Friday, March 27, 2009

More Snow Than Ever!

I am wearing some spring-ish pastels these days, hoping that spring will soon come to affirm and complement my attire. So far, there has been no significant thaw and the snow is deeper than it has been all winter. Snowmobiling season is still going strong. I hear machines buzzing across the lake at all hours of day or night.
The gravel road in front of our house:

However, kids are out on dry parts of roads riding on their push-scooters and I am enjoying the extra hours of sunlight. Temperatures are not over zero yet, but should be soon.
I can't even see the tops of the raised beds yet!

I have a few annuals and perennials started in the basement now. They are doing well under the fluorescent lights. I am trying for a second time to root some tulip flowered geranium (Pelargonium) cuttings from my mother in law. So far, they look okay. Soon, I will start the tomatoes and a few herbs.
The basement light garden is getting filled up with seedlings this time of year. Some of the orchids may be kicked out and sent to loving adoptive homes.

The Livingstone daisy (ice plant, Dorotheanthus) seedlings look floppy, but are growing quickly. I am looking forward to my first summer of growing these, all inspired by our trip to Arizona!

Asarina scandens is a flowering annual that likes to climb. I've pinched these ones several times and like the results. Previously, I've had these plants look like wispy little strings for the first many months.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

So Spring, You're a Week Away?

While the retail clothing stores are trying to sell us bright colors and short sleeves, the landscape still maintains the appearance of early January. At least nearly the whole country can commiserate together. Last night, I even saw George Stroumboulopoulus complaining to Howie Mandel on CBC about our terrible winter this year.

Kona is getting tired of clawing a hole in the ice to get at her water bowl. Did I mention she is looking forward to daffodils blooming in another TWO months?

Yes, this is the HEATED electric water bowl. Perhaps we need to upgrade our current model.

We might also learn something from the wisdom of birds, who abandon their northern cabins for the winter.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Bulk Shopping for Plants and Stuff

Though we may live many, many kilometers from urban civilization, we do attempt to do some power-shopping when we are traveling down south. While I like shopping locally, we (like many others up here) like to avoid travelling north with an empty vehicle, so we fill the space with supplies from these giant bulk-purchase stores. This keeps us stocked with boxes of toilet paper, crates of cereal, and huge bags of dog food. I like picking up some garden-related stuff as well, having found some begonia and dahlia tubers at the Saskatoon store this week. While I am generally a hard-core perennial grower, I use annuals and tender perennials for containers. They are also useful to spice up the perennial beds in August when some spots are looking a bit bland and flowerless. Besides, I've never grown dahlias before, and I plan to enjoy their showy flowers in my garden for the first time.

On the other hand, resident-lawnmower-man comes home from Costo with purchases like this:

He says he plans to eat it all himself. Personally, I can't see how any person could need or want two litres of sauerkraut! I keep telling him that sometimes, you don't need to buy large amounts of things. For example, the pinon nuts that went rancid before we ate them all. Spices are another good example of things that go bad before you can eat a pail-sized amount of them.

On another note, this is why I admire and love this animal. Kona has a perfectly nice doghouse, but it's a nice sunny day at a balmy -19 degrees C, so why not nap in the sun? She's a husky-malamute and loves being in the snow. I don't think she's pining for hot summer weather at all.