The Garden Report #132
Sunday, May19th, 2013
|A fresh cut bunch of tulips from my garden|
Just a short rant: Each year, The Festival organizers ask two things of people attending The Street Fair this Saturday. Due to the massive crowds, they ask that people not bring their dogs or ride their bikes through the crowds of people. It’s just not safe. So, last year, who do I see riding his bike, with his dog being pulled behind on a leash, but one of our local lawyers. Now, I understand that going to law school requires some decent, high school marks but you might think that at law school, they would have a course called ‘You have a brain so please use it!’ What the (insert bad word) was he thinking? And seeing as he is a lawyer, perhaps he could answer this question: Why, is it illegal to knock stupid people off of their bicycles, while riding through a crowd? Why is it against the law? Should it not be categorized as a public service? Just a note for all my cyclist friends: Be cool and ride your bike to the Festival, not through it.
• Readers write: Jean McKay sent along this interesting tidbit. “Do my G.R. fellow readers know that rhubarb is technically a vegetable, related to buckwheat?”
• Audrey Drummond had this nice thing to say: “Good morning, Rod. Thanks for your Report and the picture of your granddaughter-beautiful. Her smile is heart warming.”
• Roberta Nichol remembers her mother, who now resides in heaven. “Ah yes, our moms. Great ladies. I will always and forever appreciate my mom for her gift of music. One of my earliest memories of her encouragement was that at age three or four, I got my first record player. Up every morning, around 5:30 or so, playing Brenda Lee's ‘Jambalaya’, or Doris Day's ‘Que Sera Sera’, which was a 78 rpm! Without that record player, I don't know what I would have done. I guess, maybe she had seen an inkling of the talent in that raucous, little girl with the juicy, spitty lisp, who always got the words mixed up.”
• Laura Pettit sent this thank you along: “Thanks Rod! I truly enjoyed your story and memory of your mother. We all have many fond memories of our mothers, grandmothers and aunts, in addition to those that come with the job of being a mother. It truly is the hardest job one can ever hold and one never has the time to attend the interview!”
|A shot of my woodland garden|
• Georgia Hearn sends along this message: “Wonderful issue! You give recognition where due, you add humor, interest in food and coffee sites, and most of all, an appreciation for gardening and love of life. It is a pleasure to be part of your readership. Your mother would be proud. And thanks again, your advice never fails...my garden is better for it.”
• Sherrie Tutt loves her coffee. “Loved #131, as always. I'd like to add a good coffee house. The French Press (beside Shoppers Drug Mart on Albert South) makes great coffee, breakfast burritos that are addicting as well as assorted sweet and nutritious goodies. Best of all, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming with your choice of big easy chairs or small bistro tables. The owner cares for the place lovingly with fresh flowers on the table and nostalgic prints on the walls. My daughter and I head there for a great visit the minute she hits town, especially when the weather is a mean minus thirty.”
• Ray Morgan works with pest control at The City. I asked him about their tree banding time lines and here is Ray’s response. “Typically we take the bands off at the end of May. Crews have completed banding a couple of weeks ago and are now on the final stage of monitoring the bands for female moths. Very few numbers so far, it may mean very low cankerworm populations this year.”
|Canadian Artist Rose 'Felix Leclerc'|
• Garden Tip: I am not thrilled with the lawn fertilizers that are being sold by the box stores. You know who I am talking about. Lowe’s, Home Depot, Rona, Costco, Superstore and Canadian Tire. All the bags I have seen are high in nitrogen and offer very little else. Here is the kick. Nitrogen will always green up your lawn but what about the other requirements such as root builders.
• Garden Tip: Very important is the aeration of your lawn. You can rent equipment or you can hire someone with a power aerator to carry out the task. Aeration removes plugs from your lawn and the holes allow water, fertilizer and oxygen to penetrate into the root zone. Aeration helps to soften the hard packed clay soil that we have here in Regina. I do believe in this important step and I had my lawn aerated on Tuesday.
|'Jackpot' tulips from my garden|
• Tulip time: The incredible display in Ottawa has been in bloom for several weeks now but mine has just started. So far, so good. I have a few early doubles up as well as the purples and whites in my ‘sun trap garden’. The rest will follow, as the garden soil warms up.
|Canadian Artist Rose 'Campfire'|
• A booth, really?: Every year, we go to The Street Fair on 13th (coming up this Saturday) and we talk and we talk and we talk. One year, we did not make it to the end of 13th as we were talked out. Every year, I tell Maureen that it would be easier for us to rent a small both along 13th and set up two extra chairs, a small table and set out a sign that reads ‘Talk to Maureen and Rod-$2.00’ and we could sit there, drinking our tea and chatting away to friends we haven’t seen forever and a day. It would be much easier on our legs if not our larynx.
• Reseeding time: For gardeners who have lawn damage, this is a perfect time to reseed. This year, my back lawn was very thin due to last year’s intense shade and this winter’s snow mould. I spread a layer of peat moss, about half and inch thick over the entire lawn. I sprinkled a mix of grass seeds that contained both a Kentucky blue grass and a Creeping Red Fescue. I then applied a 17 19 0 fertilizer and lightly watered. Now I wait for Mother Nature to perform her miracle.
• ‘Sweet’ on Broad: No! Read this again. I was at ‘Sweet’ on Broad Street, a cappuccino/bakery joint. Reader Kirk Bellamy and I had lunch there on Friday. It was okay. Not great, but okay. We both had the chicken noodle soup which was rather bland, nothing special at all. Kirk had a prosciutto Panini which was tasty. You have to know, before you take your first bite, that this sandwich is going to be salty. I ordered the chicken salad and it was served on a multi grain bread. It was good, not great, but good. Service was excellent. Kirk had a decent dark roast coffee and we passed on their baked desserts, which looked really, really tempting. There cinnamon buns are excellent (I have had them many times before) and one of the few places where they are made in the baking powder biscuit style. Total for the two of us including tax was thirty bucks. ‘Sweet’ is located in the heritage building across the street from CBC, close to College Avenue.
• Misappropriation of words: I wrote, last week, that one of our boys called underwear “hunger wear” when small. Rob Van Zanten responded with his kids waiting for him at the Vancouver Airport, as he came down the “alligator”. Added into this mix, when Number Three Son was four or five, we drove by a television dish and he responded, “look, they have a plate!” Close, very close.
|Rob Van Zanten is geting ready to ship his shrubs|
• Early bird special: I was zonked out on Friday night. Zonked? Is that a real word? Spell check is letting it go. I digress. I was asleep early and up early, as in a little after four a.m. I checked out my front lawn with the aid of just a hint of the dawn yet to come. Two robins were hunting for worms and immediately I thought of the adage. If I have to tell you, specifically, what the adage is, I will lose my writer’s licence for over explaining. They are very strict at The Guild these days.
• Not a sweet old lady: About five years ago, I was a volunteer at The Street Fair for The Cathedral Village Arts’ Festival. The City expects the organizers to keep each intersection open so that fire trucks and ambulances can pass through. Now you know why there are no booths at intersections. Makes sense, right? An elderly woman parked her car, right in the middle of the street, blocking access to and through the Garnet Street intersection. Myself and another volunteer saw her and we said “It is important that you not park there as you will block emergency vehicles if they have to get into The Festival.” Her response: “You two are shit heads!” Nice language, Grandma.
|Rayanna is now writing for The Garden Report|
|Canadian Artist Rose 'Emily Carr'|