Recent lung study no surprise to me

Recent lung study no surprise to me

A recent lung study on the dangers of cleaning supplies came as no surprise to me.  You can read it here.  Years ago I realized that many common household cleaners bothered my lungs so I quit using them and switched to Melaleuca products.

Melaleuca products are created with plant based (natural) ingredients including tea tree oil (melaleuca)  Hence, the name of the product line.  Contact me if…

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Posted 3 days ago

Everyone loves lilacs and their beautiful, unique spring blooms.  Unless you are allergic to their powerful fragrance.  Did you know there is a variety that reblooms?  It is appropriately called the Boomerang Lilac.  You can order one here or check out your local nursery.

Like their name implies, the new blooms arrive on new growth that occurs after the first bloom is over. This is my boomerang lilac.  There are a few new blooms that have arrived with our recent rainy spell.

You can barely see the promise of new blooms today, but by next week the tree should be full of their stunning color and fragrance, creating a late summer focal point in my garden.

Boomerang Lilac adds bonus blooms in mid to late summer Everyone loves lilacs and their beautiful, unique spring blooms.  Unless you are allergic to their powerful fragrance. 
Posted 1 week ago

Encouraging kids to develop green thumbs is a great outdoor activity, especially for this gardening loving Grandma.  Recently I taught my two oldest grandchildren (1.5 and 4.8 yrs old) the fine (very simple) art of planting seeds.  I filled some large pots with soil and added bamboo trellises shaped like teepees for the plantings to climb on.   I chose pole beans and morning glories to plant as they are both fast growing seeds, perfect for impatient children.  In fact, our seeds sprouted within a few days and in less than three weeks their tendrils had started to climb the teepees…

 

A few weeks after that and the beans have climbed up, around and through the teepee shaped trellis, producing purple pole beans.  No sign of the morning glories yet…

 

Now, if I could only get the kids to eat the pole beans.  Grandma certainly will…

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I must admit that I have never planted purple pole beans before and did not realize they turn green when they are cooked….

 

Encourage kids to discover their green thumbs by planting seeds Encouraging kids to develop green thumbs is a great outdoor activity, especially for this gardening loving Grandma. 
Posted 1 week ago

Lanark Ontario, home of glorious hanging baskets

Lanark Ontario, home of glorious hanging baskets

On the way to our cottage we pass through the village of Lanark in Eastern Ontario.  With a population of merely 800 people, Lanark is a quaint little town, known for its lilacs, maple syrup, Fitz’s Take Out and glorious hanging baskets.

Lanark

As a gardener,I cannot help but notice and appreciate that someone takes the time each summer to plant, hang and water numerous hanging baskets, overflowing…

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Posted 2 weeks ago

Gardening in the rain is usually not a problem for me, in fact I prefer a light drizzle to the intense heat we have been experiencing lately.  A light rain keeps me cool and keeps the bugs away. It also cuts down on the amount of sunscreen I use.  I do draw the line however at thunderstorms or torrential downpours.

Today started off great.  A light rain was falling so I headed to one of my favourite gardens, located in the exclusive and very private setting of the Kanata Rockeries which were designed by one of the founding fathers of Kanata Bill Teron.

 

Then the dark(er) clouds rolled in bringing heavier rainfall and distant thunder…

rain

That was my cue to head (run) to my van.  When the downpour did not let up after five minutes and the thunder got closer, I headed home.

Rain drops keep falling on my head Gardening in the rain is usually not a problem for me, in fact I prefer a light drizzle to the…
Posted 3 weeks ago

A moose on the loose

A moose on the loose

There is a moose on the loose on the eastbound 417 in Ottawa this morning.  Well, no longer on the loose, he is hemmed in by police cruisers (as if that would detain him if he really wanted to leave) until wildlife authorities can get there to tranquilize and remove him.  From the pictures I have seen, the moose appears to be a young male.  Reports say he is slightly injured and will be taken…

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Posted 4 weeks ago

Drought tolerant perennials are popular these days, especially with those of you in the midst of a heat wave as we are here in Ontario.  Even if you have an irrigation system, these hardy perennials should be a staple in your garden to avoid wasting your money on plants and water.  Just be sure to place the hoses or plants (whichever you install last) strategically.  For example, ornamental grasses (and most other drought tolerant plants) do not appreciate wet feet.  In fact, the quickest way to kill them off is to overwater them.

