Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Poinsettias


Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) like bright natural light, in a spot out of the direct sun. You can extend your poinsettia's flowering time by keeping it at an even temperature, away from drafts and ducts; and they should not be exposed to cold temperatures. Though only toxic if ingested in great amounts, place your poinsettia out of reach of children and pets. When the soil surface is dry, water thoroughly, and discard excess water.

(back-dated post, needing editing & updating...)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sweet Autumn Ride


Big Boreal Adventure


Big Boreal Adventure

There are 35 of these cedar posts around Thunder Bay, each topped with a plaque designed by a local artisan depicting relevant nature-based images. Refer to your free guidebook (available at Thunder Bay Public Library locations) to learn more about each location, as well as clues on getting there. Guidebooks also include blank pages for rubbings at each post.
This is such a clever way to encourage people outdoors, and to explore the incredible nature trails within the City. It's sort of amazing that these places exist between the lanes of Thunder Bay traffic - between a place filled with lousy drivers and ignorant "specials," but it does. Tranquil is one word, a deep breath is a feeling. Sometimes I wish more people around here appreciated these places as travel routes, ...but most times not - for as well travelled as they are they are still underappreciated, even unknown, to so many in #TBay.
They've also now included geocaching - with GPS units available through the TBPL - something perhaps I'll rope in T & W to explore in. ;)

The new trees along the McVicar Creek recreation trail are amazing, simply amazing. Imagine this path in a few years when those maples gain a little weight. I walked this path every day to and from work for years year round; my love changed and grew in so many ways every day.


If there is anything in Thunder Bay that people need to appreciate more, this is it. How lucky are we to live here, and to have this steps away from home? Peace in the City.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

more trees

another favourite Waverley  Park tree

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

locked out

Dear Blogosphere,


I have a Blogger question for you:

Over in my food blog I have somehow set my access to it as author only, unable to edit layout or pages. Without having access to the settings - how do I get my admin access back? 

Thanks in advance. :)

Amy

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

why I garden

#favouritetrees #urbanforestry

Birch Point Park
Boulevard Lake

Dear Garden Diary,

my one and only sunflower
and Thunbergia
Lately when I spy on Laura's garden two fences away I am spied on back by dozens of sunflower faces. They're incredible and I'm more than a little garden-jealous. I have one - one sunflower ...I know I planted more seeds than one. That's just the way a garden grows sometimes. 
Laura's flowers have had me thinking..., next year's garden is going to have more spring, late summer & autumn flowers. Considering the seasons of garden we enjoy the garden most - planting season and fresh returns, and later reaping the harvest, the lushness of mature plants and vines gone wild....
I'm not going to spend too much time on mid-summer plants, little reason seeing as we're not here - but plan for when we return. In pots the ivy still looks nice long after annual blooms have faded, and the Coleus container is still brilliant. In the garden I have plans for a big cull; as sad as it makes me, I have to reconcile my desire for every favourite perennial and use the space more wisely. The delphiniums just have to go...somewhere, maybe the west side, maybe into the back lane...but as much as I love them, they are just too big. I had considered moving them to the little micro-climate garden by the back porch, but I have plans for tomatoes there next year - and delphiniums are too prone to mildew to have close to the tomatoes. I have some 'Crazy Daisy' Shasta Daisies also needing a better home - so we'll just have to see where the shuffle takes them. Also moving, (even if just a few inches): the Crimson Knautia, that weird mystery rose from Creekside that never really grew - to make room for the Monarda to shuffle over a bit. Once they're all moved and replanted (which I will do some time in October) I'll add in some spring tulips - a rainbow of colours and kinds dotting the east side perennial bed.

I wish we had more space. Every zucchini and cucumber we have grown (and still are growing) has been put to great use. I've only given a couple away... We've eaten a lot of zucchini (soup, bread, cake, muffins, more soup, grilled, in frittata, tossed with pasta... and you know what, I'm not even tired of it and excited there are some nice ones still coming. The cucumbers are the best I've ever grown - sweet, juicy, huge. I've made more tzatziki than we could consume, and the dogs have had their favourite treat fresh from the garden for months now. Sadly, with frost nearing I'll let them enjoy today's rain, and harvest soon..
Precious Claire waits patiently for a fresh bean treat.

