Need a Garden Buddy from Northern Ontario.....November

Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)November 1, 2004

Hi everyone

Hope you all had a nice halloween. *S* We had only one child and that was son's daughter. She was dressed as a kitty. It has been snowing since last night so she had all her winter stuff on and when I picked her up she weighed a ton. A lot more than she did last week when we were playing in the park. *LOL* I think that winter has arrived. *sigh* I have started putting up Christmas decorations, just a few things, and tonight I brought up the snowman for outside and will start looking for the lights. It will take me a week or two to get all the decorations up, so I do a bit every other day or so.

I am still busy steaming our carpets. Did a few yesterday and a couple more today. I have two more big ones to do and then I am finished! Yeah! I'm getting pretty tired and sore and when I get tired I run into things so I'm a bit banged up,,,,walls keep jumping in front of me, but I'm almost finished.

Marcia, how are the renovations coming along? Was hubs able to finish the siding?

Claubill, that is nice that u have such a good neighbour that was willing to teach you about grapes. I hope the new grape vine will grow quickly so it will cover your arbor in a few years. I do know that garlic is planted in the fall. I use to plant it, but haven't for the past few years. I miss the fresh garlic and I really must try to grow some next fall. I tried elephant garlic one year, but McFayden's shipped that in spring, they always seem to ship their garlic in spring, so I stopped buying it from them and just picked some up from the store and planted that. When u say u planted your onions, do u mean that u plant your onions in the fall as well?

I am sorry to hear about your neighbour, that is sad. But he must appreciate u coming over and digging up the flowers for him and helping him out when he is so sick and can't do it himself. I hope they are able to do something for him.

Geo, Welcome! That is great that u were able to cut broccoli and cabbage today and your pansies are still blooming! Do u have any snow there at all?

Well have to go it's getting late.

Take care

Debbie :-)

PS: Here are some pics of my Christmas cactus

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claubill(z3Sud ONT)

Hi Debbie:

Keep me in mind next year for your garlic. I always have too many so I could send you some. As for the onions, my neighbour gave me some last year and I planted them in the fall at the same time as the garlic. So again this year, I planted some more. They are not the big ones. I guess they're like scallions. When I get the next bunch of catalogues, I'll see if I can get some spanish onions or the bigger variety of onions. They sure go good with hamburgers and they would be perfect for my tourtieres (French meat pie), or I could even puree them.

We're getting three yards of mulch delivered this week. I hate the weeds so much but I'm now inclined to spent a little and buy mulch. I've been collecting newspapers from the bins at Laurentian University (Sudbury). I especially want to mulch around our junipers and cedars. There's always lots of weeks around them and it just IRRITATES me.

I've got my neighbour's geraniums, dahlias, and canna lily bulbs in the basement being dried. That's going to be quite a chore. I must have almost hundred if not more geraniums in the basement. If he survives the winter (he has bone cancer), then he'll have some flowers for the spring. I also dug up his 4 o'clocks and collected the bulbs. In other words, I'm going to be very busy this spring with my garden and his. But he's been such a good neighbour to us that we actually enjoy helping him out. And his wife is not in very good shape. I realize that he might not make it through the winter. I'm probably not going to see him very much this winter since he's not going to be going outside very much for fear that he might catch a cold. Life can be so cruel. He's such a good man and doesn't deserve to suffer so much.

It seems in the last five years my husband and I have gone to a lot of funerals. My brother-in-law at 42 died of a brain tumour; my mother-in-law died ten years ago, my mother died two years of lung cancer even thought she had quit smoking for 8 years. I'm also trying to quit smoking but it's very difficult. I always manage to not smoke in the winter but as soon as spring comes around, the urge is there again. It's very frustrating. But hopefully this time I'll be able to quit for good.

