head gardener
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The Longest List Ever...

31 Mar '08 3:34 pm
Christopher, you are such a lovely show-off, if there is such a thing - and there is, and it's YOU! That list will go down as the longest any gardener has dared publish. And every single item a gem, well a potential gem.

I will be sending cosmic signals to your Russian Sunflowers to be as big-hearted and immensely-spirited as their - sower? Cheers, and good luck to every single seedling.
Head Gardener

Happily Toiling Away
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Regina, Saskatchewan

Seedling Madness!

12 Apr '08 9:01 pm
Thanks, Moosey. You are too kind. 8-[

I hate to let you know that there have been a lot more seeds planted. :shock:

Please excuse me if I am tired and weary as these days are draining my magic gnome powers something awful. #-o I am pressed at this time of year. The weather has finally warmed up and so all of a sudden it's "GO GO GO, GIT-ER-DONE!" time.

Mom and I have been busy in the greenhouse transplanting seedlings and finding new ways to store plants. I've put up 4 new shelves and mom found a big place to put geraniums and that is under the table. We use to store big boxes of cups and plastic pots there, but mom saw the sunlight shining on the space and said we should put the big geraniums there as they like sun, and mom is crazy for geraniums. :roll:

So much more to tell, but I've gained a case of "lethargic toe" so I must be off to bed soon. In the meantime here are some resent pix to show our progress.

malva up this morning April 2.jpg
lavetera silver cup April 2.jpg
Old trolly finds new home.jpg
look over fence 2.jpg
Snow still lingers.
tiger lily April 2.jpg
greenhouse from alley.jpg
planters wait Deb's touch.jpg
sleeping planters.jpg
Stargazer Dahlia transplant April 2.jpg
dinerplate dahlia April 2.jpg
clean greenhouse.jpg
I took this pic the morning we were just about to start work.
The harsh winter here really kills things off.
windmill in silhouette.jpg
I made that windmill about 5 years ago. It's on top of our garage.
A Gnome's at home in his garden.

Home gardener & plant fetishist
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Berkeley, California, USA

What a contrast!

13 Apr '08 12:45 am
Outside the ground is clear with just a small row of the last snow along the fence. No one would suspect that in the house and greenhouse a green army is growing up ready to go forth and conquer that bare ground. What an exciting time! Your seedlings shoud have the jump on any weeds.

This time of year I'm trying to keep ahead of the weeds and add mulch to buy time for my bulbs and annuals to fill in their areas enough to help squelch those weeds. How clever of your climate to kill the weeds off completely once a year. Very practical.

Looking forward to watching the transformation!
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

Happily Toiling Away
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Regina, Saskatchewan

April Photos

2 May '08 10:25 pm
A green army is right, Mark. :mrgreen:

Well, it's been a while since I posted anything so I thought I would up-date everyone on the goings on around here.

Things have really progressed in the greenhouse. So much so that I am going to build a cold frame cupboard tomorrow to store the larger plants. You will see in the pix that things have gone bonkers.

I have no idea how many plants we have on the go. I am going to try and count them tomorrow if I remember to. I think it's our biggest count to ever. There still are a few packets of seed I would like to start as well.

I've been hard pressed the last few weeks because I was due to give a lecture on the history of steam power at the University of Regina, and that was yesterday. I was not alone as the group I belong to was asked to host a presentation on the "Future of Energy" and I volunteered to do the history of steam part. Another fella gave a talk on Stirling engines that was real interesting. We also had a whole bunch of model engines on display. Most run and that was pretty neat. Anyway, I'm glad that is over now and I can get more stuff done around here.

And what a bunch of work there is to do! I'll fill you in on that another post soon. In the meantime here are some pix from April.

