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Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 16, 12 at 15:14

Forgot the Idyll # yesterday...I was so excited to be starting the thread that I forgot what I was doing!

Today's JJobs were washing two walls (so I won't feel like I should paint them) and cleaning the plantation shutters in the living room.

Oh and I also broke up the coating of ice on the driveway to be ready for tomorrow's freezing rain.....I keep telling myself that in June this will all be a dismal distant memory...

I think the houses across the street are having problems with water. When the ground is frozen but the temperature is mild, water has nowhere to go except between your foundation and the dirt. If there is anyplace for it to seep in, it will, as we found out last year. The town trucks have been here with measurements being taken. Great, dig up the street. Fix it over there and I hope none of it comes over here. Good ol' Canadian winter!

I find that my plants need to be watered every couple of days now, as the sun, when it shines, has that warmer quality to it that is a harbinger of Spring. The banana is going wild, the geraniums are blooming, the Mandevilla is putting out tiny little leaves: There is hope!

Cheers,

Julie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

Yeah for Spring! 33 days sounds good! I see tiny evidence of my foxgloves coming up under the plant lights too!

This is the poster I worked on with DS and my friend. Although there was a great deal of writing that needed to be included, I like the end result. Today DS is off to visit the participating schools.

I hope to frame a slightly different version of this. Check below for some other artwork from Haiti.

Tomorrow I must have a pedicure as I have a painful cracked heel. DH has some tests done on his hip and then I guess we need to solve the broken washing machine problem.... Not a glamorous day.

Here is a link that might be useful: artisans


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

Norma - how's your back doing now? I haven't done any seed-starting for the past two years. I don't really need more plants for the garden and it's not worth the effort just to grow a few annuals for pots. I did hear back from the lady with NF2 and hope the conversation will continue. We've had some similar problems with medical treatments that went wrong, so that was interesting. She'd also met one of my doctors - although he's not part of her treatment team.

Randy has been getting into bird photography in the last little while. Yesterday he came home from shopping and found a flock of robins feasting on the Angel rose hips in the driveway border. There have been a couple of Snowy Owls hanging out in the neighbourhood. He got a couple of good pictures of those. And, of course, there are lots of swans and ducks etc. on the lake. You can see some of his bird photos on his flickr site at the link below. Photography has become his main retirement hobby....

Rosehips and Robin

gb - that's quite the poster! What software did you use to do that? What's the problem with your DH's hip - arthritis? Ouch re your heel - I hope the pedicure help with that.

Here is a link that might be useful: Randy's photos


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GB, how exciting for Sarah and all the family. It's going to be a fun family to grow up in.

I like your succulent collection.

Julie , great poem for grandmas. I loved TCS's quotes especially the one about Jesus wearing flip flops.

Woody , my back is much less sore now. I just have to be careful how I twist myself.
I really enjoyed seeing Randy's photos. The robin is awesome. I also really liked the Japanese Maple one.

It is warm enough today that I pulled Joey's blanket off. The funny thing was that it has a nylon lining and static electricity was formed as I pulled it off. Then I reached back to pet him and we both were shocked. Twice. He curled his lips in response. I made sure to ground myself before touching him again. It was kinda funny though.

This patch of crocus has really naturalised. Niki was trying to catch the bees swarminh it.

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I was wishing I had my camera with me earlier when Niki and Joey were nose to nose checking each other out.


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Woody, I'm speechless..Randys photos are fabulous ! Going to spend some more time there this evening and look at all of them.Please extend to him my kudos ! I told Deanne about them too.

Kathy in Napa


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I'm testing something. I will delete it if it shows up to big, which I think it might.


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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 21, 12 at 12:13

Happy Tuesday all! The beginning of a new week (well for me anyway, yesterday was Family Day here).

My JJob today is freeing up a blocked sink. Boiling water and a cup of salt seem to have done the trick. Of course I didn't read anything about doing this and it appears that if you have plastic type pipes, boiling water is a bad idea. Oh well. So far so good.

We didn't get the freezing rain so TCS actually got his specialist appointment. Being referred to someone else - a five month wait apparently. We'll just go with the flow. Nice POSTER mARIE! i AGREE THAT IT WILL LOOK GREAT FRAMED. mAYBE THEY COULD BE SOLD AS A FUNDRAISER??

i HOPE YOUR dh IS O.K. WITH THE HIP THING. mY GUYS SUFFERED A LONG TIME BEFORE HIS REPLACEMENT, BUT IT HAS BEEN VERY GOOD SINCE.

oW!! FOR THE CRACKED HEEL. i HATE THE WAY MY FEET AND HANDS DRY OUT AND GET RATTY IN THE WINTER. gOOD THING i WEAR SDOCKS AND GLOVES WHEN I GO OUT!

rANDY'S PHOTOS ARE AMAZING. i TOO THOUGHT OF fEANNE RIGHT AWAY WHEN i SAW THEM.

Rats, Caps. Not going to fix them either. I'll have to wait until nmy ten year old techie gets home from school.

I got as kick out of the static electricity from Joey, Norma. I hope you didn't get a kick out of it - literally!
Hi Kathy! Nice to "see" you again. How's things??

Cheers,

Julie


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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 22, 12 at 14:55

Hello everyone!

Beautiful sunny and bright day here this morning. I went out to coffee with a friend and we discussed starting our seeds. I could not contain myself any longer so went to CTC to get starting mix and peat pots. When I came out ten minutes later, it was dark, three degrees colder, and wet sleet so thick you could hardly see! Hey! Is someone up there trying to tell me something? *LOL* The sun is back now. I am going to set up the lights and timer later and probably plant tomorrow. Banana seeds are already soaking...

I recently found out that the neighbour next door (who hates me, remember the fence?) has been bad-mouthing me to the other neighbours. I try not to respond to that sort of nonsense; it says more about her than it does about me; but it hurts just a little all the same. I guess part of my sad feeling about this is the February blues, but also that we had fabulous neighbours in that house when we moved here, and I miss them.

I meant to look at bird feeders when I was out today, inspired by Randy's photos, but I forgot. The squirrels had completely destroyed mine now, so I am sprinkling seeds and unshelled peanuts directly on the patio table on the wine deck. This morning five squirrels had a big fight on the table, and the dogs went wild. I think even the squirrels are feeling springy. Do squirrels sort of hibernate? Maybe they are waking up now that the sun is warmer?

Off to bake cookies for TCS!

Cheers,

Julie


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Read below Julie! (Doesn't make me love them any more though...)

Woke up to sun this morning. It is now 4C out, but more gloomy. The laneway was very icy and made me VERY nervous driving out this morning.

You are right about your neighbor. I feel sorry for people who are miserable and try to spread misery around! (Thinking of DGS's Mom) But certainly it is hard to be the focus of it all. It seems it is always easier to blame someone else and never be responsible for things yourself..... ARGH.

My friend started artichoke seeds and they are coming up now. I'd LOVE to plant some but will likely be traveling and there's no one responsible enough to water them while I'm away. Maybe I'll try anyway?

DS was on an amazing trip this past weekend...to the island of Gonave. This is the home of his friend, Junior. They took the $3 boat which took 16 hours, sails and no motor. Think Thor Heyerdal! Some very special moments and experiences were had...such as kids swimming out to greet them, a fish fest, Ugh- chicken fights, hiking & swimming and delightful wide eyed children.

Good thing I can't smell those cookies baking! I'm still trying to be virtuous about exercise and portion control.
Making meals is a challenge these days. I usually end up making 2 different meals, one for He and one for Me!

'bug

Here is a link that might be useful: squirrels in spring...


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

Julie - Those neighbours sure don't sound nice! We've been lucky so far to alway have good neighbours. I hope that continues to be the case - I worry about what will happen when the elderly neighbours to the south inevitably sell. I'm sure it'll end up as a tear-down and monster re-build which, even is the people are nice, will dramatically change the garden conditions here.

