Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What a Canvas!!

As some may come to realize, I love my river! The North Saskatchewan flows by the city I live and about 20 miles out, joins up with the South Saskatchewan. It is one of my favorite places to spend a day exploring the banks. I am thankful that my daughter loves to do the same. It is nice having someone to share a "find" with.

The park by my house is so beautiful in any season. It is a favorite place to take a walk with the dogs. Mystic loves to play in the leaves and Daisy has her nose permanently fixed to the ground. I feel I am very lucky to live where I do. Um...please remind me of this post when there is 4 ft of snow on the ground and I have just come in from shovelling for an hour at -45C. LOL
I wish the rest of Canada a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fall Colors

It is kind of sad when falls comes each year. Even though it is one of my favorite seasons. The geese can be heard as they prepare for their trip south. The gardeners are all busy getting things ready for the winter and for here...that is 6 months of snow and cold (sighhhhh). And I love to go for long walks with my camera and my "envelopes". The envelopes are for the collection of seeds (no ones back alley is safe...LOL).
Taking little jaunts through the bush trails I think is my favorite thing to do in the fall. The smell of the high bush cranberries is nearly intoxicating...and if lucky I get to hear the odd grunt of deer/moose/elk as it is nearing the rut. You know...I guess I should quit whining about winter here. Because in all honesty, by about the end of Oct, most are just waiting for that first snowfall! Of course by the end of Christmas, most are wishing for a Chinook to take it all away! I hope all are having a wonderful fall...and when you look up and see the geese flying over head, remember I sent greetings on their wings.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fall is around the corner!

It won't be long before it turns cold I am afraid. Already we have had a night or two around the 1C mark. I am just hoping my cucumbers are productive. I got them in late so I guess I will just be happy with whatever size they are!

My apple trees did well this year. Well...one had more than the other but all in all I am quite satisfied. This is the third year since I put them in. Who knows...next year I might even have double the amount of this!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Battle of the Aphids...I think they are winning.

From what I am told, I am not the only one to be suffering the "invasion". My front flower beds and the Virginia Creeper I have growing up the side of the house are filled...and I mean FILLED with aphids. If you go out the door, you hear the little critters start to move. By the time you are down the step you are waving your arms like a maniac. I am sure my neighbors across the street think I have taken up some new type of dancing to go with the music that blares out of my daughter's bedroom window. OMG...I just realized...I have turned into my mother!!! Well there could be alot worse things. She was kinda cool lady.

I have consulted various other gardeners, books and even a nursery or two. And basically they have all suggested the same thing. Liquid dish soap and oil. So today I have tried it. If anything, the oil brings out a nice sheen to the leaves, petals and even the brick of the house. When Cala the Destructor tasted a wee puddle, she snorted and barked at it...so...if nothing else, I think I have discovered a deterent to Cala and her ever digging feet and chewing face.

Monday, August 4, 2008

An Observation

I was at the lake the other day and noticed something that really has me bothered. Behind our cabin is forest preserve. And cropping up through out are delphiniums. We all know that they seed themselves on the wind. Though they are beautiful flowers, one of my favorites I might add, they are intrusive. Especially to an already fragile ecosystem. So, I feel it is necessary to remind many eager gardeners to remember. Think and plan not only your gardens, but the effects it will have on nature. I myself prefer the natural state of things at the lake...but for those that want to "beautify" try to keep it to your yard only. Ok...enough of my soap box. I hope all have a wonderful civic holiday (well at least those that celebrate the August long weekend).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What kind of tree is this??

I am hoping someone can identify this bush/tree for me. I don't know what it is but I like it. So do the birds! Some may think it is a pest as it crops up all over the yard...but I like it and so do the dogs. Great for shade!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Gardening Style??

If I was asked what type of garden I have, or if I was to describe the placement of the flowers in my yard...I guess I would have to say "Wild". No rhymn or reason...just there! I guess one gardener's paradise is another gardener's disaster! LOL. I hope all had a wonderful Canada Day and will have a great July 4th!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Just a Few Tips

I was asked the other day if I felt gardening was worth the pain. My answer to that is "You can bet your booty!" I find it not only a good form of exercise but it is very relaxing. But only if I "behave" myself.

Due to a fall from scaffolding, I am presently waiting for new knees and shin bones! Won't I be fancy!!! But I have found that I am unable to do many things that I could before. So...I have become a very imaginative gardener. Weeding is a toughie but with the use of a foam pillow and knee pads, I do just fine thank you! I am unable to reach quite as far as I used too and with the price of some long handled hand tools, I resorted to "coming up" with a few helpful ideas. For the long stretch, when I am on my knees, I use a pair of tongs. Salad for the just out of reach and BBQ for the ones that you have to grunt at. It is trial and error on the amount of wrist twist needed to pull them but that comes in time. And if I just can't seem to get a good grip, I just lob the top off. I figure no leaves, no photosynthesis and thus...no weed. I could be wrong but hey...it works for me...so far!

