FROST, isn’t it too early for that?

We have frost in the forecast for the Ottawa area tonight.  Isn’t it a bit early for that?  To me, it’s a nasty “f” word…

3:24 PM EDT Thursday 04 October 2018
Frost advisory in effect for:
Ottawa North – Kanata – Orléans
Ottawa South – Richmond – Metcalfe
Frost may damage some crops in frost-prone areas.

To us gardeners, that means our annual plants and crops will be dead tomorrow morning.  Fortunately, I have already moved any I wish to preserve inside.  Other than this one night of near freezing temperatures, the weather looks pretty mild for the next few weeks, meaning my gardening season isn’t over quite yet.

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Mahogany Splendor Hibiscus, poor man’s Japanese Maple

These spectacular Mahogany Splendor Hibiscus are annuals in my zone 4 to 5 area of Ottawa, but wow, are they gorgeous.  Unlike the colorful hibiscus I posted about recently, these do not have spectacular flowers, but their foliage makes up for that fact.  A few Mahogany Splendor hibiscus were added to the gardens at the hospice I helped plant recently to fill in the bare spots and add color between the immature perennials.  As a result of the diligent watering by the hospice garden team throughout our extremely hot summer these hibiscus (and the rest of the gardens) look spectacular.

mahogany splendor hibiscusmahogany splendor hibiscusmahogany splendor hibiscus

They look much like a Japanese Maple, but are shorter, with the same deep burgundy color and same maple leaf shaped leaves.  Japanese Maples are notoriously expense around here, so these Mahogany Splendor hibiscus have been nicknamed “the poor man’s Japanese Maple”

They are so gorgeous in fact, that I plan to dig them up and bring them inside for the winter so I can put them back in the garden next spring.

Asters, butterflies and bees, oh my!

Tis the season for asters, butterflies and bees in our zone 4 gardens here in Ottawa.  I am seeing lots in my GARDENS4U clients’ as well as my own gardens. These perennials make a beautiful splash of color in the fall when others have finished showing off.  Growing up to five feet tall, and preferring full sun conditions, their upright, strong stalks are covered in bright green foliage and small pink or purple flowers that the butterflies and bees just love…

 

Asters, butterflies and bees asters, butterflies and bees asters, butterflies and bees

 

Asters are easy to grow, and require little to no maintenance. I cut mine back after flowering, but this is not necessary. They also seem immune to bugs and disease.  If your gardens are lacking color this time of year, consider adding some asters.  The butterflies and bees will thank you!

Rain drops keep falling on my head

Gardening in the rain is usually not a problem for me, in fact I prefer a light drizzle to the intense heat we have been experiencing lately.  A light rain keeps me cool and keeps the bugs away. It also cuts down on the amount of sunscreen I use.  I do draw the line however at thunderstorms or torrential downpours.

Today started off great.  A light rain was falling so I headed to one of my favourite gardens, located in the exclusive and very private setting of the Kanata Rockeries which were designed by one of the founding fathers of Kanata Bill Teron.

 

 

Then the dark(er) clouds rolled in bringing heavier rainfall and distant thunder…

 

rain

 

That was my cue to head (run) to my van.  When the downpour did not let up after five minutes and the thunder got closer, I headed home.

A moose on the loose

There is a moose on the loose on the eastbound 417 in Ottawa this morning.  Well, no longer on the loose, he is hemmed in by police cruisers (as if that would detain him if he really wanted to leave) until wildlife authorities can get there to tranquilize and remove him.  He was first spotted running on the 417 around 630 this morning.  From the pictures I have seen, the moose appears to be a young male.  Reports say he is slightly injured and will be taken somewhere to recuperate by the ministry of natural resources.  Poor little (not really) guy, he must be terrified!

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photo courtesy of CBC news

 

Only in Canada eh?  Stay at home a little longer this morning if you are headed east, you won’t be getting anywhere fast!  I was headed that way to a garden, but will switch things up and head west instead.

Is an irrigation system right for your yard?

Like anything else, there are pros and cons to installing an irrigation system in your yard.  The biggest advantage is quite obvious.  Your garden and/or lawns are automatically watered on a regular schedule that you select.   The largest disadvantage is the cost involved to install such a system.  This summer the pros appear to outweigh the cons.  If your lawn is as burnt as mine is you will know just what I mean.

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I have a soaker system in my back gardens to keep them looking good, but my front lawn has to rely on rainfall which we have none of for weeks.

I have come across many irrigation systems in the gardens (and yards) I look after.  Some have sprinkler heads, others have a copper piping drip system, others have a combination of both.  Which is better?  That depends on what you want to keep hydrated and how much you want to spend.  The experts you contact to install the system will advise you better than I can.

All I can say is that I can certainly tell the lawns and gardens that do have the luxury of an irrigation systems of some sort.

Did we pay a tariff on this heat?

If you haven’t noticed, Ottawa is in the middle of a heat wave, as are many places throughout Canada.  I wonder if we payed a tariff on the heat coming from the US of A.  Perhaps Donald Trump hasn’t thought of that yet.  If he did, we would have to retaliate and charge Americans a tariff on the cold fronts we send you every winter (currently) for free.

