Friday, March 11, 2016

A new year, early spring

What happened to me? Probably about three years of re-training to rebuild my life. I'm a personal trainer now. I had to step away from the greenhouse work to actually have spinal surgery and get better, be better and improve. So unfortunately, there won't be any real green house work updates anymore. But you can't take the greenhouse worker out of a person. It's just one of those things that sticks with you for life and you're always looking at other people's gardens or getting caught in a conversation with random people. I am, however, making a greenhouse in my back yard. New beginnings, new starts. I've made a few attempts to dust this blog off, but I feel it's necessary this time because it took a long time to soul search my way back into my old love of gardening.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The great destruction of our trees

With winter comes snow and with snow, came freezing rain and layers upon layers of ice. It was dangerous just to walk outside your door. There was no where you could buy salt and power was lost all around Toronto and the area surrounding it. A quarter of a million people lost power, including us. It came to a point where the ice was so heavy on the trees that you couldnt' stand outside without hearing the fall of a tree somewhere in the surrounding area. Powerlines fell, century old trees fell and with it, our wildlife starving due to the inability to access food because ice covered most of it. Trees covered the roads, power lines did to (live ones!) and basically those who had power housed those who didn't. So we took pictures. Our willows are dead, broken, cherry trees are dead too. Most of our surrounding trees are broken like a hurricane hit and left just the trunks. It's been a few days but clean up will go well into February, you can be sure of that. My own trees survived it but they were really weighted down by the ice. My next door neighbor's tree seemed to have just survived it but I can't say the same for the ones across the street, trees that collapsed and broken under the weight and taking the powerlines with them.


Friday, December 6, 2013

At some point

It's been awhile right? Right.

So let's just talk bulbs, since I'm on this fun filled blog of mine that I never quite came back to. Everyone's got a hobby right? Mine is writing and gardening. Though over at my writing blog, I try not to put too much down. I'm always afraid someone will rip off my ideas and write it before I can get to it. Here is my writer's blog. It's where I spend some of my time but not tons of it. I manage through my twitter and my daily account, roll through my tumblr when I'm looking for ideas. I don't spend piles of time on any of my one account, mostly because I spend all my time writing and off in another world creatively. I can't help the ideas that flow into me nor can I stop them when they become so distracting that I can't get what I wanted to do, done. These places are where I am when I'm not writing. That is really to say, all this media is very distracting so I spend as little time on it as I can.

I'm reading "Awaken the Giant within" and I find that the book is very fascinating. It talks about spreading yourself too thin and if I could recommend a book that will give you focus and a good direction to gain that focus, this would be the book for you. I'm always too aware of how much I spread myself out, my media outlets should be proof of that. But how to narrow it all down to one thing? I don't have an answer for you, except close things. Close them and focus. Delete them if you have to and focus. Master your energy into one thing and greatness will come.

But back to my original focus; bulbs. My sister showed up the other day and brought me over a hundred bulbs of Queen of Night, which is my absolute favorite. If there is anything to know me, I'm a black gardener. That means (before your mind jumps to some racial misunderstandings) that I love black flowers, black leaves, black trees. I have a very healthy black weeping Beech in the back of my house. It's my favorite tree and it's also taking over my back yard. I have black bugal weed (Ajuga) in the back yard, a black iris, which I think has died. Ive even had black roses (which also have died). I've done black pansies, black heuchera, and black upon black of everything. I try my hardest to find true blacks and not variations of purple in my yard. I've even gone to have the beautiful black Mondo grass, which seems to do better in acidic gardens than my overly nutritious garden all together. Could be all that shade though, even though they like a half day. But I'm far from winning the black title for gothic gardener. But I have my bulbs, coupled with Red which is morbid and some purple with another colour, I didn't spare my garden anything short of a mix up.

