Posted in gardens, grandkids, loreeebee.ca

Fall Garden Chores Results in Beautiful Bouquet

What started off recently as a lesson in fall garden chores turned into a beautiful garden bouquet for this little lady…

Fall Garden Chores Results in Beautiful Bouquet
Fall Garden Chores Results in Beautiful Bouquet
Fall Garden Chores Results in Beautiful Bouquet
look at that concentration!

Fall Cleanup

I like to do as much as I can to clean up my gardens before the snow flies so I won’t have as much to do in the spring. Some plants however like the protection of their leaves, slimy as they may be, over the winter. Perennials that should be cut back to prevent the powdery mildew on their leaves from spreading in your garden are as follows:

  • peonies
  • coneflowers
  • phlox (the tall variety)
  • monarda
  • anything else that looks diseased, dead, broken etc.
  • hostas

Fall is also a great time to move things around, so if you (and the plant) were not completely happy with the location of some perennials, get moving.

It is a bit late for deadheading, but I did do so to a few perennials hoping I might get one last flush of bloom in this warm weather.

Gathering Up The Remaining Blooms

My three year old granddaughter loves to pick flowers from my garden anytime. Recently she started off helping me do some fall cleanup. After the work was done the clippers moved to the few flowers still blooming

This is the bouquet she ended up with:

Of course I cannot refuse any request from this sweet girl. I love the fact that she loves my flower gardens as much as I do!

This is one she missed as it was just a bud at the time:

Fall Garden Chores Results in Beautiful Bouquet
Posted in gardens, loreeebee.ca

What’s Blooming in October?

There is not usually much blooming mid October in this zone 4-5 region of Eastern Ontario but the recent spot of warm weather has encouraged some perennials to rebloom and annuals to perk up.

Annuals

Annuals are those type of plants that get killed off by frost and must be replanted every spring. Their claim to fame is that they bloom all summer, although by this time of year can look leggy and washed out.

On a stroll through my gardens this (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend, I found a few annuals still looking cute including portulaca, zinnias, dahlias. Annuals in all the containers I planted are still looking marvelous too!

Perennials

Perennials are my go to plants as you only have to plant them once. Although you can move them around season to season if you (or they) are not happy with where they are located. I do that all the time.

Unlike annuals that bloom all summer, perennials only bloom for a specific time through the growing season, a month at most. Some though rebloom after their initial bloom time, offering a bonus of colour when you least expect it.

I have several roses for example that do just that, bloom and rebloom and sometimes rebloom again!

Other perennials sporting reblooming features include sage, butterfly bush, tickseed, blanket flower, geraniums, lavender, false sunflowers, asters, achillea, tickseed, daisies, and clematis:

The silver lace vine, asters, ornamental grasses, hibiscus, and hydrangeas are not reblooming, just fall blooming perennials that are still going strong:

What’s still looking good in your garden?

Posted in health and wellness, loreeebee.ca

What do Engineering Marvels Have in Common with Chiropractic Care?

Recently I told you about the chiropractic care I am receiving for various symptoms. My adjustments are going well; I have noticed a difference in my posture and the fact that my right hip appears to be more flexible.

Here are more words of wisdom from Hazeldean Family Chiropractic Clinic:

Engineering Marvels

We stand in awe of man’s greatest technological achievements like the world’s highest tower, the fastest train, the largest cruise and cargo ships. Have you ever considered the multitude of engineering marvels that take place in your body? Take your circulatory system as an example; it is estimated to be 90,000 to 160,000 km (56,000 to 100,000 miles) in length and performs countless tasks!

-it circulates blood at about 5 liters (1.3 gallons) per minute and at 15 cm (6 inches) per second, providing the exact blood flow required by every organ and tissue to several hundred trillion cells.

-it repairs itself. You cut yourself and instantly a fibrin web forms over the wound, trapping red blood cells and sealing the wound

-the blood in an adult’s body contains about 30 trillion red blood cells

-your blood is like a conveyor belt, unloading its cargo as needed to every cell in the body

-your kidneys consist of over 100km (62 miles) of piping. Every 24 hours they separate 170 liters (45 gallons) of filtrate from the system.

