Friday, April 29, 2011

Tree tomato update April 29th

It's been a busy week! I was almost afraid to check my tomato's today as I have ignored them almost all week.  I was happy to see that 4 new Tree Tomato seeds have germinated!

The Big Early's are doing well and will get transplanted tomorrow-all 14 of them!!

Fertilizer Friday-Flaunt your Flowers April 29th

I'm joining Tootsie again this week for Fertilizer Friday because I'm proud of these blooms.
With the cold, wet weather we have been having, it's a miracle I have any blooms at all!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Earth Day clean up

It has become tradition for my kids and I to clean the ditches on a stretch of road near our house every Earth Day. We seem to be the only ones on our road that do this. Once, I even had a neighbor stop and ask what we were doing and WHY?  My kids and I were speechless, and I finally answered with "because it's Earth Day!" They drove off and left us to our work, but I've often thought of that comment and wondered WHY NOT? We clean a 1km stretch of our road, both sides, and one side has quite a deep ditch. Boots are a must have.   The 2 older kids were busy, so my 7 year old and I (and the dog) set off down the road.

There are only 3 houses on this stretch of road - one is ours, one is a cottage, and one is a (currently vacant) farm. We usually half fill a blue box along this stretch. This is what we picked up this year
We filled the blue box AND the wagon! The garbage consisted of Tim Horton coffee cups (a new Tim's opened in our town last year), McDonald's wrappers (McDonald's across from Tim's on Highway), beer bottles (people are STILL drinking and driving??) , pop cans and cigarette packages (these can be recycled) , and lumber (??).   So it seems to me, people are getting WORSE not better. Sad. It seems no one cares.
Well look out people who litter  'OUR'  stretch of road!  WE care, and we will be looking for YOU!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Today's cold, wet weather has me dreaming of June. My birth month and favorite month of the year. The Rose is the flower of June, and different colors have different meanings.
Black Madonna
Red Roses represent love, passion and respect.
                                                                       Carefree Beauty
                                                                     Alexander Mackenzie
                    Pink Roses represent different things depending on their color. Light pink is for gentleness,femininity,sweetness and admiration. Dark pink is appreciation, gratitude, thanks, and loyalty.
                                                           Muskoka Moonlight
                  White Roses represent humility, purity, innocence and loyalty.

Marmalade Skies

Peach Roses represent friendship, partnership, sincerity, and genuineness.  

Lilac/Purple Roses represent love at first sight, royalty, wealth.
Midas Touch

 Yellow Roses represent friendship, remembrance, joy and caring. Also apology.

The weather is cold and the Roses are still tucked away under their winter mulch.
I'm sure it won't be too long until they will bloom again.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shed makeover

My neighbor took down a wooden paddock fence last year. The wood lay in his barn yard for almost a year when I asked him what he was going to do with it. He said it was Hemlock and too brittle for horse fencing-one kick and it was splitting- so he was probably just going to burn it. Unless I wanted to take it? The wood was a beautifully aged silver color and I was sure I could come up with something to do with it.  We decided to turn it into siding for our woodshed. Here it is before-just a regular tin shed

And now
I'm not sure exactly what to do about the doors yet. My first thought was to make real 'swinging' doors. But because this woodshed gets a lot of wind, there is always a snow drift in front of it which would make it harder to open during the winter. I may just color match the wood and get paint for the doors, but I'm not sure yet. Regardless, there was enough wood left to do my garden shed.  I have a deep hatred for white siding! We also had 2 windows from MIL stored in the basement that could replace the cracked windows.  Before...

And here, not quite done
Voila! It still needs the trim painted and the doors done, and Hubby even said he would make me a planter box for the other window. Nothing goes to waste around here!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fertilizer Friday - Flaunt your Flowers :)

        I'm joining Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday's today!
This Bougainvillea is blooming it's little heart out in the back window.
I really appreciate the color this time of year!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tree Tomato's - Take 2

I check on my tree tomato's yesterday and was HORRIFIED at what I found!  I guess I haven't been paying enough attention because my only 2 tree tomato's had damped off.
The other ones, the Big Early's, are doing great! They are growing their first set of true leaves and will be ready to transplant into bigger pots very soon. Funny thing is, it was Tree Tomato's that I wanted and while only 2 of those germinated, there are 12 Big Early plants.
I decided that it was still early enough to start some fresh Tree Tomato seeds, so I went back to the store and bought another kit. I really, REALLY want to see if these tomato's are going to live up to the claims on the package. So here we go again...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The first bloom of 2011!

