Thursday, 8 March 2018

Winter Quickie ?

Just a heads up with what I have to contend (from this morning) with while dreaming of SPRING ?

You might notice the Goldfinches crowded around the feeder Garden PA hooked onto our big Maple tree because he couldn't force the stand in the ground .. it , the ground, was too frozen.
We didn't want to see them go without, ergo the free-wheeling hookup with a tree branch !

Can you see the ones waiting in the tree to get to the feeder ? There were also Mourning Doves on the ground pecking at fallen seed there .. poor things don't know what to make of this weather .. almost as much as me ?

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Spring Do's and Don'ts .. why ????

I would rather look at pretty plant pictures and day dream about what I want to accomplish in the garden this year .. but reality check lists have to be drawn up and adhered to for the sake of my garden and perhaps my sanity too ?
At the moment we are in another "winter" slump .. I'm in 5b growing zone by the way, but some of my blogging friends, who are in the same growing zone, are inching closer to Spring than I am.

Lisa from Greenbow ... has shown some of her gorgeous hellebore flowers that are smiling.
She does qualify these are well established plants so they do more than survive winter .. they flourish!
BUT ? what was more of a stunning surprise for her, and what really drew me in to her post ? was the discovery that her tree peony that she thought had perished .. read her story ... had gone dormant after being cut back .. retaining life in the roots .. and was showing her it SURVIVED !
Now originally she cut the plant down after thinking it was dead after a brutal summer .. and was going to dig it out in Spring .. instead it yelled signaled to her that "I'm ALIVE" by producing foliage fingers I call them.

How many times .. after a lot of experience .. have everyone of us gardeners dug up and discarded a plant we thought was DEAD ...
I did it with buddleia davidii Black Knight ... you know how buddleia can be tricky being the last in the Spring to show signs of life right ? .. no ... no excuse but a learning curve was reached.
I know there are others that got the boot from my garden because I was not patient enough.

So on the top of my list ? ... BE PATIENT .... no matter how much I want things to be sorted and neat, it might just be too much for my garden to live up to .. too soon !
I not only demand too much from my garden but of myself as well .. that is the bit of dread I have with Spring .. I will work myself into the ground .. hubby will sometimes literally have to help my up off my knees, and into the house .. I draw the line about helping me into the shower though .. I have some pride dignity ? haha

OK .. so .. I've touched on two don'ts here ..
Don't expect over the top things of your garden in the Spring .. period .. give it time!
Don't expect .. as either an older gardener, or one with physical drawbacks, to just jump in and work yourself into the ground with enthusiasm .. it won't help you or your garden.

Do's ? .. what all the good advice gives you .. don't for pity sake walk on the garden while it is trying to wake up rain boots save me from sinking in mud .. but who saves the "mud" aka garden, from me? .. common sense ... just use common sense ... no intense scientific calculations needed.
If it is squishy ? BIG RED LIGHT .. let it acclimatize and dry out with the new Spring weather.
Another Do .. when you can .. cut that tattered brown foliage of any plant, because it is not coming back to look like fresh green growth.
As a rule of thumb for hellebore I cut it all off, to let the plant put out new growth ..
It can look drastic, but it has worked for me for years .. I have a whole raised bed dedicated to hellebore and once that foliage is set for the year , looks wonderful.

The BIG question is ... will I listen to my own advice ?

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Garden Goodies

Well here it is the 24th of February (and I was supposed to be on my way to a much better body via the treadmill and weights .. nah ! .. I have had a few shall we say "hiccups" with that momentum)
To be fair it is a tough, uphill battle with the body I have to work with .. any trade-ins will be seriously considered ... negotiations to be held ?

OK .. enough of that nonsense ..
I am here to just have a smile over my garden goodies and I thought perhaps they might produce a smile for you as well.
First .. this was part of my Christmas goodie package from son and DIL .. they know if it is either garden or Halloween related, it will be a home run ! smart move, they might be mentioned in my will?

It is an amazing pot stacker .. you can actually pot up 15 plants in this potting TOWER !

Neat right ?

As for my other two goodies ... one is for a real giggle .. something to illustrate peaceful humour ?
Now don't you just either smile .. maybe snort ... scoff .. giggle ... or just maybe relax because this frog is SO darn RELAXED ??

Next is another attempt with "homing" friendly pollinating insects .. mainly bees.
I tried previously with a tube like home, but nothing ever came of it.
So when walking into Costco and seeing this ?

I thought it just might entice those homeless little wonders to put a "sold" sign up and move in.
This is their website that has some interesting information, and they are actually the manufacturers .

Stacking my goodies up (along with the naughty mail order obsessions aka plant infatuations)
I have been treating myself to Spring long before it is ready .. I'll be tired out by the time it truly shows up ... but isn't this like a Christmas thing .. all the build up before the event ?
You have to love that a bit ... right ?
Breath in .... Breath out ..... and ....... RELAX !

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Your DNA ?

OK .. so I could lead this post off with a question about do you think your garden aptitude comes from your DNA ? .. Do you think your DNA influences what you like and don't like in life ?
Hardly a true garden question but something I have wondered about.

So .. has anyone else gone ahead and have done a DNA test from one of the companies that advertise on TV ? ... they even have price cut specials ... like the ones I missed out on for Xmas ... groan.

I became TOO curious and couldn't wait, so in late Autumn , after my birthday .. brainstorm.
I did the test from Ancestry .. I had already tried to construct what I could of a family tree there.
The next step was evident to me.
I would like to know where I come from, as opposed to where I THINK I come from ?

My maiden name is Glencross .... not all that common.
Most people don't recognize that it is a Celtic surname .. Scottish .. and ... lowlanders at that.
Part of the Glencross clan was involved in the "Lowland Clearing".
They were effectively driven off what lands they had as tenants, by the upper class who owned them and wanted more money for rent.
That was around 1775 .. my father's family settled in pre-Canada .. Nova Scotia aka New Scotland.
So we have been Canadian before Canada was a country and that part is amazing !

Well ... there was quite a surprise waiting for me with the DNA test.
The sad part is I will never know who is responsible for this new element.
I think it is my father's mother , whom I thought was of Dutch origins but now ?
I don't mind sharing the results .. I don't think it would change anyone's take on me from this blog.

The break down from Ancestry DNA :
24 % Scandinavian
23 % Great Britain
17 % Scotland/Ireland/Wales
17 % Europe West ... Netherlands, France, Germany areas
8 %   Europe East .. Austria, Hungry, Ukraine areas
6 %   Europe South ... Italy and Greece  (that is a surprise)

BUT ... the biggest surprise was being almost a quarter Scandinavian ....
Where did that come from ??? ... I am supposed to be so SCOTTISH !!!!
What Vikings fought their way into my blood line ?

A  mystery to me ... but very entertaining ... and I have to say believable ...
My grandmother was over 6' tall .. my father and brother well over 6' tall ... my sister 5'9" or 10"
I am 5'9" .... although age is kicking my attributes ? haha
Are we Viking remnants from all those ancient  raids in the UK ?

Are you curious too ?

P.S. Hubby is almost pure "potato-head" .. meaning IRISH ... haha