Well, I have to go to bed. Ta ta for now!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2004 at 10:34PM
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Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)


I have been putting up decorations the past few nights and tonight it is really feeling like Christmas! We are having a winter storm here right now! ekkkk

Thanks for the garlic offer Claubill. I will try to remember. *S* I tried scallions or shallots? last year and they were really nice. This year I grew multiplier bulbs again for the second year in an oak barrel I have and they did well in the barrel. I think I will grow them that way every year from now on instead of planting them in the ground. I really liked having lettuce in pots this year too. I like the spanish onions and your right they would taste good in your meat pies! I made meat pies for the first time two Christmases ago and they were sooooo good! I don't bake much so when I bake I make a lot. *L* I have a pie crust recipe that makes about 5 pie shells. We sure ate up those pies.
Hubby has lost a lot of weight again so maybe it is time I made some of those meat pies to fatten him up!

I bought a lot of mulch this year for the new beds and old beds to try and keep the weeds down. My neighbours aren't gardeners and they don't look after their properties well so they grow the weeds and then the seeds blow over to our place and i get stuck pulling them out. That is a good idea of putting newspapers around your trees, I do that too and it does help. I bought a paper shredder this summer too and I put shredded paper down in the flower beds then put the bought mulch over top of that to hide the newspaper mulch. I will be shredding paper all winter and putting it in garbage bags in the porch, so I'll have lots in the spring to put it down before any weed seeds germinate, or at least that is the plan, I hope it works. *L*

I sure hope your neighbour can survive the winter and he can enjoy his garden next spring and summer. It is hard to see someone u care about being so sick.

I did not know that Four O'Clocks made bulbs. I use to try and grow them from seeds but they never flowered for me so i stopped growing them. Maybe if I had saved the bulbs and replanted them the next year I would of gotten flowers from the plants.

I hope u can quit smoking, maybe u should make a promise to yourself, that no matter how much u have the urge in the spring u will not start smoking again. I quit when I had two surgeries in less than five weeks. I got my mind prepared that I would not start smoking again after my second surgery and luckily I was so sick afterwards I had no interest for a few days to smoke so I just kept it up. It was hard but I sure am glad I quit, now I just wish my hubs would quit. And just think of all the money u would save if u quit, u could spend that money on garden stuff. *L

Well have to get moving here,,,,take care
Debbie :-)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2004 at 1:37AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Evening, all. Nothing much is happening in the gardening department lately. The weather has been pretty good for November, but still wet, and i haven't gotten a lot of leaves raked up as yet. Maybe tomorrow. I do have 10 big bags that someone gave me, though! Oooooooh - Christmas! LOL

Another thing i should be doing is straightening up all my containers. There are six- and four-packs and plant pots laying around all over under the deck - i'm such a slob! LOL Better put that on the list for tomorrow too. But last weekend, i did plant some allium bulbs that i'd forgotten i'd ordered, and i put a bunch of plants into the veg. garden. These were plants i'd taken out of the bed near the bedroom window so that dh could do the siding there. They'd been in a couple of those big galvanized tubs for a couple of months. So you can tell that things progress pretty slowly around here!

The siding is pretty much done. Dh just has a section on the front of the porch to do, and i'm not sure what the hold up is. Maybe he's waiting for a blizzard? :> He says he has to put some fill or something around the front of the house now that the siding is done, and apparently garden soil won't do the trick. If it doesn't get done asap in the spring, garden soil is going to *have* to do the trick!

Now, i wonder how long it will be before the flooring is done....

We got some Lee Valley catalogues yesterday, and there are some pretty interesting things in the gardening one. How about a "downspout trellis"? I think i could make use of one of those! And there was a really neat star-shaped garden bed, made with lumber and some kind of little connector do-jiggies. I'd never have room for something like that here, but it was interesting! Fuel for daydreams!

Aside from raking leaves and straightening up plant containers, there's a craft market i'd like to go to tomorrow. On Sunday we're having our daughter and her boyfriend over for their birthdays (he was on the 1st, she's on the 9th). Dh is going to smoke some steaks - yum!

Debbie, we had seven kids for Halloween, including the little grandguy. He had on a thick, fleecy dinosaur costume, so he didn't need much more padding! He made me take pictures of his front, his back and his horns! LOL

Claubill, that's sad about your neighbour. Plant his garden for him even if he doesn't make it through the winter - he'll be there somewhere to appreciate it anyway. His wife would probably appreciate it too. Maybe you could make a memorial to him. I have a friend who is very ill as well, so i understand how you feel. I wish we were closer so i could do things like that for her.

