Friday, June 19, 2009

All Tree Peonies are in - at last.

Took off the day yesterday and worked in the garden - I think most of the major stuff is done now. Finished the right-hand bed and placed the final tree peony - the pink one (though the pot said 'blue'), and then put in some annuals to fill up the space until I have perennials to go in, probably in the fall. I have a few more rocks to excavate from the end of that bed, and probably some Rugosas - they're invading from the lower bed. There should probably be a barrier of some sort or they'll take over the new bed! Anyway, I rooted out a bunch of phlox from the lower beds on either side of the rock stair, so I can put some lower-growing stuff in there and keep it open to traffic, so to speak. I put a lavender plant on either side - in hopes of nice smells! And a couple of white alyssum on either side of the top step - I have more growing from seed which I'll place on either side of the lower steps, to serve as guides after dark. It is still so amazing to me how white flowers show up after dark - when all of the other colours disappear!
I put some zucchini in the vegetable garden, and now I'll have to seek out some potatoes. It's a source of some chagrin to me that both today and yesterday a giant potato truck went by my gate, heaped up with seed potatoes, when I can't seem to find seed anywhere.
So, what remains is edging, on almost all of the beds (I've done some spotty stuff but it all needs doing), and of course weeding, and when some perennials are finished blooming, some renewal - there's one bunch of iris which are VERY weedy, so when they are done I'm hoicking them out and clearing and fertilizing their spot.
Piece o'cake. Almost ready to sit and drink iced tea all day. Yeah.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Injuries won't prevent me.

I've injured my pointer finger! I think it could be knitting, although it could also be a mixture of knitting and computer. Anyway, I've been being careful and it's getting better. On Sunday I could hardly move my hand. And it's too bad if I can't knit, because (as usual) I have approximately a zillion projects on the go at once. I think I should work on the lace, since it is so loose that there's no strain at all. According to web info on RSI, I have to develop some better habits in posture for knitting, and do warm-ups immersed in hot water. Must try it!

Got more of the vegetable garden in last night - potatoes, more tomatoes, and zucchini are prominent hangers-back. I'm missing seed for the first and last, and the tomatoes I planted from seed are still a bit wee for the garden yet. I bought some more cleome and alyssum as well as a white geranium and a purple sweet-potato vine to fill up another pot - I found an identical pot to one I'd just planted, and felt I should make it match. The geranium is one I saved from last year, and it still isn't blooming, but I fear it's pink and not white. Ah well. Almost matching.

The First Rose was about three days ago - it's the rugosa at the end of the snowball hedge, as usual. It gets the morning sun, and then lots of sun for the rest of the day as well. There are some blooms coming up fast on the Philemon Cochet and the David Thompson as well. I have some dreadful bug attacking the roses on the rose mound - all of them , even the rugosas. It chews the tip of the branch just as the bud is forming, and kills it - or it is so mis-shapen that it doesn't bloom. I don't know if the bug's still there but I do squish the tips - I HOPE I'm killing it. I must look at my rose books for info. There's no sign of anything when I look closely, so I suspect it's munched and gone. And there's none on the roses elsewhere which makes me think the mound is infected with something. Merde.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Dancing and gardening, gardening and dancing

