Garden Creations by Gardens4u

garden creations

If you have not yet visited the before and after pictures posted to my business website, check out the videos posted here.  These are a few of my largest garden creations, from start to finish, in video format. Most of these gardens are approaching a decade of evolution. Watching the videos is like watching the gardens grow.

Neighbourhood Garden Creation

One of my very first garden creations is the star of this first video. It was a huge project, converting a grub-infested front lawn into a gorgeous grass-free yard. To conserve my time and back muscles, an independent contractor worked on the labor-intensive parts. Removing sod, adding soil and river rock are not in my wheelhouse. It took most of my first summer in business to get this project completed. The fact that this summer was one of our hottest on record did not help.

The best part is the fact that this masterpiece is located across the street from my home. I have literally watched it grow over the past nine years.

Moving Into This Century

Another big garden creation, also early on in my business, involved reshaping an existing garden. Removing foundation plantings from the 80s was the first step. Next up was removing boughs (limbing up) from an evergreen that blocked the view of the house from the street. This is another favourite amongst my projects, as I have been able to watch it evolve over the years. After the garden’s original design settled in, the clients asked to widen it. This sounds simple enough, but took a bit of work and planning. Plants chosen for the original edges had to be moved forward to create the new edging feature. Then new plants were selected for placement between the new edge and the largest shrubs and perennials in the center of the garden.

Adding Variety and Removing Weeds in Existing Garden

A third of my favourite garden creations involved modifying an existing garden. Although this garden had a wonderful stone retaining wall as an edging, it had lots of issues. To start with, there was proportionately a very small variety of plants. The garden was large, so the opportunity for variety was obvious and easy to achieve. Especially once all the weeds were removed, leaving plenty of space for new tenants. Tall shrubs and small trees were added to the back along the fence. Several layers of perennials were then planted in front of them. Bulbs were added too, for spring colour. This is another garden that has evolved over the years into a beautiful backyard feature.

Volunteer Gardening

In addition to working in clients’ gardens, I have been volunteering on the garden team of our local hospice here in Kanata. This next video is one of the largest garden creations (to date) on this property. In 2017, this courtyard garden and its surrounding stonework, water feature, and pathways were designed. The following spring I got involved when most of the original plantings had not survived the first winter. I do love a challenge! Four seasons later it has been transformed:

More Videos

More garden videos have been uploaded to my YouTube channel. Check them out and share your opinions.

Face Yoga for a Non-Surgical Facelift

face yoga for a non-surgical facelift

Have you heard of face yoga? It has become increasingly popular in the past few years. I was introduced to it at the beginning of the pandemic, so early 2020.

What is Face Yoga?

Touted as a non-surgical method for a facelift, the age-defying series of exercises is aimed at sculpting facial muscles and eliminating sagging skin, double chins and jowls.

If you have to ask what double chins or jowls are, you probably don’t need face yoga. However, if your face and neck are beginning to show your age, read on.

The best part is that you can do these exercises anywhere, any time. Watching TV, lying in bed, wherever you like. Of course, if you try them while driving you may get some strange looks, but I do them when sitting at a red light. When no one else is around.

face yoga for a non surgical facelift

My Video Instructions

This video demonstrates some of the exercises of face yoga. By yours truly. It was hard to talk and manipulate the muscles in my face and neck at the same time, so there is no sound here…

You can see my facial and neck muscles moving with the exercises, so I assume these muscles are being worked.

Watching this video brings back memories of the beginning of the pandemic, when I was transitioning from reddish brown (dyed) hair to my natural gray colour. Currently my hair is very, very gray, with no brown in sight, but I digress.

Other Face Yoga Options

If you prefer to purchase books with instructions, try this one or this one, both available on Amazon. The following video is from YouTube:

Conclusions

Whichever option you choose to shape up your face and neck, give them a try. An inexpensive, non-surgical method to turn back the clock, what could go wrong?

Teach Your Children Well

teach your children well

I heard the song “Teach Your Children Well” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young for the first time in ages the other day. The lyrics resonated with me as the parent of three now-adult sons, and five grandchildren…

You, who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so, become yourself
Because the past is just a goodbye.

Teach your children well
Their father’s hell did slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they pick’s the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them, “Why?”
If they told you, you would cry
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.

And you of tender years
Can’t know the fears
That your elders grew by
And so, please help
Them with your youth
They seek the truth
Before they can die

The second verse is for the children, to help them better understand the parenting skills (or lack thereof) of the previous generation.

Teach Your Children Well was released way back in 1970, but the words still apply today, at least I think they do. What do you think?

This is the video, the words sound much better to music…

The tune and lyrics are so catchy and relevant to family life that they are currently being used in a commercial for Sobeys grocery stores.

Meet local talent Daniel Campoli

Check out Daniel Campoli’s portfolio to meet a young, very talented musician. Daniel not only writes and records his own pieces, but sings and plays the piano too. Listen to his latest single entitled “Broadcast From my Bedroom” here or on YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify or Amazon Music.