GB - that certainly looks like interesting transportation :-) Is that a cell phone the guy has? Interesting how they have become so common and useful in all sorts of remote and poor areas...

Julie's cookies sound appealing here too... Last night we made a nice cauliflower and apple soup. Soup is always accompanied by our low-fat cottage cheese biscuits. When I have a sweet craving at the same time - like last night! - I use half the biscuit dough to make quickie cinnamon rolls. The biscuit dough makes lovely soft and tasty cinnamon rolls.


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Yes Woody, The world is on cell phones EVERYWHERE. DS may have been the first white guy to travel on one of those boats, but everyone on that boat had a cell phone in full use for the entire trip.

Digicel is the biggest outfit in Haiti...and I took this photo just for you because the street name rang a bell... :)


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cute gb...


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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 23, 12 at 15:21

Happy Thursday Idylls!

Can this be? I planted some rosemary seeds yesterday in Jiffy Pots, put them in my solarium window last night, and they seem to have germinated already!!??They are "supposed" to take a week or so....

I intend to plant some Lemon Basil, some Lime Basil, and the bananas tomorrow.

Later will be the peppers, and this year for fun I will grow birdhouse gourds. I love garden planning at this time of year


Today I set up the lights and the timer in the basement and put three orchids under them. I have been negligent with my basement plants so it is time to smarten up. I also noted that the huge banana from last year has mites so it is Soap Time for it.

Tomorrow we are threatened with nasty weather, which is not unusual for us at this time.

Friends coming for dinner on Sunday so I am researching recipes,and planning on cleaning up the main floor of the house so I don't freak anybody out. My friend is vegetarian so I need to do some planning to ensure she gets enough to eat.

Oh Bug, look at that water! Gorgeous! Your DS is living life to the fullest!

Last night was Dog School again. Tucky did great on the sit, stay, down, stay, walking on the leash, but....When the instructor took him off leash so I could show his recall abilities, it was lack thereof, as he immediatly bolted off to socialize with all the other dogs, ignoring my "Come" command completely. (I am not surprised). The instructor told me my dog treats were not smelly enough, to bring cut up hot dogs next time. Sheesh.

Cheers,

Julie


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

A recent father/daughter time. Making noodles from scratch. (They painted the kitchen and it is so much brighter than the pale blue!)


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Older chef training younger chef... cute! Fresh pasta is wonderful stuff - kids love putting it through the 'wringer' and watching the spagetti emerge! :-) If there are kids coming to dinner, we often serve pasta and get the kids to help put it through the machine. We have the manual, hand cranked one which only makes flat pastas. Does your SIL have the fancy machine that can make the hollow pastas?

We had a snowfall warning overnight, but we got 0"! It was so mild here yesterday (+6C) that the ground is too warm for any snow to stick - and the lake never had a chance this winter to really cool down so that tends to turn snow into rain too. It rained overnight. It's still +3 out there. The dogs just came in from the backyard - they're wet but it was crunchy too so it's either freezing rain or sleet going on out there at the moment....

Yesterday I was seeing bulb foliage, some with buds, along the ditch bank out front, so I think there will be flowers there in a few days! A VERY odd winter here this year.


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DSIL has a machine (from me!)but cuts his noodles by hand! They love cooking together!

I must get to canadian tire through the snow now. Later!
'bug


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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 24, 12 at 15:14

You guys getting any snow yet? Thick white sticky horizontal snow here - can hardly see.

Can't believe the school bus went today....

Happy week end all!

Cheers,

Julie


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no white stuff here....


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Plenty here but then rain so we have slop everywhere...


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Greetings from the California central coast..checking in here from Santa Cruz. I drove down this morning to visit the UC Santa Cruz arboretum. This garden is notable for it's Australian and South African collections.The Proteas and Banksias are winter bloomers;some were already faded--it's spring out here . I took lots of photos and will share some when I get home tomorrow evening. I can't imagine snow !

Kathy in Santa Cruz


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For Kathy:
This is snow in Edmonton.

Skyler...wanted to go swimming instead.

Leo had to wear the pink hat today...

Ivy had a blast!

Daddy took photos because he has bad knees.


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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 26, 12 at 9:18

OMG that picture of Leo is SO CUTE!! Our landscape looks like theirs today!

Can't wait for the pics Kathy! Ohhhh, Spring!!

Cheers,

Julie


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Skyler looks like he's recovered well!

A few of the bulbs along the ditch are up and ready for spring. A couple of small snowdrops were starting to open and a few crocuses are close behind. Randy will probably cut back the Chinese wisteria this week - we need to reduce the height by 12-18" because it's getting hard to reach the top with the long-arm pruners. We'll probably also cut the sides back a bit to keep it in proportion. A neighbour across the street will take the cuttings for forcing. I wasn't sucessful last year when I tried to force some, but she was....


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Have so enjoyed photos of Niki, the 'bug family and even the snow ! Our snow level here has decreased to 2500 feet.. snow here is altitude related and usually above 4000 ft . We went from 70ish degree days back to the 50's.. and frosty nights.

Here are a few photos from my visit to the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum this past weekend. The garden is very naturalistic and features great collections of South African and Australian/New Zealand plants. Many of these are winter bloomers here, so this was a good time to visit, and in fact a month sooner would have been better.

They are known for their collection of Proteas

From 2012-02-26

From 2012-02-26

From 2012-02-26

From 2012-02-26

Leucodendron

From 2012-02-26

From 2012-02-26

From 2012-02-26

Combo view

From 2012-02-26

Kathy in Napa


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Striking photos and plants Kathy!!!


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Lots of fierce wind expected tomorrow! March comes in like a lion.

I have made arrangements for some garden help this summer and am delighted. Two ladies will come for a look-see at the end of the month. They have a garden sale every summer which I have attended and I've actually met them before and trust them. I am delighted to find these people and hope it all works out. The other lady I spoke with is pregnant, expecting her 3rd child in June. Somehow I didn't think that would work well, but I'll keep in touch because you never know what the future will bring!

I've finished the book for Monday's book club read. It should be an interesting meeting!

Today as I went about my various errands (post office, vet's, grocery shopping and laminating materials for Haiti)I decided that Christmas decorations look mighty weak at this time of year! The red bows are bedraggled and pale pink by now, the pine boughs are beige and limp. And then there are those icicle lights that are year round....

We pretty much finished the preparation for our talk and slides for the Kiwanis Club meeting on the 14th. I have ordered French books for the school and am waiting to hear about the Kreyol ones - soon I hope!

The laundry (7pm to 7am schedule here) is running now, I finished my treadmill walk and am head for a bath. Zonked!

Happy weekend to all!
'bug


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We're still under a wind warning here this morning. I get nervous about the neighbour to the south's aging and decrepit ash tree that would fall on our house (especially this room!) if the wind was from the SW (which it is...!) When we were walking Misty on the street behind us this morning, we saw this:
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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 3, 12 at 12:15

Good Morning Idylls!

Gee Woody, I expect to see a similar scene here sometime today. The wind is fierce and we have many evergreens around the neighbourhood. Many are without power just now also, although we are all right.

I am hoping for an early Spring. I have plans.....to expand yet another garden. More gardening, less lawn mowing! I have pondered this for quite a while, and I am ready. I really won't need much in the way of plants or materials. I have field stone behind my fence for a path through this garden, broken bricks for the edging are readily available here as the subdivision is expanding, and it gave me an excuse to order extra stuff from Vesey's this year.

Tomorrow is Seedy Sunday, an event held here in town where all kinds of gardeners, groups and pros get together to buy, sell or trade seeds. Great fun and a neat way to see other stuff, meet other people,and get in the mood for Spring.

