Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Garden Report #49

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

'Tiny Bee' Asiatic Lily
• Writers write: It is a quiet day on our street. I suspect many are attending Mothers’ Day brunches held throughout the city. Last night’s rain has washed away much of the winter’s grime. The tulips are up six inches, not yet setting bud, but soon. There is a gentle optimism in the air. Spring has shown her pretty face.

• Readers write:

     • Paula Grolle wants us to know that good liver and onions are available at The Cottage on south Albert. She also had some decent snitzel at The Bavarian Forest.

     • CJ Katz of ‘Savour Life’ fame suggested that I utilize some bullets for busy headings such as this one. CJ writes that it is easier to read this way.

     • Mike Liske from The Classic Landscape Company reports that he has seen phenomenal levels of vole damage to lawns this year.
     • Sandra Rayson writes “Great edition (#48), better than medicine with laughter, re: Paper boy and ‘Blues Brothers’.” Sandra also gave me some organic caraway seeds, grown in Saskatchewan, to use in my stews and soups.

     • Roberta Nichol agrees with me that Kate’s mom was the ‘hot one’ at the wedding. We share an eye for talent.

     • Jean Freeman writes “Thanks for the story and the excellent admonition about making babies and being responsible for the results. Would that more people would take that route.”

     • Jodi Sadowsky writes: “Loved the flyswatter story.” Sure. It’s a funny story if you are not being the ‘swatee’.

     • Dani Mario writes “You are growing a community.” Is that legal?

     • Carlo over at The Italian Star says “The Garden Report is where I get my information on community happenings now.”

     • Sally Rollins writes “This time of year is so exciting…”
Voles have caused much garden damage this year

• Garden Tip: A few of you have written in complaining about ants. If they are a problem, as in they are getting into your house, there is a simple, effective, organic solution. Sprinkle some diatomaceous earth along the travel path of any creeping insect, such as ants. This product can be found in most garden centers and it is sold under the name ‘Insectigon’. It is safe to use around pets and children. It is not a chemical. Rather, it works through a mechanical action.

• Garden Tip: Do not dig up perennials that you think did not make it through the winter, just yet. It has been a late start and new growth is emerging very slowly, but once the sun warms the soil, they will take off with a growth spurt.

• Garden Tip: Lawns should be fertilized around the middle of May, the middle of June and again around the middle of August. Use five pounds of fertilizer per thousand square feet. Refer to #46 for my fertilizer recommendations. If you have deleted #46, it can be viewed at

Vole damage to a fruit tree
Garden Tip: There is a bit of sunscald this year which is the browning of evergreens, usually on the south side of the plant. Of particular severity are the Scot’s Pine planted along the west side of the Lewvan, adjacent to Harbor Landing.

• Grammar Tip: They are Scot’s Pine, never ‘Scotch Pine’. Scotch is a whiskey, not a people or a land. Just had to clarify that for my ancestors. A Scot drinks scotch in Scotland but a scotch never drinks a Scot, anywhere.

• They grow up: I stopped into Lakeview School where our boys attended elementary school for fifteen years. The polling station was in the gym for Monday’s federal election. They had posted on the wall, all of the staff photos. The bad news is, I did not see any male teachers. Young boys need male role models as well as female. The good news is that the principal is female and she is Lori Kukura. Lori grew up in the neighborhood on Garnet Street. Her mom is Gloria Wahl who was my right hand office person at Lakeview Gardens for ten years.

• Lots happening:

     • The Artesian on 13th has a full schedule of shows for the month of May. You can Google their website for information.

     • Coming up at the end of the month is one of my favorite events, The Cathedral Village Arts Festival. Many people think the festival is that monster market they have on the last Saturday along 13th Avenue, but there is much more to this gig. There are great theater shows, music and art happenings for the entire five days plus lots of activities for the kids. Sadly, the family dance that used to occur on Saturday night had to be cancelled because a few thugs were turning it into ‘fight night’. Incredible, that five to ten people can ruin a family dance party for three hundred.

     • Don’t forget the annual New Dance Horizon’s Secret Garden Tour. They are always looking for gardens, volunteers and ticket buyers.

     • Mosaic is on its way as well. If you take in The Scottish Pavilion, remember to stand and salute as the pipers march past. That is considered proper etiquette in Gaelic culture. Just trying to teach you how to be one of the clan.