Anyway, talk to you all later!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2004 at 10:22PM
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claubill(z3Sud ONT)

Well, we just had three yards of cedar mulch delivered today so I guess we'll be busy on the weekend. There's always lots of weeds around the junipers and cedars. I've collected newspapers to put around them and then I'll mulch around it leaving some space around the trunks. I truly hate weeds, especially grass. Next year, I'll have to take special care to pull out the grass in the beds before they start producing seeds because we all know that once those seeds form, you just have a ton more of grass next year.

I also have to bring in the rest of the geraniums, mine and the neighbour's. We have a couple of pots to empty. Would you believe that I have gazanias that are still flowering. It is definitely one of the hardiest annuals that we have.

Does anyone want any marigolds (a mixture of the larger varieties)? I have tons of them. I was collecting them all but I had to stop because I just have too many and I don't want to throw them and I certainly can't use them all.

Well, it's past my bedtime and I've got a cold but I have to force myself tomorrow to mulch. The more we do now, the less we'll have to do in the spring. Ha ha ha ha!!!

Good night everyone.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 1:17AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I did it! It's all done! Do you believe it? Not only did i get to the craft market, but i raked leaves, dumped the rest of the containers, planted a sempervinum in my son's garden, organized all my containers, put some in the big Rubbermaid container under the deck and covered the rest with a tarp. And i turned the coldframe on its end so that the weight of the snow won't break the plastic on the lid. Finished just as the first raindrops started falling, and was able to grab the clothes from the line.

Claubill, i'll take some marigolds if you want to get rid of them! I haven't grown them for a couple of years. Is there anything you want? I have malva zebrina, Shasta daisy, cleome, white Jacob's ladder - can't remember what else, offhand, and i'm too lazy to go into the kitchen to look!

Anyhow, that's it for now. Just wanted to share that i actually accomplished something today! :)

Take care!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 5:02PM
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The full extent of gardening activities for the past month includes:

raking leaves


And that's it. Fun!

But, autumn leaves do really steal the show, especially on a path that I take often. Gotta love those oaks, one of the last trees to turn colour, but when they do, they're simply too vivid for words!

(I have more pics if you want to see them).

Speaking of Christmas, I just came back from my school's craft fair. A friend and I "enhance the festive atmosphere" which, this year, encompassed hanging up wreaths, assembling, lighting and decorating a massive 9 1/2 (super deluxe!) tree, setting up an entrance display with 3 "ponderosa" trees, snow, and a lattice fence. Very cool! I'm particularly proud of the entrance display. Last year it was simply the fence, artifical snow, a sign that said "Welcome!" and falling-apart paper stars. This year it was done with style. The three trees (measuring 4, 3 and 2 feet in height) were lit up in white lights (gotta love them white lights, always so classy and elegant) and set up boxes of various heights. The boxes were covered with lots of blue cloth to hide them, and then lights (white, again) were placed around the bases of the trees. Snow covered all visible lights at the base of the trees, so the snow glowed.

49 days (7 weeks) until Christmas!! ^_^


    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 7:10PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Those trees are gorgeous, Audric. We don't have oaks around here - actually not too many trees that turn red. Most are yellow.

How did your school's craft fair go? The one i went to today is for the school too, but it wasn't "done up" as well as it sounds yours was. My sister-in-law and i were remarking this afternoon that it sure isn't as nice as it used to be. I don't think the crafters made very much money. It's nice to look at what people have made, but you can only use so much of it, and much of it seems to be the same year after year. I go to buy the towels with the crocheted hangers that a local woman sells every year. Those, at least, get used!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 9:51PM
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claubill(z3Sud ONT)

Marcia. Just send me your address and I'll mail you the marigold seeds.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2004 at 1:03AM
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Marcia, thanks for the comments!

