31 October 2016

30 October 2016

Amaryllis - the flower of love

This week I planted my amaryllis bulb.  It's a task that takes some forethought as it takes about 5-8 weeks for the bulb to flower once it is planted.  Note that the top 1/3 of the bulb is above the soil.  I watered it once and will water again once the top inch of the soil is dry.  Overwatering is the one thing that can catch you with this bulb.  Amaryllis detest sitting in wet soil as it leads to rot.  In a couple weeks its first leaf should be growing and then I can water a little more often, about once a week.  

Sometimes amaryllis get their flower stalks before they really develop leaves.  It seems unusual but it happens.  After the blooms have wilted, I will cut the flower stalk back to about an inch high and let the leaves grow.  I like to summer mine outdoors and fertilize as I would my other potted plants.  You can plant directly in the garden as long as you are willing to dig it up and repot at the end of summer. Once the leaves have wilted at the end of summer, I cut them off, leaving the live ones intact to continue to feed the bulb.  If you over summer outdoors, bring in before the first frost.  If you prefer, you may summer indoors in a brightly lit window.  They need the sun to feed the bulb for the next season of blooms.

Amaryllis like to go dormant in a cool, dimly lit spot for about 6-8 weeks.  So if you have a cool room or a cellar, that would be ideal for your amaryllis to rest. Then in October, start the forcing process again.  

Did you know some amaryllis can live up to 75 years?

26 October 2016

Vancouver Island - a photo montage of some of the best moments of summer vacation

Summer 2016 we vacationed to Vancouver Island with our son, his wife and our grandson.  We had gorgeous weather and had a blast!  Here are some of my favourites from the vacation.

The ocean near Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island

In the forests in the Port Renfrew area (above)

Sunset at Port Renfrew, above

Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island (above)

Miscellaneous shots from Vancouver Island (above)

The Laughing Men Statues of Vancouver (above)

Some of the best moments.....


17 October 2016

The Teal Pumpkin

photo taken at Salisbury Greenhouse (Sherwood Park, AB)
Have you seen these?  Teal is the new colour of Halloween folks.  That is, a teal pumpkin.  When placed on your doorstep on Halloween it indicates you have non-food items to offer.  The Teal Pumpkin Project is an inspired initiative that started in 2014 by Food Allergy Research and Education to educate the public and promote the inclusion of individuals with food allergies and sensitivities and those who cannot eat candy.

You can go to foodallergycanada.ca to download a copy of the Teal Pumpkin Project poster to place in your window on Halloween to let children/families know you have non-food treats available.  Halloween should be fun for all children and by participating, you make it that much easier.

16 October 2016

Images of What Fall Should Look Like but Doesn't

October 15:  As I stare out the window here by the computer small white flakes are falling in abundance. While it's not abnormal for snow to fall this early here in Alberta, we have become accustomed to long pleasant autumns.  The previous two years were bliss!

So today I planted a small maple shrub, "Elf", amidst the snow in partially frozen ground, only the first inch was really frozen. I am wondering when I will get my bulbs planted. Will it quit snowing and actually melt enough so I can accomplish this last task? I wonder. Honestly, I can just push aside the snow, and if necessary grab a drill to make holes, right? With this early snowfall, many of us gardeners are hustling about trying to winterize.  This morning I was the rude neighbour, out early in the day bringing in two rattan chairs and the umbrella.  I knew it was coming and I was determined to beat the snow and I did, just barely!

I took a lot of photos, as usual and figured I'd post some a little more in keeping with the season than that above and what I see out my window today. 

Earlier this month:

Some fun shots while shopping with A:

We enjoyed Thanksgiving here in the snow, a light snowfall which began to melt just before this dumping we have now.  All the kids were here but one who was in London. 

Following Thanksgiving it was back to work in this....I cannot complain at all.

Last week at the greenhouse: the mums are in bloom and the poinsettias are growing well.

A Halloween Fairy Garden, above.

We left the fountains running overnight to prevent the pumps from freezing.  It made for some pretty ice sculptures.  

The poinsettias are growing well.

Mums are in all shades...pink, red, yellow, white, burgundy....

Getting ready for Christmas.

October 16:  I'm finishing this post today, Sunday.  We had freezing rain early this morning and the walks are a sheet of ice.  I don't much feel like driving anywhere on a skating rink so reading and movies is where it's at today.  Maybe I'll make that butternut squash soup recipe for tomorrow.  It feels like soup weather.

Hope this finds you well.  Cheers!!


Fall Mosaic 2016


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