Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Weather diaries, George & planting

I’ve just discovered, thanks to my partner Jeremy, the Weather Diaries of film maker George Kuchar. Joy!

Not inconveniently I am enduring a period of immense challenge with our current West Coast weather. I saw the Flowerman on the road today and he conveyed his despair over the weather and his plans to usurp his current arrangement in his plot at the community garden. He generously reconfigured some of his great plants along the communal sides of our garden and I was struck by them as I left the garden the other day. He really is an extraordinary and generous gardener.  I sometimes imagine all of the people who receive immense joy from his efforts.  He gave me some advice on seeds… apparently I am planting them way too deep because everything should germinate in this weather and basically in my much neglected plot very little has germinated.

Mme Beespeaker gave me some bee friendly plants, but so far not much luck in them popping up, likely because I messed up some of the planting. Repeat! Repeat seeding will be required! Not too worry am wiser now.

One great aspect of this decling weather situation is the planning. When it’s pouring rain, a la aujourd ‘hui, my community garden plot can’t flourish beyond not having to water it, so I begin plotting how I’ll move the strawberry plants once the fruits are finished (And boyo they have been fantastic this year) to the sides and then plant some vegetable starts and hope we are lucky with some sun before September. The Flowerman and I shared our “plans” in the rain today.

As I type this I’ve been listening to a video interview with George Kuchar (RIP 1942-2011), right now he’s joking about his eyebrows, but earlier he talked about his fascination with twisters and how the internet more than provided for his weather watching needs in that regard.


There has been some astonishing flooding as the Fraser River gave it up in Sicamouse (sp?) and some truly horrific forest fires in Colorado. I took a peek at the Fraser out in New West last week and it was high(er) and swirly.  I would love some day to write a novel about or around that river. I have developed quite an affection for the small parts I’ve come to know of it.

There was also concurrent flooding epsiodes in Belfast and Cork. Cork has previously been hit very badly by flashfoods and this last round seemed to come on so fast. A weather forecast, yes, but bam! Floods like you wouldn’t believe. One spokesperson commented it was impossible to be prepared. The wonder of rain, ne c’est pas?



Mason bee’d

At the garden today i was delilah to hear the Mason bees chattering in their little house, which is located right beside my plot. At first I couldn’t distinguish what the sound was, but then I noted activity in the little plug holes and realized the bees were remarking to each other.

I finally plunged some seeds into the soil and tidied up the strawberry plants and deslugged the landscape. The geraniums I collected from the giveaway garden out by UBC last summer have begun to bloom and … they are purple, a lilac purple colour, which I am thrilled about, since I’ve been romancing purple tulips all season long.

The Mother’s Day begonia from my Beloved is a strong, annunciating pink in a corner of its own and I have to say I had a moment of very brief admiration over the fact my plot is waking up. Partly the strawberry patch is so healthy looking because it’s had so many years to establish itself.

My planting was so erratic that I have a feeling it may not produce quite the plumage I’d hope for, so will pick up a few more starts in case disaster strikes.

Had a lovely tour of Mme Beespeaker’s garden tonight — have a sweet bunch of Forget-me-nots- on my desk from it, adopted a pumpkin, a zucchini plant and my first nasturtium ! And enjoyed some of her fennel in a tea I brewed tonight. The guinea pigs also downed a chunk of said fennel. I love her garden because it is like several gardens in one. A whole nesting of different continents. Plus Bees live there, which makes it even more special.

Nobody eats or wants zucchini.

Today I collected a bunch of hearty geraniums from a woman in a house out West who offered them on a recycling site to plant in my garden plot. Unfortunately my arms got all scratched up by the vicious zucchini plant, droves of people in red tee shirts entered the garden unable to spell the word marjoram as part of some city wide quiz day, they were scarpering about sweating with blackberrys/ipone’s and by the 25th plus person asking me I told them the solution to the clue was mint. The sun was baking me up, the red tee shirt brigade (I visit the garden for peace and gardening talk not demented joggers on a spelling-bee quest) so I had to abandon ship.

Another tragedy our trolley has been removed from the garden, alas this means it is now three times as difficult to bring the water across to the plots.

Mayor Gregor Robertson PLEASE tell those watery engineers types to turn on the feckin’ water in our garden and stop acting the bollix over a gang of citizens trying to grow flowers and vegetables ensemble.

We are challenged botanically.