Happily Toiling Away
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Regina, Saskatchewan

Me Update-a-roony

12 May '08 5:49 pm
Well, here I am with another update. Hey Mac, that is some nifty twirling girl thingy you posted a link to. Very interesting indeed.

It's been a few days and I have been up to my ol' Gnome Magic again. I am back to a "sort of normal" routine now that I have my Cold Frame Cabinet built and in service.

That's right! \:D/

Our greenhouse was so full that work in there came to a halt. Now we are back to transplanting again. Took me four days to build it because I wanted it to look good. It cost me $14 to build. That was for 2 plastic drop sheets and hinges. The rest is from recycled wood and hardware. I was looking through my box of odds and sods and came across 2 real old cast metal kitchen drawer knobs and they are very appropriate as you will see in the pix below.

I got it all together the other day and Mom, Deb and I took all the big plants out of the greenhouse and filled the cold frame cabinet until it was just about full. There is still room for more plants.

It's colder this spring than last year so I have two little heaters, one in the cold frame and one in the green house. Another couple of weeks and we can plant out. Image

That's all for now.

May 4 location for cold frame.jpg
My camera is starting to malfunction, but this is the location for the cold frame.
May 5 Greenhouse Pnorama.jpg
This is what we were faced with. No place left to work or store plats.
May 7 cold frame complete.jpg
May 7 cold frame cabinet.jpg
May 7 antique cupboard knobs.jpg
These cleaned up good. The flower motif is very appropriate.
May 7 cold frame first load.jpg
May 7 cold frame top shelf.jpg
Good thing I made it tall. Those are my Russian Giant sunflowers, amongst other things.
May 7 cold frame middle shelf.jpg
May 7 cold frame bottom shelf.jpg
Space at the front means real tall plants can stand in the front. The shelves are one foot wide and removable.
May 7 no room to move.jpg
The greenhouse just before we moved plants.
May 7 right side greenhouse.jpg
May 9 thinned out a bit.jpg
May 9 shelf extentions.jpg
I added 2.5 inches to the edges of these shelves to add an extra row of cups to each shelf.
May 9  Stella d'Oro Day Lily.jpg
Opened today.
May 9 Green House Bear at work.jpg
Planter the green house bear is proud of his first transplant.
A Gnome's at home in his garden.

jack two
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The new improved Jack Holloway v.2

Hey Debs!

12 May '08 8:20 pm
Think you could spare Christopher for a few weeks??? He would sure come in handy around here... especially as I am at school 55 hours a week at the moment - and that is before I've done any marking! So I don't get to do ANY of the many handyman jobs about the place!!

Canberra, Australia

12 May '08 9:05 pm
Queue forming here, I could use some help too! I've always had a vague idea that behind the house would be a good spot for a small greenhouse. Can't see it happening any time soon. Then there's all the other little bits and pieces that are half-done...
Love the green house bear, there's just something about teddy bears. :)

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

You sure do have a large garden

13 May '08 12:25 pm
stuffed in that greenhouse and coldframe. You are so patient! I would have jumped the gun before now. All I can say is you must have been bit hard by the gardening bug to go through all that you do to make a garden in the time between freezes. Now I'm looking forward to seeing them tucked into the ground!
Mark in California

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

Faith S
Perpetually learning gardener
User avatar
Alabama, USA

Christopher, the greenhouse wizard!

14 May '08 1:25 am
Love your new coldframe Christopher. That picture of the greenhouse before moving plants out to the new coldframe looks a little more like what my own small greenhouse looks like in spring, except your's is still neater. I know that both the gardeners and the plants are breathing easier with space to work and grow now.
Faith at Bide-a-Wee Farm, Alabama, USA

Come abide with me a wee while.

Happily Toiling Away
User avatar
Regina, Saskatchewan

You mean Greenhouse Gnome

14 May '08 6:16 am
Thank you, my friends, for your kind remarks. They are greatly appreciated.

I'm sorry I don't get a chance to reply to more posts myself, but I am hard pressed these days and often I don't even have time to sit here with a cup of tea and read. But my friends here on Moosey's are never far from my thoughts.

We spent all day yesterday in the greenhouse transplanting and I suspect it will be the same today. I also loaded the cold frame so, that I couldn't fit one more cup in. This has opened a big bunch of space in the GH for all that still needs to be done.

I tried to count plants, but it's a futile effort and very confusing. Today we are supposed to give everything a feeding with Miracle Grow and to do that properly means to take everything out of the cold frame and feed each one, one at a time, as they go back in, and then we will keep an account of what there is and how much of each.

This year I have drawn a plan of our yard with all the gardens. Each garden has a name and so we are going to assign plants to specific spots to help make planting out more easy. I will post a copy of our plan once I get it finished.