The craft fair was an amazing success. There were well over 100 tables set up for crafters, there were always lots of people touring the tables, and quite a few crafters made a nice dollar or two (or three...hundred!) One of the crafters who was selling watercolour paintings sold 3 of her large framed pieces only 1 hour into the show.

The committee did an amazing job advertising for the craft fair. This was only our 3rd year, the previous two years were kinda ho-hum (attendance-wise). This year, they decided to really focus on advertising.

We're quite lucky to live in quite an affluent community (not extremely rich, but slightly high middle class), so our new school can afford such luxuries as a beautiful Christmas tree, well-funded arts departments, and also many other things.

My friend and I (as I mentioned) decorate for the craft fair, we got $70 CDN (or about $50 US) to start things off. We started off with a set of wreaths to decorate the pillars in the atrium. Although, in retrospect, I now realize that we could probably have gotten them cheaper, but as it was early early November there was only one place where Christmas stuff was being sold (and their prices are high).

This year, as advertising was key, we didn't spend much at all. We simply bought a set of three miniature ponderosa pines (fake) from Micheal's. That purchase I was proud of ; ). The price was reduced from $50 to $38, and we also had a 50% off coupon. Total cost (with tax): $21 CDN (about $14 US). They're quite nice.

The proceeds of the craft fair go to a center in Brazil called Saint Angela's. They provide fundamental education for children as well as employment skills for adults. It's quite the worthwhile cause, and all the effort that goes into making it a success is sure worth it!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2004 at 9:12PM
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Crafty Gardener(ON 5b)

Hi Debbi and everyone. Just passing through to say hi. Your Christmas Cactus looks gorgeous Debbie. One of mine is just starting to bud. Someone on my gardening group was mentioning about putting them in the dark for a few weeks to force the buds. She puts them in a plastic bag with an apple inside, which supposedly realeases gases to force blooming. A very interesting theory. Anyone heard of that before?

Have a great day.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2004 at 6:42AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I've heard of putting them in the dark but i never remember to do it, or when i should do it. I wonder if it's too late now? Mine doesn't show any signs of buds at the moment. It was outside most of the summer, shaded by taller plants, but not in the dark!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2004 at 8:41AM
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Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)

Hi everyone
Sorry I haven't been here lately but I have been sick and then busy with running back and forth to visit hubs who has been in hospital since Friday. I got sick of watching him suffer that after the doc told him Thursday there were no beds until Monday or Tuesday I told Gary this was nuts and we were going to the emergency and he was being admitted. He has been sick for over 7 weeks and has loss a lot of weight. Darn doctor knew about htis 4 weeks ago and told him it was a virus! Seems to be their pat answer for everything now adays. And there were beds available so I don't know why the doc told him there wouldn't be any avialable until This Monday or Tuesday! Geeze. He saw a nurse, doctor, had an iv put in and was in a room in 2 hrs!

Gary got hooked up to an IV and is eating well and has gained 3 pounds since he has been in hospital so that is good thing. He will be having a lot of tests to see what is wrong with him. He was even too sick to take Tegan with him to hospital, so I have been looking after the animals.

Wilbur decided to pass his first hair ball and I had no idea what it was. He is feeling his old self now and is getting into his usual bit of trouble. Bijoux attacked Tegan and was right on top of her neck so that was not good and Tegan is the only one that is behaving.

Because Bijoux attacked Tegan we put him down yesterday. *sigh* I miss him but he was just getting too dangerous and unpredictable. He was attacking Wilbur and if our son didn't pull him off Tegan who knows the damage that he could of done. He was still peeing in the house and he even did it right in front me, just out of spite. We have been going back and forth with putting him down for years as he is so nasty and aggressive with everything and everybody. We've tried everything, tranquillers and sedation and nothing worked. He was just growing all the time and barking and trying to attack people, including me and family members and I was at the point when he was in a bad mood I would not go out the living room doorway to get to the kitchen, but go around thru the dining room.I just feel badly that I couldn't make him understand that even though he was abused in his first year of life not everyone was going to hurt him. *sigh* He was my garden buddy and I'm going to miss him alot, but it just had to be done.