April 13 first afternoon outside.jpg
Outside at last! The first day warm enough to have a nice lounge in the garden. Weebles has a snooze.
April 13 first afternoon outside 2.jpg
Percy has a root through the remains of the garden. He kept thinking he heard a mouse, but he heard his own movements rustling the brush. A funny routine.
April 16 greenhouse bench.jpg
April 16 nasturtiums in there hanging basket.jpg
April 16 German ivy.jpg
I bought this for 98 cents as just a little thing in a 2 inch pot. Now look at it.
April 16 pink pampas grass.jpg
This should look great. I always wanted to grow it. should look spectacular in my grotto.
April 16 pumpkins.jpg
Yes. My obligatory pumpkins. These are grown from seeds I collected myself from last years pumpkins. We also have sugar pumpkins on the grow too.
April 16 portulaca.jpg
April 16 rose 1.jpg
This is Deborah's first mini rose I got for her. Unusually large blooms. Beautiful pink, her favorite.
April 16 rose 6.jpg
A bud just opened.
April 16 sunflower velvet queen.jpg
I have 3(maybe 4) varieties of sunflower. These are smaller red ones.
April 17.jpg
Starting to crowd.
April 17 bulbs starting to grow.jpg
Other corner. We had to clear out under the table to accommodate all the big plants.
April 17 geranium madness.jpg
Under the table in the middle. Mom and Deb found geraniums for $1.16. They must have close to 40 of them.
April 17 pumpkins and sunflowers to the left.jpg
April 17 Mom transplanting in greenhouse.jpg
Mom has been coming over almost every day. We just love it when we are all in the greenhouse together. Love and plants go together so well.
wet dog warming up.jpg
Storm got wet in the cold rain one day. She just loves to snuggle to warm up and stays like this for at least an hour. Of course, she gets lots of rubs, too.
A Gnome's at home in his garden.

Faith S
Perpetually learning gardener
User avatar
Alabama, USA

Greenhouse management

3 May '08 4:42 am
I am very impressed with how neat your greenhouse looks even crowded with hundreds of seedlings. My own small greenhouse is so overflowing with just my over-wintering pots that I have to eke out space for new seedlings to start. It looks nowhere are neat as yours. Bravo to you, Deb and Mom for all your diligence. I can't wait to see the end result of all these baby plants. I loved the pic of Storm all bundled up and looking so cozy and contented. Very sweet!
Faith at Bide-a-Wee Farm, Alabama, USA

Come abide with me a wee while.

Home gardener & plant fetishist
User avatar
Berkeley, California, USA

I'm with Faith,

3 May '08 10:09 am
I'm even more impressed with how orderly the growing areas are than with the incredible number of them. I imagine it must take a lot of diligence and time to give each seedling its water without over watering. Just curious, do you water from below, above or both?

My favorite photo this time has got to be of Storm in her blanket. My dog Sophie would do that, she already uses my dirty cloths as her favorite bed and if I cover her up as I'm changing she'll lay perfectly still under the cloths for the longest time. Fletcher wouldn't sit stil for that. Female dog thing?
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

jack two
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The new improved Jack Holloway v.2

Christopher the multi-talented

3 May '08 11:17 pm
Engines, plants, marionettes, seedlings, vaudeville, gardens, virtual rollercoasters.... plus I suspect a bit of a sergeant-major judging by the neatness of your plants. Sometime you need to write us a summery of your life and talents. (Allow Debs to edit it, as I suspect you will be way to modest!)

garden enthusiast
User avatar
Waikato-New Zealand


4 May '08 1:22 pm
What an inspirational plant story.I just love all the photos-the roses are gorgeous!
Here everything looks so drab with the leaves all leaving the trees and flowers all looking scruffy that it is so cheery to see all the new growth and anticipation of a lovely spring.

head gardener
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4 May '08 8:37 pm
I need to clean out my glass-house. And be better organised. Hmm...
Head Gardener

Happily Toiling Away
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Regina, Saskatchewan

Time to sit for a spell and type.

5 May '08 8:34 pm
Thank you, my friends, for posting to my thread.Image

Well, we have had some adventures indeed these past few days.

Yesterday Mom came over and "We Three", Mom, Deborah and I, went to Canadian Tire for the grand opening of this season's garden center. Mom said they had a sale on Dracaena (spikes) and that was all she wanted to pick up. Well, as you might have guessed, that wasn't all we picked up. Mom couldn't pass up 3 more geraniums #-o. Deb got 2 nice raspberry colored trailing verbena plants that she wants for hanging baskets. They had cedars (about 3 or 4 feet tall) and Deb wants two of them for in front of the deck, but that's for another day. If I'm right they will go on sale for ten bucks each (regular $25). Deb pointed out that they had a fresh stock of roses so she and I went over to have a look. Mom said they were cheaper than the nurseries sell them for and, to our great surprise and delight, she helped us pick out three beauties. We have to be very careful to get a winter hardy variety. Oh yes, we also bought 3 Dracaena.