Also tomorrow night I am going to Kay's (DD) to - guess what - paint some more froufrou woodwork. I may take the camera this time. I would like to have some before and afters!

TCS has a big bridge-building project to complete this week-end. this afternoon we are congregating at the air hockey table, also his work table (!) to get this sthing well on it's way. He has to model his bridge after an existing one and write a report about the engineering, the materials, the reasons for the construction, etc. A big job, which must be done at home. Each grade has one such project a year. A lot of work, but really fun to see the finished works at an open house. I was kind of hoping thast it would be due after March break, but no such luck. Soing something like this can be funj over the break. But a lot of families travel I guess..

I've been going a little stir crazy this winter. I am determined to find something to do next winter, probably a volunteer project.
There are lots of opportunities here in Perth.

Cheers,

Julie


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We made it to the farmer's market, but the winds were still strong. Our creek is also flooding things a bit. We found frozen black currants at the market which I love. Also tasted some delicious Egyptian dips. I may buy some another time if we entertain.

Then we went to a nearby town and bought a couple of inflatable globes for Haiti. They won't last long I suppose, but they'll last long enough for several geography lessons I'm sure and are super easy to pack.

Did my morning treadmill routine and now I'm off to make some kind of lunch.

Eager to see DD's newly painted walls Julie!
'bug


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16F today, but sunny and beautiful!


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So read all of Idyll 427 that the spammer bumped up. Remember Candy ? I don't recall what the issue was that prompted her to leave.

Our weather was very nice this weekend , and I spent all of it outside, pouting when I had to up and go to the grocery store. We are still having nights in the 30's but it was quite warm today , over 70 and sunny. So much is growing now, and I saw the first buds on one of my unnamed Clematis -Marian posted photos of full bloom daffs over on FB, and I was scratching my head because my daffs are up but not blooming yet.

Hate those scary wind events Woody.We have had very little of that this year.

Julie, you are a saint. I hated doing homework with my kids-projects etc. I always felt really stressed out about it, and have to assume they did too. I preferred the critical thinking skills I was taught in HS .No projects required, lol.

DS's next play opens on Friday and DD will come over to go see it with me on Sunday.

IU9 is shaping up too. We have dates and a semi-itinerary. PNW here we come !

Kathy in Napa


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I saw a robin yesterday! And today has started with sunshine.


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Do take a look at the link below for today's entry on a new art competition!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pawol Jen Yo


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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 9, 12 at 10:14

That is cool! Is it crewel or embroidery or something? Needlework anyway?


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The sun image? That is a string weaving design that was spray painted afterwards. There's another one of a flower on the link.


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Our DVD player bit the dust last weekend. We don't watch a lot of TV but we do like to watch movies, so today we decided to update our technology :-) We bought a blu-ray DVD player, an LED flat-screen TV (a moderate-sized one; not a monster big one...), and switched our cable package to HD. It'll all be delivered and set up tomorrow afternoon. Anyone have a recommendation for a good movie to watch to 'christen' the new set-up...?


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Oh my! Sounds exciting! But I'm the last person to get advice from because we almost never watch movies. I have a collection of my Mom's films in the basement that I have yet to watch. Kathy is the one who has good suggestions on this sort of thing!


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Harry Potter !


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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 12, 12 at 8:51

We got laughs from "Crazy Stupid Love" with Steve Carell, although it takes a while to get going. Also liked "Date Night" with him in it. We also watch Kevin Spacey movies; "Father of Invention" was one. I am awful with names though...I'll ask my family....Have fun!

Cheers,

Julie


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Incredible day out there today! 16C (61F), bright sunshine, no wind.

The crocuses on the bank of the front ditch have all popped into bloom, as have most of the ones in the front garden. I pruned the old culinary sage plants into quasi-bonsai; Randy pruned the honeysuckle vine on the iron arbour and pruned the Chinese wisteria to shorten it - it was getting out of reach of the long-arm pruners... We removed the old flowers from the butterfly bushes but didn't cut them back hard yet - I'm sure there will be more cold eventually so it's too early to do a hard prune.

Very strange weather this year so far!!

Re the new TV - it took ages to get it working properly - and we are still figuring some of it out. The guys from the store accidentally took away the instruction manuals when they were cleaning up! And the brochure they left with the number to call at the cable company to activate the HD service had the wrong number on it. The picture quality is very good but plug'n'play this ain't! :-)


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Fabu-Fabu weather here indeed!

Too wet to do any real work, but that's OK, I'm too busy with other stuff! Maybe over the next few days I'll be able to rake up some of the many branches and tidy up the land mines left by Phoebe over the snowy months.

I bought more flower seeds today...heaven knows why! I'm swamped with the foxglove seedlings even though I've given away many. We have lots of robins singing away, cardinals, red-tailed hawks, snow buntings the other day too. Love seeing and hearing them!

My clivia is at its peak in the front hall. This photo is from over a week ago.

Fun to hear from Chelone who is working on floor cloths!
Back to work now...
'bug


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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 14, 12 at 9:24

Haha, land mines. Mine are cxleared as of yesterday. How gross!

I brought my Clivia up from the basement after hearing that yours was in action! It looks happy but no sign of a stalk yet. OTOH, I have been babying the orchids for the last few weeks and have been rewarded with two stalks, and quite a few new leaves.

My basil seedlings are growing well, as are the dichondra and the Thunbergia.

The clems have all been cut back. The daylilies are sprouting, the garlic is up, the honeysuckle has buds as do the three Hydrangea. The Hyacinths are pushing through and the Primula are green. I think my well-protected Rhodo made it through the winter in decent shape too. I usually get out to the garden on the 29th of March, DS's birthday. We are waaaay ahead this year. I hope we don't get a sudden 30 cm. of snow next week!

Glad to see that someone has heard from Chelone and all is well. I miss the Sanitary Ridge, the Fertile Crescent and Vegetable World *LOL* These all came to mind yesterday as I puttered around the yard/garden!

Not too many of our USA friends here these days. All on facebook now I guess. :(

Cheers,

Julie


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Day after day of rain here, all the way til Monday. We are I think 30% below normal, so this is welcome. Might as well have it all at once and get it over with. The San Francisco Garden Show is next week and I think it will clear up in time for that. I hope to spend some time with Denise there.

Finally today I got my snapdragons ! I got a wild hair in fll to plant a whole bunch in the front garden to fill in while I transition the more permanent plantings. I hope for a break in the storm this weekend to get them installed.

All for now !

Kathy in Napa


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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 16, 12 at 9:33

Hi all!

Bug, is that a Fringe Tree?

Warm, cloudy and humid here today. We've been breaking records for high temps. all week. TCS wants to earn money for a video game so tomorrow, warm and sunny, I will get him to gently rake the front lawn and help me lay out some garden hose to determine the contours of enlarging the bed there. Then we have a brick hunt to see if we can find edging for free!

I have ribs in the slow cooker already for dinner tonight. House cleaning is on the agenda for today so I can be outside with a clear conscience all week-end. Although the weatherman keeps saying that we have never had a Spring without snow after March 20th, I am thinking that we should just embrace this unusual year and enjoy ourselves.Spoken like a gardener!

Note though; there is virtually no Maple sap this year - the trees need warm days and cold nights to produce the stuff that maple syrup is made from. Once the trees bud up, the sap develops a nasty taste and is not suitable for syrup. My maple, although not a sugar maple, is already showing signs of budding up. I live in a depressed area called Lanark County, which produces at least 80% of the world's maple syrup. Things are going to be tough around here for a while.

