Vandalism rampant at Queen’s Home Coming

Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario celebrated home coming this past weekend.  The problem is the celebrations get out of hand each year when idiots resort to vandalizing anything they get their hands on.  This year our car was one of the unfortunate targets of the rampant vandalism.

Our son had taken the car to Kingston for the weekend to spend time with some of his high school buddies that currently attend Queen’s.  We had instructed him to park the car in his friend’s driveway when he got there and leave it parked for the weekend (ie no drinking and driving).  He did what we told him to, sort of.  There was no parking spot available in the driveway when he arrived on Friday, so he parked on the street. When he went to check on the car Saturday, he was dismayed to see that it had been trashed.  The roof was caved in, front and back hoods dented, brake light on the spoiler kicked in, almost every inch of the car covered in scratches and beer stains, as well as the Toyota emblem torn off  the front.

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It saddens and sickens me that these so called intelligent students resort to this disgustingly destructive behaviour.  How and why do they feel this behaviour is acceptable?  How do they get away with it?  To all the people standing around watching (apparently there were lots of pictures and a video posted on social media) it happen, WTF were you thinking?

I realize the car in question is old (2003) with lots of mileage.  We planned to keep the car for our youngest son to drive (he’s 21 now) while he still lives at home. The costs to repair the vandalism will most likely be higher than what the car is worth.  Then the insurance deductible will eat up the measly amount we will receive as compensation, but that’s not the point.  The car is our possession, it is incomprehensible how some idiotic kids can damage other peoples’ property with no remorse.

I can promise you any pictures I find of our damaged car on social media will be forwarded to the police to supplement the original report.  Hopefully, authorities will find the culprits that thought this was funny and penalize these idiots accordingly. I am hoping the power of social media will bite them in the butt.

If you recognize any of these students, please let me know!

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Gardens4u season opener

Today was a beautiful sunny day here in Ottawa Ontario, a perfect day to start my GARDENS4U season.  Although 6C (43F) is still a bit cool and the ground is still frozen in some spots, I was able to get some things done.  Here is a list of garden chores that can be done as soon as the snow is gone:

  • cut back ornamental grasses to a few inches from the ground
  • cut off any broken, misshapen or unwanted branches on trees and shrubs.  Before the leaves come out on the trees the shape or framework of the branches is easier to see.
  • cut back any overgrown shrubs that flower in summer.  Even if you do not want to reduce the size of the shrub, old wood that no longer flowers can be removed now
  • cut out old wood that no longer flowers on early spring blooming shrubs back to the ground.  You can tell the old wood from the new wood by its color.  The old wood is usually duller in color and thicker in diameter
  • trim, shape or prune evergreen shrubs
  • cut back group 3 (summer or fall blooming) clematis to 1 foot from ground
  • rake leaves out of garden
  • remove winter covers from shrubs and trees
  • treat lawns with a fertilizer and pre-emergent weed preventer combination
  • rake lawn hard, but be sure to wait until it is no longer spongy to walk on

 

Happy gardening!

 

 

 

 

Losing my gardening tools and my mind

As the end of my gardening season approaches here in Ontario, I have begun to clean out my van and perform an inventory on my gardening tools.  This is also the time of the year when I realize just how bad my memory is when the number of gardening tools has dwindled and I have no idea where the missing ones are.  I tend to misplace several pairs of calipers (or hand clippers) a season.  Even though their handles are usually a bright red or orange, I manage to lose them in the gardens I work in.  I’m sure I have accidentally thrown some out in lawn waste bags.  This year I am disappointed to find that I have also managed to misplace my favourite edger and a handy short shovel…

I will have to send out an email to my clients begging them to check their tool sheds and gardens to see if my tools are hanging out with theirs.

Dog strangling vine prevalent in Kanata, Ontario

This dog strangling vine is one of the vines I was telling you about in a recent post that are very invasive, but also dangerous…

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I have seen lots of these vines in my fall cleanups of gardens here in Kanata, Ontario.  The leaves of the dog strangling vine are unremarkable, blending in with others in your gardens.  The seed pods are more distinctive; they look like yellow string beans, making it easy to recognize the vine this time of year.  If you encounter this vine in your gardens, pull out the vine by the roots before the seed pods burst spreading seeds everywhere.  Be sure to discard the vine, its roots and seed pods into your yard waste; do not add them to your compost bin.

I haven’t seen or heard of this vine strangling any dogs, but I have seen it strangle the life out of a fully mature tree, so beware!

