October blooms

I love this fall (summer like) weather we are having here in Ottawa.  Many of the perennials in my own and my clients’ zone 4 to 5 gardens are still in bloom even though the calendar says October…

 

 

I cannot ever remember a clematis reblooming in October as this beautiful pale purple one has…

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If this is fall, I’ll take it, weird or not

Normally fall or autumn is my least favourite season as all the plants in my gardens start to die off in preparation for the winter ahead.  The calendar says September 21st  was the first day of fall or autumn, but Mother Nature is displaying something quite different this year. We have had the most beautiful summer-like weather lately here in Ottawa, more summer-like than June, July, and August.

The gardens I work in are all confused.  Many perennials have rebloomed (roses, clematis, and weigelia)…

 

and others that usually look unsightly around this time of year (peonies and bleeding hearts) are still green and lush.   Coneflowers have been in bloom all summer and continue to look great.  The monarch butterflies are loving the lasting blossoms…

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Is September the new July?  If this is fall, I’ll take it, weird or not!

 

 

 

 

Have remnants of Hurricane Harvey arrived in Ottawa?

Have remnants of Hurricane Harvey arrived in Ottawa today?  There are a few signs that say he may have…

First off the wind is unreal (of course, not nearly as bad as Texans experienced)  When I left my house this morning it was cool (I needed long sleeves and long pants) and cloudy out, but rather nice for gardening (especially compared to yesterday when the sun was very strong and hot).  Two hours later I was weeding and pruning shrubs in my son’s garden and I could barely stand up and the lawn waste bags were like kites…

 

 

 

On my way home I noticed the price of gas here in Ottawa has gone way up too.  Apparently, that too is a remnant of Hurricane Harvey.  With many refineries on Texas’ gulf coast forced to close due to the storm, the wholesale price of gas has risen.  To Canadian consumers, that has translated to at least 10 cents per litre.

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I thought this price was bad, two days later it was up to 131.9 cents per liter….Crazy!

 

I’m pretty sure Canada has its own share of oil refineries so why has the closure of some in Texas affect our gas prices so drastically?  Is it because we must charge an international price for gas to prevent Americans from flooding across our border to fill up if our rates are significantly cheaper?

We wouldn’t mind, after all, we Canadians are the welcoming, friendly sort.

Thunderstorm season

The weather here in Ottawa has seen a few hot sunny days typical of our summer season, but thunderstorm season would be a much more accurate description.

 

Once again I was chased from a client’s garden due to a thunderstorm today.  I am averaging at least one thunderstorm per week this summer.  There has been a lot more than that, but I am only counting the ones during the day when I am out and about visiting gardens.

I do not mind working in the rain, in fact, rain helps keep me cool and keeps the mosquitoes away from me.  Wet gardens are also easier to remove weeds from.  If it rains too hard, I seek shelter under an overhang until the rain subsides enough to work in…

 

Thunderstorms are different though, they make me nervous when I get caught outside in one.   I am always worried that if I get struck by lightning, no one would notice or find me since I usually work in gardens where no one is home.

I do love to watch and listen to thunderstorms from the safety of my home though!

Purple passion

I have a passion for purple, especially purple flowers.  When my daughter-in-law decided purple was the color she wanted in her bouquets and floral decorations, I was excited as I have lots of purple flowers in my gardens.  I even planted extra purple flowering perennials just in case I didn’t have enough…

 

Too bad many of them didn’t bloom in time for the wedding thanks to the wet and cool spring Mother Nature gifted us with this year.  To improvise,  I borrowed purple blossoms from my clients’ garden to supplement the ones I did have in bloom to make bouquets and flower arrangements.

For the past week (now almost two weeks after the wedding)  my passion for purple has been blooming in profusion in my gardens!

 

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.