The Garden Report #37
Sunday, February 13th, 2011
|Michiel's Greenhouse - plug production|
|Pink Spire Flowering Crab|
• The King’s Speech: This movie has been nominated for several Oscar’s and it will probably win Best Picture. It is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Writing of historical movies, TBS had on late at night, ‘Anne of a Thousand Days’. Richard Burton plays the role of Henry and his acting skills are phenomenal.
• Oh well: Greg Morley and Susan Hardy joined us at The Globe last Sunday. Within the play, the husband is caught not listening to his wife’s instructions. For whatever reason, Greg and I were laughing at this situation, in a loud and vigorous manner. Now, some might suspect that we were laughing because we could identify with not listening, but that is not true. Greg and I are very good listeners. We just have short memories.
|A hibiscus in Hawaii growing outside|
• Garden Tip: A perennial is a plant that had it lived, would have bloomed the following year.
• Garden Tip: Rhubarb leaves are quite attractive and they lend themselves to being planted for ornamental purposes in perennial beds. Similarly, ‘Northern Lights’ Swiss Chard is being used as an ornamental and not as an edible. There was some planted in front of The Legislature last year.
|Patrick in Hawaii|
• Sir?: Les Anderson who was my greenhouse manager said it best. “Maturity begins when the kid at Safeway turns to you and asks ‘would you like help out with that, sir?’” The first time that occurs, Les says you have to realize you are no longer hip. You have become your father.
• I swore it would not happen: One night when the kids were small, they were supposed to be getting ready for bed but of course, they were fooling around. I gave them a warning. They did not heed it. Without thinking, I was standing at the bottom of the stairs shouting upwards, “So help me God…if you two don’t have your pajamas on and get into bed in five seconds, I am coming up there. Don’t make me come up there!” I had no idea where that voice had come from. It was as if my dad had been transposed into my body. And I had sworn that it would never happen.
• Something is not right: I have this doctor in Saskatoon who is quite distinguished looking. He has grey hair and his face tells you that he has been practicing medicine for many, many years. I always assumed he was ever so much my elder, by at least ten years. This week, he was being interviewed on the news and they reported his age as being two years less than mine! That must be a mistake, right?
• Language Reform: In Saskatoon a few years ago there were two theater reviews. One was for a performance with Robbie Benz who is thirty pounds heavier than me. The reviewer wrote “the powerfully built Robbie Benz”. Fair enough. Then the same reviewer described me in a different play as “the stocky Rod McDonald”. If any reviewer is reading this, in the future, I would prefer to be described as “the powerfully built.” And to that other reviewer who wrote “the aging Rod McDonald”, does he not realize that he is bald? Glass houses man, glass houses. For the record, I would prefer the word ‘aging’ be substituted with the adjective ‘timeless’. Ah, that feels better.
• Cyber Space: A hot topic in the news continues to be cyber bullying which apparently, is not confined to teen aged girls. It has now leapt into the adult demographics. Along a similar vein, when I read my favorite blog sites, often historical ones, I am amazed by the insane comments posted by anonymous readers. Not just opinions that I disagree with, but plain old fashioned, crude comments. I am often left wondering if they are posted by twelve year old boys. Most of us remember when the bulk of stupid, anonymous phone calls were made by adolescent boys who had nothing better to do with their time. Now with all of the technology available, cranks calls have decreased but cyber crap has increased. One of the major problems as I see it is that posters are not required to reveal their names, and they hide behind their anonymity. A part of democracy has always been the freedom to write and to speak what you believe to be true, which has to go hand in hand with assuming responsibility for what you write. Many of you write in to express your opinions on various subjects and I post your views, but I would never allow someone to post without identifying themselves. Anonymous posters are nothing more than new age cowards.
• Old age cowards: When I wrote for The Free Press, every now and again I would receive a letter that was absolutely off the wall, and unsigned. The writer would be waging a vendetta against some enemy, real or imagined. In contrast, the signed letters were always much more coherent and thought out, even if I disagreed with their conclusions.
• Garden Tip: Your amaryllis is through blooming and you don’t know what to do. Here is the scoop. Continue to water the plant. It should have three, four or five long, strappy leaves on it. After the danger of frost has passed, plant it outside in the garden in dappled light. I plant mine underneath my flowering crabapple tree. It could bloom again in September. Allow the plant to get a couple of frosts on it, just enough to turn the leaves. Lift the bulb out of the soil, allow it to dry out in the sun for a day or so and then store it in a cool, dark place (such as the attic) for six weeks. Repot the bulb and start growing it again. It will usually bloom five years out of eight. Not bad chances, eh?
• Funny: A woman at the grocery store asked Maureen how she stays so skinny. I told the questioner it was because I chase her around the house every night. The woman asked me how come I am not skinny. Maureen replied “he doesn’t chase me very fast.”
• Restaurant time at Ngoc Anh: Maureen and her book club have been to this place for dim sum and they have been quite pleased with their experience. The restaurant occupies the premises once home to Mieka’s and later on, Ming’s at 1810 Smith St. We decided to check it out for an early Valentine’s supper on Friday. First, the owner does the serving and she is extremely friendly and nurturing. A definite plus. Her husband is the cook. Another plus. The place is clean. Plus, yet again. We started out with a basic hot and sour soup. It was filled with a great assortment of vegetables however it was not sour, it was sweet. Correctly labeled, it was hot and sweet soup. Our next dish was cashew chicken which again was filled with an array of fresh veggies, but a little shy on the chicken and the cashews. Dish number three was the Singapore noodles which were cooked with curry. This dish was very tasty and I really enjoyed it. Our last dish was a hot plate, something we have not ordered for years. We chose one with scallops and black bean sauce. It also had some nice flavors going on and it was filled with fresh veggies, including green beans and fresh pea pods, but not a lot of scallops, especially for sixteen bucks. Total price for the meal including tip (no alcohol) was fifty-eight dollars. I don’t dole out stars. What it comes down to is this: Would I go back? I would give them another chance based upon their friendly service, their cleanliness and their wonderful selection of veggies. I would definitely ask them for dishes with more flavor and oomph. I have been told by others that they offer up a decent lunch time buffet for around nine bucks, but I have not checked that out.
|A lovely photo of Hawaii|
• Thanks for reading…Rod McDonald in Regina