I almost missed it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monarch Butterflies in the garden

Every year, I look forward to the return on the Monarch Butterflies. Monarch's are the only Butterfly here that migrate. Every year, Monarch's that have hatched mid summer in Ontario will fly 3000 km to reach the mountains of Central Mexico by October. They leave in March, often producing the next generation in Texas that will continue on until June - which is about the time they return here.
 To create a butterfly haven in your yard, you need to have the plants (and flowers) that each of the 4 stages of it's life needs to thrive.  The eggs are laid and hatch on Milkweed, which is the larva's only food. The eggs take about 2 weeks to hatch, and once they do the larva goes on a feeding frenzy for about 2 weeks.

I planted Butterfly Weed (Asclepias Tuberosa) for them in my garden, and I must admit it was a little alarming when they devoured the entire plant. But don't worry folks, it grows back!  We also have stands of common milkweed ( Asclepias syriaca ) nearby which they seem to prefer.
 After feeding for about 2 weeks, the larva spins itself up into a Chrysalis and hangs for another 2 weeks.
 An amazing transformation happens, and soon a new butterfly will emerge

Butterflies are the most active between 10 am and 3 pm. It is quite a joy watching them flutter around the yard. Adults feed on nectar and are most attracted to blooms that are red, orange, yellow and purple. In September, large numbers congregate here and feed for fuel for their long migration to Mexico. In my experience, they like Golden Rod, Asters, Black Eyed Susan's, Echinacea, Yarrow, Joe Pye Weed,  Sedum, Zinna's, and Cosmos.  Plant some Milkweed and some of these other plants in your yard and you will be certain to attract Monach's to your garden.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Walkin' Wednesday - exploration!

Every Wednesday during my off season, my friend Gary and I get together. We take this time to catch up, drink a bit of coffee and exercise.  When the weather is bad we rely on  'Wii Fit' and when the weather is nice, we like to walk. Really, we like to explore.  I've been eying up an area nearby and was afraid to explore it alone so I took Gary.  Even from Google Maps you can clearly see that once upon a time there was SOMETHING in this area and I wanted to go see WHAT!
So we set off on our walk. I was determined to find treasures from the past and Gary was determined to see some deer. It wasn't long before I thought Gary might be lucky today...fresh deer poop...and LOTS of it!
  We made our into the forest. The vines we so thick that we were sure we never would make it in if it were summer. The trees all appeared dead as the branches were snapping at the slightest touch. Some of the vines were very old and their trunks were bigger than my arm!  As we continued on Gary was first to spot this
A well!! The top had long since rotten off, exposing the rocks that made the well walls. I KNEW that something was here!!  As we got to exploring we found other objects that showed that someone once lived here.

                                                   And that something once died here
 This spot was long forgotten. Many treasures are probably buried here under the layers of leaves and soil.  3 rolls of farm fence that never got used made me think that this spot was quickly abandoned and it made me wonder why.
  Continuing on our walk, we decided to go and see a pond behind a neighbors house. Walking through farm fields we stepped thru a tree line to see a beautiful sight
There were a few ducks and geese swimming around, and had I not been making so much noise, we would have seen the blue heron. It flew away, but still a magnificent sight to see. This was only my third time to this pond and  I know from the owners of this land that this is where all the wild life is. There has been sightings of many deer, birds, coyotes, cougar, and bear. I must admit I am always on high alert when coming here. This huge canine type track reminded me of the reason why
So off we went, much to Gary's disappointment. He didn't say anything, but I know he wanted to explore this spot further. (Sorry I'm such a chicken Gary~animals are really HUNGRY this time of year!) We headed back home to re-hydrate and chat a little.  I'm sure we will come here again and maybe I won't be such a chicken next time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tree tomato germination

It's been a busy week! With spring weather here, I've been busy doing yard and garden clean up. It has been too wet to get out into the veggie garden, but I have managed to rake a good part of the yard and start edging a few of the flower beds.
Inside, the seeds are sprouting. Here is a picture of the tree tomato kit:
If you recall, I had thought that all 6 were tree tomato's and instead found 3 early tomato's. You might notice that the early tomatoes are doing very well... there are in fact 7 early tomato seedlings. Have a look at the tree tomato's
Just one seedling. ONE! I sure hope the rest are just slow. I'm getting disappointed with this project already.
Notice the beautiful basil seedlings in the back ground? I'm impressed already :)