Thursday, November 27, 2008

Winter White Frosty Coating

We've been sitting in a fair bit of snow for a few weeks now. I was suprised to see that Saskatoon had little snow when I was there last week. I guess the north is just lucky with all this white stuff.

I've been indoors eyeballing those discount offers on plants and roots for spring. I tell myself that if I wait till closer to spring, the discounts will be even greater. But my own reasonable inner voice is probably going to be silenced in favor of compulsive online plant purchases. I've decided that a quick and dirty solution to planting up the big barrel planters is to fill them with dahlias, grown from tubers shipped in spring. That minimizes the need to grow a large quantity of annuals under the basement lights (or just makes room for other ones).

Otherwise, I haven't done any more traveling, other than what is required for work. Here's my 7,000 ft knitting project.

Simply a scarf, yes, but who can say they knitted at 7,000 feet these days?

I was the only passenger on the charter plane, so without having any tendencies to self-harm, I can say my knitting needles posed no danger to other passengers. Oh yes, and I think I had at least 100mL of liquids in my juice box. I am SUCH a rebel.

Kona the snow-loving dog is now in her element.
This may not be her most scenic perspective, but I took the picture to show the lovely afternoon and the guy coming down the street on a snowmobile. I think he might have been walking his dog, as he went up and down the street, looking behind him to ensure a black dog was still chasing him. Soon the neighbours will be landing their ski-planes on the lake ice again.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Back with my Indoor Garden

I have neglected to post for a while now, which was duly noted by some readers! The outdoor world is cold and snowy, so what is a gardener to do other than travel to some warmer and milder location? Yes, I abandoned my northern garden to go browsing though Vancouver's lush green gardens at the end of October.
Fushia in bloom at the Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver:

It was like reliving September in my garden. The mums looked marvelous, the Japanese maples wore crimson leaves, and the only thing coming from the sky was occasional rain.
Quarry garden at the Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver:

Bonsai trees at the Buddhist temple in Richmond, BC.

On a very exciting note, I picked up two new orchids. Both are tropical ladyslippers and fairly hard to find: Paphiopedilum bellatulum and Paph. charlesworthii. I was excited to get these labeled species orchids from a kind lady selling them at Vancouver's Granville Island Public Market. If you ever visit Vancouver, you must spend at least half a day at Granville Island (hardly an island, but definitely a shopping/arts/crafts/food paradise). As it turns out, this lady travels to the Saskatoon garden show each spring and sells bare root orchids at a booth. I think I bought one of her orchids in Saskatoon two years ago! It's definitely a small world. Unfortunately, the spotted orchid's leaves show some damage now, likely from cold sometime on the last day of travel. Hopefully it survives.

My basement orchid collection contains this nice group of Dendrobium nobile "Angel Smile". They keep multiplying like the stray dogs on our street and I hope some caring, plant-friendly folks will volunteer to take some off my hands.

We visited the two grizzly bears kept in a natural habitat near the top of Grouse Mountain. They were oblivious to the onlookers. One was busy digging a cave while the other looked on with seeming amusement.