In a Tangle?

Gggrrrr!!! 👹

How long would you allow yourself to spend untangling Christmas lights? 15 minutes? Half an hour? Well at this point in the day I needed a rest…a sit down job. So I did begin the untanglement…But I didn’t finish it! While I rested, my brain must have had chance to catch up a bit and realize. If I’m putting them in a lantern….

I can just stuff them in…no need to untangle! 😁

So the lights in the lantern are one tangled set, then I joined a brand new set for the rest of the planter. These lights are the Noma Starry lights. They are my favourites. BUT! Due to the very thin wire. They do get tangled more than the regular mini lights…I feel the need to warn you about that!

The weather has been quite amazing…in terms of mildness. It’s been very gloomy and damp but not freezing. I’m still wearing an air cast while I nurse my broken ankle, but it was driving me potty to be sat at home while I could have been out doing my custom work. So I did a couple of sample pots for me…Just to practice….

And then I made my way to customers houses…here are my first couple of pieces…

Janice
Karen
Stanmore

I’m unable to drive right now, so I’ve been chauffeur driven around to pick up product and to customers houses. Donna, who’s walking Ruby for me, and my Step father Ralph have driven me here there and everywhere. I’m so grateful to them. And today, I get a rare chance to spend working with Donald, as he’s my chauffeur today. 😊

Check back for the whole ‘Winter 2020’ collection. In the mean time. Stay safe and well.

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A cold and frosty morning!

I’ve been incapacitated With my broken ankle for 4 weeks now. It’s tough for someone who’s always on the go. But I have to be thankful that this is only temporary and I’ll be walking around in a few more weeks.

I watched as the season changed from early, warm, fall. To now. Frost. Dead plants and lots of cobwebs. Everything looks so tired and spent…including me!!

I could stand it no longer. The sun came out and it warmed up to 11degrees!! In the sunshine it’s nice and warm.

I had to get out and start tidying In The garden somehow. Even if I just pulled the containers apart.

The bird of paradise will overwinter Indoors.

I usually repot the tropicals and give them a spray with insecticidal soap before I take them indoors. The soap would kill any Unwanted insects hoping for a cosy retreat for the winter. The new soil would give much needed nutrients to the very tired and weather worn plants. But this year. I’m going to have to take my chances. Getting the tropicals indoors will be challenge enough. I have the use of a very large open room with indirect sunlight. They will rest there for the winter.

It is going to break my heart to pull this apart. It’s still completely in tact. But if I want to use the palms in my pots next year. I have to pull out the annuals. 😩 cruel to be kind!!

Keep safe. 🤗

Happy ‘Fall’

Ruby the Airedale in the garden

I noticed a few jobs had fallen by the wayside for fall this year. The seniors home decided it had better save funds for the winter containers rather than the few weeks of fall. A couple of regular clients were also tightening their belts too. But instead of being worried, I felt a slight excitement at being able to spend time in my own garden. Have a real good tidy up before winter.

I was pleased with the way most of the garden had bloomed. But after 4 lots of rabbits nesting in the garden and a heavy abundance of squirrels this year. Both the garden and the containers had been through a few challenges! 😖

Another day. Another sign of squirrels!!! 😖
3rd bunnies of the season!! They have thrown all the fall bulbs out of their burrow…no exceptions!!

I did try to deter them hiding their winter stash in my containers. Little pieces of chicken wire placed round any part that I could fit it. It seemed to work.

Chicken wire squirrel deterrent!!
Doesn’t look so bad from this side.

So I almost won the war with the squirrels. But I never did keep the chipmunks off my tomatoes. Unfortunately, no photo of the little monkeys standing on their hind legs and pulling the plant down!! But you can imagine it…super cute…and super annoying at the same time!!!

Ruby guarding front planters from predators!

So it was off to a very rough start with consistent, brutally hot weather with no rain for months!! It took a few hours each day of watering. So they haven’t turned out bad in the end. Squirrels, rabbits and chipmunks. Plus HOT weather!

Patio planters in September

So now we turn to fall. And it’s fall in more ways than one. While I was planning my day in my own garden. In perfect gardening weather. I ran down the side steps and landed on an upturned brick and broke my ankle!! 😖

Resting on the front porch

So cast for 3 weeks. Then we’ll see. But look on the good side. So far it’s a beautiful fall. Lovely warm sunny days…perfect garden weather!! 🙄…but I’ll just sit it out.

Keeping cheerful.