There has been much gloom up here in the not-so-frozen North this winter. Ski hills, winter festivals, outdoor hockey, etc. all took a hit due to the ice and rain as opposed to snow. There has been some spin off in the sales and tourist areas also. And those who make their living doing snow removal have suffered greatly. Most of my neighbours pay to have their snow cleared, at about $30 a time. The snow guy was only out twice all winter. However, he also does Spring clean-up and grass cutting, so there is hope....

I'm off to get my day started!

Cheers,

Julie


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Julie, that's a witch hazel. Fringe tree comes later on and is white.


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We just finished spraying dormant oil on the fruit trees. I think we caught them just in time. What a job! So now the hoses are officially set up.
Next on the list, pruning the clematis and feeding them.
Why do I feel behind already?


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What a perfect spring day - in winter still! - out there!

Since Randy has gotten into the bird photography, we decided to make the south side of the driveway into a sort of bird station so he can use the car as a 'blind' to take pictures of birds. So we added a bird feeder and a birdbath. The bird feeder is on a grassy bank with the neighbour's big juniper tree behind it - the tree offers shelter for the birds and a background for the photos; the grass means any germinating seeds will get mowed down when the grass is cut! We put the birdbath in the herb/hot bed because the colors should work nicely and it'll be easy to change the water/clean the birdbath with the hose when watering the pots along the driveway. I knew what I wanted for a birdbath but couldn't find it. So we ended up getting two birdbaths and using the support frame from one but the bowl from the other - so it's a bit jury-rigged but looks OK I think.
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This is not a good picture, but all the bulbs in the ditch bank are blooming now. It'll be a few more years before they bulk up enough to be more showy!
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The sad news in the neighbourhood is that Friday afternoon Tess, a beautiful black and white collie - was killed when she lunged at the end of her leash when she heard a motorcycle, broke the clip on the leash and got run over by the motorcycle! Her back was broken - apparently she was still alive when they got her to the vet but there was nothing that could be done. We haven't heard what happened to the motorcyclist - it sounds like the sort of situation that could have caused him to wipe out and be injured too. No one we've spoken to seems to know and we haven't seen Tess's 'parents' to ask them.

Misty once broke the clip on her leash when she was lunging against the end of the leash - so check the clip on your dog leashes!


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

Poor Tess's family! The neighborhood won't be quite the same this spring...


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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 21, 12 at 11:25

Aww that is so sad about the neighbourhood dog! Tucker did that a year or two ago; that's when I changed to a pinch collar. Although he only alienated another dog owner with his antics, I feared exactly what happened to Tess happening to one of my little guys.

I had two enterprising youg men dig up part of my front lawn this morning for an expanded garden. They showed up on time, worked steadily, had the whole thing done and cleaned up in an hour, thirty bucks. They told me that even McDonald's isn't hirinbg so they decided to try doing some manual labour for the summer. They would like to start a business and do landscaping etc. They are just kids, showed up with no gloves, wearing sneakers etc. But brought some old tools, a wheelbarrow, a trailer, and a willing attitude. I am passing their number on to friends; it's a tough world out there.

I am off to scavenge bricks for the edging, then 20 bags of triple mix. I'll take pictures!!

Cheers,

Julie


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I couldn't get on to GW for a couple days , for whatever reaon it wouldn't load , either at home or at the awfice. Looks like all is resoved today.

Love you 'landscape crew' Julie. I was pleasantly surprise with the price I paid to get several mature shrubs hoiked this winter. They fixed my irrigation leak too.

Tommorow I will take the day off and head down to the penninsula for the San Francisco garden show. Denise and I will attempt to cross paths...beer was mentioned. I put a shopping list in my phone, but it's pretty modest ... we will see what I end up with ! Annies and Digging Dog both have booths there, along with one of my fave succulent perveyors, and I'm spending the night down there so will visit the show 2 days. Makes for a more leisurely shopping experience, and opens up time in the event I want to see any of the speakers--though this years line-up is pretty thin IMHO.

Spring is in full swing here ! Japanese maples are leafing out this week , and the lilies have broken ground too...

Ok , gotta go see the haircut lady...waves !

Kathy in Napa


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The weather here has been hot and downright spooky IMHO. Today I discovered my Abeliophyllum (White Forsythia)in full bloom as well as my bloodroot. Everything is in bud and I fear for my fruit trees. The rhubarb has leaves. Anemone blandas are flowering, daffodils are out too.

It was exciting to meet the two ladies who came today and agreed to help garden with me this year. WOW! What a relief to have people who know their plants and know their limits too! They aren't afraid to ask questions. So already next week we'll begin working together so that by the time we leave in April they'll have a good idea what my priorities are.

I'm still working away on laminating teaching materials for Haiti. I sure hope things come together soon. DH will be away next week in Budapest, so I won;t need to prepare meals all the time at least! But I do have a science fiction book to read for Book Club.

Enjoy your weekend Kathy! Sounds lovely!
'bug


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Not looking forward to the -4(25F) and -7(19F) temperatures Sunday and Monday. I'll be trying to protect all the fruit tree buds - an impossible task. The snowdrops are all history for me already, the bloodroot is at (or a bit beyond) its peak, and the narcissus are blooming still. The chickweed is blossoming and annoying me everywhere!

Enjoyed a nice restaurant outing with friends last night and also a lunch out today. Next? Getting DH packed and off to Europe tomorrow. At least the laundry is done!


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gb - it was reasonably nice here today but it's supposed to be -4C tonight and -7C Mon. & Tues. nights with below 0 temp. next weekend too - March going out like a lion...? I have (mostly) avoided doing clean-up so hopefully that will give some protection. My bloodroot is budded but not in bloom and narcissus are mostly not blooming here yet - 'cooler by the lake' and all that... The hellebores are all in bloom - and so is pulmonaria, which surprised me! I like these Scilla tubergeniana which have been forming spreading patches under the pines in the last few years. I need to remember to add more this fall.
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The neighbour to the north's star magnolia started blooming today and shrubs and vines of various sorts are on the verge of leafing out. I hope the cold temperatures in the forecast don't do too much damage! I've been hoping that this might be the year that the Clematis montana got to put on a nice show - I wonder what shape it'll be in after a week of cold temperatures!


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Hi guys. I wanted to stop in and say hi, and that I'm sorry I'm not a better poster. No excuses really, just working three little jobs, and trying to paint some pictures for an upcoming show, which makes for a crazy schedule, and trying to get the inside of the house in order, so when the weather changes I can be outside.

Woody Avatar is a great movie to watch in HD on Blu Ray if you like that kind of movie. I loved the strange animals and flowers. And I LOVE Randy's pictures. Just beautiful!

Bug, must be so nice to have help in the garden! And how nice that you are helping out your son on the Haiti project. Love your Clivia...

Must run, have little time and many chores....

Drema


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This week the garden has had plants covered with sheets (because of the severe frosts and winds) so that things look like Halloween around the farm. There is sun and sometimes even heat in between the bitter cold nights and you can see new spring plants emerging by the hour!

Last evening I planted some seeds: corydalis, hollyhocks, lupines, geraniums, everlasting sweet peas. A friend has offered to care for them while I am away in April. Hurray! My artichokes and foxgloves are up and growing.

Today I expect the new lady helpers, so Drema, we'll see how that goes!

Lots going on. A man is supposed to come check out some ancient metal scaffolding in our barn. I hope he agrees to take it all AWAY!

To quote Drema, "Must run, have little time and many chores.... "
'bug


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5cm of snow expected tomorrow.... Not a surprise, but definitely a disappointment!


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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 30, 12 at 9:29

Are you kidding me??!! I think that storm is passing south of. Sunny and bright here, but not warm. Good Luck!

BTW, referring to your GB post, have you thought (of course you have) of letting a bit of your ten acres naturalize (read: no weeding, only native plants etc). This might make maintenance easier and you could maybe just let a little go each year. I know I know....that would drive you nuts! Just sayin'


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I think any 10 acre property should have a native plant/ naturalized component. Mine certainly does. But still... there's tons of work/play to be done out there.