I dug the holes, dumped them in and covered them up. About a foot deep. Bulbs will come up on their own, even at a foot deep. I feel that soemtimes if you put them any less than that, like most people hit the 6 inches or 4 inches into the ground, one at a time, you're going to have that awful squirrel dig up all your hard work. I like to just dig around the plants, making the hole as big as possible. Much like burying a body (boy I'm on a morbid track here). Don't just dig a hole, dig a kidney shaped hole, dig a circle around the tree, or dig at the edge of your garden, around a bend. Make it interesting. Make it scattered. And make your neighbors laugh this year, jealous the next when everything comes up. I know I have a jealous neighbor. I just have to look over into her garden to see that she's gone out and bought the exact same plants that I have in mine.  I know they also watch me digging in muck, mid December and wonder what the hell I'm doing. Actually, I think most of my neighbors think that because I spend very little time fussing over my garden. I usually just have a shovel, a plant and jam it in. That's about the extent of my garden time. Or I'm turning over soil. My planter is a big collection of birch sticks. Seriously, I'm the epitome of greenhouse gardeners, meaning we don't spend a lot of time making immaculate things. We do it in one shot, we're no fuss but I enjoy later what I stow.

I cut a new garden at the front. It's about 6 feet away from the curb, which still makes it city grounds, but I still did it even with the fear that the city will come along one day and dig it all up. I've seen them do it. I made it roughly ten feet in diameter, give or take and eight feet wide. Its kidney shaped, wraps around the front but I used a garden hose to work out how I wanted it to look. What was the best angle from the street where everyone would see it. What is the best angle from the house, where I would have to live with what I cut? I wrapped it around my growing Japanese bloodgood, with grasses on either end. I love my grasses but I don't have enough yet to go under my window and I'll probably splurge and buy twelve once I'm ready to do that. But for now, I chopped up everything that I had in my garden; that's three years of perennial growth that I let go wild until I was ready to make a statement. All my hostas were split three times, grasses were moved to bigger spots and I basically cultivated all of my garden to make this moment a big one for me next year when everything comes to flower. It'll either be beautiful or it'll be a mess, but I do know one thing; I've got too many hostas for my own garden. If it's not a specialty hosta, I don't really care for it. Except Francee. I have a special annoying place in my heart for that landscapish type of hosta. Must be all the dark green on white edges.

Needless to say, it took me two days to cut the garden. That's cutting into the ground, turning it over on top and churning it once into the clay. In our area, we're made up of clay, so if things get wet, they generally stay wet. Now I added no soil to my garden. I didn't need to. I had the grass that I turned over. It's the best kind of nutrition and no, I don't have a grass problem because I'd just go out there in phases and turn it over again and again. This helps break down the grass into soil. It's a poor man's garden, with a little hard work and a lot of patience. You have to wait for it to break down but once it does, you have a good loose soiled garden to play around with. Well, that's if you tossed out those rocks you dug up to the side. They still sit next to the hedge.

Ohhh and they say, what doesn't kill ya makes you stronger. And it just about did; kill me that is. 

I fixed that small dent in the left later on. So it's not there now. But this is what I call a good shape and i'll have to edge it a hundred times for the edge to stay where I need it. Edging is what cleans up the garden, keeps it all in so you can run over the edge with a weed whacker or a lawn mower and won't lose any plants in the process. but see how much soil I had. The darker (second) picture is when we finished it. I had help with my husband, my niece and my bestfriend, who all took turns doing it over the course of two days. The First picture (above/sunny) is after a few weeks, edging it again and turning over the soil so that nothing grows from the grass. No soil was added from anywhere else. What you see is what was turned over and that's that. 

I don't like space in my garden because the more room between plants you have, the more you're inviting weeds to grow in-between. You can see in the background of the darker foggier picture that my garden is over grown there by the door. eventually these gardens are going to connect, with a few more trees and a couple of other things too. but for now, they're separate. Because more garden means more work. And more work means having more time for it. Which I don't. Getting there but not there yet. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

 This is someone's house that I went to. It has a HUGE greenhouse in the back and pretty much all types of plants that are basically tropicals. It's a tropical paradise and it's a really nice greenhouse. I, personally, would love to own something like this. you can't even tell that it has a greenhouse from the front. Unbelievable.

It's been awhile.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just in for a long winter's nap

It might have seemed like I died. I actually didn't. I just had to set aside a full year for a recovery for spinal surgery. I had to put in a resignation to my beloved job, not because I wanted to, not because they wouldn't have modified the job for me, but because it's just one of those signs in life where your body says stop and you need to listen. I've done my garden center work since I was sixteen years old. I have extensive knowledge in perennials and annuals (especially the quirks of growing and maintaining annuals, who to buy from and who does the best). Does this mean I'm out of the garden center retail life for good? No way jose! I may not be able to be the greenhouse's worker anymore, but those bloodlines are still coursing through my veins with a passion.