Your whole body is an intelligent engineering marvel, designed with the innate ability to guide all function, healing, and creation of new cells!

Hazeldean Family Chiropractic Clinic

The circulatory system is just one of many systems in our bodies that function in amazingly marvelous (pun intended) and complex ways. That is if and when our bodies are healthy enough to enable these systems to work at peak performance. When we are not healthy, our systems cannot achieve their best performances, resulting in painful symptoms and even disease states I told you about previously.

If you are experiencing painful symptoms or diseases that have compromised your health, perhaps chiropractic care can reestablish your ailing body systems to their former peak performance.

Of course there are no guarantees, but many times you have nothing to lose and lots to gain.

photo credit

Posted in houseplants, loreeebee.ca

Houseplant Care: What I’ve Learned

I’ve learned lots since I decided to replenish my collection of houseplants almost two years ago. I had given up on them years ago when my boys were young, mainly because my middle son destroyed most of them by pouring stuff into the pots. I even caught him urinating in one once.

Facebook Groups

I have to admit, most of my new found knowledge of houseplant care has been gleaned through a few Facebook groups I joined. Houseplant Help is just one of many, simply submit a request to join on their page.

Pandemic restrictions have spawned many of these groups, a therapy of sorts for some of us not used to being stuck at home.

Insect Infestations

Houseplants do attract bugs, so if (tiny) bugs flying around gross you out, houseplants may not be for you. These tiny bugs include fungus gnats that love wet/damp soil, spider mites, thrips, you name it.

There are, however, numerous ways to combat the bugs, depending on how big of an infestation and how many houseplants you have. I have not yet tried the repellers but like the idea. They work using sound waves, so no chemicals, radiation, smell etc. They are more expensive than other methods as you need one per room; they simply plug into an electrical socket. They also deter other pests like mice, spiders and other unwanted guests you might not want in your home. I might consider these to keep mice, chipmunks and squirrels from the cozy warmth inside our cottage.

A second, less expensive option, are sticky traps. Like their name implies, the bugs get stuck on the sticky surfaces of these traps. Some people might find the sight of the bugs stuck to the traps offensive. The traps come in many shapes, I have this butterfly version in my home. My husband is one of those people that hate the sight of them covered in little black dots. The bonus to these is that they work for fruit flies too, something (I’m sure) everyone finds bothersome in the summer. I keep one stuck to the underside of my kitchen cabinet above the spot I store bananas. Works wonders, and you don’t see the proof that they work…

Another way to minimize insect infestations on your houseplants is to spray the soil and leaves with insecticidal soap. This is especially important when transferring plants from the outdoors to inside your home. Here in Canada we like to put our houseplants outside for the summer to let them flourish in the fresh air, rain and sunshine. When frost threatens we bring them back inside to overwinter. However, if you fail to treat the soil and leaves before bringing them inside, you will bring in much more than just the plants!

Watering Tips

Most experts will tell you overwatering houseplants is the fastest way to kill them. To determine how often to water them, stick your finger in the soil of each potted plant to determine how dry the soil is. Each pot will be different based on the type of plant, type of pot (clay pots dry out faster than plastic), where in your home it is located (sun exposure), and even what the weather is like outside (plants need less water in cooler months here in Canada).

Repotting Do’s and Dont’s

One of the biggest mistakes I made was repotting my houseplants into pots that were too large. Apparently you must only move up one pot size at a time to avoid root rot. I lost several plants going too large too fast; my impatience got the best of me. I chose large planters to complement my decor, not to suit my plants.

I have since managed to salvage a few of these mistakes by removing the struggling plants from the large pots, then tucking them into smaller pots. I have several small pots sitting on top of the larger, decorative pots that I purchased. Eventually, they will fit into the large pots…

Unfortunately, the plant on the left did not survive in the too large pot.

