Dear John, I found your rock

Dear John,

As promised, I found you a rock for your garden, a pinkish colored rock with specks of black mica to sparkle in the sun…

 

John was a dear neighbor that passed away from cancer recently.  Last summer I helped he and his wife reconfigure and enlarge the garden in their front yard.  We left room for a large rock, but it could not be just any rock.  You see, John was a geologist and loved rocks.  He had a specific one in mind, and although we looked for one last fall, we could not find the perfect rock.   I have a (much smaller) rock in my front garden  (across the street from his) that he admired, so was on the lookout for something similar for their garden.

When John passed away I consulted with our neighbors to see if they liked the idea of purchasing a rock for John’s garden in lieu of flowers at the funeral service.  Knowing of John’s love for rocks and nature in general, everyone was on board and willing to help, so I continued my search for the perfect rock.

Recently I talked a client (thanks Michael Blackie of  NeXT restaurant) into removing this beautiful (just happened to be the pink and black version I was searching for) rock from a garden site he wants me to modify.  After hearing of my search for John’s rock, this client donated the rock (free) to the cause.

Another neighbor volunteered (thanks Sean Fagan of Shamrock Home Upgrades) to remove and deliver the rock to its new home as I did not have the equipment to do so.  The grandson of yet another neighbor received a bonus ride on the tractor…

 

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I am so grateful to live in this wonderful neighborhood that is full of kind, caring and compassionate people like John.  Every time I see his rock sparkle in the sun I will be reminded of his cheerful grin and sunny disposition.

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Pressure washer hose attachment

Recently I purchased (online) an attachment for my hose that is advertised to be like a pressure washer…

 

 

At first try, I thought it was not much stronger than the regular nozzle on my hose, but when I played around with the bolt on the side of the stick, I got it to work better, but not quite as powerful as promised. It does reach high (for windows etc) and is more forceful than my regular hose nozzle.  Not quite as powerful as a pressure washer, but quite good for small jobs around the yard…

ORDER one for yourself and try it out!  Let me know what you think of it.

Garden centers are open!

Hurray, the gardens centers in Ottawa are open for business, a sure sign of spring!  These pictures were taken two weeks ago now when I spotted my first open garden center and could not resist stopping in…

 

Perennials can be planted any time now, as soon as the ground is thawed.  Annuals should wait until after the last frost date for your time zone.

Happy gardening!

Long sleeves and gloves necessities for garden work

In addition to gloves, I like to wear long sleeves to work in my gardens.  Most garden gloves do not protect much past the wrist area, and without long sleeves to protect my arms, I end up with scratches, scrapes and contact dermatitis…

 

My skin is extra sensitive, so I have kept some of my sons’ (outgrown) long sleeved, lightweight T-shirts and sweaters for this purpose:

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Now I just have to remember to quit pushing up the sleeves when I get warm!  That’s the problem I have when the weather warms up too quick in spring.  That seems to happen often here in Ottawa, Ontario.  I don’t get a chance to finish the spring cleanups in long sleeve weather.  It’s a tough problem to have, I know, but I do love the cooler weather for garden work.

 

Great weather for ducks (or for overseeding and fertilizing your lawn and trees)

This rainy weather is good for ducks (as my mother used to say) or for overseeding your lawn.  Weed and feed is also best applied in cool, wet weather, but not at the same time as the seed.

There are a few new products on the market to fix bare patches too, 3 in 1 or 4 in 1 mixtures of composed/amended soil, seed and fertilizer.  They do not contain a weed-killing ingredient…

If your lawn is patchy (bare spots and grassy spots with some weeds) try the mixed product on a raked lawn.  Although there are several “weed and feed” products out there, I prefer to feed first, then weed, otherwise I tend to feed the weeds,

 

Another garden job for cool, wet, spring weather is fertilizing your trees.  I have three evergreen trees I planted as tiny seedlings when each of my three sons was born.  They were planted in my backyard, but as they reached about four feet in height, I asked the man that owns the building behind us if I could plant them in his yard.  He agreed, so now I get the privacy, but still have space for a garden in my yard…

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To fertilize my trees I use spikes that get pounded into the ground around the tree’s dripline.  One spike for each 2 inch of tree diameter.   There are many varieties on the market, choose the proper spike for the tree(s) you want to feed…

 

As the weather here is going be cool and rainy for a few more days, too muddy for work in my clients’ gardens, I should be able to get these chores done at home.

Garden Genie Gloves

Don’t these Garden Genie gloves look amazing?  Imagine digging and planting without tools!  I must admit I use my hands for many functions that I should use a tool for, so these are intriguing…

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I must go through a pair of regular gardening gloves per week in my business.  Very annoying not to mention expensive!  The index finger on my right hand goes first, and often I do not even realize it has given away until I take off my gloves and my fingernail is broken and dirty.  Over time all finger tips give away so all my nails get dirty, fast.  In fact, I had to give up the gel nails I loved because they got ruined the first month I was in business.

 

Order these garden genie gloves, and give them a try, I am sure you will love them.  Let me know what you think of them.  Some of you lucky readers can get out in your gardens already, I am still dreaming…