The beans (also loved by the dogs) are so tasty, and have grown into a sturdy wall. Even the Grape Tomato is using the bean wall for support. The other tomatoes have suffered a bit from crowding and smothering by wild zucchini. As unmanageable as they can be, we can't have a garden without cucumbers and zucchini. Next year we're simply not going to plant so many vegetables. I know, I know...I'm the worst for it - working in greenhouses doesn't help. A plant addict to the end, R's not help either. I'm always so convinced I can find the room - and though I still stand by my claim that if we were here for the garden during the major growing period in July & August we would be able to train it to survive the crowd, the fact is we leave ...and a garden doesn't like being left.
It's easy enough to supplement through flexible CSA programs, I have to remember that. Our garden's size is perfect for a seasonal kitchen garden - not great for large guys like Brussels sprouts and potato plants. I could leave them out for more space and not miss them much. More use could be made of containers, sacks, and balconies, but again - unattended pots in a ridiculously hot back yard don't have the best survival rates. I leave spinach to the local farms also..I never have luck with spinach *shrug* 
Our leeks are beautiful, and even though the beets and carrots are few in number they're still pretty. 
Garden Soup
leeks, zucchini, kale, onions & beans from our garden
local carrots & Ontario celery

The Thunbergia has reached the railing of the back balcony, at more than 15 feet it's glorious and so reminiscent of what I've seen decorating Californian freeways. It seems indestructible and I think it scares my family. At ground level it is creeping in every direction, tendrilling up posts and hooks left around the garden, attaching to the nearby pots trellises. I'm not stopping it. I can't imagine not having one of these again next year - just too fun.
The micro-climate garden by the porch has only a few permanent residents: John Davis, some crazy chamomile, garlic chives and whatever thyme & lavender survive (they always get replanted if winter snuffs them out). Snowbirds include herbs rosemary, tarragon, and sage, mint in pots, this year some lemon verbena too. I can see a Thunbergia becoming a regular too.
This year is was home to ten foot tall peas. Next year, I'll plant only two tomatoes in the space - early (...with R's construction skills we're planning a removable greenhouse contraption), and keep the rest of the space for tall autumn cutting flowers. We can add basil between, and with all the other herbs I think that would make the space quite nice this time next year. :)





Wednesday, September 12, 2012

what's on your plate?

harvest
11 September 2012

Disc Golf at Birch Point Park


The 1st Ever, Right Deadly, Birch Point Disc Golf Tournament takes place this Saturday, September 15th beginning at 11:00am at Boulevard Lake, Birch Point Park. Not only is this tournament promising to be amazingly fun, but it offers a great opportunity to see how integrating recreational activities into natural environments and existing parkland benefits our community....

Read more in The Walleye: Right Deadly Fun.



Our local course at Boulevard Lake’s beautiful east side Birch Point Park has had its target baskets since 2010, thanks to a few guys with drive(rs), with support from Innova Discs, and a City’s Park Division dedicated to environmental ethics and public well-being.



Open to anyone, with the only cost being in discs (which can vary in price from $15 - $30), disc golf is an ideal sport for our outdoor-loving City.  







Our 18-hole course takes you on about a five kilometre walk
 through the park’s celebrated treed peninsula,
 the pace entirely up to you.
Phil Jamieson throwing
at Birch Point Park

Tournament entry fee is $25.00 which includes lunch, and a tournament print disc. Register at The Loop Clothing (corner of Red River and Court), or come out to Birch Point on Saturday to watch an afternoon of right deadly fun.

Link to their Facebook group Birch Point Disc Golf or directly to the The 1st Ever, Right Deadly, Birch Point Disc Golf Tournament page.

Follow them on Twitter @TBDiscGolf



Check out www.innovadiscs.com for information about disc golf, glossary of terms, rules of play and more.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

tendril

Rhodochiton

Newton

my Italian Fig
in a large pot
The trick over the winter months will be keeping my fabulous fig tree alive inside the house. We don't get a lot of natural light in our tight downtown location, so suspect every bit of window is going to have a plant. There are at least two other pots I hope to over-winter indoors.

Yellow

tomato
'Yellow Boy'

Hens and Chicks

Sempervivum
'Cobweb Buttons'
Sepmervivum
'Purple Beauty'

Stonecrop crop

Sedum
'Fulda Glow'

Hymers Fall Fair

Hymers Fall Fair 100th Anniversary
September third was one of those unbearably hot and humid days, even more so away from the Lake in Hymers . We thought we would beat the heat of the day by heading out early, but there was no escape. It didn't seem stop anyone from attending, with an endless stream of vehicles piling in, families piling out, and dogs everywhere (this is the one fair where year after year I see more people bringing their dogs - we decided next year we'll bring Clifford..) I'd swear all of Thunder Bay was there.

The goats were, of course, my favourite - but also the seed saving entries. 
 seed savers
Hymers Fair
3 September 2012
I've always loved the Hymers Fair, but haven't entered anything since I was a kid. Next year I'll try to change that. Our backyard is full of prize winning cucumbers, beans, leaks, basil and tomatoes...      After not feeling well for days, it didn't take long for the heat to get to me and more disappointing was passing up fair food; (there's just something about the smell of fresh kettle corn and elephant ears) but you can't mess with 100 years of tradition. Next to the arts & crafts building with potters and spinning wheels was hay bale tossing and people on stilts. Local honey, wooden flowers, classic carriages & engines - there really is something for everyone. Livestock shows with calves and lambs are ..well, simply adorable.
hay bale toss
Hymers Fall Fair 2012
produce for sale
Hymers Fall Fair 2012

Goats of the Hymers Fair

Goats of the Hymers Fair 
3 September 2012