Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Garden Report #64

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Dianthus and sweet potato vine in my garden
• Writers write: It is another sunny morning in the garden. There is no wind. Joggers trot by as I write this. Some are attached to dogs. There are a few white butterflies floating around as well as wasps. A group of wasps have taken up residency in my garden, building a nest inside my brick wall. So far they have not bitten either of us and interestingly, we have found several of their dead bodies floating inside the beer traps, meant for the slugs. Who knew that wasps liked beer? I wonder: If a wasp develops too much fondness for beer, are there AA meetings he can attend or does he go straight to rehab? And what does his wife say to him when she smells beer on his breath. “Out with the boys again? Leaving me here alone with the babies. You should be ashamed of yourself. It’s not as if I ask a lot from you. My sister’s husband is the head of their colony. I should have listened to my mother.” Time to stop.

• Readers write:

     • Daniel Redenbach appreciates the plug. He wrote “thanks for the mention Rod!”

     • June Blau is not reading the blog right away and here is her explanation. “I am postponing reading this week’s edition for a few days. We are in Inuvik for another 24 hours. Greetings to all from the Canadian Arctic!”

     • Roberta Nichol got a chuckle from the fashion police report. She writes: “I sure chuckled at your description of the 45 year old and up men with the long shorts, tall socks and walking shoes. I can visualize it easily and it is pretty funny, alright. I wonder why they do that? Are they shy to show their legs off? They should be shy, to go out looking like that.”

     • This is in from Jodi Sadowsky. “Always love the Garden Report. As well as the enjoyable walk and visit as we had the other night. Ending with the Saskatoon pie is always a plus!”

     • Gayle White gardens in Winnipeg and she sent this response to The Garden Report. “I took your advice and had my lawn aerated over a month ago. Then the scorching hot weather arrived here in Winnipeg. My lawn is still somewhat green, while my neighbors’ lawns are pretty brown. Did the aeration help with that?”The answer to Gayle’s questions is absolutely yes. The aeration helped her lawn even in the heat spell. The aeration allowed what water there was to percolate into the subsoil instead of running off into the street.

     • Sherrie Tutt suggests that bandage scissors, with their blunt ends, are best for gardening as they do not poke holes in your pockets.

     • Kate Berringer had this comment regarding eating mud off of my desk. “The dirt on the desk is from Murphy, perhaps? It was probably good for you, lots of minerals.”

     • Jean Freeman always sends out good karma. She wrote “Thanks as always for the lovely and enlightening messages!” Did anyone listen to Jean’s story on ‘Definitely Not The Opera’ this Saturday? It was hilarious.

Rosy O'Grady hardy clematis
• Farmers’ Market: There is a new vendor at the market selling goat cheese with chives. It is very tasty. Five bucks for a hundred grams. Sort of like a cream cheese with herbs. Sharon Wallace has some wonderful Saskatoon pies for sale. Wink Howland’s honey is always a good buy and there are some wonderful Walla Walla onions ready for the pan.

• Fashion police: One of our readers approached me at The Farmers’ Market and asked me to note that he was wearing very short socks with his walking shorts. Congratulations! Now we need to convince around five hundred bozos out there to follow suit.

• First call: Fall bulbs, especially tulips, will be arriving in two to three weeks time. September is an ideal time to plant bulbs. There is an adage that reads ‘fall bulbs for spring flowers’. I could write many words regarding the joys of tulips but being succinct I will write, they are worth the effort.

• Last call: This week should be the last week that any of us are fertilizing our lawns, perennials, trees and shrubs. Of course it is perfectly okay to fertilize your annuals until the middle of September as they are not being hardened off.

• Personal service: I stopped into see Tony at his India Food Center on Victoria Avenue. Lovely man. I asked for his advice on products that he felt were special and he recommended four items. All were very good choices for the freezer to toaster oven chef. I also made a chicken masala from scratch on Saturday that was divine, just so you know that I am not totally devoid of culinary skills.

• Tomato blight: There have been a few reports of tomato problems but nothing that has resembled the blight we had last August. Of course, that one blew in overnight claiming the red fruit throughout the province. If your tomatoes are going black on the bottom, that is not the blight. It is blossom end rot.

A closeup of  Rosy O'Grady hardy clematis
• Next year country: The title kind of shows that I am a prairie boy through and through, doesn’t it? Two things that I must remember for next year are: Plant more annual dahlias and celosia. Both of these flowers are considered old school and have been around for years. I had not planted either for many seasons, and this spring I had an opportunity to plant both at a ranch house south of town. They performed wonderfully! Unfortunately, I have to live through other peoples’ gardens with these two, because I have so little sunny spots in mine.

• On that note: I grew impatiens in my limited sun garden parts this year and they outperformed the impatiens that were in the deepest of shade. In fact, my deep shade impatiens were not impressive but my dappled light ones were very nice, as well as the sunny ones.

• I’m not finished: After years of growing petunias, I don’t care what other writers claim: petunias grown in full sun totally outperform identical pots growing in less sun.

Morden Blush
• A rose by any other name: Prairie Joy and Morden Belle are blooming very well this year. They are both into their second round of flowers and most bushes are loaded. They are releases from The Morden Research station and are hardy for our area.

• Gee…I’m not that smart: I have written here before how people would phone me up at the garden center and tell me that they had a plant that was about three feet tall and green in color, and would I please tell them the name of that plant. They were the same people who would also phone to tell me that a branch on their tree was not looking good and would I please diagnose that disease over the phone, as well. My favorite analogy was calling the doctor to inform him that you had a finger that wasn’t’ looking so good and did that mean you have cancer? Pretty damned hard to tell what anything is when you have so little information. On another note, when us hort people get together to gossip, we often remark on how certain call in show hosts always have the answer to every caller’s problem. Why we gossip about that sort of stuff is real hort people get stumped all of the time. None of the truly good ones always have the right answer, as we are always learning new things.

A mother duck is in here
• Thanks for reading…Rod McDonald in sunny Regina

1 comment:

  1. Just discovered your blog - wonderful read. I'm one of the stroller moms who walks by your place just about every day.