Anyways, son came around the other day and put up the Christmas lights in the backyard and the porch. I have been putting up decorations on the back door and the garlands with bows over the windows. Still have the garlands with lightst to put along the ceilings in the living room and diningroom, but I need son's help for that, he is very tall and I think I'm shrinking. *L*

The temps here have been great the past 3 or 4 days 7c! I could get use to green grass in November. *S*

Marcia, I still have pots sitting outside with flower sticks in them, I just haven't had time to yank them out so they will probably stay there all winter.
I'm glad to hear the siding is pretty much done, that is good. You'll have to take pics of it, I'd love to see what u have done. I have seen that downspout trellis u were talking about and it looks nice. *S* Would love to see your grandguy in his dino costumes too!

Claubill, grass is my biggest weed too, that is the major reason we did the raised beds this past summer. I'm so hoping that will keep the grass outta there. It has started to take over my other raised beds and I carefully put round up on some of it and killed it, but it is working it's way down the beds where all my lilies are so I'm still trying to figure out how to get rid of it easily.

Audric, I love the pic of that glorious red tree! Too beutiful! It has been years since I have gone to a school craft show, sounds like yours was very nice.

Crafty, I have heard of putting a slice of apple to ripen things and to make some flowers bloom, the tropical kinds, but never a Christmas cactus. How interesting! Mine starts budding up shortly after I bring it back into the house, this year was the first year it had buds on it while still in the porch.

Take care
Debbie :-)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2004 at 3:14AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Oh Debbie, it sounds as if you are having a dreadful time right now. I hope Gary is progressing well. It must have been hard to part with Bijoux, but there is only so much you can ask of yourself. Good for you, to keep up with the spririt of Christmas. Please take care of yourself, and post soon.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 8:13AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Debbie, sorry i haven't posted, but i was thinking about you and Gary and hoping that he gets better soon. It's sad about Bijoux too - you get attached to these animals. Hope you post soon and let us know what's happening.

Snow is falling here as of this morning. There's not much accumulating as it's still just above 0, but it's supposed to be like this all week, so it looks like this is it for us. Still, the mild temperatures and sunny skies have really gone towards shortening the coming winter - fingers crossed that it's like this at the other end and we don't get snow in May again!

Last weekend was so nice! I was outside the whole weekend, and i think the weekend before too - can't remember for sure. Anyway, i did EVERYTHING! The plants i haven't been able to get back into gardens were planted in the vegetable bed, all the containers dumped (some i brought inside quite awhile ago), leaves applied as mulch to some of the gardens and some of the more tender plants (Miss Morden Sunrise now wears a cardboard box filled with leaves in the hopes that she won't die right back to the ground again this year), and all my containers are picked up, organized and stored! Whew! I even hung my Christmas lights out!

Audric, glad to hear that your Craft Fair did so well. I haven't heard about ours, how much they made, probably because the parents organize it and not the teachers. If it was the teachers, they would have been making a big deal of it in the staff room! LOL Are you a teacher, Audric? What grade? I'm a library technician at our school here.

Well, i must run as we're going to town this morning. We're going to have a sulking dog because dh asked his mother to come with us so now the dog has to stay home. He loves to come with us and knows all the fields where there might be cows or horses and gets all excited when he sees them! Last week when we went past the buffalo farm, he leaped into the back of the van and stuck his nose out one of the vent windows! It was quite funny!

Anyway, Debbie, before i go, here's a picture of the little grandguy/dinosaur:

Hoping again that Gary is better and home again. Take care, all!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 8:59AM
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Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)

Hi Everyone

Sorry I haven't posted for a while. Gary came home on Friday and is doing better. He is still very weak but I'm trying to feed him as much as he can hold. *S* We don't have any results back yet from any of the tests, but hopefully will find out something when we see the doctor on Thursday.

I have bought a tree, it is one of those folding ones with the lights already attached and sure is a lot easier than the old tree, doesn't look as bushy as the old one though, but it still looks nice. I now have lit garlands in the dining room and into the living room. Lights in the porch and in the backyard too, so it is looking like Christmas. The town lit the lights in the park saturday night and son and I walked around the park and looked at the lights, very pretty.