Daniel Campoli

I was just introduced to Daniel myself, virtually, through Facebook and was blown away by his voice and talent. It turns out he grew up, and his parents still live, around the corner from my brother in Ingleside, just west of Cornwall, Ontario. His mother and my sister in law have been friends for years. It is indeed a small world, especially when you grow up in a small town.

Social media can be wonderful for sharing positive, inspirational stories like this, compared to all the vitriol that seems to have taken over our media sources lately. I am always happy to share such amazing talent.

Daniel Campoli

Check out, follow and support Daniel on Instagram, Facebook and SoundCloud. I guarantee, you won’t be disappointed!

“Broadcast From my Bedroom” may be one of the most appropriate songs for 2020!

Who Loves Each Other More by Andrew Waines

A few years ago I introduced you to Andrew Waines and his music. Still going strong in the music industry, Andrew has just released his latest original tune. Check out Who Loves Each Other More on the platform (YouTube, Spotify, iTunes and more) of your choice.

While you are at it, listen to Andrew’s other originals and covers on his website.

Locked in with the Ladies

Alyssa Lyons, Michelle Knezovic, and Lindsay Eastwood are the ladies locked in to discussions on anything sports related, with Chiann Nobrega as the editor and producer. I became aware of this YouTube series because Lindsey Eastwood is a fantastic local hockey player.

I say local because she grew up here in Ottawa playing minor hockey, but spent the most recent years playing for Syracuse University in New York state. As their team captain I should add.

Lindsey’s dedication and enthusiasm for hockey is (and has been for years) evident to anyone that knows her or of her; her success is so well deserved. Lindsey’s parents are the quintessential hockey parents so prevalent here in Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa, known for its tightly knit hockey community. When one of our kids succeed, we are all thrilled and proud. Thanks to Facebook and other methods of social media, we can all stay updated on their progress.

I do not know much about the other women involved, but if they are anywhere near as inspirational and knowledgeable as Lindsey is, this adventure should be awesome. Find out for yourself. Lock in with the ladies to check out their weekly episodes and subscribe to their success.

locked in with the ladies

Salif Gueye Dances Way into Ellen’s Heart

Salif Gueye wowed Ellen and millions of viewers today with his dancing…

With Michael Jackson as his idol and inspiration, 22-year-old dancer Salif is amazingly talented.  He currently dances in the streets (for tips) to showcase this talent.  In fact, a YouTube video of him doing so in his hometown of Paris, France recently went viral catching Ellen’s discerning eye.  His fluid moves are simply (actually nothing simple about them) spectacular.

Salif Gueye

Known for helping to launch many talented performers spiraling them into fame, Ellen may be on to something (someone special) here.  Just ask Justin Bieber. He was invited to her show after Ellen saw his first video on YouTube.  He was so new to the scene that Ellen mispronounced his last name.  Shortly after that appearance, Bieber released his first album.  The rest is now (music) history.

I dare say Salif Gueye is an even better dancer (if that is possible) than Michael Jackson.  What do you think?

Canada Going to Pot Today

pot plant

Canada is going to pot, literally.  Personally, I have thought so since our last (2016) federal election, but that’s another story.

Today, October 17th, 2018, Canada is legalizing marijuana, much to the chagrin of many citizens.  This was an election promise our prime minister made to win votes from the younger age group.  He’s now making good on that promise with as much thought and preparation (not much) as many other ridiculous and ill-advised things he is responsible for.

AKA pot, weed, or cannabis, marijuana can now be smoked anywhere (with few exceptions) regular cigarettes are allowed.  Users are supposed to act responsibly.  Parks, arenas and recreational centers are pot-free, but this will be very difficult to enforce.  As will driving under the influence of pot if roadside testing is as inefficient and flawed as rumored.   So difficult in fact that the mayor of Ottawa predicts legalizing pot will cost the city (at least) a cool 8 million dollars per year.  The federal government has created (another) the mess but is leaving the municipalities to deal with the fallout.  Great, just what this country needs, more examples of how to fritter away the taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.

Hoping to remove the (still) illegal street sources, the new laws say brick and mortar stores must apply for a license to sell pot.  These licenses will not be available until spring, so these stores currently open for business must close their doors and reopen when they have been granted a license.  Those that do not close while waiting for their license will be shut down by authorities and will relinquish their right to ever obtain such a license. Until then pot is only available (legally) through government-run facilities.  Yep, that will eliminate the illegal sources. Not.

So, who wins with this new legislation?  The group of individuals that already (not so covertly) smoke pot recreationally.  Partakers have been asked to “use pot responsibly.” The problem is (or will be) that this group of people is not typically recognized for being responsible or their sensitivity to other people’s concerns, more focused on their own wants and needs.  Who cares if pot has been proven to adversely affect the health of children, pets, and anyone else with a set of lungs? Not them.

Who loses?  Anyone that prefers and strives to keep their own and their loved ones’ lungs smoke and drug-free.  And the taxpayers who are left holding the bag.  This YouTube video by Bryan Cox and Jason Leblanc is one of those funny/not funny things.  You either laugh or cry.