Another repotting tip involves washing the roots of your plant before repotting it. Root washing is especially helpful if the plant was not thriving in its previous pot. This practice of washing the roots is also recommended when planting perennials and annuals in your outdoor gardens and containers. Although I have just started to do this in my outdoor gardens, I can see how root washing is beneficial to remove excess fertilizer and relieve root bound plants, not to mention flushing out any diseases or pests inadvertently transported home from the nursery or a friend’s garden.

Did I forget anything? Do you have any tips for houseplant care that I did not mention?

Posted in beauty, loreeebee.ca

Burt’s Bees: 100% Natural Products

I would like to introduce you to the awesome line of 100% natural skincare products from Burt’s Bees. If you haven’t already done so, you should try them. My skin is ultra sensitive, so I have to watch which products I let touch my skin.

I’m not quite sure why I am hooked on these products as I have had several encounters with some not so friendly bees in my gardening career. Generally though, I do love bees and do my best to support their dwindling presence.

Burt’s Bees products are made with authentic beeswax with added vitamins, ingredients, and nutrients depending on the product. This is an excerpt from their website describing what is and what is not in their products…

There is a wide range of Burt’s Bees products available from lip balm to dark spot corrector. To check out or purchase these amazing products through Amazon, click on the links below the specific pictures…

Lip Balm

Night Cream

Day Lotion for Dry Skin

Gel Cleanser with Hyaluronic Acid

Hand Cream with Almond and Milk

Replenishing Gel Cream With Hydrate and Glow Complex

Dark Spot Corrector with Bakuchiol

Deep Cleansing Cream with Soap Bark and Chamomile

Facial Oil with Rosehip Seed Extract

Nourishing Body Oil with Vitamin E

Reawakening Eye Gel Cream

Poison Ivy Soap

This was recommended by a reader, have never tried it myself. I found a link for it on amazon, although it does say the product is not available. I plan to look for some in the stores in time for next cottage season.

My Favourites…so far

So far I have tried the facial oil, the deep cleanser and the dark spot corrector. I love them all, especially the way they make my skin feel. I also love the light scent too although I am not sure how to describe it. Natural, perhaps honey-like?

The deep cleanser is perfect for removing the dirt from my gardens as well as the sunscreen the dirt is stuck on. I purchased the dark spot corrector to see if the revolutionary ingredient of Bakuchiol, a natural alternative to retinol, can help diminish the dark spots I have been trying to erase from my face for 24 years now, ever since I was pregnant with my youngest son. I just started using this product, will let you know if it is effective.

Burt's Bees
bakuchiol is extracted from the leaves and seeds of the Babchi flower, native to India and the Himalayan regions of China and Pakistan
Posted in business, family, loreeebee.ca

Are you a True Romantic? Susan Carton is!

Susan Carton has created this exciting new business titled True Romantic Jewelry Spa & Boutique. Susan just happens to be my second cousin and although we live far apart, social media has enabled our widespread extended family to keep in touch. Sharing our experiences, good and bad, is easier than ever!

Much like myself, Susan quit her corporate job at the age of 52 to pursue her own dream. Creating her own jewelry, promoting other designers she admires, repairing and cleaning jewelry is much more rewarding and exciting. I am so proud of her for joining the freedom 52 club.

What Services does True Romantic Provide?

Who better to explain just what the business is all about than Susan herself:

Are you a True Romantic?  Susan Carton is

Where is True Romantic Jewelry Spa & Boutique Located?

Although currently located in Scranton, Susan is moving her business to a bigger and better location in Pawtucket, both located in Rhode Island. Of course the spa services and cleaning/repairs while you wait would have to be done if you happen to physically be that vicinity.

Online Shopping Option for Jewelry and Gifts

For those of us not located anywhere near Rhode Island, True Romantic does offer online shopping for unique jewelry and gift items with delivery services anywhere in the world.

If we have improved at one thing throughout this pandemic, it has to be online shopping! I am no exception. As long as you are aware of the potential for scammers and less than quality items offered online, it can be very convenient.

