Friday, February 27, 2009

Canada Is Ready To Bloom

The snow is melting fast and the birds are returning to our land. Canada will soon burst into bloom! Just yesterday, I spotted a flock of robins huddled in a sunny patch of dry leaves by my back door. I took a walk around and heard the familiar screeching of blue jays and crows calling. Looking up, following the sound, there was a bright red cardinal on a treetop singing a song of spring.
Unpack your spring bonnets and dust off your garden tools. Gardening season is approaching. Time to pretty up your houseplants and enter them in a spring garden show exhibit.

Wouldn't a spring basket of tools like this make a welcome Mother's Day gift? I'm not handy with fabric, but I know many ladies who can sew, and they love the color pink.

Crocus. . .one of the first spring flowers to poke up through the last traces of snow each spring.

Here's Mother Nature and of course she's dressed for spring in a vibrant green. I wonder if we'll catch sight of her at our Annual Spring Garden Show held in Toronto in March.

If you've never been to Toronto, aka as the Greenest City in Canada, then this is the time to come, especially if you are a gardening and flower enthusiast like me. Canada Blooms opens with a party in honor of St. Patrick's Day. To celebrate our 175th Anniversary, the City has ordered up a spectacular garden display for the show.

Even if you're not the type of person who likes to 'get her knees dirty' there's lots of fun things to do at Canada Blooms: flower arranging and design, wine tasting, flower and plant judging, speakers and demos, photo gallery, feature gardens, marketplace, and more. Show runs March 18-22, 2009.
Not to be missed if you love the whole garden adventure is Ontario Garden Show at the Hamilton Convention Centre, March 13-15.
Looking for a good book to get you into the swing of gardening? You'll find them here! Check out the Amazon ads, click on them for complete information about prices and ordering.
Enjoy the spring weather!
SPRING BREAK IS AROUND THE CORNER. March Break Children's Program for kids and parents, here's the link:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Gardening With Kids

A garden gift for a teacher. . .Personalized Stone. . .Iron Hanging Basket with Coco Liner. . .Welcome to My Garden Sign. . .A Flowering Plant To Get Started.

The year is 1940. British school children are starting a garden. The mounds of earth behind them is an air raid shelter.

A new life right in your hands all ready to grow up toward the light.

This drawing says it all doesn't it? If they see you planting a garden that's all the incentive a child needs to get interested in plants and how to grow them.

Children actually enjoy eating vegetables. . .especially the ones they grow themselves. An easy project to introduce to your kids is starting seeds indoors. Beans and spinach seeds can be started now. As soon as seedlings have two leaves, move them to bigger pots and put outside as soon as the snow and ice disappear and the night temperature stays above freezing.

Kids love to water the little plants. Give them the job.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Pink Valentine Saturday

Welcome Pink Saturday Visitors! Wishing you a deliciously Happy Valentine's Day.

Enjoy some chocolate bonbons. . .and your bouquets of Pink and Red Roses. Don't forget to say "I Love You" to a special person in your life.
Leave me a comment on my Valentines (see below) and visit Beverly too at:

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Story of Saint Valentine

Who was Saint Valentine? Why is he remembered to this day? Robert Sabuda has written a delightful book about the Saint Valentine Legend. A librarian who reviewed this book says, "I was handed this attractive story about Saint Valentine by a 3rd and 4th grade teacher who is using it in her classroom as part of her Valentine's Day activities." The text emphasizes Valentine's role as a physician and his relationship with the blind daughter of a Roman jailer, who seeks healing. The "Notes on the text" at the end of the book explain Valentine's connection with the celebration of love. (See details & order info. just below)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Pink Saturday Post

Welcome Pink Saturday visitors
After viewing and commenting, please visit Beverly's blog

That's windblown me. . .and feeling a little dejected as you will note from the sour expression on my face. See the warm snugly pink jacket I'm wearing? Two days into my recent Cancun holiday I had to rush out to a shop for something warm to wear. The weather remained cold and windy all week leaving a slim choice of activities: eat, mall walk, and eat some more.

Towel Art. . .I think it's a butterfly. Mexican hotel staff love to impress the guests with their creations.

Guess what the woman carrying this purse said to the purse snatcher. . ."Leaf my handbag alone!"
It's actually made from dried leaves attached to an oval box. That's a tree branch handle. . . A conversation piece. . .And not too difficult to make.

See. . .it's not too early to start forcing flowering bulbs. . . This pink Hyacinth bulb was started in November. . . and just came into bloom. Doesn't it make you think of spring?. . . another easy-to-do indoor gardening project.
And, speaking of gardening. . .please check out the Books (something New I've added to the blog). Many of the latest books shown on this site are not in the stores yet, but are available here. Others on offer are gently used and can be had for a couple of dollars through Amazon. For more details on a book shown, simply click on it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Winter Gardening Fun Starts Now

It's January, and with the days getting longer and the sun streaming in and warming my windowsill the urge to grow something is strong. . . I began to look around for ideas. . . What could I grow indoors at this time of year other than the usual leafy tropical plant or cactus? The answer came in the form of a book titled "Don't Throw It, Grow It! 68 Windowsill Plants From Kitchen Scraps" (2008) by Deborah Peterson & Millicent Selsam, from Storey, America's Garden Publisher. (all books bought through Water Once A Week go to supporting the website)

Curious about growing plants from my kitchen scraps, I peeked inside.

Last year I tried to sprout an avocado pit by suspending it in a glass of water, but it refused to co-operate. . .(You have to be persistent for success with plants and if your first attempts don't bear fruit, find out where you went wrong. Learn from the experts.)

With this in mind I turned to page 46-47 to AVOCADO persea species, Lauraceae, which they've labelled as Easy. "The avocado can become one of the most beautiful plants in your home." The book suggests planting several pits in a large container--a 36" barrel-- to produce a refreshing grove at the end of your living room. Flipping the pages for more ideas, I began to feel inspired. The author's illustrated instructions were straightforward and easy to follow. All I needed to do to get started was save the pits and seeds from everyday produce I buy from the supermarket. The 68 ideas for growing fruit, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices. . .all from kitchen scraps looked like a fun project to occupy me. . .satisfy my winter urge to plant something. . .and it offered a nice distraction from the snow outside. . . So I added avocado to my shopping list and resolved to try again.

Using the Sphagnum Bag Method, the author was able to germinate her avocado pit in a few weeks time. . . (Now this is her "Secret Method" so get her book for explanation, plus other easy-to-do growing methods).
"When the roots are 3 to 4 inches long, transfer the avocado to a pot 1 inch larger than the pit. Fill the pot one-third full with potting soil. Gently place the pit on the soil and fill enough soil around it so that half the pit is exposed at the top."

Well, are you inspired yet? Do avocados turn you off? . . .How about a nice quick-growing Peanut Bush from seed? It grows to a height of 1 to 2 feet and blooms yellow flowers that look like small peas and its leaves fold up into a sleeping position at night. To grow this one you'll need a sunny window and fresh, unroasted peanuts. Please see TOP OF PAGE for more about this book.