Currently, I'm going back to school. I have my diploma for highschool and I'm going to bring up my grades in all the sciences, refresh my mind and dive into University for a degree that I've always wanted. There's always an intense hunger for knowledge and learning and though the changes are drastic over here, it's never been the type of drastic that I can't handle. I've always been the look before I leap type of person and while I might not have the body to leap, I certainly have the passion for it and the drive to take the change and mold it into nothing but a positive experience. Can you tell I'm chomping at the bit?

Spring is upon us. After long days of extensive cold, we're finally having a break with predictions of rain, warmer weather and the promise to melt away all those high snow banks we've build up on either side of our driveways. I know I look outside right now, out my front window and take in my beautiful weird looking beech tree that all my neighbors seem to loath. They don't understand why I planted this ugly weeping beech on the front of my property and I've said to them a hundred times, Justttttt wait. Wait and you'll be eating those words in five years. The birds certainly love this beech, because its the wirey type. One summer, the branches are going one way and then, before you've realized it, that branch has flipped over and gone the other direction. It's weird and I love it. I loved it so much I twisted christmas lights all over it. I didn't love doing that so much. Now I'm impatient to get them off. Much like the same way I'm impatient to see what survived last years drought. Now I say drought because we had a dry fall and it was slightly unforgiving. I remember this because I was turning my sprinkler on in November for my other very ugly looking beech that is also on the front of my property.

With that being said, the sun has been making sporatic appearances but I foresee this soon being a regular thing. The moon was out last night and it's a good sign.

Let's hope for a wet spring people!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil...

We, the unknowing....
...led by the unprepared....

....are doing the impossible....

...for the ungrateful .

I, Andrea Scott, dug to china (with my husband and baby) as threatened and woe to discover more clay! (And interlocking underneath). While I was sick, I thought it would be a good idea to move the soil pile to the garden. Good idea? Wrong!

I'm paying for it now by being sicker and sore. Amen to Nyquill.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Seven things you wish you didn't know

Here you go Joy! The Seven weirdest things I can think of for you! (and hopefully you still talk to me afterwards).

I'm a HUGE fan of John Barrowman because he's A)Gay B)Gay activist C)Married to Scott Gill and D) he's in Torchwood. There's a dozen other reasons but he is definitly an idol of mine.

I suck at counting and can't have anyone talking to me while I count or I lose my place.

I write. My blog that I just started is here and I think I love it even though I havn't posted anything yet (havn't had time) but I write Gay fiction literature (tacking literature on the end of that sounds nifty) and I just applied to a grant to get a book published but I possibly won't get it because of my subject matter and the issues I address. I like to write gay fiction because I find a lot of people don't address the issues properly and it's made out that everyone doesn't want a family, a stable life and that all queers live the party life. Honestly? I just like writing because I love to read and I can hit up all sorts of subjects all across the board (fantasy, mystery suspense) but there isn't enough gay fiction writers out there and I'd like to be one of them.

I'm a star trek geek. Somewhat. Im a huge fan of Next Generation though I can easily get into the other star treks. I don't collect anything but I can't help msyelf but watch a rerun if its on that day and nothing else it on. Its essentially my fall back TV show that I watch.

I draw, I play music, I just don't sing, but I went to school for animation and dropped out into the second semester because I realized it wasn't what I wanted to do with my life. I still draw and in the winter, I go to lifedrawing classes twice a week, and sometimes it makes me crazy because three times I've flipped my donkey (the thing you sit on) and had my almost finished oil painting land face down onto the floor.

My husband and I never fight. We've been together almost three years now and I can honestly say, I can count on one hand how many times we've fought (3) and they weren't really fights. More like... unhappy moments where we didn't talk because miscommunication or one of us wasn't pleased with the other. We met on Lavalife where my friends coaxed me to join. But then I quit and they pushed me to join back up again. Not two weeks into it, I was going to quit again, the day before I was about to (but too lazy to), Ryan messaged me. We met up at Second Cup where we were kicked out because it was closing. We moved to Tim Hortons and was also kicked out form there because they were closing. It's a match made in heaven.

