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Showing posts from April, 2009

Neat Cheap Garden Marker Idea

Idea stolen liberally from this British blog .  (I love the word “beetroot”!) I may actually do this – I mean, how cheap are these wooden spoons??? They wouldn’t last forever, but they’re way better than popsicle sticks or the multicoloured plastic markers I bought last year.  The dark colours (red, blue) were so hard to write on visibly! Plus, I like the idea of tossing the markers in the compost bin when they wear out.  I’m sick of finding little white tags everywhere I look.  Naomi does love them, though.  She collects them and feeds them to her cow - or something.  There’s a whole pile of them right now in the “trunk” of her little toy car.  More souvenirs… she’s always picking up souvenirs…

Wintersowing follow-up

I had forgotten this from last year:  for some reason, the exciting part of wintersowing is the sowing , not so much the sprouting. I think I know why, too… because when you sow the world is white and grey and cold and you’re sowing dreams of green and warmth. But when they finally come up, in April / May, well, everything around you is green and warm, and the sprouting is, sad to say, just a bit anticlimactic.  Just more green stuff to find a home for, you say, with a shrug. Still, in the spirit of February, here are some of the more exciting results from my wintersown garden: Columbines harvested from my own plants – about a bazillion of them!  The seed I “stole” from the gardens at Casa Loma has not performed nearly as well so far as my own seed has. Growing along very happily in nothing more than a large ziploc baggie.   Liatris – hopfully white, to make up for the expensive ones from Vesey’s that I am now very certain Naomi and I planted upside-down last week.

Laughing all the way to the grave

Got this a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t get a chance to post it... here is the official proof from the monument place for the stone that will be laid on my father's grave. My mother emailed it to me as a PDF so I could proofread the Hebrew... lucky thing for her I checked the English, too. Spot the booboo?  YM & I almost fell over laughing when we saw it. In case you don't know us, I'll fill you in. His name was not "Charlies" but Charles Paul. Never understood why his parents slapped that name on him, then proceeded to call him Paul his whole life. Nobody called him Charles, Charlie, Chuck, Chaz, or any Charles variant. Just wouldn't have suited his personality. (growing up, some people actually called him "Pinky," for his Hebrew name, Yechiel Pinchas, but that never suited his personality either - at least, from the time I met him) Free cone night at B&R tonight!!! Oh, yeah, plus pizza supper (paid for by Ted’s brother Bobby), pl


    Tulip kisses? Double daffodils?     Svetlana does not approve.

Recent garden acquisitions

I know I mentioned most of these already, but it’s so much better in pictures… Home Depot was selling these clichĂ©d emerald cedars (Smaragd?)  for $14.99, so my mother picked me up one in return for planting her two, which are now sitting expectantly in her backyard where brambly roses once grew. I’m calling it Big Daddy . Other newcomers this week: Heliotrope !  At last!  (two of them) My intention is to dig it and overwinter at least part of it indoors, ‘cuz I hate the thought of replacing them every single year.     Vinca – variegated, to light up the corner where I have mostly green vinca growing now.         White Bleeding Heart – lovely!         And now here come the daylilies, added on Friday as mentioned in this post . Gay Cravat           Startle (x2)         Pandora’s Box (with a spare “weed” strawberry)       Compare those beautiful healthy plants, at $5 apiece, with these pathetic straggly Night B

Testing… and Rhubarb

What could go better together than a new blog editor (Windows Live Writer by Microsoft) and my new crop of rhubarb?  Okay, strawberries and rhubarb is the more traditional pairing, but what the heck.  The rhubarb is doing incredibly well this year!  I think this (year 3) is the first we will actually be able to pick a few!!! So far, I am enjoying the WYSIWYG capacity of this editor, which includes my own blog colours, fonts, etc.   Unlike Picasa’s blog post editor, it seems to allow me to dynamically include additional pictures – like this one!  And specify how I want individual pictures to be aligned.  Which blogger itself never seems to let me do. With Picasa, you have to select your pictures before hitting the BLOG button.  Otherwise, you have to ctrl-C everything you’ve typed, close the edit box, select the additional pictures, then carry on. Picasa also limits your posts arbitrarily to four pictures. So what are those books in the picture? (up there… crane your neck

Supper: First BBQ of the season!

