Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Vacation Week

J prescribed a "vacation at home" week for me as he thinks (correctly) that I'm a bit exhausted and needing a break.  Although obligations and appointments must still be met, I'm making time to do the things that make me happy!

Sunday evening, I pruned the rose garden back to within an inch of its life!  Looks a little barren now, but just wait til summer.

Towards the left of the picture, you can see the tumbleweed pile of thorny suckers and dead branches that I pruned off on Sunday.  Incidentally, while out shopping yesterday I made a point of purchasing a pair of top quality pruners as well as rose-proof gardening gloves!  I still have tiny thorns embedded in my delicate finger pads from going without said gloves!

Also on Sunday, I planted most of the remaining seeds that need early indoor starting.  My frugal greenhouse consists of clear plastic covers from Rona inlaid with cardboard egg carton bottoms, then topped with another clear plastic cover for the greenhouse effect.  I was running out of southern exposure for plants, but J's suggestion to place the trays around the tile perimeter of the big bathtub in our room works well.  Our room has East, South and West light streaming through the large windows, plus a skylight.  No shortage of natural light in there, especially if we can do a good window cleaning and take off the exterior layer of grime that winter deposited.

With my last batch of cut flowers long since expired, I spotted the lush and beautiful pink hydrangea shown above.  Isn't it gorgeous?  I paid $15.99 at Rona, then saw the same flowers for sale at Greenland Garden Center in Sherwood Park for $24.99 yesterday!  Ah well, Greenland certainly has the better ambiance if you can afford to pay the difference!

Also at Rona, these delightful palms were just $15.99 each and I couldn't resist a pair of them!  When I asked an associate about pots for them, he took me outside to their off-season storage for a much larger selection.  The first of these coppery urns in line had a chipped bottom corner, so I asked if I could take it off their hands for "a steep discount..."  The guy readily agreed and marked the pot down from $35 to $13.  Then we both realized that the rest of the pots also bore an assortment of pigeon poop and feathers from their long winter outside.  So I got them both for that price and cleaned them up at home - what's a little pigeon poop between friends?  We will put them out to greenify our patio area come summer.  In the meantime, they flank the patio doors in our family room.  (No, I didn't bother tidying the evidence of children for the photo - I figured it would do other parents good to see someone else's real life!)

After necessary business yesterday, I took the kids with me out to Greenland, a place that a newly rediscovered old friend highly recommended.  Although their greenhouses aren't open yet, it's a delightful place to visit and hang out among the tropical plants, bulbs, herbs, and gardening tools they do have available.  Their fashion line of clothing is pretty great too, although once you get spoiled by Value Village prices, you start trying to think of ways of modifying your clothes to look like these. Instead of forking over $150 for a fabulous knit jacket with large, mismatched wooden buttons that Kia agreed was Totally Me!

The kids were totally smitten with the bulb selection and I grandiosely agreed that they could each choose a set of bulbs to plant this summer.  Even if they're not edible!  Kia chose a pink and yellow 'Hawaii' dahlia. Rz couldn't resist the 'Fringed Coral Lace' peach gladiolus.  Ry couldn't decide between a mixed color bag of 'St, Brigid' anemones and lavender blue 'Queen Fabiola' triteleia so I caved and bought both!  My choice, besides the rose-proof gardening gloves, was a package of Jerusalem Artichoke bulbs that I'm so excited to get started.  These are edible and supposed to grow up to 10 feet high.  I've tasted them before - the roots have the texture of a crisp potato with a mild sunflower flavor.  

Then we were off to the library where I picked up an enormous stack of books on garden design and home decor for perusal at home.

So my Vacation Week is kind of turning into Gardening Week.  And I couldn't ask for anything better!