I started wrapping presents last night and putting them under the tree so I know where they are and I don't lose any, like I have done in previous years. *LOL* I just hope the cat will not get into them as he has grabbed a few things off the tree and decorations I have around the house.

We don't have any snow covering the gardens right now but I'm sure that will change soon.

My fushia that I grew from seed last spring is still blooming under the light stand, I have to keep an eye on it as they are prone to white fly.

jak, thanks for the good wishes. How are u doing? How is your grandson doing? He must be getting so big and I bet he is getting excited about the holidays!

Marcia, thanks for the good wishes for Gary. I'm glad u got everything u wanted to do done in the gardens.

There use to be a man that lived here in town that grew tea roses! He said he dumped a few buckets of dirt over them every fall and in the spring slowly removed the dirt as it thawed. U might want to try that with your Morden Sunrise if the box and leaves don't work out, it might keep it from getting winter kill.

I love the pic of the grandguy! What a sweetie he is and what a cute costume! *G*

Has anyone heard from Gale or Tony or Andrea? Hope they are doing ok.

Take care
Debbie :-)

    Bookmark   November 22, 2004 at 10:11PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Hi Debbie - Gale's still around, but i think her kids hog the computer! She posted a little while ago at the Exchange Forum. Haven't heard from the other two in ages. Gale tried calling Andrea over the summer, but never heard back from her. Guess she's busy. Tina's working now too, so she probably doesn't have a lot of time on the computer.

Glad to hear that Gary is doing okay now. Keep feeding him! Men seem to like that, usually! LOL My sister has been sick again too. She has respiratory problems and thinks that she'll end up having to have an oxygen tank at home.

We're getting a bit of snow here tonight, but there still isn't much on the ground. Weird year, but i'm not complaining now. The longer without snow in November, the shorter the winter, and that can only be a good thing!

Not much new here. I've been playing at genealogy again these past few days, and actually seem to be making some progress! It's good having British ancestors because they kept such good records!

Take care, everyone!


    Bookmark   November 22, 2004 at 10:54PM
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Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)

oh geezeeeee Tina.....*slap self upside head* I must have been thinking of our contractor Tony more than I should be. LOL Still waiting for him to call and say he is coming over to fix our parquet floors, have been waiting for weeks now.

Sorry Tina :-(

Marcia, I'm sorry to hear about your sister is having respiratory problems. I hope she will be ok.

Please keep that snow up your way,I really like this green grass in November theme we have going on in town here. LOL

I have thought about doing some geneology stuff too, but other stuff seems to get in the way.

take care
Debbie :-)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2004 at 12:51AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

There was a Toni who used to post here a couple of years ago, Debbie. I think she lived in Wawa or White River - somewhere along the North Shore.

No green left here this morning! We haven't gotten a lot of snow, but it's covering the ground. I must think about where i left my winter boots...

Gotta go!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2004 at 8:44AM
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sheryl_ontario(Muncho Lake, BC z2)

Hi folks! Its been months since I posted here, but I've been lurking! Just too busy to post much, or do anything other than work.

We've had a warm and beautiful autumn all over Ontario, it seems! The fall flower pics are great! Autumn is my favourite time of the year!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2004 at 5:34AM
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sheryl_ontario(Muncho Lake, BC z2)

Don't see many postings from Nantina. I she still around and about?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2004 at 5:35AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

She's around - posted over at Far North a few weeks ago - but she's got a job now, so less time on the computer, i guess. (You notice it doesn't stop me! LOL)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2004 at 9:01AM
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Debbie_N_Ontario(zone 2)

Yes toni lived out in the country I think. I remember her not being able to get out when it snowed until the plows went thru?

Marcia, I can see u can still post and work at the same time. *LOL* It is a good thing too as I haven't been around much to post in here. *S*

Hi there sheryl. How did u manage with all the plants u had on your balcony.

I'm going to start the December thread........

take care
Debbie :-)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2004 at 12:50AM
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