Friday, 27 November 2015

DIY Advents Calendar - Poetic Style

I learned about advents calendar when I moved here. This little tradition of preparing a little surprise for each day of December until the 24th grown on me,

I decided I would do an Advents Calendar for Carl even if he didn't want one... 

If you wonder if my boyfriend would maybe read this and see his surprise in advance... don't worry he doesn't read my blogs... I guess no one does :P

The idea was that I would make something by myself and he could keep it later.

Because I'm always complaining that we don't have any decoration on my apartment walls I decided to make some wall Art! Romantic wall Art :)

1st Step: Pick the Poem

I searched for the perfect verses that I wanted to work with. It needed to be special because it's going to stay in our wall for a while.

I wanted it to be a Portuguese poet and the verses would have to be in Portuguese.

So I picked a poem from Fernando Pessoa

"Quando te vi, amei-te já muito antes.
Tornei a achar-te quando te encontrei.
Nasci pra ti antes de haver o mundo."

"When I saw you, I loved you already long time ago.
I found you again when I met you.
I was born for you before there was world."

2nd Step: Prepare the base

What I did is to put the white papers that I was going to use on the table and tried to paint the base for the calligraphy. I used watercolour paint and did just random (very fast) "art" work.

3rd Step: Calligraphy

Just tried to write in the paper one or two words with different types of calligraphy. I'm not an expert but I think I did a good job.

4th Step: Check if you didn't miss any part of the verses


5th Step: Roll it up


Hope he loves it :)

What you guys think?

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Seeds of Luffa by post

I'm a member of a facebook group for Portuguese speakers on facebook (I'm Portuguese) and one of the ladies is planting Luffa in her garden and she promises to send seeds to people that would send her a letter with a envelope and a stamp for her to send a couple of seeds to us!

I'm going to try it out! 

I hope that she sends me some seeds and I get to plant some vegetable sponges in my garden!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Avocado experience!

I organised a dinner with some friends and we ate some rice paper vegetable raps (or veggie summer rolls as goolge calls it). I chopped many types of vegetables and fruits to include in the raps filling. Two from this mix were avocados.

So... Like the rest of the world I'm doing the avocado seed experience! I'm trying first with one seed and if it doesn't work I try with the other. 

I saw this experience many many times all over the Internet. It looks like is the easiest thing to do. But my avocado seed didn't create any roots yet! And I read that in a day the avocado seed starts rooting when in contact with the water!

Looks like it doesn't!

I searched in Youtube for some more information's and I found this video here:

This guy, my avocado seeding guru, explains in this video how we should do it. 

But is more or less this what you need to know:

  1. After the first day in water take the skin from the bottom of the seed, it will help the root to come out.
  2. The seed can be in water for 3 months and it doesn't mean is a dead seed. 
  3. Don't transfer directly the seed from the water to the soil. Is a huge shock for the plant this brutal change in her environment so what he proposes is adding soil to the water during a period of time. When is full of soil than pass the seed to the container.
  4. This plants would not produce fruits (sad) because they need pollinators.

If this works I don't know what I'm doing with one or two avocado plants but is always good for oxygen production and I'm sure they make lovely gifts!

Here is how the avocado plant will look like:

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The cats, the garden and my growing hate

Since I realised that it wasn't my imagination and I wasn't forgetting things unfinished around the garden I have to confess I'm starting to grow slowly a hate inside.

First was the fox! Yes... I have a fox that comes to my garden to make her dirty business every single night! So, although I don`t have a dog my garden is full of poop.
But it's ok! ( kind of ok!) I take the "accident" as free fertilizer and she is honoring me with her presence. Some what it makes me feel like a Beatrix Potter... and I feel proud to able to build a garden that attracts wild animals.

Then I started to notice things that I planted taken out from the earth. Specialy Bulbs... after replanting for the fourth time the bulbs for the winter flowers my gardening peace was destroyed with the realisation that I did that before and something or someone was destroying my work!

And who is to be blamed? 

All the gardens know this criminal! 

The CAT!!

And don't take me wrong, I love animals. I even fill a big bowl of water for the animals that visit my garden to have something to drink in this year hot summer that we had in Germany.
But my breaking point was the garlic!

I planted garlic in my garden, already late, in the end of September beginning October.
Is my firt time trying to grow garlic and is not a easy task because they realy need the last warm days of October to be able to start growing. If something goes wrong you can't do anything because you are dependent on the weather.
It takes on average 8 month to grow garlic enough to produce a bulb. So this long time and the weather dependency makes this a high risk culture and can mean that in the end it was a waste of time and money.

When I came to the garden and I saw half of the garlic out of the earth... Ooooohhhhh! I was realy mad!

I replanted them and try to hide them better but it didn't work like expected... the "visitors" thought it was a game, a cognitive research from my part that they were able to achieve at 100% success rate.

My job now is to check all my bulbs and pray for them to gain roots so they aren't so intertaining.

Carl said we need to get a dog, so he can do what dogs do best and kick the cats out. 
But my past expirience tells me that probably he and the cats will become friends and probably I will have more poop and on more criminal being an accomplice in what happens at night in my garden.