First snow of the season in Ottawa, Ontario area

Yesterday, as we drove from Ottawa to our cottage In Ompah, Ontario we hit several snow squalls.  We drove through sunny skies and storm clouds and snow squalls.  The first squall hit us in Carleton Place…

When we reached the cottage, the lawn and trees were snow covered and the island offshore was barely visible…

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then, a mere ten minutes later, the sun was out again…

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The ride home was uneventful.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

As Thanksgiving approaches here in Canada (and in the USA in the near future) we should take a moment in our busy lives to contemplate what we are thankful for.  Here is my list:

  • I am thankful for my three wonderful sons, each one with different goals, dreams, skills and personalities.  I am thankful they are all still working and living close by and thoughtful enough to share their lives with me!
  • I am thankful for my husband of thirty one years, for his love and support, not to mention providing me with and helping me raise the above mentioned three sons.
  • I am thankful for my good health as well as the good health of those dear to me.
  • I am thankful for this wonderful country called Canada that we live in and the particular neighbourhood here in Kanata, Ontario that I live in.
  • I am thankful for the job I have where people pay me to play in their gardens.
  • I am thankful for the materialistic things in my life too, such as a warm and safe home, clothes on my back, food on my table, family vacations etc.

When you sit down for your Thanksgiving dinner, or before then, be sure to list the things you are most thankful for in your life.  Then remind yourself often of your good fortune, especially the non-materialistic things!

September weather is perfect for gardening in Ottawa, Ontario

.5°C16.4
07
Actual
32.8°C19.1
24h Rain3mm
08
Actual
27.4°C19.5
24h Rain0.2mm
09
Actual
24.5°C16.6
24h Rain0.6mm
10
Actual
23.9°C11.7
11
Actual
25.2°C11.3
24h Rain0.2mm
12
Actual
15.9°C12.8
24h Rain25.4mm
13
Actual
19.2°C14.3
24h Rain19.4mm
14
Actual
23.1°C13.7
24h Rain1.4mm
15
Actual
27.3°C11.8
16
Today
28°C15
Feels like34
17
Forecast
28°C17
Feels like32
18
Forecast
28°C18
Feels like33
24h Rain0.3mm
P.O.P10%
19
Forecast
24°C9
Feels like28
24h Rain10.2mm
P.O.P90%
20
Forecast
19°C11
Feels like21
21
Forecast
20°C10
Feels like23
22
Forecast
21°C12
Feels like25
23
Forecast
22°C13
Feels like26
24
Forecast
21°C12
Feels like25
25
Forecast
20°C12
Feels like24
24h Rain0.9mm
P.O.P20%
26
Forecast
20°C12
Feels like24
24h Rain1.9mm
P.O.P60%
27
Forecast
20°C12
Feels like24
28
Forecast
20°C13
Feels like24
29
Forecast
21°C12
Feels like26
30
Forecast
21°C13
Feels like27
24h Rain3.7mm
P.O.P40%

This is a weather calendar for the month of September here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  You can’t ask for any better weather for gardening.  New perennials and shrubs can be planted now ensuring their roots have six weeks to get established before the ground freezes.  Garden clean up can get started, but leave some for the cooler days to come.  It is still a bit early to plant bulbs too; they are best planted just before the ground freezes.

I am heading out now to work in a client’s garden before it gets too hot LOL, never thought I would be saying that mid September.  No complaints here!

Gardens4u presents the hibiscus, another late blooming perennial for your garden

This hibiscus is a favourite late blooming perennial, now available in hardier versions that are suitable for my Kanata Ontario gardens…

Hibiscus are apparently available in many colours, although the ones I have seen recently are in the pink and mauve category.

Previously not hardy enough to overwinter in our Ontario gardens, these new and improved cultivars of hibiscus are a welcome addition to my gardens.  Look for some in the garden nursery near you and enjoy their beautiful, late blooms.

Wild mushrooms, edible or poisonous?

I have discovered several species of mushrooms at our cottage in Ontario, Canada and am wondering if any are edible.  They range in color from very white, to almost white, to white with blue, brown and black tinges, to beige, to golden brown, to orange, to blood red.  They range in size from very tiny, less than 1 inch to up to 5 inches.  They vary in shape from perfectly round and symmetrical to lumpy and bumpy.  They range in texture from smooth to necrotic looking…

Most of the websites I have checked out are not very specific with lots of disclaimers.  I would appreciate feedback from any experts out there…

Giant mosquitoes called psorophora ciliata and nicknamed gallinippers discovered in Ontario

Pest management supervisor says long winter may reduce mosquito numbers around Saskatoon.

A new breed of humongous mosquitoes has now been detected in Ontario from Ottawa to the Niagara region.  Called Psorophora ciliata, and nicknamed Gallinippers, these mosquitoes are approximately 20 times the size of the mosquitoes we are used to.

This is another article about why some people get more mosquito bites than others.  Apparently they are attracted to the heat and sweat on our bodies and the carbon dioxide we exhale.  Eating certain foods has not been scientifically proven to attract or repel mosquitoes.

My brother took this picture of one of these mosquitoes he found at his home in Ingleside, Ontario.  You can see how large it is in comparison to the quarter it is lying on…

I hate using chemical concoctions on my skin, so look to more natural remedies or repellants.  I read recently that rubbing the leaves of a perennial geranium on your skin will repel mosquitoes.  The leaves do release a strong scent when touched, so it may work…

Another plant that repels mosquitoes but does not need to be rubbed on your skin is basil.  I just might plant some of that in my gardens at home and at the cottage.