Seriously, the heat and humidity are so high that it’s just too hot for me to spend more than a few minutes in anyone’s gardens this week.  So, what else can a gardener do in this heat?  Well, I met a friend for coffee this morning and power washed my front veranda this afternoon.  Even though there was cool water involved, the power washing was a hot and dangerous job. As I was reaching into the back of my van to remove my power washer, I heard a hissing noise just before the back trunk slammed down on my head.  Just what I needed, a concussion to go with the possible heat stroke.

I guess that gives me something to work on tomorrow…getting the struts (that’s what my mechanic told me they are called) on the trunk repaired.  Then I will spend some time with my baby granddaughter.  After that I can continue working on the quilt I am making for my almost five year old granddaughter.  Although quilting is usually a winter passion of mine, this heat wave will give me some time to work on the project that is (still) spread out on my dining room table.

That’s Canada for you.  Heat waves and cold snaps alike tend to make us retreat to the comfort of our air conditioned or heated homes.  Just forget I mentioned the word tariff, I wouldn’t want to put ideas in anyone’s head!

photo from Unsplash

 

 

Spring beauties

Wandering through my gardens this past weekend, I found these spring beauties…

Spring is my favourite time of year.  It has arrived a bit late here in Ottawa this year, but has finally arrived. You can see the exciting changes in the gardens daily as the bulbs burst into bloom and the perennials poke through the soil.

 

A score and more for 44, Pageau shows why Senators want him on their roster

The Ottawa Senators beat the Las Vegas Knights to serve them their third three loss streak last night in a flurry of goals that did not make either goaltender look especially strong.  Sens number 44, JG Pageau scored a one timer from the blue line, not a common occurrence for him.  JG also won the last few crucial face-offs of the game in their own end when the Senators were struggling to stay up a goal.

I for one am glad Pageau is still with the Senators as  his work ethic is so strong.  He always puts 110% into a game, something that cannot be said for many NHL players.  His short handed and faceoff prowess round out his skill set, not to mention he has been known to score some goals.

Erik Karlsson’s three assists in the game, including one where Burrows redirected one of his shots for the winning goal, were painful reminders (for Vegas fans) of why the Vegas expansion team (and many others) were so keen on acquiring Karlsson before the recent trade deadline. Most Senator fans however are very happy Karlsson is still our captain.

Another name tossed around in the recent trade rumors racking up multiple points was Bobby Ryan.  With a break away goal (set up by a beautiful pass from Mark Stone) and two assists, Ryan also showed how he might be able to help the Senators (despite a massive contract) moving forward.  If he can stay healthy.

Players not mentioned as possibilities in the trades included Mark Stone and Matt Duchene.  Both had great games.  Stone contributed the first goal and hit Ryan up for a perfect pass and goal.  He also contributed with multiple take aways, stealing the puck from Vegas players, frustrating both the players and their coach.   Matt Duchene’s goal added to his impressive (and much appreciated) tally of points he has accumulated since his arrival in Ottawa.  He also appears to be a penalty magnet (drawer) as opposing players try desperately to take him off his game.

Pageau

 

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

Erik Karlsson stays put with Ottawa Senators

Looks like Erik Karlsson is staying in Ottawa with the Ottawa Senators.  At least for now.  His contract is not up until next year, so we may go through all of this stress again then.

I must admit I have mixed emotions about the possibility of trading him.  On one hand I realize the financial shenanigans (reasons) may make sense to the bottom line of the Senators’ budget.  On the other hand however, why would you get rid of a franchise player, arguably the best defenseman ever, in hopes of acquiring another good defensive player with a few bonus players thrown in?

Many teams (apparently) lined up to make their offers of what (who) they thought Karlsson is worth to them, but (again apparently) none of them were willing to add as many bonuses we thought he is worth.

It is true that this season has not been Karlsson’s best (by far) This can be explained and even expected by the fact that he was not able to attend full summer training with the team due to his foot/ankle injury.  It probably did not help that he played on the injured foot during last years playoffs where the Senators were as close as an overtime loss in game seven to making the Stanley Cup finals.  I’m sure the Pittsburgh Penguins led by Sidney Crosby were sweating big time (extremely worried) that game.

The Senators are not expected to make the playoffs this season.  So hopefully Karlsson can recuperate (heal) properly and be back to his former glory next season.  I for one am glad to see him stick around.  His skill level is awesome to watch on the ice and he is a charismatic leader on and off the ice within our community.

If you have a few more minutes to spare, check out my other blogs…

LOL laugh out loud with me on Your Daily Chuckle. These posts are NOT originals, merely things I saw on Facebook or elsewhere that made me chuckle.

WoW stands for Words of Wisdom, motivational and inspirational words. Again, I am NOT the original author, just want to share words that move me.

GARDENS4U is the website for my gardening business that is the reason I don’t post on this blog as much during the summer