Posted by: ceara08 | January 19, 2009

Friggin’ cold!

A few days ago, pretty much the whole eastern half of Canada was in a deep freeze.  I woke up one morning to look at the thermometer outside and it registered MINUS 39 Celcius!


Even the dogs were lifting their paws in a funny way when they went out to potty.  They were real sure to come back in awful fast.  Normally I put them on chains to go out to potty in the winter, but during the cold snap I just let them loose because I knew they would not be out long and would want to get back in front of the wood stove ASAP.

Hubby and I have been sleeping in the room with the wood stove as well.  It’s our only source of heat this winter.  Well we have a few electric baseboard heaters but they don’t crank out as much heat as a wood stove.  It’s just too cold to sleep upstairs at night.

Been perusing my seed catalogs, trying to figure out what I could get to complete my heirloom veg collection.  Wanted to get a heirloom short season corn and some potatoes but not seeing anything I like listed.

Also trying to figure out when I can start peas and beans early indoors.  I have been saving up the cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towels just for this purpose.  I wanted to start some early and plant outdoors already a nice sized plant, and then at the time of that planting, start some seeds directly outdoors.  That would give us a successive crop.  Never used this technique before and learned about it after watching the British gardening show “Gardener’s World.”

I really wish North America was more into gardening like the Brits.  They have their Royal Horticultural Society and touring gardens, and tons of annual flower shows and garden design contests.   I especially liked their “Gardener of the Year” award and the most recent “Gardener of the Decade” competition.  That looked like soooo much fun!  I would have loved to participate in that.  But probably wouldn’t have done well in the name-that-disease or name-that-pest and how-to-control-it categories.  But would have probably excelled at the fruit tree/rose grafting, propagation and name-that-Latin genus/species portion.  Then again maybe I wouldn’t have done well in that competition, because my gardening design skills are crappy.  haha  I seriously need some design help for my front lawn garden.  It’s just a mish-mash of many things tossed together like a green salad.

As published gardener Alan Titchmarsh would say, there are no “journeys” or mystery to my gardens.  It’s all plopped out there for the eyes to see all at once.  Anyone care to help me make a better design?

What is not seen in this pic is yet another island bed to the left.  Our front lawn is almost is large as a soccer field.  (Yikes!)  Who wants to volunteer to help mow it?  hehe  Actually that’s why I’d like to turn the front lawn in the quintessential English Cottage Garden, complete with gravel paths and a snaking journey.  A sort of miniature paradise.  It takes 3 people to mow the front, the sides and the back lawns.  Just too much for one person to mow it all.  Why not get a riding mower?  Well I don’t like using petrol anywhere in my gardens.  We have two regular gas push mowers already and one human-powered reel mower, which is the one I use.   Plus we can’t afford a riding mower.   Ripping up the lawn to create planting beds is the best thing in my opinion.  Unfortunately even though I have my dreams and wishes to create a cottage garden style feel, if there was anything wrong with our septic tank, a bulldozer would have to tear up the lawn.  I can’t have any prized plants out there.

So… the next idea is to create veg beds out there.  That’s a south facing slope.  Our lawn melts earlier than any of our neighbors in the springtime.  *grin*  I don’t know why that is, but it happens year after year.  When our lawn is completely free of snow patches, our neighbors still have lots of snow left on theirs.


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