Today they're now saying "Risk of freezing rain late this evening and after midnight. Snow and ice pellet amount 5 cm. Wind northeast 30 km/h. Low minus 1." Blarrrgh!

I planted seeds the other day and some are UP already. (zinnias and lupins) That's just nuts when the directions say 2 weeks! Yesterday a friend dropped off a bulb for a Vodoo Lily. I wonder if I'll kill it? I'm so bad with indoor plants.

I'm off to town to pick up more laminated lesson plans...and computer paper. At least the sun is shining now but it sure is cold.


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GB - have you ever tried the recipe on Epicurious in the link below? I made that for supper last night and it was great! Sort of a cross between tortiere and apple pie!:-)

The cooks' comments all said it made a large quantity so to either halve the recipe or make two - I made two. They also said to double the spices and I did that too - I put one batch of the spices in with the meat (minus the brown sugar) and tossed the softened apples in the other batch. I used Granny Smith and Northern Spy for the apple mix. For two pies, next time I'd increase the apple quantity. No one ran the cooked meat through the Cusinart and neither did I. I think the next time I make it, I'll use phyllo pastry for the crust and put the cheese, sage, and some finely chopped walnuts between the layers of phyllo. I think that will make it faster to prepare and still make it very tasty. A recipe well worth trying....

Here is a link that might be useful: pork apple pie


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Hmmmm. Maybe on the evening we bring Phoebe? :)

I almost finished reading Homonids, so I'm off to visit parallel universes.
'bug


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GB - we could certainly do that.... Did you get 'into' Hominids as it progressed at all?


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Finished! It got better...but not my thing really. We'll see what book club thinks on Monday night!

Woody, D just discovered he must work in Brampton on an organ...so won't be here with the cats. Oh bother... I'll figure it out, but there's lots going on and I didn't need that...

DD has strep throat, ear infection, sinus infection and more, but finally took antibiotics and hopes to finally get some sleep tonight.

DS on his way to Boston and full of drama as well concerning his efforts and friends in Haiti. We will be on the same flight when he returns.


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Too bad I have allergies to cats! We used to have cats and I miss not having one. However Misty would not get along well with a cat - since she's a dedicated rabbit-killer, I fear for the life of any cat that comes too close!

Poor Sarah!! I hope the antibiotics work quickly!


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Woody, I wouldn't wish 4 cats on anyone!!!


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GB....love you Haiti pics :-) Actually being in the military and having spent time deployed there, we've had people get on that boat also.

There is a still a lot of work to be done in that country, but it seems to be falling off the media radar.


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"Lots of work" doesn't begin to describe things there. Of course it's off the radar. When there's little agreement by anyone, no skills, no governing, no water, no food, no housing, greed, no voice, rape, lies, theft and violence...what is anyone supposed to do?
And yet there are some amazing individuals and lots of talent too! And the kids... So I must hope.


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We had a bit of rain this morning (4mm) so we just got back from walking the dogs (Dexter - Randys brother's Airedale is here for a few days). We were surprised to notice that all the early saucer magnolias in the neighbourhood now have icky-looking brown buds! It hasn't been very cold at nights here so there doesn't appear to be a reason for the damage. I checked ours - which are a little later-blooming than most - and they look fine. The tough outer casing on the buds is just starting to split and reveal some of the petal color. The neighbour to the north's star magnolia, which started blooming a few days ago, is also fine. So hopefully the damage we saw this morning is just to the outer casing and the trees will still bloom. All the perennials, shrubs and vines look fine too. Very odd...


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Here the magnolias are brown, but we have had frost.(I don't have any myself, but there are 2-3 fabulous specimens nearby)

It is rainy and yucky out now, so I won't go check!

Earlier I took hellebore photos.

The bloodroot has been stalled by the weather. I thought they'd be gone by now, but thankfully not!


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A beautiful sunny/cool day to be gardening! (But I only managed about an hour outside)

The stars must have been aligned well for me. I had Debbie Day as well as Gardeners Day- as well as pay day! Then DH returns this evening.

I'm awaiting the arrival of a bin to cart away the metal staging from our barn. Then Book Club follows.

Canada has some new currency. It certainly is different and odd feeling the first time you see & touch it. It has Braille, see through patches, and is partially plastic. Supposed to be more durable. Anyway, that's the $50 and $100 bills only I think. They plan on getting rid of pennies. I'd be in favor of getting rid of nickles too.

Definitely a good day. Hope yours is too!
'bug


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It looks like the magnolias around here weren't hit as hard as I thought the other day. Today we were seeing color starting to show on the buds that look so brown and ugly. So it looks like maybe only the outer protective covering of the buds got hit. Hopefully everything will survive the next week or so of cold overnight temperatures. The magnolias are so pretty in spring; it would be a lot duller without them in bloom!


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Got some weeding done today, said "good riddance" to the bin of metal pieces from our barn, posted on our Haiti blog, picked up our malaria meds in town and saw Deanne's latest article in Fine Gardening. (Hurray to you Deanne!) Then I made cookies. Soon my friend comes over and we translate a 12 minute film into French. I hope to garden more this week before turning to finalizing our packing (and weighing) of materials for our trip.

The plants are growing every day, but the nights are still bitter cold. Phoebe was so cute when DH returned from his travels. Was she ever excited!


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What kind of cookies gb...? I'm having a sweet craving at the moment:-) and have been thinking about making something sweet tonight.

We cleaned up the backyard yesterday and started on the front this morning - it'll take another day or two to finish the front. We need to get the peas planted in the driveway pots this weekend.

Poodles seem to have a lock on the job of Hearing Ear Dogs - we groomed 10 poodles this afternoon! We've really come to like poodles - I suspect our next dog may be a poodle! Randy will be participating in the Dog Guides fund-raiser walk in late May. Misty would go nuts with all those strange dogs, so he'll likely either borrow Dexter (his brother's Airedale) or Liam (friends' Border Collie) as a walking companion. Dexter is here at the moment and is fairly rowdy still. Other dogs like him a lot - they recognize him as an amiable goof! But Liam is smaller and better behaved so I think he's now leaning towards taking Liam on the walk.

I need to check out Fine Gardening...


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I haven't baked at all in ages. So cookies were a complete surprise to DH! They were chocolate chip, from package directions. Fewer chips and a few added walnuts. Not sensational, but OK.

I've found poodles (standards) very smart. It's the haircut that bothers me though. If left alone, they actually look like dogs! The smaller ones act like their owners...and that can sometimes be bad. ;) In Toronto I found that people wanted small dogs and that they didn't really have enough time for them so they were poorly trained, though loved.

I want to support Randy on his walk. I'll get back to him soon. Liam sounds like a good choice. Certainly Phoebe doesn't have the stamina she used to and sort of drags along these days...unless she sees a squirrel or two!

I hope to be gardening tomorrow, but may have to continue with translating a video instead. Oh well....It's cold in the mornings anyway, so I can do video work first and then maybe go outside at lunchtime to work in the garden. We still use our wood stove in the evenings!
'bug


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Ay yi-yi, way behind schedule here ! Enjoying photos and updates here and on FB. I had a box today from Digging Dog with my Axminster Gold comfrey..pined for and now in my possesion-two of them no less. I have opening night baseball on in the background, and though the sun is still up it's chilly.My phone says it's 53; chilliness is relative !

I have been crazy busy at the awfice, but have finally scheduled some time off. I'm going to head on down to Carmel/Big Sur the last week of the month for a few days. I've already scoped out the local garden centers, and there is a really big one just outside of Carmel..can't wait . I'll visit the mission there too , and of course the foo-foo art galleries in the village.

