I like to joke that I tend to spend more money on plants than clothes, especially since retiring. However, with increasing costs around the world, life’s essentials take precedence over plants and flowers. That’s where gardening on a budget comes in.
Propagate Your Own Plants
I have shared several posts on this theme. Propagation is not difficult, it just takes patience. The good news? It is very rewarding when you get the hang of it and it saves you an incredible amount of money.
Starting Plants from Seeds
Probably the most rewarding adventure, growing plants from seeds takes the most time, effort, and paraphernalia. Pots, heating mats, and grow lights all add up. Without those things, your success rate will inevitably be low and frustrating.
You also need space to set up your nursery. I am an empty nester so have spare rooms in my home that I easily convert in the winter months for the propagation of all types.
Simply remove a few leaves from a mature succulent and lay them (horizontally) on top of a shallow bowl of chunky, made-for-cactus/succulents, soil. Light spritz with water every day until a baby develops. That’s it!
I grew over thirty new succulents last winter for my niece’s wedding decor. I started with four succulents (I had two and purchased two others for variety), two large saucer-like pots, succulent soil, and a sunny window. Although I had great success without a heating mat, I did add one part way through the process to speed it up. That was my impatience kicking in, I would have been better off keeping them smaller for the driftwood project I had in mind.
Divide Perennials When Gardening on a Budget
This is by far the easiest way to increase your plants if gardening on a budget. Many perennials thrive when divided every few years too. Some will divide easily, others might require the use of a sharp spade or fork.
Simply place the severed chunk in a new pot with fresh soil or straight into a new spot in your garden. Either way, water well after the split.
I also used lots of divided perennials for the recent wedding I put together floral displays for.
Share with Neighbours, Family, and Friends
The best (and most economical) thing about propagating is the fact that you will have lots of baby plants to share, trade with, or sell. Markets on Facebook or other forms of social media are full of plants every spring.
This is the Worst Canadian Government Ever: is a scathing (but accurate) article from Rex Murphy in the National Post. Not my words, but many of my thoughts and opinions!
The country is in an economic coma. The House of Commons is a movie set. We are shamed in the international community. And the list goes on.
It’s a mess. It’s a shambles. It’s an embarrassment. It is the worst ever by any reasonable measurement.
Judging by their performance on the most important files, the current bunch in Ottawa would need to hire a consultant to figure out how to get wet in a thunderstorm and set up a task force to study how to tie their own shoes.
Look around you. Canada is in the biggest, most persistent, and threatening crisis since — well since ever. The long-term care homes are under a blizzard of mortality. There is heartbreak in every small business in the country. The worry and anxiety level of most everyday citizens — especially those not shielded by uninterrupted cheques from provincial and federal governments, and those not serving as a member of a legislature — is at an all-time high.
On the Covid Nightmare
This government hoards any real details about what vaccines are here, how many are “secured” on paper only, and what they have promised to pay for them, as a miser hoards gold. Every press briefing on this most important of concerns is a dance of evasion, platitude, confused projection, and sometimes just pure ignorance of what is actually the case.
They are the most deliberately obfuscatory, opaque, access-of-information-allergic administration under the democratic sun.
One year into COVID our venerated House of Commons is a disemboweled, non-functioning, neglected wreck. The targeted disrespect of the absolute and central symbol and instrument of our democracy has no parallel. No “minority” government has ever operated with the smug insouciance and patented, virtue-perfumed arrogance towards the Commons as the Trudeau government. This is, when we step back, their biggest sin.
Shutdowns and Cabinet Shuffles
Since 1867 no prime minister has abandoned the House of Commons and downgraded its significance for so long a period and for such obviously self-centered and political opportunistic reasons. It is so much easier, so much safer, so much more convenient — to walk from the bedroom to the one-printer office and mail in platitudes and arias of evasion via Zoom
What other government has parted ways with a governor-general, and to top it off, a governor-general brought in by the world’s No. 1 “male feminist” as a role model for young women and girls? The same male-feminist who conveniently loses all his top-performing female ministers. Someone should do a “gender analytics” study on Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.
Not to worry. It has lost a finance minister over ethics charges during the mightiest spending binge since the Big Bang. An attorney general, the prime guardian of our rule of law, was hounded out because she would not bend the rule of law. The most qualified and respected woman, a doctor of medicine no less (in other words a real doctor) could not abide staying in so carelessly unethical a cabinet. Thus, at the very time Canada would have wished the most competent person to deal with a once-in-a-hundred years medical emergency, Dr. Jane Philpott is not even in the government.
Meantime Seamus O’Regan, the Trudeau cabinet’s favourite nomad — he takes up and puts down portfolios with the “greatest of ease,” leaving no impression behind as he goes — burbles on, during a pandemic, about planting two billion trees. Imagine, two billion. We only have about 300 billion already! Priorities I guess. Repeat after me the holy incantation: climate change, climate change, climate change. It’s better than a vaccine.
