Lanark Ontario, home of glorious hanging baskets

On the way to our cottage we pass through the village of Lanark in Eastern Ontario.  With a population of merely 800 people, Lanark is a quaint little town, known for its lilacs, maple syrup, Fitz’s Take Out and glorious hanging baskets.

Lanark

As a gardener, I cannot help but notice and appreciate that someone takes the time each summer to plant, hang and water numerous hanging baskets, overflowing with colorful flowers…

 

LanarkLanark

This is no easy feat this summer as we have had a record amount of hot dry days that have left many a hanging basket wilted and sad looking.  Not so these baskets, they have been gloriously beautiful all summer!

 

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Drought tolerant perennials

Drought tolerant perennials are popular these days, especially with those of you in the midst of a heat wave as we are here in Ontario.  Even if you have an irrigation system, these hardy perennials should be a staple in your garden to avoid wasting your money on plants and water.  Just be sure to place the hoses or plants (whichever you install last) strategically.  For example, ornamental grasses (and most other drought tolerant plants) do not appreciate wet feet.  In fact, the quickest way to kill them off is to overwater them.

Here are a few drought tolerant perennials that I rely on for hot summer color:

  • lavender
  • Russian sage
  • ornamental grasses
  • tickseed
  • stonecrop and sedum, available in multiple colors, great for hot borders
  • daisies

 

If you haven’t already, consider adding some to your gardens, just be sure to wait until the heat wave is over to do so!

 

It’s all about the (farmland) smell

Recently I drove through a portion of the eastern Ontario countryside from Ottawa to the Cornwall area. I purposely took the back roads to enjoy the beautiful greenery of the local farms along the way. As well as the scenery, believe it or not, I love the smell associated with the farmland. I attribute this to my heritage.

farmland
Beaudette family farmhouse

My maternal grandparents were farmers.  They are long gone from this world, but never from my memories.  The farmhouse they lived in has since been renovated and just a portion part of their land still worked by family members.  Down the road from the farmhouse is the cemetery where these grandparents, as well as both of my own parents, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins are buried.

The main purpose of this recent (road) trip down memory lane was to clean up the memorial garden in this cemetery.  It was overgrown with weeds and other invasive plants.  Thanks to the help of a friend, an aunt and a cousin, we managed to rid the garden of unwanted greenery.  With a few new perennials added as well as the soil and mulch replenished, it looks much better.  I wish I had thought to take a “before” picture;  this is the “after”…

farmland
Pleasant Valley Cemetery

In between the sweltering hot jobs of weeding and adding the new plants, soil and mulch I took a “cool off” break in the form of an opportunity to meet up with a childhood friend with whom I had recently reconnected with on Facebook.  Isn’t it amazing how you can catch up on 30+ years in an hour?

The scenery and yes, the smell of the farmland too, were added bonuses.

Cottage visitors

During the winter months we drive up to the cottage to check on it and the property at least once a month.  The deep snow allows us to keep track (pun intended) of all visitors.

We have the two legged variety (us)

 

and the four legged visitors…

 

I wonder if the four legged variety are longing for spring as much as we two legged creatures are.  Regardless, spring still looks like a long way off!

 

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u

Mudslinging and grandstanding politicians

The worst part about pending elections is the inevitable mudslinging and grandstanding that goes on.  Don’t we teach our children that bullies are insecure when they pick on others?   The same thing applies to politicians.

Your mudslinging does not make you look intelligent or clever, instead it makes you look insecure and weak. It is not attractive, in fact it is a real turn off. Can you not run your campaign outlining your own values, plans, goals and credentials or experience instead of smearing your opponents?

The other tactic I cannot stand in politicians is grandstanding.  If you are good at something you do not have to tell everyone how good you are.  This is another lesson we try to teach our children; tooting your own horn is not attractive.

Sadly it will only get worse as elections to choose a leader for the Conservative party (to replace ousted Patrick Brown and then a premier here in Ontario are fast approaching.

Anyone else feel this way?

politicians

 

 

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

Guilty or innocent, Patrick Brown is a ruined man

Is it just me or is something fishy going on?  Patrick Brown, the (resigned) leader of the PC party, is a ruined man, regardless of whether he is innocent or guilty. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?  He has not been my choice to lead the PC party, but I think the whole scandal stinks.  Here’s why:

  • the “victims” remain anonymous
  • who talked  them into coming forward and why did they not go to the police instead of the media?
  • why did they take so long (10 years) to come forward?  Oh right, an election is coming up and a smear campaign is the best way for the Liberal party to deflect from the mess they are in.
  • what was the under aged woman doing in a bar drinking in the first place.  I wasn’t born yesterday, I know it happens, but did Patrick Brown take her there?  No.  Was he drinking?  No.  Did he buy her a drink?  Yes, but is that a crime?  If every male that meets a woman in a bar and buys her a drink is persecuted, the heterosexual orientation is doomed.
  • why did the other woman go to his home? With another male to boot.  Then when in his home agree to go into the bedroom.
  • when she (a bit late in my opinion) said NO, he took her home.  How awful and ungentlemanly. (NOT)

 

These are just a few of the “facts” that are swirling around this scandal.    Regardless of whether Patrick Brown is guilty or innocent, he is a ruined man.  I feel very sorry for him and any other heterosexual male playing the dating game these days, especially the ones in the public eye.