Your Hellebores are splendid 'bug..mine are overwith at this point (except for the Corsican) but I have seedling issues that I need to address soon.

All for now, will try to catch up better on the weekend..

Kathy in Napa


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For Kathy: a puzzle!
http://www.amazon.co.uk/UPLANDICUM-VARIEGATED-Garden-World-Images/dp/B004DGBAKG

Also a short read below.
Happy today! Good to see you here!

Here is a link that might be useful: borage family comments


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An amusing dog story from this afternoon/evening... We were visiting our friends who have the young Australian Terrier and a big older Golden. Both Callie and Pendle know there are cookies in the walker basket and expect some when we arrive, depart - and anytime I pass through the front hall where they hang out... While we were playing Bridge in the living room, Callie clearly felt cookie-deprived :-) So she raided the walker basket! She removed the bag, opened it and emptied it - without damaging the bag or the copies of the recipe I keep in the bag. She's adorable, very intelligent - but a bit wicked! I'm not sure if she shared the booty with Pendle or not - he looked very morose that there were no cookies for him when we left :-)


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This has got to be a record! Randy is out mowing the grass already!!


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I was out working in the vegetable garden until (minimal) rain began. I'd love to mow...but the mower is in for spring cleaning and repairs.

Guests have just arrived for an Easter WALAT experience..


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Well Geez! I never get here anymore do I?

So good to catch up with Woody,Bug and Jak.

Our month of March had record high temps and felt like summer most of the time. Just unreal. So between an over abundance of weeds and spending time with my horse I have enjoyed the spring garden. I'm still working on the weeds. I finally resorted to the weed eater which I dislike doing because it just scatters more seed for next year, but My arthritis in my fingers and hip just won't let me do what I used to. So if no one looks real close the beds don't look to bad. I just have to accept my limatations.
Tonight we may have a light freeze. Frost is pretty definite. I put a pot of lillies in the barn everything else is on it's own. Hopefully the trees have leafed out enough to protect a few things, but I will be disapointed if the Japanese Maples get damaged.
The roses and Clems are all budding and if they hurry I might get to see some flowers before the Japanese beatles start, or maybe they will come early too because of the warmer than normal weather.
Every year, every month every day is different here. I just try to go with the flow.
I would like to get here more often but am usually crashing when I come in, so am just skiming the computer.

It's good to know you gals are still here.
Fond greetings to all. Norma


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Well hi there Norma! Glad you have your priorities right (unlike me) and enjoy your pets and minimize the work part of gardening. Stick to the joys of it! I don't (yet) have the hip problems, but I sure notice my hands seize up after 4-5 hours of weeding, especially in the mornings. I look at the ads for flame wands and wonder if they would do the trick for me....or if they're yet another gimmick to waste money on.

Was it sleet, hail or rain? Anyway...it was something nasty, but not much of it at all. We could sure use some moisture. I can't stand the thought of hose dragging even before I mow for the first time of the season. But the whole countryside is heavy with dust. Can't read any license plates here anymore.

The latest:


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Giving big brother a ride. Cute!


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I'm off for a couple of weeks. Perhaps Phoebe and Woody will report for me instead?

Happy Spring to all!
'bug


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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 22, 12 at 10:42

Sorry for my absence my friends....last week my computer had three virus's - and I had one too! Feeling better, and so far no junk being transmitted through my e-mail to my contacts. Stuff even went to my bank. Why do people hack anyway? Just nasty.

And speaking of nasty, our weather forecast has a snowfall warning in it for tonight and tomorrow! My poor gardens! At least at this time of year snow does not tend to last very long, but it is a cruel trick of Mother Nature all the same.

I planted a Chinese Wisteria next to the fence in my back garden this week. It is supposed to be a little hardier than the Japanese Wisteria, and they are sold here in nurseries. There is a little house on the other side of Perth that is covered in Wisteria in the spring - just beautiful! I alsways take a hike or bike ride over there in the spring just to see it. I hope mine catches on all right. I also scored a Red Abysinian Banana last week. My Musa Ensete that I have had for three years is looking pretty sad in the house, as it always does by now, and has put out a deformed leaf. The general advice is to just chop it off and when it goes outside it will resprout. I hadn't the heart for that without a replacement of some kind if it didn't work, so now I might do that if it doesn't seem to perk up. Usually these plants flower after three or four years and then die, so I was kind of looking for a new one anyway. I grew the Musa from seed. I have five more seeds planted, but they are very difficult to germinate and nothing has shown up as yet. We'll see.

Although it has been very dry here all Spring, we have had cold rain the last few days and the lawn looks like a field! I will have stuff to do for sure when the weather improves. My new front garden has been edged with brick - this time I took Woody's advice and installed a grass barrier first - the stepping stones are in place and I am
chafing at the bit to get stuff in there. I don't quite have a plan yet *LOL* but it will come I am sure.

So I am off to check out my seedlings downstairs under the lights, and will be holing up beside the fireplace today instead of gardening.

Cheers,

Julie


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Hi Julie! It's looking like Facebook has killed the Idylls...

The snow is in the forecast here for Mon./Tues. here. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the lake is warm enough to deflect any nasty stuff - the wisteria buds are enlarging; the Clematis montana is growing like mad; the peas in the pots (7 pots this year) are up and growing.

Phoebe has settled in well as usual. She's quite shy with other dogs (Misty and Dawn excepted!) so she's a bit spooked by the sassy/friendly German shepherd mix that is temporarily living next door, and the two little terriers across the back fence :-) On walkies the other day we ran into a strange-looking dog. When we asked the owner what it was, he said it was a fawn Bouvier! I had never heard of one that color (he says it's only been recently recognized as acceptable for Kennel Club shows), plus it didn't look at all like Phoebe - mainly because she (Gracie) had a bad haircut; the groomer had cut off her beard and she doesn't have Phoebe's fuzzy feet and legs! This is what she looked like:
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Pictures of your beds with the brick edging...? What did you use for edging - the Curve-rite that I used or something else?

I have thought of adding a banana to my big-leafed pot collection but I'm not sure if I want to take on the work for one!


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Hello Woody and Julie.... :-)

I am so surprised to see an Idyll thread started in February, only at 84 posts at the end of April. So everyone is meeting up on Facebook instead? I don't have a Facebook account and don't plan on getting one, so maybe I can post a few times to help get to the end of this thread at least. (g)

Sorry you have been feeling under the weather, Julie. The weather has been so crazy this year, it surprises me that more people aren't sick. We're having rain tonight, finally, after an 8 inch deficit of rain since January. I like the sound of your new front garden, Julie. A new project is always fun. Is it full sun and what are you planning on adding?

Woody, nice to hear that you are still enjoying your dog visitors and your dog neighbors. We have been helping our son out with his Lab mix while he is working and that is very enjoyable.

No tropical wonders in our garden. Well...except for Hibiscus, that winters over in my Dining Room West window with very little effort.

Still working on our garden here. But not paying much attention to the vegetable garden this year. Our property has become more shaded over the years, and I don't get the performance that I would like. We're also having to pay attention to house repair and maintenance this spring, so I didn't want to be pulled in too many directions. We've joined a CSA for the summer instead. And although I usually do at least a little 'winter sowing' over the winter, this winter I didn't start one seed. I am doing more dividing of established plants though. Nice to finally have some 'little dividends'.

So, would be happy to help put up a portion of 16 more posts before the end of April to finish out this thread. :-)


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Hi PM2! What's a CSA?


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Hi Woody!

A CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. You buy shares of the vegetable harvest for that year. We found a new organic farm about an hour away that delivers the shares to a nursery that is less than a mile from our house. They set up a weekly pick up time from the middle of June until the end of October. We hope we like it.