My True Romantic Plans

I have two ancient rings that my husband purchased for me way back when. One is (was) an opal surrounded by garnets, the other is a cluster style, diamond engagement ring. I also have a so called wedding band, but it is not something that can be worn alone as it fits into the diamond ring. Another problem? Most of the stones are chipped or missing. I am horribly brutal on any kind of jewelry, that’s why I barely wear any these days.

I would love to get a simple wedding band made, something I could wear while working in my gardens, as well as a fancier ring for social events. That is if we ever get to attend social events any time soon.

This is one of Susan’s bands I am contemplating, a sterling silver, rope twist stacker:

Are you a True Romantic? Susan Carton is

For the fancier piece, I would love to incorporate the gold and stones that do remain on my old rings and/or birthstones of my grandchildren. Combining all of these elements might just be too complicated, so I will rely on the expert to give me advice.

Are you a True Romantic? Be sure to visit the jewelry selection on Susan’s website to see what catches your eye.

Posted in loreeebee.ca, sports

Sadio Mané: Sustainable Human

I recently read this inspirational, heart-warming story on Facebook, a feel-good breath of fresh air on social media that is so typically full of negativity with trolls quick to judge and criticize others. Case in point, the story was generated by his response to these trolls commenting on the fact that his cell phone is cracked.

Sadio Mané, Sustainable Human
Sadio Mané

Sadio Mané, a Senegalese Soccer Star that plays for the British team in Liverpool, earns approximately 10.2 million dollars a year and has given the world a lesson in modesty after fans spotted him carrying a cracked iPhone. His response is legendary: “Why would I want 10 Ferraris, 20 diamond watches and two jet planes? What would that do for the world? I starved, I worked in the fields, I played barefoot, and I didn’t go to school. Now I can help people. I prefer to build schools and give poor people food or clothing. I have built schools [and] a stadium; we provide clothes, shoes, and food for people in extreme poverty. In addition, I give 70 euros per month to all people from a very poor Senegalese region in order to contribute to their family economy. I do not need to display luxury cars, luxury homes, trips, and even planes. I prefer that my people receive a little of what life has given me,” Mané said.

Who is Sadio Mané?

After reading the story, I researched Mané to see who he is and if the story was true. After all, it is difficult to believe much of the stuff you read on Facebook and other social media accounts.

I am happy to report that indeed he is a very philanthropic athlete, keen on supporting his hometown of Bambali in Senegal that he left behind to become a professional athlete. CNN has this story about a few of his generous projects within his hometown.

It appears that although Mané has physically moved from Senegal, his heart is still very much there with its less fortunate.

The world needs more (humble, modest, grateful, generous) people like Sadio Mané.

Posted in health and wellness, loreeebee.ca

Chiropractic Care: How it Can Work for You

Recently I have been seeking chiropractic care for various (un)health(y) symptoms. I’ve shared with you here about a recent scoliosis diagnosis, as well as TMJ and arthritic hip joints.

This is the time of year, when my gardening season is winding down and I have more time to reflect, that I take the time to care for my physical well-being. With a recommendation from my son who is happy with the treatments he has been receiving there, I turned to Hazeldean Family Chiropractic.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help You?

We seek to find the cause and correct the root of the problem, not just mask the symptoms. Chiropractors are experienced in the function of the spine and nervous system. Our approach, focusing on your overall health, will allow you to function better with less pain and more enjoyment of life.

Hazeldean Family Chiropractic

An added bonus of receiving their chiropractic care is a subscription to the blog that Hazeldean Family Chiropractic provides. As my own blog also features posts on health and wellness, I find the tidbits of advice in their blog very informative and relevant to my lifestyle.

Here is the great advice within the most recent email I received:

You have an amazing healing power in your brain and spinal cord. THOUGHTS (emotional stresses), TRAUMAS (physical stresses), and TOXINS (environmental stresses) can affect that healing power… the 3 T’s. In order to maximize your healing potential, we have to make sure that we address all these stresses…

Thoughts: If you have no control on the outcome of a situation, you must release it.

Traumas: Children slip and fall; it’s an unfortunate part of growing up and playing full-out! Keep an eye out for any recurring pain or pain that does not subside quickly. Remember, symptoms are an indication that something is not right.  Correcting it early will definitely help for a quicker recovery and to prevent any future problems.