Here are a few drought tolerant perennials that I rely on for hot summer color:

  • lavender
  • Russian sage
  • ornamental grasses
  • tickseed
  • stonecrop and sedum, available in multiple colors, great for hot borders
  • daisies

If you haven’t already, consider adding some to your gardens, just be sure to wait until the heat wave is over to do so!

Drought tolerant perennials Drought tolerant perennials are popular these days, especially with those of you in the midst of a…
Posted 4 weeks ago

Is an irrigation system right for your yard?

Is an irrigation system right for your yard?

Like anything else, there are pros and cons to installing an irrigation system in your yard.  The biggest advantage is quite obvious.  Your garden and/or lawns are automatically watered on a regular schedule that you select.   The largest disadvantage is the cost involved to install such a system.  This summerthe pros appear to outweigh the cons.  If your lawn is as burnt as mine is you will know…

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Posted 5 weeks ago

Remove toxins from your body with a simple foot bath

Remove toxins from your body with a simple foot bath

While I was bored this week because it was too hot to garden, I tried a method I found online to remove toxins from my body with a foot bath.  Years ago I remember a friend asking me to go with her to some clinic somewhere locally that offered this type of detox.  We never did get there, partly because I was skeptical especially because of the price involved. When I saw a home remedy online…

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Posted 6 weeks ago
<p><strong><a href="http://lorieb.com/current-events/happy-independence-day-2/">Happy Independence Day!</a></strong></p>

<p>Happy Independence Day to all my American family members and friends celebrating today!</p>

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day to all my American family members and friends celebrating today!

Posted 6 weeks ago

Did we pay a tariff on this heat?

Did we pay a tariff on this heat?

If you haven’t noticed, Ottawa is in the middle of a heat wave, as are many places throughout Canada.  I wonder if we payed a tariff on the heat coming from the US of A.  Perhaps Donald Trump hasn’t thought of that yet.  If he did, we would have to retaliate and charge Americans a tariff on the cold fronts we send you every winter (currently) for free.

Seriously, the heat and humidity are so high…

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Posted 6 weeks ago

Heat waves and air conditioning

Heat waves and air conditioning

The worst part about heat waves is the air conditioning you need to keep your home cool.  I hate air conditioning, at least my body does, because it does not like to be cold.  I hate feeling like its cold outside too, reminds me too much of the winter months where we can’t wait for the weather to warm up.

Every year at this time we (my family members and I) have the same argument on whether to…

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Posted 7 weeks ago

What is a hospice?

What is a hospice?

Unfortunately, most people are not aware of what a hospice is until they have the need for one.  If you looked it up in a dictionary, a hospice would be described as a home for the terminally ill.  While hospitals are known for their goals of restoring health,  hospices are geared toward supporting (both psychologically and spiritually) a dying patient and their family.

Years ago I first learned…

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Posted 8 weeks ago

One of the garden projects I have been working on lately reminded me how not to plant shrubs. These shrubs were not planted deep enough so the root balls heaved out of the soil this past winter.  As a result, the row of shrubs were all dead, and very unsightly. When I dug them up (didn’t even require a shovel, they came out quite easily) the root balls were still in the shape of the pots.  So were the holes.

 

The correct way to plant a shrub (and most perennials and trees too) is to:

  • dig a hole twice as wide as the pot the shrub came in and the same depth
  • remove the shrub from the pot and loosen the root ball
  • if the shrub is very root bound, use a sharp knife or trowel to scarify (gently scrape/loosen) the roots
  • add water to the hole before and after planting the shrub
  • water daily until shrub is established, (one week) preferably in the morning
  • ensure plant crown is neither too deep or too far above ground.  Roses do prefer their crown just below soil level

 

How not to plant shrubs One of the garden projects I have been working on lately reminded me how not to plant shrubs.
Posted 8 weeks ago