I still planted peas which are up already. And I bought pepper and tomato plants, which I will plant and ignore. Some of my beds still have leftover plants from last year, that I never pulled. It was so warm over the winter, that they are still growing. Brussel Sprouts and Scallions that I am allowing to go to seed to collect it. And Bok Choy and Lettuce reseeded in one bed and once we use those, I'm going to sow a cover crop in the beds for the season.

Maybe you have some CSAs in your neck of the woods. They seem to be getting more popular.


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Yes, I have heard of those CSAs around here - I just didn't recognize the initials....(CSA most commonly means Canadian Standards Association - i.e. the body that approves all electrical appliances and things like that!) We probably wouldn't join a CSA because there's a good farmer's market every Saturday at a mall about 5 minutes away so we can get all we need there.

Randy has been harvesting carrots and leeks all winter from the pots that are stored in the garage for winter!


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You're lucky to have a good Farmer's Market. There is one nearby that has no organic growers, so that doesn't help me. There is another one that is an hour away that has only one organic grower in the whole Farmer's Market and I'm hoping this new arrangement will work out better than that.

Harvesting carrots and leeks all winter? Well that sounds like you and Randy. So self sufficient!


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PM2 - the winter harvest was an unexpected bonus :-) We didn't expect things to survive and thrive in the garage during the winter - but were happy to take advantage once we realized they hadn't turned to mush!

We had frost here this morning even though the low was only +4C! The forecast for the next four days is for lows in to -2C range. I fear for the wisteria buds!


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A picture for gb when she returns...

Phoebe made a new friend the other day. Chester is a Goldipoo (Golden x standard poodle). He's about 2 years old and is in his rowdy stage. He was all over Phoebe, which disconcerted her at first but she quickly got the idea that it was play-time! We had to keep them far apart in order to get a picture!
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  • Posted by jak1 4 Ontario Can (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 26, 12 at 12:51

Hello Remaining Idylls (RI's).

Do dogs actually outgrow the "rowdy stage"? Not my boys, at approximately 5 years old they are little bundles of muscle who think they are great big dogs. They come on like gangbusters and if the other dog gets excited, well, let's just says things get difficult. If the dog gives them the "what's with you, goofus" look, then my guys do the sniff thing and then get on with their day. Most of the people around here have little fluffy dogs and really don't want to see if my guys are really fierce or just pretending!

I don't find the bananas much care, Woody. I buy them small or start from seed, and grow them on in the great big pot where they will remain for their lifetime! I water often, and grow them on my patio in the sun. I bring mine in for the winter where they are a huge nuisance, but many people just cut them right off and store them in the basement, bringing them out again to restart in the Spring. Or just get new ones - at 2 for $12.00 it is hardly worth the effort of keeping them, unless you want them to grow huge; at three years mine is about ten feet tall. If you want large tropical look, have you tried Castor Beans? There are several varieties, some bigger than other. I have good success with these too, and I never winter them over.

PM2 and Woody, we here are blessed with an excellent Farmer's Market all summer on Saturdays and Wednesdays, and also a couple of organic CSA's available locally. They deliver to within a few blocks of your home at central places for their members. We also have organic meats this way. Perth itself, although a small town, has two major traditional supermarkets, a Health food type place that also sells all kinds of excellent produce, and a wonderful butcher shop. A great place for "Foodies".

We too had heavy frost here this morning, but better than yesterday when everything was snow covered. I am getting very tired of cold dark days though - I am making list of sun-loving low-growing perennials for my new garden. Woody, I just used that black flexible edging beside the bricks. The biggest problem with that stuff is that people don't bury it deep enough and the frost heaves it out, or they can't run over it with the lawn mower without tearing it up, or it just sticks up and looks ugly. I take great pains to bury mine pretty deep and I find it works well for me. You are right, the brick edging looks a lot better with some sort of a bariier between it and the lawn. If the spirit every moves me, I will remove my zillion bricks and replace with the edging and then the brick. We got our bricks from the local college which has a heritage masonry program. As we use half-bricks because our gardens are curved, their broken cast offs are perfect!

I hope we get to see some more of out Errant Idylers (ER's) again. I find Facebook pretty shallow, not many long conversations there.

Cheers,

Julie


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

Julie - the bigger dog breeds seem to hit 3 years old and finally become sensible! The smaller dog breeds seem to either get sensible early - or never! :-)

I'm having to do some remedial work this spring on some of my brick edging. I didn't get the base of limestone screenings compacted enough in places and some bricks have sunk below the edging. So I'm having to lift the bricks, add more screenings, and reset the bricks. Fortunately, that's pretty easy to do - now I just need some warmer, more pleasant weather to work out there! I was hoping to work outside today but it's darn chilly outside. There are also a few places along the grass path through the front beds and at the top of the front ditch where the ground has sunk/become very uneven. Randy is going to have to deal with those areas I think.

Where do you get your bananas? I've not seen any for sale around here but maybe I'm not looking in the right places. If you can store them in the basement dormant like elephant ears that would work for me. We potted up the elephant ears and got them started growing again about a month ago.

Yes, I hope the Idylls eventually find their way back here... I find it somewhat ironic that Facebook has drawn most of them away. A few years ago this was the preferred site as it was less 'public' than other options. There is not many places more public than Facebook! And the conversational style here is much better.


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

Good afternoon...

Woody, I'm wondering if you have a window in your garage or were the carrots and leeks fully grown and the garage just acted as a root cellar? We're expecting overnights this weekend of 32 degrees, too. We're having a cool week. Spring like really. It's cold in the house though. Still using hot socks.

I never heard of a Goldipoo. How cute! Standard poodles are supposed to be more hypoallergenic I believe? And of course Golden's are supposed to have the best disposition.
And I don't think the poodles shed?
My DH is allergic, so I would think about that if we were going to get one.

I'm watching our son's Lab mix during the work week and I like that arrangement. Our son has been changing her over from commercial food to real food, after problems with itchy skin, ear infections, etc. We are encouraged that she seems to be improving already and it hasn't even been 2 weeks.

I do well with indoor plants in the winter but they always suffer in that month or longer, when the gardening season starts outdoors and I spend so much time focused on that, that the indoor plants start getting neglected. My tropical Hibiscus standard has looked good all winter and now I just started noticing yellowing leaves dropping. I need to get it outside, but it will probably be another three weeks at least. It's too heavy to drag it outside during the day, so it has to wait for overnights in the 50s.

Julie, I have a few rolls of that plastic edging hanging around. I never had an easy time installing it. I use brick edging and no edging and resign myself to re-edging the lawn in the spring.

I have a front garden, full sun. It changes all the time. Right now I have roses, agastache, perovskia, sedums, echinaceas, grass, I've added Verbascum and Euphorbias recently and edged it with creeping Veronica and thymes. I had California poppies and alyssum along the street last year and that has reseeded well.

I only have one small section of brick edging that often disappears under encroaching grass. Along my largest perennial bed, I have a raised rock edging fronted with mulch that would be really easy care if not for nearby quack grass. We have a small patch of grass that has quack grass in it, which is horrid. Traveled under a 2ft area of mulch and invaded my raised bed last year when I wasn't looking. I just spent an hour yesterday pulling the rocks out to pull out the quack grass and then I couldn't get them back in place the same way. It was too late in the day to deal with it, so tomorrow morning that is the first job on the list. We did get the quack grass out of there, but I plan on getting rid of that entire patch of grass where the last of the quack grass is, hopefully this summer.


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

We were doing some work out front this afternoon and I noticed the Japanese wisteria has a whole lot of HUGE buds this year, so it looks like it will flower this year for the first time. BUT it's supposed to get down to -6C tonight! I've got my fingers crossed that we get lucky and don't get a hard freeze...

