Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Garden Report #135

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

'Negrita' and 'White Dream' tulips-I plant lots of this combo
• Writers write: Gossip fascinates me. How a honest person, who would never lie to a friend or a neighbour, can repeat a story that is blatantly untrue, because they heard it from someone else, is quite remarkable. Gossip usually contains just enough truth to ensure that it appears real and if it is real, then it is repeatable, right?

I have several stories that I could share with you, but here is my favourite. Joe Pettick was the architect of The Sask Power Building on Victoria Avenue. It is unlike any other building in our province, due to its flowing curves. The building has been written up in many, many magazines for its creativity. Over the years, I have heard several people lay claim to being ‘The genius’ behind the design. Roger Mitchell, a local architect said it best: “Anyone who walked through Joe’s office during the design phase says that they were the inspiration, for the building, not Joe.” I worked for Mr. Pettick for several years, as his landscaper. When he was eighty-three, he invited me down to his office to discuss a project. I felt comfortable enough to ask him for his side of the gossip. He smiled and said “I have heard those rumours, many times. My response is always the same. There is a plaque in the foyer of the building and it has one name on it, mine. That is good enough for me.”

What amazes me is that while many people are willing to lay claim to something well done, no one ever accepts responsibility when there is a disaster. Have you ever heard anyone claim that they were the captain or the navigator of the ship that ran into The Iron Workers’ Bridge in Vancouver? Or the engineer that certified the mall that collapsed last year was safe? There never is a line up when something bad happens. Why is that?

• Readers write:

• Rob Van Zanten sent along the gorgeous photo of Mother of Thyme. Rob resides in Surrey, B.C. Here is the side story to the picture. “Good morning Rod: Took this photo last night, at home. Planted 5 x 1gallons about 10 years ago and now it is a carpet of colour approx. 3m x 3m in the front of the garden. My younger nieces and nephews love to play and lay on it and it never seems bothered by the abuse. I am though. Enjoy.”
From five plants, all of this!

• Jean Freeman does her job as a regular member of The Grammar Police. She explains the nuances of our language to Rayanna, who is cutting teeth these days. “You asked about whether you are starting to teeth or tooth -- the verb is to “teethe", but the process is "I am teething"! However, with just one tooth, I'm pretty sure you could say "I'm getting ready to toothe" or "look folks! I'm toothing!"Or just wait a while and bite everybody!”

• Patrick, our Number Three Son, sent this along regarding our granddaughter. “Thank you for the Rayanna report. We will try to send more photos of her geeking out.”

• Wilma Bell Wessel is pleased with Maureen’s photographic skills. She is to the point. “Great pics, Rod.”

• Lyn Goldman was over for a garden visit and then looked at the photos from #134. She writes “Wonderful photos, Rod. Wonderful garden!”

• Jess Paul is a forward from another reader. Jess notes “Kelly Pierson loyally forwards on your Garden Report every week and I must say, I truly enjoy reading it on a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee. Appreciate your insight and sense of humour! Can you add me to the official list?”

• Marsha Kennedy and I share a common addiction. We both spend lots of money on our gardens. Here is her side. “Every year, I tell myself and proclaim to my friends, that I am not going to spend so much on plants this year. But when I walk into a nursery, I can't help myself.”

• Gail Bowen has found a way for me to make some money off of my gardening addiction. “Thank you for the plant sale and for the chance to see your exquisite back garden. Lyn Goldman and I think you should rent it out to friends for an hour or so, so we could goof and gossip and pretend that all this beauty is ours.”

• Ann Anderson enjoyed the photos from last week. “Rod, your garden is absolutely stunning! (Note the exclamation mark - if you'd seen my face when I opened the photos, you'd agree that it's warranted.)”
Dad and Number Three Son

• Adella Hayko reads The Garden Report in Edmonton, where she lives. “Hi Rod. Your yard and flower garden is awesome and so is Rayanna.”

• Helen McEwen is a lovely lady who I worked with for many years, in the greenhouse. She is a reader of this blog and has this comment. “I still enjoy your humor in The Garden Report.”

• Keith Carpenter reps for Van Noort Bulbs, the people I buy my tulip bulbs from. He enjoyed the photos of the garden, complete with the tulips he sold me last September. “Thanks for the pictures; the garden is looking really great. I always enjoy being able to see the roots or bulbs put to work and flowering. So often, by the time that I make it out in the late spring, the flowers are done or at least on the last petals and past their prime.”

• Mike Liske weighed in on the food at our two local hospitals. “My order resembled food but was nothing even close. I came to the conclusion, if you are sick or a patient in the hospital, you may in fact starve to death with what is served and if you are a bystander waiting, you may actually end up in hospital because of the food.”

'Blue Wow' tulips by a sixty year old bird bath
 • Interesting thought: My late friend, Larry Mathieu, had time to think, as the cancer claimed his body. One day he turned to me and said “we have only two real fears. One is of dying and the other is of getting old. Sooner or later, one must occur.”

• Keep your priorities straight: When Patrick was six years old, I took him to visit Byland’s Nursery, which is an incredible size. He was sitting in The President’s Office at Byland’s, turning around in the swivel chair. John Byland asked Patrick “do you want to be The President of Byland’s when you grow up?” Patrick said “no...but can I have your swivel chair?”