Toxins: Studies have shown that diets which are high in carbohydrates have been linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, gout and cancer. Lowering your carbohydrate intake isn’t just good for your waistline, it can also have a direct beneficial effect on the prevention of malignant diseases.

New Patient Special

Chiropractic Care:  How it Can Work for You

What are you waiting for? If you live in this area, give them a call to reserve your spot. Contact info is as follows:

Hazeldean Family Chiropractic Clinic.

8 – 484 Hazeldean Road. Kanata, ON K2L 1V4.

T: (613) 831-9665.

If you live elsewhere, do your research, get recommendations and go for a consult.

I have only received two adjustments in my chiropractic care regime so far, am looking forward to reaping the benefits over the next several weeks. Not just the physical adjustments, but the health advice and relevant exercises too.

Have any of you had experience with chiropractic care?

Posted in garden project, gardens4u, loreeebee.ca, wedding

Gardens4U and Wedding Planning!

Recently I told you of a project Gardens4U has been working on all summer. To recap, a client asked me to spruce up the gardens at his parents farm for his daughter’s wedding.

After walking around the extensive property with the client last April I started work on multiple garden beds. Containers were planted as soon as the last frost date arrived in May, well in advance of the wedding date to give the annuals time to settle in.

My original commitment was one day a week, including through the scorching heat we experienced this summer. Of course, my visits to “the farm” increased in recent weeks as the wedding date drew closer.

Most of the time I remembered to take before and after pictures of the gardens and planters. I so wanted to snap a few last minute pictures the morning of the wedding, but did not want to intrude on the hustle and bustle going on. I will have to wait patiently for the photos I know my clients will share.

Garden Beds

The beds I worked on are referred to here according to their location on the property or their function during the wedding. Pictures are posted in chronological order.

House Bed, 3 Sections:

I cannot take credit for the gorgeous, flagstone sidewalk or lush lawn enhancing these beds at the front of the home. Due to the large expanse of lawn and the poor condition it was in, hydroseed (a sprayed on product) was used with awesome results. A beautiful lawn does wonders for increasing the beauty of gardens…

Ceremony Site:

There is no “before” picture for this bed as there wasn’t a garden there, just the edge of the yard overgrown with trees, scrub brush, and a few transplanted hostas.

Shady Sitting Area:

My client had a vision for this bed, I really just followed his instructions. And chose and planted the appropriate perennials for a shady spot. We then used some of the containers to add some colour to the area…

The Mint Bed That Became a Dahlia Bed:

For the resident chef, I moved the mint into a new herb garden. At least I attempted to move it. Mint can be very invasive, there are still shoots sprouting in that bed.

Sunny Beds:

These two beds were the bride’s Omi’s (grandma) flower gardens, with the one on the right home to her beautiful peonies. Unfortunately they were overgrown with no distinct shape and neglected since her passing several years ago.

Sunflower Bed:

This sunflower bed was supposed to be spectacular, at least that’s the vision I had. Tall, majestic, golden yellow sunflower blooms against the backdrop of the rustic family barn bordered by the bride’s Omi’s (grandma) long established daylilies. We tried to transplant many of the daylilies into some semblance of order, but thanks to their poor performance through the drought conditions this summer I had to cut them right back. They did revive, but not as fast as I hoped they would.

Rock Garden:

I don’t have much experience with rock gardens but I enjoyed choosing creeping plants and tiny succulents to tuck into the crevices. Unfortunately (for the wedding guests) not many of this type of plant are fall bloomers. Next spring and summer it will look gorgeous!

Rodent and Insect Damage

My major challenge during this project was the battle I had keeping the sunflowers intact in their designated bed against the barn wall.

I planted close to thirty sunflowers, most grown from seed on my back veranda, but the squirrels snapped off their growing stalks faster than I could plant them. I actually witnessed a squirrel hanging on the barn wall, mid pounce, as he/she aimed for the flower head of one of the tallest sunflowers.

