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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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.

There’s a new mantra in Ottawa tonight

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There’s a new mantra in Ottawa tonight.  If you are an Ottawa Senators fan or an NHL lover, you will know exactly what I am talking about.  It goes like this:

“PAGEAU, PAGEAU, PAGEAU, PAGEAU….PAGEAU, PAGEAU”  sung to the tune of that other popular NHL chant OLÈ, OLÈ, OLÈ, OLÈ….OLÈ OLÈ

The Ottawa Senators beat the visiting New York Rangers, 6-5 in double overtime, after being down 5-3 with a little over 3 minutes left in regulation time.  What a comeback, what a game!  The win puts the Senators ahead 2-0 in a best of 7 game series, round two in the NHL playoffs for the Stanley Cup.

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The reason for the mantra is that Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored 4 of the 6 Ottawa goals, including the OT winner.   To be more precise, 4 goals in 4 shots on net.  I would love to know Henrik Lundqvist’s (the Rangers’ goaltender) thoughts as he saw Pageau streaking down the ice towards him in overtime.  Maybe, “oh no, not him again”

The fans serenaded him a few times tonite with the mantra (after each goal) but none louder than during his solo skate as he was announced the first star of the game.  It was absolutely deafening, in fact, you could not hear the announcer declare him the first star.  Not that he had to, we all knew who the best guy on the ice was tonight.

The fans were still chanting as they cleared out of the CTC, to the parking lots and beyond, honking their car horns and waving their flags…

My voice is hoarse; I too was chanting and cheering at the top of my lungs.

Lots of April showers to bring May flowers

Hopefully, April showers do bring May flowers.  This week with all the rain we have received here in Ottawa, I am reminded of a verse I heard somewhere…

“When life seems grey,
Just think again,
No flowers bloom,
Without the rain.” 🌷

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picture from Pixabay

Welcome to April

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Well, although our April here in Ottawa is (typically) not quite as colorful as this picture, it does bring signs of spring.  We drove up to our cottage this past weekend to check things out and still could not get in the driveway as it is covered in snow, but things are starting to thaw out:

 

Spring is here….finally!