Ted spent the BEAUTIFUL day clearing out the garage, culminating in finding (rescuing?) the BBQ and hauling it out for the first "Q" of the season!   Hot dogs, hamburgers, and even a couple of steaks... lovely, lovely.   I spent the better part of the day edging the front-garden beds... they look utterly marvellous now - pictures forthcoming when daylight returns.   And yes, we have phone service restored.  Yay!  They'd better not try billing me for today's service call. (postscript:  they tried …)

Things not working today

~ Phone line (!) - I was wondering why Ted hadn't called... no fair, not our fault (this time) - we don't owe them any money and haven't for a while!!! (June p.s.  later fixed , which is good… then billed , which is bad!) ~ Printer ~ Webcam ~ Microphone built into webcam   I haven't installed Microsoft Office yet on this computer and don't even want to...   sigh...   So tired. Nothing works.   I was wondering why my mother hadn't called to ask about supper.  Maybe she has.  

The vermicomposter is here

Through Craigslist, I have purchased/inherited this lovely homemade vermicomposter. It comes from the owner of this blog . I have mixed feelings on vermicomposting in general. More trouble than it's worth? Especially since corporations are getting into the vermicomposting business on an industrial scale? From speaking to a vermicompost distributor at Canada Blooms, it looks like that's the direction the curbside organics program may be going. But anyway... it's educational for the kids, right? Learn all about worms, their life cycle, what they eat, etc! And this one appears to have been well-designed to assuage my "escape" fears. All the airholes are sensibly patched with screening material. It's only held on with duct tape, but the tape appears pretty solid so far. The only catch is... the bin is FULL. Lots of excellent, rich compost for my garden - as long as I can sit down and sort it out somehow. What you see in this picture is about 1/3 of the bin,

Adventures in Daylilies!

A miscellaneous late-night search for "daylilies toronto" found a guy practically right around the corner from here who sells daylilies, mostly mail-order, from three locations in the GTA. His operation is called Arcadian Daylilies , and it seems to be run in the most wonderful, professional manner. Most of the daylilies are in 2 gallon containers. He's developed a special technique for overwintering them in containers, which is apparently not easy to do, as they don't deal well with repeated freeze/thaw cycles. Some are in the ground, and some, mostly leftovers, missing-label and discontinued plants, are in 1-gallon containers, which he sells off for an amazing $5. When I heard 1-gallon, I wasn't expecting much, but these are actually nice, big pots, quite deep, with well-grown, obviously healthy clumps with 3-5 fans. Especially compared to the almost $7 I spent at Home Depot for a one called Night Beacon. Those (I bought 2 packages) were basically 3 straggl

Ad on Craigslist

Just saw an ad with the heading "oversize stuffed horse" and thought, "how judgmental."   Who's to say what the exact right size is for a stuffed horse???  :-)   We have our computer back.

And then

I painstakingly gathered all the information that I need for today (I'm at the library) in a Word document, then logged off without printing it.  No warning, nothing.  Anyway, now I'm done - off to pick up Ted & the kiddis at the BJCC!

Hating Vista with a passion

A "simple" download and install of Service Pack 1 - actual, licensed, Microsoft software, through the microsoft website, turns out to be the most malicious code that could possibly have gotten into our computer.   Figures it would happen literally TWO WEEKS after the warranty expired.   Anyway, the cheapest fix (ha ha, again, thanks to lousy Microsoft) seems to be a new hard drive, with a fresh install of Vista.  The old hard drive will become a secondary, non-boot drive.  Very much like the setup we had on the old computer.   Sheesh... this is so not necessary, if only they would write a decent operating system and not release products until they're ready for prime time.  Okay, they would never release any products at all, then.  So be it.   Took it to a hole-in-the-wall computer guy named Yeo that Ted spotted somehow in his travels.  Back online sometime over the weekend, I hope.   See ya on the other side!!!

Pretty, pretty horseradish

A couple of days ago (Tuesday?), I divided my single chunk of horseradish (rooted from a top pulled from my mother's garden, started from a top she rooted in 2007) into four, so I can keep some and give some away...and already it has started growing tufts around four separate "nuclei." This all looked like all one plant a few days ago - now, it is three thriving plants and one (bottom-right) that just needs a few more days to find its sea legs. It's in a mushroom container, by the way. No holes, just a dish of water. I love these mushroom containers! Punch holes, it's a seed-starting flat; no holes, any number of fantastic garden-related uses. This plant seems to have two totally different kind of shoots: "frilly" early shoots and then the real thing: no-nonsense upright serrated leaves. You can see a single serrated leaf starting to stick up in the top-right corner of this photo. I guess that means it probably wants planting out into soil. No way is