I'm a huge supporter of Gay Pride, Gay marriages and essentially everything that has GAY in it (gay feather, gay paree)... Queer as folk, Shelter and my home page for my internet explorer is which is in french, evne though I can't always understand it. And if this condemns me from being your friend, it wouldn't be the first time it's happened.

I tag new Sprout, Wicked, Deborah, Ryan and I can't think of anyone else at the moment. Im all busy like that.

Friday, August 28, 2009

New Layout, new boots and TGIF

We're enjoying our Friday. TGIF.

Simply put, I hate my new boots. Maybe hate is a harsh word because I don't usually say it and yet when I do, I usually reserve it for the latest 80's song I've heard on the radio, or asking myself how many times Pitbull tells me I should know he wants me. My other coworker has them and though I know she got blisters countless times, I thought that I could pass this unfortunate rubbing by wearing two pairs of socks. Now given, I always wear two pairs of socks, even on the hottest days of the year. It keeps my feet nice and cool.
Side note here: if you work outside or in any kind of heat, wool socks over sweat socks is the way to go. Sweat socks absorb the sweat and the wool pull that sweat away from your feet, keeping you cooler. In all my years (since I was 16, I'm 29 now), I've never once had a foot problem, nor do my feet EVER stink (nor my footwear either). Try it. It's a beautiful thing.

Carrying on, these new boots rub the top of my foot and it rubs the back of my heel, wearing down my sock in almost one week. I think Im going to end up taking them backand you may see a new website thinger up above, replaced.

Originally I tried hydrangeas (City Line Venice) in my picture but it looked funny. I tried our spot, the duck pond and it looked busy. This one also looks awful but I dont' have another picture, that or I'm too lazy to go and find one. Either way, I don't particularly like my layout or the pictures or the colours but Im making due with what I have at the moment until I do something better.

Right now I'mtrying to write something up for a grant and its going very slowly, if not happening at all.

Asiatic Lily Beetles

I've heard lots of people having problems with these and my very first lily 'Matrix' got eaten at this year by them. So next year, I'm going to pick up some Neem Oil, which I've heard all across the board that it works (aside from the usual picking off the parents from your plant). Now I don't know plenty about bugs on plants, but I was recommended that to get the parents, you put newspaper down under your plants, leave and let the bugs go back up on the plant. Next time you come around, give your plant a little shake to get the beetles off. Though from what I hear, they fall on their backs when they see you coming and blend in with the dirt. The idea is to catch them in the newspaper and wrap em up! Take those suckers away.

Someone on a site mentioned using Bayer Rose? Or Garden spray and Bonnie Punch began what they like to call a 'soap box' lecture which I found really informative and wanted to repost what they said:

"Diazepam is a sedative that is more commonly known as Valium. The active ingredient in Bayer Rose and Garden Spray is Carbaryl.

Bringing it across the border into Canada is likely illegal.

There are several problems with recommending this spray. Firstly it is banned in many places. The entire province of Quebec has banned its use cosmetically, as have more than 60 municipalities across the country. Why it's banned - it's highly toxic to honeybees and other beneficial insects, moderately toxic to many species of fish and wild birds, and moderately to very toxic to humans when it is inhaled or ingested. Contact with the skin can cause burns, and it is readily absorbed through the skin. It is a cholinesterase inhibitor, which means it is a neurotoxin. Prolonged exposure has been linked to birth defects in some animals (including humans), and it is a suspected carcinogen.

Carbaryl has a half life of 3-10 days. That means you have to spray again after that because the chemical has broken down.

The threat to honeybees is probably the most severe one. Honeybees are declining in extremely rapid numbers, and they may be in danger of becoming wiped out in North America. Bees are the most important crop pollinators we have. If you eat an apple, have cereal containing grains, veggies with your dinner, you are eating foods pollinated by bees. Even the steak or chicken breast on your plate was fed by bee pollinated crops.

So before you dust your lilies, please think about what else you may be killing. "

Neem Oil seems to be the safest way and you can get it online (also recommended by another poster)

Just a thought for the day, especially for next year in using preventive measures for bugs and such.