Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Time for Bed.

     Its time to clean up and put my little babies to bed for the winter.  We are having some really nice days and some miserable ones.  The only problem with the nice days is that it is bringing out the mosquitoes, and they are still hungry. We really haven't had frost here yet, just a little bit that touched the cars but not the ground, the impatiens are still blooming and the tomatoes are still producing although the plants look a bit pathetic.  On the other hand the ground is so wet that the sod moves when you walk on it.

     I take my plants and line them out for winter in rows.  Cutting back what needs to be and grouping them so they are easier to put out in the spring.  I will write in my book where each ones are located in the groups and then remove the tags.  The tags fade and get brittle over the winter so it is just easier to remove them.  I will mark which ones need dividing, potting up to a larger size or need more propagated. 

      They will be covered with insulation and leftover fir boughs from making wreaths in November.  I have learned over the years what plants over winter well with this method and what doesn't.  Many of the grasses don't over winter in pots (some do) so they are either healed in the garden or put in the unheated greenhouse.  The cactus, sedums and sempervivum are also placed in the greenhouse (unheated) mostly to keep them dry.  I have been keeping the creeping phlox there too because the mice like to get into them under the fir boughs.

      Now for something completely of the wall, or should I say up on the roof.  This is Puddle, Gillian's cat.  How she got on the garage roof I'll never know, I only know while I was arranging my plants, I heard this thump and here she was half way up looking absolutely terrified.  She krept right to the top and sat there and cried. Anyone who has been here before knows our house and garage roofs are at a steep pitch.  I didn't know how to get her down, but I knew enough to get the camera because no one was going to believe me.

      I went and got a ladder and stood it against the greenhouse, hoping she would come down the roof and use the ladder.  She would not come down when I was watching so I sat on the bench under the tree and waited.  Didn't take long and she carefully came down.

      But of course she didn't use the ladder, she punched a few more holes in the plastic and jumped to the baggage wagon. Well, at least she is down and I didn't have to call the neighbours in a panic.

Looking pretty smug isn't she.  I bet she won't try that again.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Lichen the Caboose

     I really like moss and lichen, even though there are no flowers, the textures are amazing.  We were out in the woods over in Masstown at  MacElmons Pond a week ago and I wish I would have brought my camera because I seen so many types of  moss.  Maybe this winter I'll research some various types that grow in NS after all, I think they are nature's perfect ground cover for the shade. 

     I always said that all plants have their place.  And I still stick to that belief.  We were out in Alberta last year and went up to Mt. Edith Cavell.  The rocks there had the most amazing lichens on them.  The colours were wonderful.  I took pictures because I though I would do a collage of just lichen on rock.  But I just have not had time.

     Lichen and mosses belong on trees, rocks or in the woods, not on the garden art.  Anybody who has been to our nursery knows we have a rather large piece of garden art.  Ok, so I collect plants, I admit it, Andrew collects Trains (www.woodlandsandmeadows.ca/trains.htm) and anything related to them, hence the rather large and orange piece of garden art.  Oh and yes, the tractor and lawn mower are also orange.  I guess orange and green go together.

      It is a good week to give the caboose a good cleaning since it has been humid and raining for most of it.  Andrew started on Monday evening and it was surprising how little effort it took to get it off, just a little elbow grease with the car brush and a push broom (worked great).  The power sprayer cleaned it off after that.  My job was to just stand there and raise and lower the bucket on the tractor so he could scrub.  I can handle that.

      The caboose stands just across a drive way from the nursery, beside the woods, some of the maples actually over hang which does cause him some concern especially when the wind blows.   Anything that is concerning comes down. 

      There, at least one side is nice and clean, since it is starting to get dark, we will finish it in the next few days.  For having such a thing in the yard, I don't find it looks out of place.  The most common question is how did you get it here and "why?".  A few people don't say anything at all.  So either they have been here before, have heard about it or simple just don't care.  They are probably just too interested in the plants.

I am posting this on Friday.  The sun is shining although Mother Nature is giving us a good taste of what winter will be.  From what I hear, summer is back on the weekend.  Oh well, it is Nova Scotia.