Then it was on to Home Depot. Mom said they had a sale on specialty perennials, 25% off. So away we went. For me shopping with these two is an exercise in patience. :roll: The whole point of getting specialty plants is so that we have these beautiful accents in the sea of color we are nurturing in the greenhouse. It's hard to tell who chose what, but we came home with 2 bleeding hearts, a delphinium, a day lily, 4 iresine (2 bloodleaf and 2 cherry), and a false heather plant. The first four are in one gallon pots and are quite nice large plants. The others are in 4-inch pots waiting for transplanting. And then we came home to the 300 (give or take) other plants we already have in the greenhouse! :shock:

Work is progressing slower than I would like on the cold frame cabinet. I decided I would be tricky and make some trick joints in the wood with my circular saw. After the first set of cuts I took a step back, the power cord caught my foot and my circular saw fell to the floor and bent the alignment mechanism. So then I had to spend the rest of yesterday (about 2 hours and about 45 minutes today) repairing said tool. But the good news is that it works perfect again and I proceeded and finished the side frames, voila. Did I say this thing was being entirely built out of recycled lumber? Well the stuff I ripped up today to make the doors is from an obsolete project that I made from recycled lumber 4 years ago. So I am recycling my recycled lumber. :D I will get this job completed tomorrow and this will take the strain off the greenhouse.

I am also rebuilding a rototiller. You remember the rototiller I got last summer? It had no motor (I got another smaller tiller that is complete, but this one I'm rebuilding is a big one). Last fall I rebuilt a good working engine from 2 junk engines I dragged home from a trash pile.

There was not a lot wrong with the big tiller. The biggest problem was that it needed a motor, and it was rusty. I took it right to pieces, cleaned off all the rust, burs and debris, cleaned everything to shining and reassembled it. I've been working in fits and starts over the past month in my spare time. It feels really good to finally get the transmission back together. Now I just have to take the tines apart, straighten and sharpen them (some are bent out of shape), reassemble and paint them and then I can do final assembly, bolt the motor on and start it up. That will be loads of fun. \:D/

I find it interesting that most of you guys find our greenhouse is so organized. I take it as a high compliment actually because the rest of my property is, shall we say, somewhat less than organized. I'm sure Deb could tell you a few stories about that. It has occurred to me that perhaps I am doing something right, with regards to the greenhouse, so I think I will put together a separate thread that will describe the evolution of the Dowie/Janz greenhouse. Ideas are best when they are shared.

Jack, I know my life is unusual but it doesn't seem all that strange to me. I don't know if I would be able to write a thread about my past life experiences. I always have a problem with this type of thing. People think I'm boasting and I'm not. I guess I do have a variety of interests and if the truth were known, I don't get to share my interests with a lot of people. I feel like the folks here on Moosey's have become my friends. I feel comfortable here and that's why I feel like I can share my interests. But it's not something I do every day. To hear you put it all in one sentence, well, it's a little unnerving. I don't want to cause resentment or alienate people. I just want to share my thoughts and ideas with people.

New thoughts and ideas are something I have a lot of. And I got a whole bushel of new thoughts and ideas for the yard this year. So keep checking in on my thread and I will do my best to keep up with the current developments.

Now it's late and I'm going to bed. Good night. Oh! A few parting pics!

new toy for Chris.jpg
This is how the tiller looked when I got it home. Mom thought I was nuts and Deb threatened to take Storm's name off the dog house and put mine there instead.
tiller before.jpg
On the bench and just coming apart. Took a big hammer to separate some parts. Nothing critical broke, though.
tiller back together at last.jpg
Actually it was a whole lot of fun.
tiller in fresh paint.jpg
The new green color seemed right.
rebuilt motor.jpg
For those in the know, it's an 8 horse Briggs & Stratton, cast iron cylinder, ball bearing mains, board out .30 over, electric and pull start and it has a built in alternator.
A Gnome's at home in his garden.


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