PM2 - I think the carrots and leeks in the garage situation is the root-cellar one for the most part, although the leeks definitely started growing again in February. The garage has fairly large windows on one side so there is light there.

I have one area of the driveway border where couch grass (a.k.a. quack grass) snuck in a few years ago. We dug the whole area out once but that didn't help for long. I'm now engaged in a battle of attrition - i.e. I check the area at least once a week and pull what I can of anything I see. The link below is to an article from the Ontario agriculture ministry so it's written from a farm perspective. But it was interesting to note that it is not found in continuous shade - which made me wonder if one solution if things get really bad would be to convert that area to a dense evergreen shrub planting which might kill it off in a few years and then one could perhaps replant with other stuff - as long as there wasn't a lot of seeds in the soil!

Poodles don't shed like most dogs - although they do shed a bit (when we groom the Dog Guide ones, there is a bit of hair that comes out but not too much.) Goldens can be heavy shedders - when we had Chelsea, there were always lots of golden dust bunnies about :-) So I'm not sure how much a Goldipoo sheds. Is your son's dog a Labradoodle? How much does it shed? Labs are big shedders in my experience!

Here is a link that might be useful: quack/couch grass


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

Woody, we had some earlier cold nights that surprised me how well most of the plants in the garden did. I'm sure if there is a way you can cover it with a sheet or something you would. Although if I remember right, your Wisterias are large.... I feel for you, you wait all year for bloom. Fingers crossed!

I hope this is a fluke of a year and that we aren't going to get this kind of inconsistency every year.

You are lucky to have a garage that will act like a root cellar! And with windows. Ours is a stand alone unheated garage with one small north window and nothing has ever wintered over in there for me. Just as well, keeps me from branching out into 'wintering over'. (g)

The quack grass is the worst problem in the garden for us. It took over my first vegetable garden, and I was pretty inexperienced and I tried to use a rototiller on the bed. What a mistake that was. It just quadrupled the grass in a 25 x 25 ft area. It was so bad, I abandoned that part of the yard for a few years. When I was ready to try to deal with it again, I did some research and came up with an idea of smothering it, instead of trying to dig it out. So I had a large roll of plastic left over from an ice rink we had for the kids when they were younger and I laid that down and anchored it with rocks over the whole 25ft area and beyond. I left it there for a whole year. It killed just about all the quack grass and I was able to reclaim that whole area. Part of it was under the dripline of a large Maple and that area did come back a little and now I have to get it out of there again, but it's about a 6ft area which is manageable. I think it died better in the full sun areas. It was a dry hot summer that year and I didn't put holes in the plastic, so it really baked it. I was SO happy to get that part of the garden back! Thanks for the link, it was very interesting.

No, our son's dog is just a plain old mutt of a Lab mix. She was a rescue. She is a black lab with some white socks and some white on her chest. So she is pretty short haired and her shedding is not too bad. She rarely barks, even when other dogs are barking at our fence line, she goes over and wags her tail but then ignores them. Doesn't seem to mind the loud chain saw in the yard next door today. Doesn't dig. Follows me around. Doesn't mind baths or hair dryers. I guess that is the Lab personality, but we've had some that were a lot more 'hyper' than she is, so I wonder what her other mix is. We've never had a Golden, and the shedding was the only reason. I've always loved them.


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

PM2 - The Japanese wisteria is still relatively small so Randy is out there at the moment covering the top. I expect I'll lose some buds one way or the other - the covering and removing of the cover in the morning is likely to break off some of the buds, but hopefully a few will survive. The Chinese wisteria is too big so is on its own... But that one is quite dense so I'm guessing that I might lose the buds on the top but the ones lower down might survive.


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

Oh good....you'll have to post a photo after the weekend. I assume you are due for low overnights for a few nights like we are? You might get lucky even with just a thin covering over it. We had about a 10 day spell of just under freezing at night and one night it went down to 28 degrees F and the only thing that seems to have been damaged were a few leaf tips on the roses and some of the foliage on a butterfly bush. The smaller things went under a turned over pot and the roses had the sheets and rocks anchoring them. Good luck! Maybe it won't get as cold as they predict!


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

Hello friends , and great to see you PM ! I have been on vacation this week, my 1st time off this year ..boy did I need it. I went down to Carmel for a couple days and now I'm finishing out the week with an all-gardening-weekend. I went down to Annies Annuals today and spent too much money, but have cool plants to show for it.
I do fear that FB has dipped into our group here, but I do enjoy seeing everyone there several times a day.Maybe we need to go ever to the discussions side and do some recruiting, lol.

I was jazzed before my trip to Carmel; I researched the garden centers in the area and there were two huge ones, so I visited them. What a disappointment ! I've never seen so many mundane plants in such large garden centers. When I looked at the gardens in the area I could see that they were pretty conservative, heavy on Impatiens and Pelargoniums.I guess that's the gig out there.

OK, here are a few photos from Big Sur to help close out the thread.

DSC_0626.jpg

DSC_0593.jpg

DSC_0635.jpg

DSC_0679.jpg

Kathy in Napa


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

Kathy - wow - nice coast shots!

We got lucky last night - no frost! But there are below-feezing temperatures in the forecast for the next two nights too so Randy wants to leave the cover in place. I'm inclined to take the risk since they survived the frost a couple of days ago, but we'll probably keep the protection in place.

You can see the covered Japanese wisteria here if you look closely - it's the thing draped in white near where you can see the neighbour's culvert:
Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

Flowerbuds on the Japanese wisteria:
Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

The flowerbuds on the Chinese wisteria are starting to expand now. There's no way to protect it - it's too big, but so far it's been surviving fine.
Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

Hi Kathy! That is some great location for vacation! Thanks for the photos. Love looking at ocean and that is some blue, blue water. Nice shots! I wish I lived near Annie's. Looks like my kind of nursery too.

Glad you didn't get a frost last night, Woody. It was pretty cold here last night, but it was windy. I think I heard that improves the chance of no damage? Anyway, no damage here either. I'm hoping after the next two days, that will be the end of frosts. I wanted to get my tomato plants in a little early with some Wall of Waters.

Those are some big flower buds on the Japanese Wisteria, Woody. You did say this will be the first time it's bloomed...are they fragrant? It will be interesting to see the difference in bloom between the two types. The buds look different.


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

Back from Haiti a few hours ago...with DS & friend. Very busy and sticking close to the toilet... Glad I wasn't sick there though!

Later!
'bug


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RE: Idyll #512: 33 and counting....

We are entertaining guests tomorrow with photos of Haiti by DS and by his friend from Madagascar. Food should be easy BBQ stuff.

The garden is still exciting with spring things popping up. I hope to be able to plant things in about 3 weeks, but we'll have to wait and see. Still plenty of weeds to be pulled and then vegetables to start. My plant sitters did an excellent job...so nothing was lost.

We have Phoebe back home and she seems sleepy after her ride home. She also ate grass and threw up! (Joy!) She loves being outdoors and watching us prepare things for tomorrow.

Our DD's brother-in-law found a tiny foal on his property. The vet hopes it will survive, but that is not yet certain. The good news is that he seems stronger each day and is starting to drink milk. Ivy has enjoyed him as part of her birthday present. She's officially 3 now. The foal is probably from a wild horse and therefore the vet says BIL can legally keep it as he has the space and the desire to do so. I'm not able to post photos right now but will try to share them tomorrow.

I'll leave you with the following link showing some photos of the Haitian school where we spent much of our 2 week stay.

Here is a link that might be useful: Buildingaschool, May5-2012


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Photos

Ivy's birthday with foal!

Success so far - DD feeding foal

Ivy's birthday...

with cake.

Gardening tools

Ivy as mountain goat...Such a steady climber!

Big brother is 13 now. Dad teaches him dancing!

All three "camping" indoors:


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