Friday, December 14, 2018

Holly and Cedar for Christmas

Almost 40 years ago I planted two holly trees. An English plain green and a variegated Holly. The variegated holly got berries for the first time this year. I was so excited. I had really given up. So the arrangements that I make every year, contain variegated holly WITH berries this year instead of just plain.

I always make tiny bouquets using the little pieces you trim off the bottom of the holly. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

I love cleaning.

I have spent a lifetime learning to clean. I only use cleaning products that won’t harm me, my pets or our precious environment. That took a lot of experimentation. And it also takes elbow grease and scrubbing. So the right brushes, cloths and tools are very important. I am a huge fan of Redecker brushes from Germany. Because I’ll be cleaning a lot, I want to figure out which brushes actually work for what. So I am buying some interesting and beautiful brushes and tools. Here are a few that I am putting to the test right now.

{It was my plan to clean for carefully selected people that I really wanted to work for...but between sciatica and a badly broken shoulder, it is unlikely to happen anytime soon, if at all. In the meantime, I will slowly start to clean my house after not being able to for ten weeks. I can only do light cleaning and nothing over shoulder height....but my goodness it feels good to be able to start.}

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

I am on the mend...I even did a tiny bit of gardening today

It has been a long haul healing from a nasty shoulder fracture. It was a bad one. But...I did everything I was told by my Dr’s and did a lot of online research about things like diet and healing bones. And with my husband spending every waking hour being my hands, and feet and well, everything, I have made a great recovery. I can only lift my arm half way, and it is very painful. My whole shoulder area looks crooked and twisted, but I am not complaining. With the exception of washing my hair, I can shower, dress myself and do anything that doesn’t involve lifting my right arm. I can type again, I can pet the dog who lives behind me and that I love very much, I can pick up my cats, I can go out into public without worrying about anyone bumping my shattered shoulder. I am still careful about that, but not in panic mode. I’m back to walking a lot. I can lift a five pound weight up and down six inches or so working on building muscle in my atrophied arm. A week and a half ago, I could not lift my hand at all it was so weak. So to lift five pounds makes me feel like a power lifter!! In about three weeks, I have been cleared to drive!! That will be just over ten weeks without being able to drive! I had no idea what that would be like. I really don’t like driving usually, but I think I have a whole new outlook on that now.

Today I did a little bit of light gardening. I am on top of the world!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Why haven’t I done a blog post lately you ask?

Well it’s a funny thing actually. Apparently I’m not 20 anymore. I was babysitting and ran after a three-year-old who was running towards the parking lot and took the fall of my lifetime. I badly broke my shoulder. So there is no gardening. No housecleaning. No showering. No washing my hair. Hence no photographs. So if you can bear with me, for a little while longer, I promise a new post as soon as I’m able.

And just because everyone needs a good laugh every day, here you go. 
I found this in Pinterest.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Can you go wrong with a funny coffee sign to start your day!

This is going to make me smile every morning. 

I am loving Micro Clover! Look how pretty.

My existing Micro Clover areas are looking amazing. I am doing it in sections and a couple weeks ago I seeded the third section. I am very excited with the colour and density of the clover. It is just pretty wonderful!! I originally got rid of all my lawn to put in a massive garden. It just didn’t look pretty. All the wood chips gave it a very ‘rugged and messy’ look. I didn’t like it. I actually worried a bit about fire as well. I thought with all the fires the past few years in BC, if a single spark ever hit my yard, it would go up like a tinderbox. So here is what it is looking like right now. 

By the way, we are in a drought situation here in BC and I haven’t watered the established clover in weeks. Look how green it is. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Orchid update!!! We have new roots forming.

Oh my gosh!!! Look at the roots on my phalaenopsis. This orchid was truly on deaths door when I moved it into a Semi Hydroponic ‘deli container’. I have killed so many Phalaenopsis orchids over the 40 years I have been growing orchids, it is embarrassing. So once I was certain this one was a goner, and believe me, I know, I moved it into this pot and just waited. First thing that happened, the wilting, soft, drooping and wrinkly leaves, plumped back up, raised back into position and turned dark green and shiny. Then this.....the roots have started branching!!!!

Even an air root has a baby.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Two of my favourite perennials

Who doesn’t love perennial flowers. Best money you ever spend for the garden. Here are two of my very favourites. Peppermint Twist Phlox and a fringed Shasta Daisy.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Semi Hydroponic Orchid update

Before photos

About 2 1/2 weeks ago I put my saddest wilty orchid into a new potting system called semi Hydroponic orchid growing. Here is the first promised update. It has already surpassed my wildest hopes. The two bottom leaves were drooping, wrinkly and leathery. Now they feel thicker, solid and are perkier and darker. I can’t wait to see what happens in a month or two. I will keep you posted.

