Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vacation Day in Toronto

Yesterday was my brother's birthday, so I decided to take the day off so that I could visit him and take him out for lunch. A "normal" person would take the opportunity to sleep in, but I decided to get up my usual time (4:45 a.m.) and take my regular bus in, so that I could take my camera with me and snap some photos of the city.  Even though I work there five days a week, I rarely have the chance to visit and walk around.  It's incredible how many mostly-glass condos have popped up throughout the city, and I have to say, that I don't like a lot of them.  I walked up University Avenue, popped into work, then headed over to Yonge Street for breakfast.  I continued north, turned west onto Bloor  to U of T and then back to Yonge.  I went north to Davenport and up to Casa Loma which has an amazing view of the city.  Then it was up Spadina and along St Clair to see my brother.  We had lunch at St Clair and Dufferin and after walking him home, I went east on St Clair, down into the ravine and south to Dupont, down St George, through the U of T campus and then caught the bus home...

Shangri-La Hotel's Momofuku Restaurant
Adam Beck Statue, University Avenue
WW1 Memorial Statue, University Avenue
Tower-to-be at Yonge and Bloor
ROM Dragon
ROM Reflections
U of T Architectural Detail
Bata Shoe Museum Window Display
Casa Loma
University and College Buildings
Peter Gilgan Research Learning Tower, Bay Street

Monday, May 19, 2014

Victoria Day Gardening

It was a warm, sunny day, perfect for a visit to a garden centre (Terra Greenhouses) where we dropped $240 for plants.  That included a nice hanging basket for the front porch, three bags of potting soil, eight perennials, twenty pots of annuals, four herb pots and a couple of smaller hanging baskets that will go into planters on the wall once the pansies have had their day.

Ready for planting
 First off, we arranged the pots where we thought they would best go, then added the soil and the various combinations of plants.  CC likes to put three different plants in a pot with contrasts in colour, texture and size.

Hanging Basket
Last year, we had a HUGE hanging basket on the front porch, but it was expensive and required a lot of water.  This year, CC opted for a smaller one that's much more manageable.

Pots combining new plants with overwintered plants
We keep a lot of plants indoors through the winter and then pot them up for the summer.  Geraniums, succulents, etc. are good for this, especially if you combine them with some annuals.  The front right pot has two types of Aloes plus some annual Portulacas, all sun-loving and drought-tolerant. CC bought three different colours of Geraniums and combined them in two different pots.

Back Deck planting
For the back deck, which is close to the kitchen, CC potted up some herb plants for easy access. We also put out an old, overwintered pot of Echevarias and I did up some pots of Marigolds and Portulacas.

Bird Bath Succulent garden
All of the succulents in the bird bath this past winter, so we bought all new plants (all perennial)with the idea of putting them in the garden once the season ends.  Along with Hens and Chicks were four new Stonecrops - Sedum 'Cherry Tart', Sedum hybrid SunSparkler "Lime Zinger', Sedum rupestre 'Angelina' and Sedum SunSparkler 'Dazzleberry'.  Don't you love the names they come up with?

In addition, we bought some different colours of Tuberous Begonias and put them in the back bed for some pizzaz.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bike Ride to Guelph Lake

It's day three of my four-day long weekend, and I finally had a chance to get on my bike and hit the Speed River Trail. The trail follow the Speed River up to Guelph Lake and the dam that created it.  It goes through Riverside Park and then gets wilder and darker and I saw lots of people out for walks with their friends, dogs and/or kiddies.  There were some other cyclists and a few runners out as well.  The sun kept making an appearance, but it's still quite cool here, which made for a more pleasant ride.

Guelph Lake
Cedar Forest Trail
The Trilliums are in bloom
Damage from the winter
Heading back south along the Speed River

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

I know it's almost over but CC and I had a very busy day - putting the greenhouse plants outside or in the mini-greenhouse in the garage, cleaning and organizing the greenhouse and putting most of the houseplants down into the newly-cleaned g-house.  We also took some things over to Value Village, returned our empties and did grocery shopping.  It was a warm, sunny day and I think I got a mild case of sun-stroke, as I have had quite the headache and am terribly thirsty.  The garden is rapidly changing as early spring flowers are dying off and new plants are pushing their way up, up, up.  It's an exciting time of year!

My mother passed away almost 20 years ago, so it's a bittersweet day for me, especially with all the hype about it.  She was a terrific gardener, so it was a good day to remember her.  Growing up, I remember people stopping in front of our house and telling her what a beautiful garden she had.  She was a potter and whenever she wanted to take a break, she did some weeding, pruning, planting etc.  Here's to mum's everywhere, whether they are with us physically or in our memories.

Pulmonaria macro
Marsh Marigolds ready to pop
Rhododendron from the Tundra with Heath
Bleeding Hearts emerging

Sunday, May 04, 2014

May the 4th...

…be with you.  Not original, I know, but it does crack me up every time!  And NO, I will not be including Star Wars-themed photos in this post.  On a personal note though, I do remember when the first Star Wars movie came out in 1977, and I LOVED it!  So much so that I bought all the paraphernalia I could get my hands on and wore a different Star Wars t-shirt every day of the week. That is until some wise-guy, in one of my classes (you know who you are RH), made some sarcastic comment about it and I became self-conscious enough to stop wearing them so regularly.  I just wish I had kept some of that stuff as a reminder of that time in my life.

Donkey's Tail ready to flower
Heath up close
Sunny Bulbs