That's how I spent the weekend. One more tree peony in the ground - it's a lot of work when you have to dig a whole new bed for it! And move a small ton of rocks as well. I hope they appreciate the work, and show their gratitude by growing beautifully. Now that I have the new bed, of course, I need other things to go in it - I guess I should stick to annuals this year, as I'm sure there are perennials which would love the new digs after they bloom for this year and are ready for a change. I must look for spiderflowers - cleome - and plant some stocks and cosmos seeds.
Dancing at The Old Triangle has now become a habit - every Sunday for three weeks in a row. We still only have half sets, but we get in lots of dancing. Dave and Helen joined us for a couple so that made it better. After, we went downtown and visited the Cox-Trainer-Hodder Gallery and talked to Gail Hodder, who is the jeweller. She has made a little spot for Anne in the studio - actually they all have studio space there as well, so it should be quite popular with the visitors.
Afterward we just had time to grab burgers for a quick supper in the park and then off to ballroom class. We had been to Mike and Colleen's for a BBQ on Saturday and they invited us specially. We learned the dreaded 3/8 waltz. Rather we started to learn it. I think it could take some time to get it down. And the other new thing was the Rumba, which is just like the Cha Cha except slower and to a slightly different rhythm. The moves from the Cha Cha can be used in the Rumba, though, so it's like getting a dance for free! We have to get some ballroom CD's so we can practice at home. Gary said he and Helen practiced in the driveway, as there's not enough room in the house. I think we might have that problem too.
Talked to Katie, she's planning to come over for the weekend on my birthday, that will be nice! Fred's planning to take off the weekend after Canada Day, so maybe we'll go over and take her bike to her, one of those days.
It should be a busy week, and my AGM is on Saturday, and then I'll have a bit more time for gardening!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's the love, love, loveliest time of the year

Gardening is gearing up. Lilacs are out, vegetable garden is half-planted (more tender things go in this weekend). Grass is growing, mosquitoes and black flies breeding - summer on The Island!

I have one of the tree peonies planted, in the bed by the driveway. Fred suggested the perfect spots for the other two: on the lawn to the south of the house, above the rock wall which is the backdrop for the flower beds below. I think I'll have to dig right across, and place them in the middle of each bed. Then fill up the rest with the plants we have in abundance - phlox, shasta daisies, geraniums.

This will result in slightly less lawn to cut - yes, I did see his cunning plan to eliminate even more grass cutting from his agenda. However, they will be ideally placed there, with lots of south exposure. And it's been hard to mow by the rock wall without inadvertently dulling the mower's blades. It's hard digging, though, as this area has been lawn since 1977 or so. And before that it was the Connors' "patio" - a big pile of dirt with railway ties on top. It will need much amendment before the peonies go in. They seem perfectly happy on the deck in their pots, for now.

I've been working on the Meandering Vines shawl in Knit Picks Shimmer, in fennel colour. I got season 2 of Lost from the library and have been trying to see as much of it as I can before it goes back - tomorrow! It's fine to knit to, because there's not much to have to look at, in order to follow the story. And the knitting is pretty straight-forward too - I've been adding beads, but I think I'll stop now and save the rest of the beads for the other end. I don't know if I'll bother trying to see any of the other seasons of Lost. TV series viewing seems to be more of a winter activity; however, when I'm aching from digging it's good for breaks!

Another garden project almost completed is mulching the rose berm - as usual, it's hard to get enough newspapers for the project. I put layers of newspapers under the cedar mulch to keep the weeds down a bit. I bought 26 bags of mulch, and have - I think - 5 left. And about 1/8 th of the berm to go. Some of the roses are looking rough - William Baffin had a poor showing last year, and doesn't look great yet - very slow to come out. And the Grootendoorst is not showing much progress at all. I cut Sir Thomas Lipton down to the ground; there are a few new shoots coming from the roots now. The berm looks quite different without his looming presence! However, Blanc de Coubert was rehabilitated last year and did wonderfully well, so I have hopes of Sir T. The rose in the bed by the driveway (forget its name at the moment), which was gnawed by mice, is sprouting up from the root. I hope it's own root! The two reds climbers on the rose trellis are growing, the Henry Kelsey especially well.

I've been having fun with my little reel mower - it is just ideal for small areas like the south lawn, or the triangle below the spruce hedge - even Fred likes it. I ordered a sharpening kit for it from Lee Valley last night as the local repair guy didn't know how to sharpen it - and I understand that they probably need sharpening fairly regularly. I noticed that even when new, it couldn't cope with dandelion stems. But it loves cutting the grass!