Jack, Be careful what you wish for. Deb and I are enamored and fascinated by Africa. If we ever win the Lottery, you will be getting a visit. :D

Mac, Start saving all the junk wood you come across. One day you will have what you need and a greenhouse will just fall together. Planter the greenhouse bear was found one day while walking in the ally at the end of our street. He was all dusty and dirty, dropped by a child and lost. I found him and brought him home. He has been our mascot in the greenhouse ever since. We had that little pot and I put the flower in and made him his spade. We really like him too.

Mark, I am looking forward to getting everything in the ground as well. No jumping of any guns around here. I already did that and lost 5 rose plants to a late frost. #-o

Faith, It is so nice to have room to move. \:D/

Well, Mom just turned up here so I'm off to the greenhouse.

A Gnome's at home in his garden.

garden enthusiast
User avatar
Waikato-New Zealand

Great things happening

14 May '08 7:22 pm
It has been so interesting catching up with the diary..[Mac-will you be allowed to start saving all the wood you find???]
Your plants are fantastic GG.Makes me look forward to spring again.I have taken autumn cuttings of several plants-they are outside in a sheltered place for now.I am sorry your little roses did not survive the frosts-I would have thought they would be okay as ours stay outside through the winterfrosts here,as they are dormant-the frosts kill the bugs.

Happily Toiling Away
User avatar
Regina, Saskatchewan

Some do, some don't

15 May '08 6:23 am
Hi Dixie,

I'm wondering how cold it gets in your part of the world through winter. What I mean exactly is, how cold is the coldest cold of an average winter there.

It's common to go down to -30c here and on occasion it can dip to -45 and that's before wind chill. Cold like this can kill even winter-hardy plants. Infarct we lost some ornamental grass and other perennials that have made it through winter before.

Mom is our resident expert. She is the one who we now give final say when picking a rose for the garden. There is a particular type that comes from Manitoba that is particularly winter-hardy and we just bought 3 new ones to go with the 2 we bought last year. (I don't remember their names right now)

I was a young fool and bought climbing roses and others, in past years, thinking "Oh, so beautiful!" only to find they were gone the next spring.

We have some strange paper mache pots. Big ones of 4 or 5 gallon size. Mom brought them over years ago from her old greenhouse before she moved to a condo. We always thought they were for planting big plants like trees in so when you plant it the pot rots into the soil, but we never used them. Over the winter Deb and I were watching an old re-run of a show produced in Vancouver B.C. called "The West Coast Gardener". On that show they were making the garden ready for winter and one of the things they did was to use the exact same paper mache pot to cover a rose bush to insulate it and act as a shield to keep the dreaded frost away. Well, that opened our eyes, I can tell you. I asked Mom about this and she remembered and said that yes, indeed that is what the odd pot was for. She also said we could make a ring of chicken wire to go around the rose and then fill it up with fallen leaves and this would do the same thing. Why she didn't remember this trick sooner is beyond me. Sometimes it takes a spark to kindle dormant knowledge, I guess. So this is what we are planning for our next winter prep.

Last fall I covered our new roses with big piles of leaves and so far the 2 Mom picked are showing signs of new growth and the 2 I planted are just sitting there, but I bought mine for $3 each and Mom said they might make it and they might not.

The disappointment I had with our mini roses was a bit different. They are all in large planters so I cleared a space in the basement and lugged them all down there last October. In early Jan I noticed new growth already so I put up a fluorescent light for them and they started to grow. They got quite a bit of green by mid April. Then I thought it was warm enough to put them outside, and this was my mistake. Temperatures dipped below 0c and they froze and killed off all the new growth. Now I only see one or two who look to have struggled through and might make it. A hard lesson to learn, but one mistake I will never make again.

Yesterday there was more transplanting and we used up all the soil we bought. So I went out to my compost pile and had a nice surprise to find the grass sod I had placed there 2 years ago had turned to soil at last. It was loose and all I had to do was to spoon it through my screen and I filled the wheelbarrow in 5 minuets. Just fell through the screen with little effort. Took that and mixed in Vermiculite and Pearlite and Sphagnum Peat-moss, mixed it all up and produced around 100 liters of soil. It was so easy I bagged up that mix and headed back and repeated the performance so now we have 240 liters in bags and 50 liters in the big bucket in the greenhouse ready to go. This makes me happy because it annoys me to have to keep interrupting transplanting to mix soil. :D

The Weather-Wienies say that the worst is over and if they are right there will be no more cold snaps at night. Now I can start to get the gardens uncovered with all the leaves I raked over them last fall.

One more day of transplanting (I think :-k ) and then it's outside for clean-up duties.

Have a good day.

A Gnome's at home in his garden.

