a disaster in there too.”

_MG_6913w.jpg

“Yeah, plant those veggies, do it. See if you get to keep’em for yourselves. Hint; you wont.”

The garage. I stared at the garage. Dangit. Before I even had time to register the decision, I knew what tree I was barking up. Cue me seven hours later, sitting down for the first time since that faithful second on the patio, having gone through and sorted the entire garage, sorted and cleaned the patio, AND shoveled my way through 50 meters of icy, knee deep snow to reach the outhouse where the dang missing plastic planting pots could be. They weren’t there, nor in the garage or on the patio.

So naturally I haven’t managed to plant any seeds yet. The garage and patio looks great, though.