The Garden Report #41
Sunday, March 13th, 2011
|Morden Blush Rose|
|Morden Cardinette Rose|
|Morden Sunrise Rose|
|Northern Dazzle Lily|
• Mothers never understand: My friend Ian was going out of town and he shipped his sixteen year old boy Andrew, over to Uncle Rod’s for the weekend. His first night at our place, he wore his baseball cap to the table, a definite no-no at our house. I took his cap off and spit in it, handing it back to him. He thought I was the coolest dad for doing that. Maureen was less than impressed with what I had done but she was equally surprised that Andrew thought it was a fine thing to do. She asked: “How did you know to do that?” I used to be sixteen.
• Garden Tip: Reader Catherine Parker wanted to know how to get her four inch primulas, that she purchases at this time of year, to last long enough to transplant into the garden. Over the years, I have not had very good luck with these plants making it through to the spring. They seem to wither away to nothing. I suspect that they are meant to be enjoyed for a short time only, but they sure are a fresh breath of spring when they are in bloom. That was my answer and here is one from reader Michiel Verheul, who is one of Canada’s leading greenhouse growers: “Primula bloom once and then not again for a long time. They bloom under cool conditions. We see them available in the stores put them in our warm homes and by the time it gets warm enough to plant outside the flowers are done. Primula should be bought early, enjoyed like a spring bulb and then planted outside and maybe they will bloom in the fall for you to enjoy. Or just toss it and buy something fresh."
• The Galloping Gourmet: When Number Two Son had his seventh birthday party, somehow I was assigned to prepare the birthday supper for him and ten of his friends. I cooked wieners and beans and as I did not want ketchup all over the kitchen, I added it directly into the pot. The kids were really excited. The ketchup was already in the beans. I told them it was ‘gourmet wieners and beans.’. The next day, my phone started to ring. It was the mothers of these little boys inquiring as to my recipe for the gourmet dish their boys were raving over. When I told the mothers what I had done, each was disappointed. “That’s it? You added ketchup into the pot and called it ‘gourmet’?” Hey! It was a success with the seven year olds. Let it ride.
|Diabolo Ninebark in a tree form|
• Good Globe: We have season tickets for The Globe and this past week we took in ‘Shakespeare’s Will.’ Now I must confess, I have worked in the realm of one handers for a long time and do love the format. This one was outstanding. The woman playing the only role on stage, that of Anne Hathaway, carried the seventy-five minute performance extraordinarily well. There are those cultural snobs who insist that one handers are not real theater, but to watch this actor work was amazing. She created her own tension, joy and sadness. She created her own angst and irritants. This is theater in its simplest and yet most engaging format. It requires the audience to listen and to align themselves with the character on stage. When she announces that her husband’s sister is a “real bitch”, we empathize, each of us having a family member who can be trying. Leaving the theater and arriving home, there was a story on the television regarding the complexity and science involved in the creation of ‘Avatar’. I thought of the show we had just seen, less than an hour ago. This is theater that is a thousand years old. One person, stranding in the middle of the tribe, telling us a story of love and loss. This is a story teller with no place left to hide. There are no special effects or technology to save her. Either she carries the story or it fails. That is living on the tightrope. She deserved the standing ovation.
• ‘Shakespeare’s Will’ trivia: This play was written by Vern Thiessen, one on Canada’s top playwrights. His sister Ingrid is one of our regular readers and is also one of Regina’s finest Landscape Architects. Ingrid tells the story of being provided two comp tickets for a Shakespeare play while in university. For her date, she took along her kid brother, Vern, who was just entering his teens. Ingrid says he loved the play.
• Too funny: My friend Peter McGarry is an Irish playwright. Peter loves to perform in the nude, something I have never been persuaded to do, at least publicly. Our youngest son attended one of Peter’s plays. His review: “If I wanted to see a fat, middle aged, naked man, I would just have breakfast with my dad. I don’t need to pay eight dollars to do that.”
• Garden Tip: The spring edition of ‘Gardening for the Prairies’ has arrived. Absolutely stunning magazine. There was a time when our gardening magazines were produced in Toronto and New York, hardly regional. This magazine is a class act and produced in Saskatoon. For more information, go to www.gardenermagazine.ca
• Really, I’m straight: Anyone got two tickets for Elton John they want to sell to me at face value? I detest scalpers. They are slime personified. Prefer to sit in the stands and Thursday would be great.
• Garden Tip: Gardeners love to talk about gardening and they love to read about it. One could even write that gardeners are an obsessive lot. And what is my point? Don’t have one. There is a new book out from local publishing house, Coteau Books. The book is written by the well known Sara Williams and Hugh Skinner. The title is ‘Gardening Naturally: a chemical free handbook for the Prairies.’ I have not read it yet but my copy is on its way.
• Writers who help: Congratulations go out to Ed Willet who is now our new ‘Writer in Residence’ at The Regina Public Library. Ed is an excellent writer and he is a very good choice for the position. If you are dying to be a writer or if you have a script as yet unfinished, you can secure an appointment to see Ed at the downtown library and he will assist you with your project.
• A new audience: We were at The Symphony last night. I found myself chatting with two eight year old girls. I cracked a joke about me auditioning to be a dancer in ‘Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang’. They laughed. I had no idea I could be funny to such a young audience. I am now working on some new material for that group. Jokes about why mommies are so mean, why boys are stupid and how immature seven year olds can be at times. It’s Grade Three all over without the pressure to succeed.
|Murphy says: "Hurry up spring! I want to chase some squirrels."|