One of my biggest problems is getting up after kneeling. For that I have old canes or walking sticks placed in various areas throughout the yard. At first I thought they looked rather goofy but after planting a climber or vine...it looks rather nice. And they don't stand out like a sore thumb. I also have a very sturdy hoe that goes with me everywhere. It works great for "climbing your way up to a standing position." Take my advice, don't use a telescopic tool....they can collapse and you end up doing a face plant in the dirt! Yes...I am experienced in a few of those.

And above all...remember that it will all get done. Eventually! My biggest set back is remembering to set myself limits. There is always tomorrow. There is no rush...no need to harm myself. And with the "always tomorrow" attitude, I always know I have a valid reason for mucking about in the dirt. And isn't that the main reason we garden? Yes to produce some beautiful flowers/plants but also to be allowed to revert back to our childhoods and play in the dirt! Have a wonderful gardening day!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

June 7, 2008

The ferns are finally coming into their own. These are native ferns, found in the forest near me. Though they don't get as large as tame ferns, they are very pretty. After planting, it can take up to 3 yrs before they really come up fully.

This year I was hoping to gather a few more native plants but I have found on my outings that they are just not in a great abundance this year. We still haven't had rain yet. Maybe today. Hmm...I believe we have been saying that for nearly 3 wks now. But...due to the dry conditions, the native forest plants will have a hard enough time as it is, let alone trying to recover from some crazy lady digging up part of them. So...they will sit...undisturbed. At least till we have a really good rain.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Ticks are Moving!!

Yesterday, after I finished cutting the grass, I found a tick on me. I really hate those things! But the thing is, it is very strange for ticks to be so far north! And as they say, where there is one, there is more. I have been checking on the net for a good way to get rid of them and I am afraid to say the only solution seems to be some kind of pesticide. I dislike using pesticides as there is always a "fallout" from them. If anyone can offer a natural and safe solution, please let me know.
Here is a picture of my "finished product"...the ratty old love seat I scavenged. The flowers have not filled out yet but when they do I am sure it will look rather pretty. At least I hope it does! Either way, it is a good start to expanding my flower beds and creating a garden in the lower level of my backyard. It is something that won't be done overnight, but at least it will keep me out of trouble!!! LOL

Friday, May 30, 2008

A beautiful morning!

It was a beautiful morning in Saskatchewan! We finally had a little rain...just a little but it made such a difference to the look of the yard. Every thing was green when I got up. Hopefully, we will have more but I am not holding my breath.

The Northern Apple blossoms are out. Only on one tree...the other is just in bud. They smell so nice. I am hoping that this year's crop of apples will be good. Last year we had none due to a late frost. But...maybe it was a good thing as we had a problem with canker worms. So far (knock on wood) there have been none. I can only hope. I wish you all a wonderful day...with lots of good surprises in your gardens!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Need Two of Me!

I have been working like a mad man...pardon me, that should say "mad woman"...trying to get everything on the go. There have been set backs in planting has there have been frost warnings for the last 3 days. Though other parts of the city have been hit, for some reason my street has been left untouched. I am hoping it doesn't hit at all as last year we had such a heavy frost that the fruit trees did not have any blossoms. No apples for me...sigh.

Yesterday, I nearly completed the bog I was working on. It is actually taking shape. However...due to a over active pup who loves to run up and say "Hello" by jumping...I landed in it...face first. I can laugh now because I realize I must have looked a sight...mud and wet peat moss covering me! Swamp Thing returns...LOL. And for those who ever wondered, peat moss is NOT very tasty! But as my mom used to tell me, "You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die." I, so far, have eaten I think a bushel...LOL But as the picture included here will attest, I am not the only one Cala Lily terrorizes...poor Mystic is so patient! Happy Gardening day to all...just watch your backs! LOL

Monday, May 26, 2008

I was just thinking....

I was taking a wee break from my gardening (my knee is just not what it used to be), sitting on a chair and looking at all the work that I still had to do. Which is a lot considering I live in Saskatchewan and we have such a short season. I sincerely believe that if I did live in an area that I could garden all year round, I wouldn't die working in it at a ripe old age...rather...one day my daughter or my friends would just look around and realize that I wasn't there. The only trace of me would be my old hat...laying beside a garden tool. I would have just...what it is the word...melted? Composted?? Right into the soil.

