Final garden chores

Well, our beautiful fall weather has come to an end here in Ottawa, so I am closing out my GARDENS4U season with some final garden chores:

  • cut back any perennials that get mushy or moldy (hostas, peonies, tall phlox)  Leave the rest for the birds, rabbits, squirrels etc.
  • mound clean soil (just plain, new soil,  no fertilizer) around the crowns of roses and any other less hardy plants.
  • mulch leaves and spread them around the plants in my gardens.  I will probably have to borrow some leaves from my neighbours or clients to do this as the trees in my yard are predominantly evergreens.
  • take any frost tender potted plants indoors (there are a few I overwinter)
  • put containers that are not cold hardy into the garage (those without drainage holes are especially susceptible to cracking) Store them on a shelf or other spot off the floor.
  • remove any cold sensitive decorations from the garden and store them (not on the floor) in the garage
  • pick any blooms still thriving; the frosty nights will kill them fast

 

 

 

That will probably end my garden posts for a while, I will have to look elsewhere for inspiration…

 

Summer cold

 

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Colds are miserable to have any time, but a summer cold is the worst and a first for me.  I am just recovering from a doozy that lasted almost two weeks.  It started out with general fatigue, then a sore throat set in followed by laryngitis for three days.  A sinus headache, fever, dry cough and swollen glands were in there too, just for good measure.

Apparently, there is a nasty cold virus going around.  I am happy to report I am feeling much better, my talking voice is back and no longer scratchy.  Even my singing voice has returned!

 

 

 

Just how cold was this past winter in the Ottawa area?

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This past winter was so cold our buried water pipe running between the lake and our cottage froze in Ompah, Ontario.  This has never happened before and the cottage was built way back in 1972.  Apparently the frost line was deeper than normal for this area of Canada this winter.  Digging down to find the buried water pipe, we found the ground frozen solid six feet down!  Fortunately, the soil at the cottage is sandy rather than full of clay as it is here in Kanata, although it was still a big job.  The pipe was rerouted so it no longer goes under the covered patio, but instead will be snow covered for better insulation in winters to come.

The good news is we had planned (eventually) to rebuild the patio, so the frozen pipe turned out to be motivation to start the patio project…

Can one be Allergic to Cold Weather?

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I am seriously starting to wonder if I am allergic to this cold weather we have been experiencing here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  This picture of the weather forecast was taken last Sunday, but it has been this cold for a long time now, and I don’t mind saying I am getting tired of it.

My body is not coping well with the cold, so it makes it difficult to want to go outside for anything that is not absolutely necessary. The cold is wreaking havoc with my fourth New Year’s resolution to get more exercise since walking is usually my main form of exercise between November and March. To remedy this, I have taken up doing planks which are great for my muscles, especially the core muscles, but don’t contribute to the cardiovascular exercise I need. 

I know cold can aggravate conditions like Raynaud’s Phenomenon where blood flow is restricted to the body’s extremities when they get cold.  Cold can also aggravate arthritis causing joint painMy problem is neither of these conditions.  My whole body seems to ache when I get cold.  If my feet get cold, the aching pain starts in my feet and ankles, but then moves up my legs to my hips too.  The pain actually feels like my bones are aching.  Sitting in a cold car or cold hockey arena watching my son play can easily set the aching off.  When this happens I find heat and advil are the only remedies.  I purchased a click heat pad recently; it works great…

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You simply press the small metal disc that is floating inside the heating pad to activate it.  As soon as the disc is pressed, the pad heats up and gets firm.  It stays warm for hours, so you can move it around to heat all of your achy body parts.  When it cools off, all you have to do is place the pad in boiling water to return it to its liquid state.  Click Heat comes in many shapes, colors and sizes, be sure to check them out using the link below:
Click Heat