So frustrating and disappointing!

The other challenge was keeping the dahlia blossoms from becoming a snack bar for earwigs or whatever other insect devoured them shortly after they appeared and before they could mature. I ended up bringing a pot of dahlia from my back deck to fill in the bare spots.

Containers: Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers

We used lots of planters around the property to add colour and drama. Some from the clients’ home that I had created earlier in the season, and some from my own home collection.

Silver Lace Vine

I had planned to drape strands of silver lace vine (from my garden) in the trees to look like the beautiful Spanish moss so prevalent in the south. The wedding planner, who is also a florist, intercepted me though as I carried trays of it down the driveway, and asked for the silver lace to adorn the dining table and archway at the ceremony site. How could I refuse?

Conclusions:

Well, the big day arrived and thankfully the sun was (albeit off and on) shining! We were all nervous as it had been raining, torrentially at times, for the previous two days.

The problem with creating these gardens in one season is that most plants take a while to mature in their new homes, unless you spend a fortune and choose fully mature plantings. Like most gardens I plan and create, these garden beds look great this season, but will look spectacular next summer and for years to come.

A few years ago I created bouquets and containers for my son’s wedding, then a few table arrangements for a friend’s son’s wedding. I have enjoyed these wedding projects so much that I am considering adding wedding (or other events) planning to my Gardens4u list of services! What do you think?

Posted in Canada, loreeebee.ca, politics

Canada Votes: Liberal Minority Government…Again

What a waste of time and money, six hundred million dollars worth, to end up with the same results, a minority government. Gunning for a majority of the votes, Trudeau called an early election, in the fourth wave of a pandemic and the middle of the crisis in Afghanistan to boot. Although people were ticked off at him for his poor (selfish) timing, obviously they were not ticked off enough or not enough voters were ticked off.

I just read a Facebook post that sums it up well:

“could this election not have been an email?”

Who Wins?

I’m not sure who benefits with this repeat of a Liberal minority government. Justin Trudeau can pretend he won and is happy with the results, but just a short while ago he complained that he cannot successfully run the country with a minority government. That was his excuse for calling the election, the wish for a majority.

So what, he can successfully run the country now? His drama classes are serving him well, he has the ability to spin the results any way he wishes to.

I guess the one positive thing (if there is one) is that Trudeau and the Liberals did not win a majority government.

Who Loses?

That is easier to visualize. Those just starting out in the workforce stand to lose big time. They will never be able to afford a home and the luxuries we older folk were able to save for. The taxes to pay down the country’s debt and the rapidly escalating rate of inflation will mean saving will be next to impossible. Living paycheck to paycheck will become more commonplace.

As a rich kid, born with a golden spoon in his mouth, Trudeau spends money like there’s no tomorrow. Budgets are foreign to him, and balance themselves in his world. A billion dollars here and there means absolutely nothing to him. That’s because it’s not his own money he is spending. As my husband used to preach to our sons when they were younger, “the government doesn’t have any money, they spend our (hard earned/saved) money!”

Although I am disappointed in the (lack of new) results, as a retiree I am at the stage in life where I have earned a pension, savings and a home. It’s not my generation that will lose (not as much anyway) from the massive debt already incurred (and sure to grow) by the Liberal government, but the next one and the one after that. My children and grandchildren, and yours too.

Also disappointed and disillusioned (I’m sure) are those younger than I, perhaps with young children of their own, who had decided they want a change from the financial mess our country is in. Unfortunately, voting for one of the parties that did/do not have the numbers to win an election only splits the vote away from the Conservatives, the only party that could (mathematically) have beat Trudeau and his Liberals. That concept (always) seems to be misunderstood and is a bitter pill to swallow when your wish for change backfires.

Conclusion

We are now stuck with (at least) eighteen more months of rising federal (and personal) debt, increasing taxes and so on. The exorbitant price of gas and the steady increase in the cost of groceries will only get worse.

Canada Votes: Minority Liberal Government

Are you happy and satisfied with the results? Or frustrated, angry, or indifferent?