Ok...I wandered...what I was going to say is...I was thinking of the way I wanted this and that to be laid out...what plant where...and a thought came into my head. I rather wish I didn't have all the little garden fairies littering the back yard flower beds. There are times I wish I could just have...nothing. Just my flowers, bushes, vines, etc. Sometimes I would like to be able to look at my gardens and say, "Wow...just like a magazine." But then...I realized that I would never trade in my little statues for any chance of a magazine look-a-like. My daughter and my friends have all given them to me. It was their way of being included ...or becoming part of my little piece of paradise. As I looked around, I could put a name to each one. I remember their faces as they would hand me one and say, "I saw this and knew it just had to be in your garden." Or, "I hope you don't mind if I put this here. I don't have a garden/pond and I thought it was so cute." All my friends...and my daughter...will always be in my garden. When Punk (that is the nic name of my daughter) is older and away at university or even married and digging in a garden of her own, I will just have to look at one of the many statues she has given me and she will be close. A rather comforting thought .... I thought.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Excuse my spelling....

It was pointed out to me that I made a mistake in spelling. But in my defense...I remember being told by various teachers that as I make my way through life, the best tool I can have is a dictionary! LOL. I stand corrected...it is "sweet pea"...not "sweat pea". But if you really think about it. The person who does grow a "sweat pea" could be rich! Think of the sales to disgruntled employees who want to send home grown flowers to their bosses!!! But...I believe I will just stick with the "sweet pea"...and my pocket dictionary!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Just an Idea

I just wanted to share an idea. As we are all planning and planting our flower gardens, may I suggest saving a little spot for a fragrent, cut flower favorite. The sweat pea! I started what became a yearly tradition about 7 yrs ago...to plant sweat peas for the purpose of sharing the flowers with elderly people who live down the street. Every day in summer, the residents of a care home go on a walk past my home. It started one late spring with the comment "Oh what lovely flowers. I used to have a wonderful garden! I love the smell of sweat peas, do you have any?" Sadly I didn't. But they were soon planted and after a time there was an abundance of pretty, sweet smelling flowers, which I cut and took to the care home for their enjoyment. And as each one walked by, I would cut a couple of stems and give them to carry on their walks. The enjoyment given me by the looks on their faces was worth the little extra work. Now, every summer, there are my "friends" stopping by for a chat and for a flower. It has become a tradition that I would like to share with you. And...if there are none that walk by your house, you could always just cut a vase full and deliver! A shared garden is worth so much more!

Friday, May 16, 2008

The World is Progressing Nicely

It won't be long before the trees are in blossom. Spring is progressing nicely. It won't belong before the fish are back in the pond, flowers blooming and I will be sitting listening to the birds in the early morning.

I have been working on a bog that will run beside the pond. Rather than buying plants, I am setting out to gather native vegetation from sloughs in the area. If I don't fall in and drown, I think it will look rather pretty.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Possibilities are Endless

Some may look at this and say "What a piece of worthless junk. Others, like myself, will say "Hmmmmmmm....". Well the Hmm's have it! I got this lovely piece of furniture from a friend as she was getting ready to throw it in the back of a truck...desination? The Dump! But my little pea sized mind started going. Just wait...if what I have planned actually works, the end result should be pretty nice. I love making use of another man's (or woman's...which ever the case may be) junk. Recycle/reuse...my motto. My daughter (who I refer to as "Punk") gets a little fed up with me...but after I am done painting she usually comes around.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Just waiting...

I truly believe that this is the hardest part of spring. The yard and flower beds are ready to go, placement of flowers are charted out and the tools are all ready. Now just have to wait for it to be warm enough to do "something". Times like this, I would love to live where it is always warm. But then...I would miss our seasons. But till then, I will just busy myself reading other's blogs...gaining new ideas and new solutions to problems I have encountered. And searching the net for the "ultimate" homemade filtration system for the pond. That...and trying to figure out why java won't work on my computer!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Today will be my first Garden blog! I suppose the best thing would be to introduce myself. I am from Saskatchewan...little north of the Cental area. I love our forests, rivers and lakes. I am right on the Boreal Forest fringe so it only takes 20 minutes to be by lake edge and only about 5 minutes in a car to be rambling around the North Saskatchewan River.

Gardening is more of an obsession than a hobby. I love to try to "best" my previous year's floral display. My mind is always on the go when it comes to "designing" something different. This will be the forth year that I have had an everchanging backyard pond. Though I live in the city, (which I really hate), I am lucky enough to have quite a large yard! Every year I can be found digging and hauling to my heart's content. My daughter (who will be 16 yrs old this summer) is just starting to appreciate planting flowers and seeing the result of her labor. Last year, due to health issues, she was in charge of doing the major planting. While she did grumble, she became quite...what is the word I am looking for... protective? territorial? of the plants that she planted. This year, she has demanded her own little patch of land...so...I have a partner now!

I look forward to charting the progress of my little piece of heaven and sharing it with the world. I wish all a productive spring and summer!