• Layers upon layers: Myself and two of our regular readers were deep in discussion on Wednesday night. All three of us are men. We want the women of our lives to realize that men are not layered, that we do not engage in sub text when we speak and we do not comprehend it when it is spoken to us. When a woman says she is going to the theater with her friends, we hear that she is going to the theater with her friends…nothing else. The reverse is also true. When we speak, there is no hidden agenda. When a man states that he does not care for cauliflower that is what it means. There are no other secondary inferences. We do not speak in sub text because we don’t understand it. Thus when two men disagree, one will say to the other “you are an idiot” and the response will be “so what?” And then it’s done. It is finished. When a woman says “you are an idiot”, rest assured, that is the beginning, not the ending.

A block of Goldmound Spirea at Byland's Nursery
• Garden Tip: Hanging baskets and other bedding plants should not be left out over night when the temperature is dropping down below plus twelve. To harden your plants off, have them outside during the warm part of the day and increase their exposure to the elements on an incremental basis.

• What?: Several years ago when I had a column in The Regina Free Press, I wrote a tongue in cheek article about The General Hospital. In the column, I asserted that I had been to the hospital to have a bladder repair and that they had a special on that week. With every bladder repair operation, you could get your two knees repaired for the price of one. Pretty funny, eh? I had six people call or email after it was published. They wanted to know who did the orthopedic surgery and did I recommend that doctor.

• It’s great to be tall: I stopped into the Asian store on 11th Avenue to pick up coconut milk for my green curry. I was the only Caucasian in line with seven Asians. At five foot ten, I was easily the tallest person in the store. I actually had people asking me “what’s the weather like up there?”

• The tulip report: Mine are about six inches tall but no buds showing just yet, but soon. Everything is looking good and on schedule. I planted some miniature daffodils a few years ago and they have perennialized themselves, popping up each spring. Shrubs and roses are starting to bud out and it is definitely time to trim back any winter kill.

• Kitchen Gear: Talking to Kirk at his new store on Hill Avenue and he has been pleased with the reception he has received from the neighborhood. Our community is quite friendly and I have never found it to be cliquey. We have always welcomed newcomers to the area. Hopefully, we keep that up.

• Sadly: Dennis Losie passed away this week at the age of 63. Dennis was very active in the neighborhood, always greeting people with a smile, a wave or a story. He organized the musical night at Christ the King Church every year as well as selling 50/50 tickets for The Regina Rams for many years.

• Computer scanning: In the last year, I have had the experience where I have brought an item that had a sale price to the cash register, only to be rung up at the regular price. The answer usually is “someone did not enter the sale price into the computer.” Just this week, it happened at Klein’s on 13th. In the last year it has happened at Shopper’s on Broad, the east Superstore, Rona, Sobeys and Extra Foods at The Golden Mile. If a store can find the time to put up advertisements that a product is now on sale, they can find the time to enter that sale price into the computer. For what it is worth, Rona and Superstore both refused to honor the posted sale price. Shoppers, Klein’s and Extra Foods honored the price. Sobeys not only honored the price, they gave me an extra five bucks off for their mistake.

• Indian Head: We were out there on Tuesday to do a gardening seminar. I love Indian Head. It is a hot bed of gardening and there are many beautiful homes in this town of around 1800. Lots of community pride and it is a very clean community. Many of the people taking in the seminar are readers of The Garden Report. One of the attendees reported success with killing slugs by spraying Listerine on them. I have never tried this so I am assuming that it is the alcohol within the Listerine that is killing them. And if they don’t’ die, at least their breath smells less slimy.

• Part time job: I have had a few people within the neighborhood looking for someone to come in once or twice a week to tend to their gardens. If you are a decent gardener, knowledgeable about perennials, shrubs and gardening protocol, then send me an email. I will connect you with those people. These people are not looking for a student.

• Noah’s ark: Readers in both the west and east parts of the Qu’Appelle Valley report wind and water damage this week. The water levels are so high this year that most of the residents have not been able to ascertain the degree of damage.

• Best of the season: Last night’s symphony was easily the best of the season. There were three combined choirs on stage behind the orchestra and four soloists in front. The piece was Verdi’s ‘Requiem’. The power of the piece is incredible.

• Thanks for reading and a happy Mothers’ Day…Rod McDonald in rainy Regina

1 comment:

  1. Rod, thanks for the informative presentation in Indian Head last week.

    There are great cinnamon buns at "Tangerine".

    And do I need to remove the aerated plugs off of my lawn.
    Thanks Mardy