How does Spring know that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic? How come the weather is so nice and mild. The snow has been gone a while now. There’s non of that mucky stuff that stays around for ages. It’s usually gloomy, grey and damp. But not this year. We’ve already been in our gardens ‘carefully’ tidying for a few weeks now. So why now? Why do we get Spring this year?

Anyway! Cheerful. That’s what I said right? So I decided to redo Gwendolyn my mannequin for spring. I’m not completely happy with her yet. I need to fiddle a bit more and I have the time. But here she is from start to…nearly finished…

I actually really like the skeletal view with just Gwendolyns skirt finished. (Second pic). But I didn’t think you’d be able to see from the street. And the idea was to cheer people up as they walk by.

Spring is here. No matter what!

It doesn’t look quite like this…not yet. The snow has melted. It’s so mild…it’s been a mild winter in Ontario…much more than usual and so many signs to say Spring is here.

The Cardinals and Robins are so busy…as are the rabbits…good job they are cute…although I never catch them feasting on my Freshly emerging spring bulbs. Here’s evidence that they do.

So with all the crazy scariness of Coronavirus and the need for staying home. Now is a great time to get out in the garden. Fresh air, exercise and therapy…all at the same time. But where should you start? Well. It’s so tempting. But best not to dive in too early. You could do more harm than good at this point.

Kate’s Garden in Markham just sent a note out to remind us not to rake up all the twigs, damp leaves and last years fallen perennials (or duff as she calls it)! 😃 just yet as Butterflies and other pollinators are still in there overwintering!! Don’t go tramping about in the soil too much either.

Pruning Hydrangeas. The Annabel type can be cut back now. You can go quite low with these. About 10 cms above ground if you want. This encourages new growth and helps develop a more robust plant. They have a tendency to flop if left too tall. Hybrid Hydrangeas should be lightly pruned. I usually go just a little way under the dried flower head. To the next node.

Prune Roses. If you mounded your Roses in the fall. you can remove that soil and cut the Roses back a bit. Maybe 30 cms high. Always use clean sharp pruners.

Ornamental grasses and perennials. If you left your perennials standing in winter…for the birds to munch on. Now is the time to cut those back. You can take those to ground level.

Winter containers. Ahhhh! Now. If you’re anything like me and get your knickers in a knot about how horrid your winter containers look by the end of March. But you can’t do anything with them yet as they are still frozen in place. Well this year. I could not wait. I needed to cheer things up. I’m sure it’s frowned upon in the custom design world…but I improvised! I was able to remove the Red berries…nothing else would move for some reason? So I stuck some pussy willow in and forsythia (faux) and bound it all up so it wouldn’t move…well. Not until I want it to!!! So unfortunately, it’s a mixture of winter and Spring! 😬 I will show you, but I’m half afraid to. Promise… I’ll get rid of the dead ‘greens’ as soon as I possibly can.

Let’s hope this virus goes away very quickly so we can get on with life. Take Care. Be kind. Stay home.

Patiently waiting…

Sitting amongst the motor bikes and tool boxes are mounds of evergreen and decorative winter branches. Once again the Canadian weather has thrown a curve ball into me getting on with my job.

I can’t wait to get started!

I have so many ideas and creations bubbling inside my head…just waiting…all the while I’m asking myself ‘might this be it until spring time’??…

I did my first winter pots on November 6th!!! Earliest EVER! I heard the forecast and it didn’t sound good. 😏 And it wasn’t….and it still isn’t!

We had record breaking temperatures for this time of year. -17 one morning when we woke up!!! 😳

Everything has been frozen solid and it may not warm up sufficiently for things to thaw out to plant winter containers.

To look on the bright side of all this snow and cold.

I have managed to organize and colour code my winter container adornments.

Red balls on sticks. Pine cones on sticks. Silver baubles. Gold baubles. Natural seeds pods on sticks…etc…etc…

This weeks forecast is promising. Fingers crossed.

Stay warm!

Fall planters.

It’s always sad to take apart planters when the plantings still look good…a little tired for sure. But look at the alyssum, petunias and salvia.

But the season has changed for sure and it’s time!

I Love playing in these planters. You can really let your imagination go wild in these. These puppies are 38″ cubes.

They belong to Janet.

Janet has an keen eye for style and more often than not, when the seasons change and it’s time for a new ‘do’, we have a discussion on a rough design idea and colour scheme. This season. She said she was ‘digging Purple’.

Bring in the purple and pink Asters, the pinky purple kale and the…Burgundy??? Mums. To fill in the gaps, I used a Watermelon coral bells. The Ivy has been in the pots since I planted it for Spring…way back in April. And don’t forget the Birch…it’s more a less a staple in Janet’s pots.