Hostages in Chinese Prisons
We have two hostages in the tyrannical torture houses of Chinese prisons. Those poor, suffering and tormented men must truly have been uplifted — if any news ever reaches them — to learn that their government, during a world pandemic, was collaborating with the Chinese government to “jointly develop a COVID-19 vaccine.” Remember the line from Casablanca — “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world …” — and Insert “countries” for gin joints. Of all the countries in all the world, why did the Trudeau government pick …. China? Incompetence can’t cover it. We need some term that speaks of dedicated and determined, merciless and staggering wrong-headedness: the purblind leading the purblind.
We have had no budget in two years. (Actually, we have one now, this article was penned pre-budget release, but unbelievably irresponsible) We have spent more than any other government, by far, in our history. We have no idea where all the money has gone. The auditor general has been denied the resources to even keep track of a portion of it. There is no coherence, or trust, between the majority of the premiers and the prime minister. We have been offered occasional delights, like the celebrated comic opera of the WE brothers and the (temporary) $43-million gift to them to administer half a billion dollars of your money.
The Liberals have given far more time and dedicated energy to the Derek Sloan affair (whatever that was) than the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, and the emergent threat of Alberta leaving the Confederation. (Query for a serious panel discussion: Is Canada safe from Bidenism?) Alberta groans while the Trudeau government spends over $36 million for “stay-at-home chairs” for its civil service.
Is our present government the worst Canadian government ever. Can there be any question?
The country is in an economic coma. The House of Commons is a movie set. We are shamed in the international community. Contracts on COVID are all Top Secret. There is zero reliability on any projection made by a minister or the prime minister on where we are on vaccines and distribution. Rideau Hall is shortly to be listed on Airbnb. Farmers have been hit by fuel and carbon taxes. Newfoundland teeters on bankruptcy. The West has never felt so far out of things. I could go on.
Is this what was meant when the rosy words were first pronounced: Canada’s back?
To calm yourself, however, there is always this: Climate change.
Climate change. Climate change. Two billion trees. Two billion trees. Home chairs. Home chairs. Derek Sloan.
Photo credit: SEAN KILPATRICK/THE CANADIAN PRESS
Is Rex Murphy correct? Do we currently have the worst Canadian government ever? What do you think?
There is yet another political battle going on in Canada. Four years ago I warned you to be careful what you wish for. Canadians hoping for a change gave Justin Trudeau a Liberal majority back then. Many of us were skeptical that the majority of his election promises would/could never happen and those that did would cost us dearly.
One (huge) example is the federal budget. In 2015, an election promise claimed the budget would balance itself by 2019. Although many of us saw that simplistic prediction as an enormous red flag, (the majority of) others were willing to play along, blindly. Perhaps it’s the handsome smile and fashionable clothing blinding his voters. The problem is they are attributes of someone that has never balanced let alone lived on a budget in his life.
Fast forward to the present: not only is the budget nowhere near balanced, but our national debt is also through the roof by BILLIONS of dollars and growing by the second. Why that does not scare more Canadians I am not sure. I worry most about my sons’ and grandchildren’s futures as the cost of living skyrockets out of control.
Let’s not forget about the scandals that have plagued the Liberal party these past four years. Topping the never-ending list is the SNC-Lavalin (an engineering and construction company) fiasco where our Minister of Justice and Attorney General left the Liberal party because she felt bullied and pressured into intervening in an ongoing criminal case against the company. An investigation proved she had reason to feel pressured.
Then there are the recent black and brown-face pictures as well as the outlandish garments Trudeau wore representing Canada abroad. Our incredibly immature, shallow and inappropriate Prime Minister apparently likes to play dress-up, fitting I suppose for a (former) drama teacher craving the spotlight. Hardly the image we (most I hope) Canadians want to represent us on the global stage.
Use Your Vote Wisely in this Political Battle
Trudeau may be a charismatic and friendly man but he has also proven to be foolish, naïve, a liar, a bully, and a cheater, not to mention an elitist, without a clue how most of us live. Average citizens with those characteristics would lose their jobs!
So, what’s the purpose of this rant? Not to sway your vote in this specific political battle. To warn you to think long and hard about how you want this wonderful country of ours to move forward. No one political party will (now or ever) tick off all the right boxes for the issues at stake. Individual voters have to decide which party ticks off the most and the most important (to us) of these boxes, then vote accordingly.
I have not even touched on the other important issues that divide the political parties. In addition to the budget and fiscal deficits, each party has its own stance on climate change, oil pipelines, abortion, gun control, health care, same-sex marriage, child care, education, immigration, indigenous rights, and more. The list goes on and on, be sure to read up on these crucial issues before you vote.
Of course, there are the outrageous campaign promises flying around too in the political battle. Are reduced cell phone rates really a life necessity? Or just another calculated attempt to grab votes from the younger, phone-obsessed generation? Just like legalizing marijuana was in the last election. After all, most of the voters thinking cell phones and marijuana are important issues don’t yet pay the exorbitant taxes or hydro and electricity rates the rest of us are mandated to.
Political Mud Slinging and Fake News
There is so much desperate political garbage and yes, fake news, on every form of social media these days. I am sick of it. It’s only going to get worse within the next few weeks though. Until the election is over, it will build up to a frenzied pitch. Ignore the mudslinging on social media. Research what each party stands for yourself. Learn the issues. Peruse a few sites. Remember though, all of them have the potential to be biased!