 
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Please be sure to visit my other blogs:
Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at Your Daily Chuckle
and
Be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW
My gardening website can be viewed at gardens4u.ca

 

Raising the minimum wage: another sign of the times

This video from Blue Collar Logic, explains how the minimum wage should work.  It applies, or should apply, everywhere and anywhere. The current debate about rising minimum wages here in Ontario and around the world is just another sign of the times. Young adults want and expect to earn lots of money at the beginning of their careers, instead of working their way up the ladder as most of their parents and grandparents did.

minimum wage

 

A recent post complained about how people here in Ontario are blaming a specific Tim Hortons franchise owner for reacting to a rising minimum wage by cutting back on paid breaks and benefits.  Because this particular franchise owner happened to be the rich relative of the Tim Hortons founder, their actions were judged to be greedy, mean and bully-like.  Because of the greed (perceived) of one small (wealthy) business owner some people are now boycotting all Tim Hortons franchises.  How much sense does that make?

The fact is, one that blind supporters of the rising minimum wages forget or choose to misunderstand, most small businesses are not run by wealthy people.  The majority are run by people who have worked very hard for years to establish their business. Most of them started out working for a low minimum wage, but were ambitious and motivated enough to climb a long ladder to achieve their current success at the top of that ladder.

minimum wage

 

Many of these owners have no choice but to cut back when forced with a rise in minimum wage.  It makes no (business) sense to raise the wage of inexperienced new hires simply get their wages closer to that of their owners.  Unless you are a politician looking to get votes after losing face with the hydro fiasco.  Then it makes perfect sense, give the young adults, the ones that don’t yet pay hydro bills, a raise.

 

Tim Hortons is the not the bad guy here folks!

Timmys is not the enemy or bad guy here folks.  I would love to see the statistics as I am willing to bet that most Tim Hortons franchise owners are not billionaires or even millionaires.  In fact, I doubt many other small business owners are either, franchise or not!

 

Tim Hortons

The fact is any business, small or large, has a budget for employee wages, Tim Hortons included.  Even professional sports teams do, there is a lot more money in the salary budget, but there is a budget.  It’s called a salary cap, just ask former Ottawa Senator Kyle Turris.

It is simple math, but much easier to visualize at the small business level.  If you have the budget to pay four employees fifteen bucks an hour and the rate gets raised to twenty bucks an hour, your budget now only allows three employees to get paid. (4×15=3×20=60) It’s not rocket science, just simple math, and it’s going to happen in all small businesses in Ontario after the hike in the minimum wage.  Sooner or later, probably sooner.

This latest vote grab by the Ontario Liberal government is just another reason small business owners are struggling to survive.  Aiming to Wynne (pun intended) the vote from the minimum age earners in the province, our premier has screwed the small business owners.  Not to mention the employees who have worked several years to get to the level that new employees will now get upon starting.  Do you think they will get a raise to compensate?  Right, not a chance!

So go enjoy a coffee at Tim Hortons, they are not the bad guys here!  Maybe while you are drinking your coffee the math will become easier and the picture clearer.

It’s not the temperature

“It’s not the temperature” is a common Canadian phrase, followed by either “it’s the windchill” in the winter, or “it’s the humidity” in the summer.  We Canadians tend to be very weather obsessed.

In this case,  however, I am talking about why I cover the base (crown) of my roses in my gardens…

It’s not just the cold, although it is advisable to choose plants hardy to your area, that affects (kills) the roses. It’s the freeze and thaw cycles very common to Ontario weather that do them in.  The mounded earth helps prevent the rose crowns from heaving out of the ground in these freeze/thaw cycles.  Be sure to use clean soil for this purpose.  I purchase plain garden soil in easy to manage bags to avoid introducing mold, mildew, bacteria or insects and their eggs to the roses.

I counted twenty-two rose crowns to cover in my own gardens, with lots more in my GARDENS4U gardens.

You know summer is over when…

You know the summer is over when your favourite french fry stop closes down for the season.  Ours is Fitz’s in Lanark, Ontario on the way to our cottage on Palmerston Lake…

 

Fitz’s has an extensive take-out menu, but our order is always the same; sweet potato fries for me, and regular fries for hubby…hot (greasy) and crispy. Yum!

 

 Today was Fitz’s last day of the season, a sign that summer is over and winter is on its way.