Organizing tip!

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A cold and stormy day.

T’was a dark n stormy night…well it was around lunch time actually. But it was dark and it was stormy and could well have been night! We are being battered by high winds and freezing rain here in southern Ontario. A great day to stay indoors and do some organizing.

So that I don’t feel as though I’m pulling the wool over your eyes. I’d better tell you that I did my organizing last week. Took photos while I was doing it and never got round to posting my tip. So it still works because this is a good day to stay in and post about organizing!

Because I decorate and create custom containers for other people, it doesn’t mean I love doing it for our house. We keep our Christmas decorations in the loft of the barn. Huge boxes filled with every possible sparkly item that would be considered Christmassy.  I have to lug these monsters down the stairs, across the drive, up and down more stairs and into the dining room. By the time I’ve done that, I can’t really be bothered to start rooting through the boxes. So I leave it for another day!

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The old way! Arrrgghhh!

It’s quite sick how many boxes like the ones above I have. These. The 3 above, are just for the tree. There are probably 8 more in the barn to decorate mantles, the piano room, the entrance way…oh those decorations get all over!!!

There had to be another way. So I searched on my obsession….Pinterest. “How to organize and store Christmas Decorations” The first one looked interesting enough to catch my eye. It was by Yvonne at Stone Gable (stonegableblog). So I followed her advice and got me some clear plastic totes…a more manageable size this time. Not the biggest I could find.

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Tree take down made easy! 🙂

I did use one longer sized tote as the picks I used throughout the tree were long in length. I didn’t fill the box all the way to the top this time. Also following Yvonne’s tip. I got rid of “bits” that never came out of the boxes. I was just keeping them because…?

All Gold in one box all Silver in another. Like with like! Not only does it make it easier to see what you have in each box. I was able to carry them back up and down the stairs, across the drive and up the stairs of the barn,  with ease. It’s a much better system.

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Tree ornament boxes. Silver and Gold

Maybe next year, it won’t be so bad. Maybe, because I’ll be sooo organized, I’ll be able to bring the totes into the house and decorate the same day…I’ll  let you know!

If you’d like to see more on Yvonne’s tips. Which are much more detailed than mine. Go to stonegableblog.com

Happy Organizing!

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Happy New Year!!!

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Bird on bench

Wow! Is it really over??? That went fast! Let’s hope for all good things in this new year.

I managed to snap a few photos outside in between snow storms! I know you don’t all have snow. We went to a party just before Christmas in Mississauga. I was dressed up like I was going to outer Siberia. Down coat, Sorel snow boots, hat, scarf, gloves..you know. The regular Canadian Winter uniform. When we arrived at our destination…about an hour from where we live. There was not even a trace of snow!! It was even a few degrees warmer than Stouffville. I didn’t need the whole winter uniform!!

So enjoy these photos and for more inspiration, don’t forget to check out the seasonal galleries at the top of the page. If you like winter, take in the beauty of this season. If you don’t. Skip right past and go to Spring or summer and dream of the warmth to come. It’s only a couple of months away!! 🙂

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Front Porch

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Oh Deer!

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Side door

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Side porch

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Garden Shed

Enjoy Winter 😉

Linda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m almost done!!!

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Living room fireplace

I know it’s December 28th and I know I hosted Christmas dinner. But there’s still something missing from my  decor’ and I can’t say I’m done until I have my Christmas Pot Pourri spread around in various rooms.

Maybe I’ll get round to that today… I rooted in too many boxes searching for it before Christmas…the Wednesday before Christmas actually…I was busy up to that point and just wasn’t in the mood to do it any earlier.

My mantel is much “less” than usual…because I was running late. We got new windows last year. I managed to save a few for projects…even though Donald was adamant they should all be sent to the junk pile.

I chalk painted it, did my little design and put lights behind it. It’s secured with masonary screws and picture wire as it sits precariously close to the edge of the mantel.

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Table centre piece

I’m pleased with how my table centre piece turned out. I went to my friend Jaime’s florist in Stouffville. Centre Piece Flowers.  I bought 3  x 4″ Poinsettias, some hypericum berries and a couple of  beautiful Hydrandeas and used some left over greens I had.

It looked lovely on Christmas Day but one hydrangea was totally croaked by Boxing Day…if you look closely you can see an empty spot where I’ve taken it out of the arrangement. 😦 …but not too closely that you can see empty spots in the oasis!!!

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Lopsided tree!!

Not sure what’s going on with the tree this year. I took the photo from all angles so you couldn’t see just how lopsided the tree looks when you look straight on!! I’ve decided that it’s the picks at the top that make it look that way.

It was supposed to be just Silver and Gold, but Donald all of a sudden had an opinion on the tree and said it needed Red to make it pop!! (Really)

This evening I’m hoping to go out and take photos of the outside. We’ve had lots of snow and then thaw and then freezing rain. It’s quite treacherous out there and seeing as I only finished outside the day before Christmas Eve, I haven’t got round to taking photos yet!!! There’s a saying about the cobblers Children walking about in shoes that need mending…same kind of thing here. I have to make sure everyone is decorated before me.

Even though I’m late, my Christmas wishes are still as sincere as they would have been if you were reading before Christmas. I wish you and your family, Peace, health and happiness. I hope you have had a great Christmas season.

Love Linda xx

 

 

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!

 

 

Over wintering tropicals

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Side entrance summer planter.

I decided to try and over winter my Birds of Paradise that I had planted in my side entrance planters. I needed to get them indoors before the frosty weather arrived.

I knew it would be a challenge with the root system but I had to try.

 

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Time to repot the Bird of Paradise.

The red tubers are from the Sweet Potato Vine that shared the planter with the Bird of Paradise.

It’s a good idea to spray the plants with Insecticidal soap before bringing into the home. It will hopefully get rid of any creepy bugs or insects that might be living in the plant!!! 🐛🐜.

Gently pull apart the soil and the roots. The idea is to get rid of as much old soil as possible. The roots will feel as though they have just broken out of a pair of very tight shoes!!

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Ready to repot

Prepare a clean pot with a little potting  mix in the bottom. Place the plant as centrally as possible in the pot and fill with more Potting mix.

Place the planter into a saucer, move the plant into its new home and water it well.

 

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Repotted and in it’s new home.

 

Most tropicals need plenty of light. Monitor how well it’s doing over the first few weeks. The leaves may begin to turn Yellow, but things should sort themselves out eventually.

If you don’t have room to use them as house plants you can store them in the basement and let them go dormant. Just water once a month over the winter. The tricky part is giving them enough light in the early spring to prepare them for summer. But it’s worth a try!

Happy potting!!! 😃

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Town Planters

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Ruby at Stouffville Leisure centre

 

I have to say whoever did the containers for the town of Whitchurch Stouffville got it amazingly right this year! They are stunning and a real asset to the town.

I see the people that look after them. They are watering at all times of the day and night. I was coming home from an event in the city one night. It must have been midnight-ish. I can’t remember if it was the night before the Strawberry festival…Canada Day weekend. There was the town truck and the crew watering the containers, window boxes and hanging baskets down Main Street.

 

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Town of Whitchurch Stouffville

One thing I have noticed this year is that the tall leafy plants have done outstandingly well this year.  It’s been Hot, humid and dry…no rain. Which has meant very little wind which usually damages the leaves.

To have the containers looking like this at this time of year…September 19th…goes to show how much hard work and care has gone in to looking after these stunners!!!

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Mum and Ruby sit by Latcham gallery

 

 

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