• The Globe finishes the season with a winner: ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ is a musical that fully admits to being campy. It arrives on stage with a narrator to link everything together in a giant game of ‘let’s pretend’. It works. It was a fun evening for us and our guests. That’s the good news. The not so good news is the show finishes its run today, Sunday, June the 9th.

• And your point is?: I had a friend who took a moral position. He said “none of us admit to telling racist and sexist jokes but all of us admit that we have listened to them. It takes the teller and the listener to complete the transaction.” I was hosting a party and a friend from Saskatoon says to my other friend “did you hear the one about the two Pakis?” Quickly, my friend said “I am sorry but I do not listen to racist or sexist jokes.” The teller of the joke was a bit thick and his response was “if you have already heard it, then just say so.”

• Garden Tip: When watering a lawn, best to water deeply and less often than shallow and frequently. I find, if it doesn’t rain, that my lawn needs watering every five to seven days. I try to get close to an inch of water onto all parts. You can measure your amount of water by placing a pan on the lawn in random spots when irrigating.

A very proud grandmother
• Garden Tip: Every year is different. Some years we have apple blossom that seem to last forever. This year, my own Dolgo Flowering Crab bloomed with little fanfare and the flowers disappeared in the same manner, quietly. That appears to be the situation, city wide. Late blooms with little longevity. Regardless of the length of bloom time, if we do not have those flowers, we do not have the fruit and God knows, I love my prairie apple pie.

• ‘The Gardener’, summer edition, is out: In the mail this week was my copy of ‘The Gardener’. It is available best through a subscription but you can also purchase it at newsstands. I will say this again: It is the best magazine for gardeners and it is published in Saskatoon. Yes, this freelance hack has a page in it as well. Featured article (not mine) is the second installment regarding roses.

• Recycle it, man!: Coming soon, to your house, if you live in Regina, are our blue bins. No longer will recycling be a private company contract. Now, The City will be looking after it. Apparently, there are a few changes from what Crown Shredding accepted and what The City will. If we as a community, can reduce the amount of material that makes it way to the landfill, great.

• Another one: A drunk driver, already wanted on warrants, speeds through an accident scene, knocks down a young Conservation Officer who is directing traffic. The young man dies. The drunk flees the scene but is apprehended later, in Saskatoon. When another drunk driver killed the gentleman at Arcola and Park this spring, I suggested the strongest of messages be sent to those who drink and drive, with long, long jail sentences. Each time this happens, I am disgusted. There is no difference between firing a loaded gun into a crowd and drunk driving. Both offences need to be dealt with harshly. On this issue, my Canadian sense of understanding and forgiveness have been exhausted. I have no compassion left for the perpetrators.

• Garden Tip: In full bloom this week are lilacs. Without being technical, lilacs can be divided into two major types, early and late. Early lilacs are usually fragrant with shiny leaves. Late lilacs are usually not as intense in perfume, their leaves are dull or without as much shine and the colour of the blooms are usually not as intense.

• Too funny: A fellow I know does not drink liquor, at all. One night, on the way to the beach, he gets pulled over and the Mountie asks “how much have you been drinking tonight? The driver informs the officer that he does not imbibe the cursed spirits, ever. The Mountie, realizing he is indeed sober, responds “you drive like a drunk!” That story was courtesy of his wife.
Michiel's greenhouse full of lovely plants

• Garden Tip: If not already done so, now is the time to remove the tree bands from your elms. Whatever cankerworm there were this year, have already done their thing. Best to reband your trees in late August, early September, prior to the first good frost.

• Please, no more: Elm seeds. They’re everywhere! I sweep the patio and two hours later, you can’t tell I swept. I have never seen this many seeds and I have lived on this corner with these elms for forty years.

• Fish and Chips: Regular readers know I am always on the search for the best fish and chips. The best I have had to date were at Go Fish in Vancouver, close to Granville Island. I heard a couple of reports of good ones at Bonzinni’s, south on Albert Street. I called ahead and asked what fish they use. Many places use Basa or Pollock because they are a cheaper fish. Bonzinni’s uses Pollock, so we did not go there. Instead, we headed off to Bushwacker’s where cod is on the menu. My favourite is halibut but it is hard to find as it is so expensive. The cod was decent, not great, but good at Bushwacker’s. You get three pieces for your $14.95 price tag, plus a large serving of fries, which were undercooked. The meal does not come with any accompaniments such as soup or salad. You do get two lemon wedges and a bit of non descript tartar sauce. We ordered a Greek salad for $10.95 for the table and shared. It was okay, but nothing great. Maureen and Colleen had a cider each and I, alas the sober driver, had a water. Total for the three of us including two ciders, tax and tip was $92.00. My beer drinking friends do tell me that the beer is some of the finest in the land at this Dewdney Avenue pub.

Community singing after our pot luck supper
• Neighbourhood pot luck: Saturday night, we had a pot luck supper for the neighbours, a few friends and relatives, to celebrate Maureen’s birthday. Great food, great people, great singing and a great time. All of the kids were home and Maureen’s sister flew in from Toronto to celebrate. In total, we had sixty people in our home (thank goodness we have a big home) for the supper and the party. What flabbergasts me is that there were no leftovers. Turns out that I invited too many members of ‘The Good Eaters’ Club’. We had a community sing song after supper, led by the irrepressible Wilma Bell Wessel.

• Thanks for reading...Rod McDonald in the summertime of Regina!

No comments:

Post a Comment