Demystification Guru

Just because we don't understand something, doesn't mean it isn't understandable.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Monday, May 29, 2006

Such as it is, the garden is photographed

These are for you Zoom!
tomato garden
We left the tomato cages up over the winter. I planted my four cherry tomato plants in the vast space and propped up their spindly limbs with some bamboo and other stakes I had. There's a couple of marigolds in the foreground (some at the back too) to keep them company while they get bigger. A scattering of weeds, mostly clover was encouraged by the rain we had last night.
herb garden
Here we have the obvious need to go back to the store and get some more plants. On the lower right corner, one of my cosmos has flowered unexpectedly - I thought they would have to be much bigger before that happened. And it's purple! I thought they were going to be yellow. In the pots are chives and I planted the other marigolds there for company too.

Rockwell looks reproachfully out the door. It is quite humid and I have kept the door shut all day. I'm going to take him to get the mail soon and then he will know why he has been inside.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Some plants are planted

I planted my basil, oregano, lemon thyme, dill and mint this morning. I was trying to get them in the ground before it rained and I was successful. The selection was not extensive and so I am missing rosemary, parsley and tarragon plus I think I have room for another thyme and maybe another basil. I got what said it was cosmos for the tall plants by the fence and some marigolds for around the edges and in the chive pots. The cherry tomatoes were also not too inspiring but I got 3 sweet millions and one yellow cherry, which I have never had before. They are watered in now and I put stakes by them that look like total overkill but by the end of the summer, you won't even be able to see the stakes.

I got a few snapdragons and petunias for the two front pots and must remember to water them regularly if they are to prosper. Two of my hostas from years past actually managed to come up this Spring and so I think I will get two more and fill out the front bits of dirt that get no sun and no rain. I suppose they should be paved over, those bits of dirt but I keep trying to grow something there. I was going to take photos but it looks pretty bare so I think I will wait until I at least get the other herbs.

All the while I was out, the mosquitoes were trying to bite me and a couple succeeded. Is there any more irritating noise than a mosquito humming in your ear? However, this is bliss compared to where I used to live in the boonies where the mosquitoes threatened to carry off my dog, they were so thick.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Planning the plantings

I am heading out this afternoon to get some plants for the tiny garden I have, now that the threat of frost is past (I hope). Last year, I got some plants early and the basil got frost bite. I have a list of herbs to at least look for which includes parsley, rosemary, thyme, basil, mint, dill and tarragon. The chives keep coming back as perennials which is nice. I need four cherry tomato plants and something tall for by the fence, behind the herbs. And finally a few decorative items for containers and maybe scattered among the herbs.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Saturday musings

I was just looking at my various blog stats and noticed this poor neglected thing. While my sewing blog is now at over 6,200 total hits since I started tracking in January and the puppy blog has 5,000 hits, this one only has 540. Alas, I find I have no opinion on many things. Is that true? Not really but I think I am busy writing the other two blogs and run out of writing for this one. I glanced at the other files I have and saw the entries I kept while I was living in England and thought I could do a Pepys and re-run them. Then I thought better of that. Then I thought, why don't I write similar entries for my life now? And then I realized I am pretty much doing that with the puppy blog. Anyway.

Today is a Saturday and so the rhythm of the weekdays is different. We get up later and Peter is around and everything is louder than when it's just me and the dog. He makes me coffee and we send each other emails across the vast space between the living room and the dining room. Tomorrow is our 24th anniversary - shazam! We've got reservations at a lovely little Thai restaurant to which we can walk and no offense but the dog is not invited.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cool clouds

I just thought these clouds behind the Peace Tower were nice. The sun has come out for a while today but I expect more rain before the week is done.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Patio Extension Project

I'm glad I started early at the Home Depot. Since I rented a car to take Rockwell for the Big Snip, I am also using it to transport patio stones so I can make a little place for the BBQ. I figured I'd need 32 stones 1 by 1 foot plus several bags of crushed stone and some stone dust. Maybe some sand. But I went cheap on the rental and got a Toyota Yaris. It appears to have four cylinders but I only count three speeds as it revs down the highway. Third speed kicks in at about 40, so by 80kph it sounds like a piston is going to come through the hood.

With this tiny car, I am only taking 12 stones at a time plus a bag of gravel. I will need to make at least 3 trips. Now I have to unearth the wheelbarrow and unload the car and take things around back. Before I can go back to the HD. Good thing I wanted to do this project! If someone was making me, I think I'd be perturbed.

Later: The bag of crushed stone was 30 kilos and I could barely get it out of the car. I have now trundled 24 one foot square stones around to the back plus that bag of stone. I was going to get 32 big stones but now that I have done this much, I am thinking that 28 will be just fine. I didn't get a second bag of crushed stone on my second trip because there was no one around to help me load it onto my cart and into the car.

Later: Okay, I got two more bags of stone. At 30 kilos each, they are staying in the car until Peter gets home. And I got only four more one by one foot stones. I'm currently digging the sod away and making a shallow hole and wondering how big it really needs to be. Since we are going to need some stone dust to top it off just before the stones are laid and that means another trip to the Home Depot, I'll decide then how large it will finally be.

patio start
That's dog pee damage on the lawn - of course, not in the area I am digging up. Having dug up some of the spots, I can see that the roots are gone on those sections of the grass where he concentrated pee all winter. Tomato cages are on the right, the coiled wire of the weather station is on the fence, the 24 stones and a bag of gravel at the bottom of the photo.

patio middle
The hole has been dug (i.e., I have dug the hole) and now I have to figure out how much dirt should stay and then add the gravel and such before placing the stones on top. The stones will be sitting up fairly high on the grass side which actually matches the existing patio stones which were laid by “professionals”.

patio finish
Peter helped me with the rest of the work. Here we have the mostly finished patio pad for the BBQ. I spread some of the dirt over the pee-ruined area on the lawn and after the rain has stopped, I will put some grass seed on it and hope for the best. Tonight, Peter will be making the inaugural burgers.

Left to be done: Monitor the lawn-sod issues, spread more sand in the cracks as required, lift stones if necessary to balance them should they become loose.