Happily Toiling Away
User avatar
Regina, Saskatchewan

The month of "Yes you May"

22 May '08 9:42 pm
Hello my friends,

Well, this month is chugging along and is almost gone. We have had some distractions recently. Mom isn't feeling well and should see a doctor, but she won't go to one. She should stay in bed and rest, but instead she came over here and worked in the garden (much to our alarm!) I had Deb and her sister Carole telling ME that I had to be the one. I was supposed to march up to Mom and take the rake out of her hands and send her home. I tell you, I had to use an extra dose of Gnome Magic to dance through that mine field. :roll: She phoned tonight to say she is feeling a lot better so we should see her tomorrow.

Last Saturday I was all set to start work outside. It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny, but with a strong wind from the south-east. Against my better judgment I was talked into putting our cats out in the front yard on their leashes so they could enjoy the sun. I was hesitant because our big male cat, Percy, has been spooked by wind before. I was weak and succumed to prodding.

After I put the cats out I went back into the house to get my gloves and hat. Mom and Deb were discussing where to put the new lilies in the bulb garden. When I came out of the house, mom was standing over by Percy who had wound the leash around his back leg and hamstrung himself. He wasn't too concerned about it but to be safe I told Mom to leave him alone and I would rescue him.

When I got down to Percy he was struggling a little bit, so I spoke softly to him to calm him down and stroked his back. I slipped one loop off his leg with no trouble, but the second loop was higher up his leg and was hard to determine amidst all his long jet-black fur. I had to determine how he was caught up and while I was investigating the leash, Percy let out a "Wreow!" sort of sound to show his discomfort.

Well Weebles, our small, short haired, white female didn't like whatever Percy said. Because she came CHARGING across the lawn, quick as a flash, and started to beat on Percy something fierce. Percy didn't like that at all so he started slashing and biting anything that was at hand. In other words, MY HANDS!

I grabbed Weebles and tossed her away, but she came back and continued the attack! I grabbed her and chucked her away again as I held Percy so he wouldn't get even more tangled. I picked up Percy and carried him out of Weebles' reach and onto the back porch.

Percy was totally freaking out by now and had really got himself tangled in the leash. He was flipping around and trying to move, but was restricted by the leash. I tried to calm him down and he seemed to be calming down, until I took hold of the leash. Then he bit me so hard, he bit clean through my leather gardening gloves and clear through to the bone of my left pinky finger. He liked that finger and before the ordeal was over he bit my pinky to the bone again. Most of his bites and scratchings were absorbed by my gloves. I managed to release his harness and then he was able to shake off the binding leash. I still managed to secure more wounds than I care to count. Took Deb and I 3 hours to dress them.

It's been a nightmare, trying to keep all the wounds clean and dressed well enough for me to continue work in the yard. Basically, apply dressings, slip into latex gloves then don work gloves. Lucky for me I didn't receive one wound on the palm side of my hands. Only the backs got mauled, so it doesn't hurt to hold tools and such.

Percy has returned to normal now and is doing all the things he is accustomed to again. He climbed up and sat on my shoulder and nuzzled my ear. Deb said he was apologizing.

Things are progressing in the yard, although somewhat slower than I had hoped. I was running my little tiller a bit and planted 14 sunflowers. I'm in the middle now of building a new garden to hold my Shasta Daisies and other large plants deemed "Too Obnoxious" for the other gardens, so this new garden will be known as "The Obnoxious Garden".

Almost got my big tiller back together, too.

I hope we have more pleasant times ahead.

Keep your sunny side up!

May 16 And they called it Poppy Love.jpg
Weebles in one of her more meeker moments.
May 17 cat wounds.jpg
The larger dressings are covering multiple wounds.
May 19 New Stairway.jpg
A little staircase so Mom doesn't have such a hard time climbing up on the deck from the side. Made from recycled lumber.
May 21 art nouveau air cleaner.jpg
The small tiller needed an air cleaner, so I couldn't just make a boring one.
May 21 Big tiller parts.jpg
All cleaned and buffed and painted. It will look new once completed.
May 21 Fence Boards.jpg
Now there's a good scrounge. 197 fence boards and 25 posts (all free). The tin heating ducts will be made into planters.
May 21 New Obnoxious Garden.jpg
Plenty of room for my Shasta Daisies, amongst others.
A Gnome's at home in his garden.

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

I've always wanted an obnoxious border.

23 May '08 12:29 am
Of course some would say I've already succeeded in places. Still, to name it such is a great idea. I can just hear myself giving a garden tour "..and if you'll step this way you will be able to see the new Obnoxious Border".

Bad timing getting all those scrapes from the cat just when you need them for planting out. It might be safer to practice your knots on something other than the cat. Well, at least he apologized.

I'm curious whether Weebles is a little boy demon or a little girl demon? In our house, Fletcher is the forbearing one and Sophie is the agressor. She'll charge into him every now and then for god knows what reason and walk away with a mouthful of his fur. Of course Fletcher and Sophie are dogs so who knows which *** is 'sugar and spice' in the cat tribe.

Best of luck with the weather now. Grow you plants, grow!
Mark in California

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


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