After 2.5 weeks

Friday, July 06, 2018

First mowing of the Micro Clover

As you would imagine Micro Clover is very slow growing at the beginning. I planted the first area which is closest to the camera on May 21st and the longest areas just reached about 4”. So today it had its first mowing. That will thicken it up and cause smaller leaves to form, giving it that lovely carpet look. Pretty exciting. It is patchy looking as some seeds didn’t germinate for quite a while after the first. 
The third area to be seeded will be the bare area just beyond the clover and on toward the greenhouse and wrapping to the left. I am going to wait until it’s a bit cooler. It will look really lovely next year!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Have you heard of Semi-Hydroponic Orchid growing??

I recently became aware of a relatively new method of orchid growing called semi-hydroponic. I have been growing orchids for about 40 years, but I’m really not that good at it. Especially phalaenopsis orchids. I have never been able to get one to reflower and frankly if they lived a year....oh wait I don’t think that ever happened. They would either rot at the crown no matter how careful I was with water, or the leaves would just wrinkle and shrivel and be gone. I started seeing people online with really pathetic phalaenopsis using the SH method of revitalizing them. The results were astounding. So I have decided to use my saddest phalaenopsis as a guinea pig. Simply put, you take a plastic deli container, drill or burn 4-6 small holes one inch from the bottom of the pot. Clean the roots of the phalaenopsis really well leaving NO material. Plant orchid in the pot using small clay or lava balls that you get at a Hydroponic store. The clay balls  must be washed and then soaked for 24 hours before use. Water the plant with orchid fertilizer and that will fill the 1” reservoir at the bottom of the pot. When the reservoir is almost empty you give the plant a really good watering and fertilize again. I think that usually takes a couple of weeks. The water wicks up through the clay balls so you don’t water until it is running out. It is amazing. And the medium never breaks down like bark mulch. If you want to try it, watch a couple of YouTube videos. You’ll see how easy it is. Here are a few pics. I will post more when I see a result, good or bad. 

A close up. You can see the wrinkly leaves beginning and a new root. The new roots were just to give me hope, and then the plant would die anyway.

You can see the holes. The plastic is soft so we used a torch and hot nail to melt the holes. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

First blossom on my newly planted David Austin Rose “Graham Thomas”

I am absolutely crazy about David Austin’s English Roses. If you aren’t familiar with them, they have the beauty and form of old French Roses, but with the reblooming habit of the newer Hybrid Teas. I found this beauty at Dinter Nursery of course. This is a flower from a rose planted about a week ago, so they will be much larger and fuller when it is a bit more established. But I wanted to share my first flower with you. 

Sunday, February 04, 2018

My new love....Carnivorous Plants

Dinter Nursery will be getting a Carnivorous plant shipment in May. 
I cannot wait to see them and pick out a couple.

Friday, January 19, 2018

My wonderful bottle brush wreath is now complete.

A few years ago I asked my mom to keep a look out for a green bottle brush wreath like the one we had when I was little. At Christmas dinner she brought a gift for me and it was this lovely vintage bottle brush wreath. It had a gap at the top so I tied a red ribbon on it. This year I put a Christmas Cracker at each plate. When dinner was over someone mentioned the wonderful red berries that they had tied up the crackers with. Everyone allowed me to have the berries, so that I could put them on the wreath. The originals had berries very much like these. It is perfection!! Thank you family.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Buggy Cotoneaster 101. Guess what we used to clean this mess off!

So this is my Cotoneaster. It is HUGE. If you have one, you know what a pathetic situation this is. I think this was caused by Porphyry Knothorn. You never see the moths or caterpillars, but you can see the webbing and huge amount of dead leaves. This winter while it was in a dormant state I decided to try brushing off all the dead stuff and hopefully eggs. This has been going on so long the black debris along the trunk and branch crotches is so solid I literally could not remove it with a brush. I have discovered that the whitefly infestation in the greenhouse every winter has been largely managed by removing or cutting back annuals etc and meticulously cleaning up leaves in the gardens. Cleaning is everything!!! So I wanted to apply the same method here. I stood staring at it for a while. Eureka! I had an idea!!!! I asked Allan if he could set the pressure washer soft enough to remove all debris without tearing off the bark. Watch this!!!


Left side done


On close inspection, he didn’t even tear off the new leaves! I raked up the leaves from the maple next door that I had always just left to mulch these plants. I am going to remove the lower branches on the ground and I will be vigilant with the cleanliness.