Stouffville Holiday Homes tour 2017

The creation of Gwendolyn

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A practice run to see if this is doable in the time I had left.

When I was asked to take part in the Stouffville Holiday Homes tour, I knew in my mind that I wanted to make an Evergreen “lady”. I first saw one on Pinterest that ‘The Dusty Victorian’ had made and I think she makes a new model each year…and why not?

The tour is early.  November 3rd and 4th this year. Greens are not readily available to me. I have to rely on the wholesalers, who don’t have a plentiful supply right now.  Everything I order they don’t have. I have to wait a few days and then I have to drive an hour each way to pick up my order, when really, I should have been working on creating for the tour. I return home. I’m ready to start my first container.They have packed the wrong product! 😤😖 Fast forward a day. I have the right product. There’s a hail storm. Gale force winds and rain. It’s all happening, but I’m out there fighting the elements as I’m now behind. I’m tired and cranky and stressed out!

I get a text from my friend Christine. “Let me know if I can help with your decorating” I take Christine up on her offer.

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A saving grace…Christine to the rescue!

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she was the perfect helper! I had done a little test run to see how fiddly it might be and did we even have time to build our Lady. We talked about what she might look like, how her bodice was going to be dressed and I left Christine to create Gwendolyn.

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she's absolutely gorgeous. I'm so thankful to Christine for coming to my rescue and for her talent.

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say…because I know Christine will be reading, The Creation started as Judy, when I saw her almost complete she became Gwendolyn to me. But Christine added a little edgeyness to Gwendolyn and she became Medusa! Unfortunately, it's not evedent on this photo why she morphed into Medusa….It was SSSSSOOOOOOOO windy. Gwendolyn/Medusa fell over. Some of her necklace broke, her feathers were slightly ruffled and I had to tie her to the light fixture. I used the snake like 'tails' that came out of her necklace to hold her upright!!! The snake like tails that prompted the name Medusa!

Oh The trails and tribulations!!!

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Fall and Halloween rolled into one!

October was such an amazing month weather wise. I think we got the best weather of the summer. Warmth and sunshine! Ahhhhh! Lovely.

It was a little difficult getting people to transition over to fall planters as the summer ones still looked great!

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Mandevilla, roses, petunias!

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Bird of paradise, begonias, coleus

But we must move on whether we want to or not!

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Asters, kale and warty pumpkin!

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Marks fall porch

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Birch, feathery grass and mums

It’s an especially busy season for me  this year. Fall, Halloween and Christmas one right after the other. ( in the decorating world, that is).

Marks porch for Halloween

 

Stouffville Holiday Homes tour 2017

Its the Stouffville Holiday homes tour November 3rd and 4th. And our house is on it! So I have to be REALLY prepared this year!

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Just emptied summer containers. October 29th

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Ready for Stouffville holiday homes tour. November 3rd and 4th

I’ll post more pics from the house tour once I’ve got them sorted out….

What’s in the garden today?

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Bee and Echinacea

A warm and sunny day. Watching a busy bee on Echinacea. See his saddle bags filled with pollen?

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Ruby in her hole!

Not too many days like this left this summer. Too hot for Ruby!

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Bird of Paradise

The nights are getting so cool. I’m going to have to bring this monster in… but where on earth will it go…

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Bananas and Begonias

and these babies?? In early summer we had a wicked hail storm and I lost most of the leaves on these Bananas. They were ripped to shreds and pitted where they had been hit with the hail!! I didn’t expect them to replenish themselves into such enormous plants. I bought the plants as an experiment, see how they would hold up. Lesson learned. I would only plant these in a sheltered spot, not out in the open.

 

Today in the garden

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Sunshine in the trees

I’m not sure if there was a record set in Ontario today. It was supposed to get up to 27 degrees Celsius and it’s October 18th!!

I still have colour in the garden so I just snapped a few pics so we can see how glorious this weather is.

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Look what the birds planted!! A beautiful sunflower.

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Jackmanii clematis

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Ruby under the Maple and a ghostly shadow…carrying an iPad!!

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Side entrance

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Mums, Lamium, Osteospernum and the red leaves of Evening Primrose, colour the garden

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Front porch and fall trees

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Hydrangeas and cat mint

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Ooopps! I think I need a new umbrella 🌂!!!

It was quite gusty in the afternoon. My garden umbrella couldn’t stand it any longer and just disintegrated into a heap!!! Well. I suppose at least it waited till the end of the season!

 

 

The drama of Sandra’s Window box!

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Sandra’s Window Box

It was early Spring when I got a call from Sandra asking if I would make her an arrangement in her beautiful decorative window box.

The summer plants were all ready but it was still a little early. I decided I would make a start and try and be ahead of the game. I worked in my garage and managed to get 6 hanging baskets, 2 urn inserts and Sandra’s window box completed. This was good. I could hold onto them for a while, give them chance to fill in and wait for the chance of frost to be behind us. I was pleased with myself!…

Then it happened!…it snowed!!! May 14th.  Now I couldn’t even put the plants outside to hardened off. That kind of cold was just too much. I tended to my charges for a week or two. Protected them from the elements… All the different ones that we face at that time of year. This is where that saying comes in. It can be 4 different seasons in one day in Ontario!!

Most of the plants seemed to have survived the chilly temps…except for Sandra’s. I had used tropicals. Beautiful caladiums, escargot begonia’s, Rex begonia’s and a fantastical colour of Sun  Patiens. By the end of the first week most of the plants were drooped in a very sad and pathetic looking way. I had to switch the plants. Still determined that Sandra would get this amazing tropical showcase to look at over the summer. I replanted.   The caladiums drooped again. Sandra was patient. I replanted. The caladiums and the sun patiens drooped again. I did a complete redo. Changed the soil and all the plants. No caladiums. No Sun Patiens. Begonia’s, begonias, lobelia and begonia’s!!!

It took awhile. But finally the combination of stronger plants and warm stable weather, won the day.

 

 

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Sandra’s window box. September

 

 

 

 

 

 

The summer of no Rain

 

imageI can’t remember the last time we had a good down pour. I mean one that soaked this poor, dry, crispy, earth. It’s been months really. The grass is so parched it’s not even growing…so looking at the bright side. We don’t have to cut it.

I feel sorry for the farmers. Wonder how the crops are doing??? We haven’t had a summer like this since 2006 with temperatures consistently over 30 degrees Celsius (86F) and no rain.

Thank goodness we have a well…although now it’s pretty much dried up. My rain barrel too is almost empty!!! I’ve never known anything like it.

While I had the luxury of free recycled water from my well and rain barrel, I was able to keep up with making sure all my planters were well watered. I usually water early in the morning before the sun gets up to full blast!! I do fertilize with a flowering plant food… High middle number to encourage blooms. But I make sure the planters are well watered beforehand and I never fertilize while the planters are in the blazing heat.

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While it is very hot and dry and not good for everything. We have to make the most of it and be thankful for what we have here in Ontario.

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I know I’ve  been behind with my blog this year. No excuses…except for one. It’s called “computers” and my lack of knowledge in using them!!! Hopefully. I’ve finally got things sorted so should be able to keep you updated.

Remember. Enjoy the weather…think of the alternative!! 😳

While you’re here. Check out the Gallery. See what I’ve been up to!