The house is grand and demands attention…and it certainly gets it. People passing like to throw out compliments. Commenting that this is their ‘favourite house’. They can’t wait to see what happens in the planters each season and they want to know the names of the plants I’m using or how do I get it to look a certain way. For a quick little second, I refrain from telling them this isn’t actually my house!!!

And even though these pots do belong to Janet. I find myself calling them ‘our pots’!!

Most of the product in the pots is from Tree Valley or Kennedy Greenhouse. Both great nurseries here in Stouffville.

I’m also digging the Purple-y colour combo’.

Another day at the office

This is one of those jobs where you feel guilty for getting paid!!!

Love my job! 😊…I’ll let you know if I still love it in November when the snows flying, the winds howling and the soil is going to freeze hard any day!! 😖

I haven’t been able to snap the butterflies, birds and hummingbirds. They are Way to quick for me. But these fellas. They just took their own sweet time!

Painted Turtles and…maybe a tree frog??

I love my work mates too!! 😃😃😃

A summary of summer 2019…so far!

Wet. Wet. Wet! It’s not just the name of an 80’s pop group. It was the weather for May and most of June.

I got a lot of planters done by the end of May….

Only to be thrown a very nasty curve ball of cold and very windy weather for the beginning of June! How cold was it?

Cold enough for me to be dressed like winter on the 4 th of June! Not even kidding! We got frost.

I had to move all remaining plants into the garage for a few days until temperatures rose sufficiently and I could resume planting.

I lost a few begonias and sunshine impatiens as all the wet weather before the cold snap ruined the succulent stems of these types of annuals.

It’s gone from wet to consistently HOT…30+ degrees for the last 3 or 4 weeks now. No happy medium. Cold wet and windy or sweltering hot! 🥵 My poor hydrangeas are suffering. They have looked wilted for the most of July!…so tired!!

Trying to keep the containers watered is a challenge. I have water barrels but they are both empty now. We could do with a nice steady full day of gentle rain!!

We also had death and destruction in the garden…

The bloody Japanese beetle…am I allowed to swear?? In this case it’s necessary!

Aaaarrrrggghhhh!! Why didn’t I read that they LOVE Roses and Crabapple trees…amoung many other things…before I bought my new purchases!!!

How do we get rid of them??? Well it’s not easy. I have pulled up 2 Potentilla shrubs and a Virginia creeper as they were covered and there really isn’t a fool proof way to get rid of them.

You can spray your lawn with nematodes in the spring. I have too much lawn so that’s not happening. There are traps but not very effective. So I wear gloves constantly in the garden and have so far managed to keep the numbers down (after removing said shrubs) by squeezing the living day lights out of the ravaging marauders!! 🤨😖

AND THEN THIS…(WARNING! could cause distress to viewer)….

Sssooo sad. A little pilfering chipmunk got trapped in my tomato plant and died there…I found him just like that. No. He didn’t die hungry. He ate bites out of 3 tomatoes before he met his demise!!!

Sometimes gardening isn’t so relaxing. 👹 But I still love it!!

Look what we got!!

I had a plan that my very long overdue blog…the first one of 2019, would begin with beautiful spring flowers and nice blue sky and sunshine. But alas…I have admitted before to being a procrastinator, and this week was no exception.

Instead of the nice backdrop to Spring and feelings of rejuvenation and renewal of all things nature. I waited a little too long and overnight we plunged into winter again!

It’s ok. Don’t worry. This will not last long. It will all be gone in a few days. This is what happens at this time of year. So instead of leaving you with winter. I’ll leave you some spring.

Yes. I know it looks as though I’ve made a bunny shape with the positioning of the basket. Unfortunately. It was such a dull day. This was the brightest place In the whole house to take the photo and the door knobs got in the way!!! 🙄 It looked much prettier without the door knobs!!!

My first Spring basket of the year. Made with donations from my singing sisters. To one of our other singing sisters, who has undergone surgery for breast cancer.

I’m sure the basket cheered her up. But she got the best news a few days ago to say that all the cancer has been removed and other cells sent for testing are cancer free!! 😃😃😃🥳🤩🥰. Talk about renewal and rejuvenation. Such good news for such a wonderful lady.

Another Spring basket was for our house. I just needed something fresh.

The little pale Pink hydrangea was from Metro. So pretty.

The little pot of bushy, overflowing, beautiful blue campanula was from Village Grocer. The hyacinth gave the whole house a fragrant smell and what is Spring without some daffy’s…and my Mum loves painting the little bird houses, so I try and have a stash of them on hand.

And Ruby. Just because!! 🥰