Wood in the kitchen

I'm feeling like praising everyday objects today, so here we are: wooden kitchen utensils. Several per package at the dollar store - scrapers, spoons, and the really big spoon-thing we call The Spanker. But then, of course, there is something to be said for this $1 silicone spatula. Amazing bowl-scraper - see how clean this cornbread bowl is??? - I have no idea how I lived without it. Supper: ~ Cream of Roasted-Ontario-Tomato Soup ~ Cornbread (from Bob's Red Mill mix) ~ Orange Julienne Carrots (bought julienne carrots in a bag) Hmm... as usual, something missing. A big blob o' protein on the plate. Fish sticks would be good, but have none. I was going to make beanie burgers, but too L-A-Z-E-Y. Well, we shall see.

The front yard through history

This is the first spring picture I can find , I think... maybe spring of 2007? I don't think it's from 2006, because then the tree was brand-new, and the mulch looks a year old in this shot. And here's basically the same shot last spring, when I rescued a whole overcrowded chunk of irises from the house demolition across the street. They bloomed gloriously for about five minutes, and then I sold three big pots of them for $10 each - $30 pure profit that went, of course, straight back into the garden. Lest I sound totally selfish, I also gave one pot free to our friends because he happened to come by when they were blooming and he said he loved irises. She didn't look too thrilled when I drove them over, but give n' take is what marriage is all about, right? Oh, and I kept a bunch for myself. :-) Anyway, I was stuck for what to do with the yard and doodling some things out on my own when somebody advertised on Craigslist to offer a FREE garden redesign for pra

Weird / shudder...

I'm not reading much into this, but I happened to be searching my blog for pictures of my irises (see the next post for why), and found this entry from early June, 2008 - right before my father's awful summer of feeling terrible and not being diagnosed properly with the cancer that eventually killed him this winter: "I cannot shake this feeling of impending doom... isn't that an awful and pretentious thing? I wish I didn't feel like the whole world was about to cave in on me. Gets in the way of just about everything. :-(" Shudder. (why do I bother filling in backstory when it's only Ted - and sometimes Abigail - reading these things???)

Which 6 plants couldn't you live without?

This blog (which I've never seen or read before) has set off a bit of a meme in the smallish world of gardening by challenging 10 garden bloggers to write about: The Six Plants I Can't Live Without. I was not one of the ten chosen, but who says that means I can't chime in? Most people seem to be choosing flowers and other ornamentals - which is funny because they are essential to everyday life on this planet, but not in the direct way that, say, corn has become. Or wheat. Anyway, since everybody else is getting in on it, here's mine - in no particular order. It would be interesting to see how this changes over time, with gardening experience. 1. Daylilies (Hemerocallis). Gotta have 'em. Gotta have a bunch. Maybe I'll get sick of them over time... maybe not! They only last a day - how can you get sick of them so fast? I'd forgotten about this one red bee balm, by the way. It died off almost immediately, but now, like Charlotte's Web, has about a do

The weather poster

When we bought this ($1, Dollarama), I felt it was lacking an insert for "Night." I realize "Night" isn't weather, but kids can't really always see the weather at night, and if there's one for "Sunny", why not "Moony"? Anyway, luckily Ted agreed and didn't have me committed or anything, so here's the sign he made for "Night" on the back of one of the regular daytime ones. The black marker ran out so you can see he left the bottom a little unfinished. Probably because I kept nagging at him that the right side didn't need to be filled in at all. So he filled in everything until the second the marker died, then left it all scrawly to make his point (that being "it does so need to be filled in"). Ah, how petty we smug marrieds can be.

What are we wearing?

In a stroke of zany brilliance, I realized we have been discussing the weather every day for a while now, but not tying it in to the other part of the picture - what we choose to wear outside. So I hauled all the littles' jackets out of the front-hall closet and laid them out with the corresponding inserts from our front-hall weather poster. Then, I took their pictures together. (YM was home writing his math midterm - he thought I'd lost it for sure, taking the jackets' pictures) Finally, I printed the pictures out and stuck them on the down door so they'll be prominently visible when we're getting ready to go out. So now Naomi has an easy, visual way to decide "for herself" which outerwear to choose. I guess this is a good season to start tying it together like this... just realized the reason I haven't really done anything like this so far is because we have been mostly in winter jackets since we bought the weather poster.