Tag Archives: East York Garden Club

Only Child on gardens for sanctuary

The past few days I have been spending time in gardens. Not just mine but others and one big public one. I really needed to do so because of all the busyness in my life. Sometimes I feel like a top whirling around non-stop – until I enter a garden for sanctuary and healing.

Gardens and gardening to heal are not new. Way back in the times of the Egyptian, court physicians, instead of prescribing drugs, prescribed garden walks for royalty who had mental problems. What a novel idea. Maybe more physicians today should do that.

I am blessed that I belong to the East York Garden Club. While I don’t make it to all their meeting and events I did go to their annual pot luck dinner in a member’s garden – where else – last Thursday evening. I brought a fruit salad that I put together in a record 10 minutes – but most of it got eaten, so… In fact at first it looked like we would be feasting on mainly desserts until more members arrived with main dishes.

I talked gardening with many other gardeners, met a few new gardeners and caught up on news (not just gardening) with an old friend from school days – we had re-connected four years ago at one of the schools we went to.

And I looked at the garden and enjoyed the peace, the shade and just being there.

Saturday I roared over to one of the Pop-up Gardens of an East York Garden Club member a few blocks away. She is also a Master Gardener and very knowledgeable. She is getting shrubs etc. in her garden pruned and this was the before looksee. We talked about her pruning and the fact that both of us have special day lillies from a now deceased member of the garden club.

Sunday it was off to the Toronto Botanical Gardens and Edwards Gardens – both are together and it is hard to find the dividing line as the gardens just blend into together. I checked out the gift shop first as it closes before the gardens and then began walking through the gardens, stopping occasionally to rest on one of the benches and of course, look at and smell the flowers. And wouldn’t you know it – I ran into another member of the East York Garden Club,  a lady I have known for a few years who lives a block away from me.

Then there is my garden – I’m out there  on the back patio or front veranda to eat meals and absorb the garden. I walk through it to see how everything is doing. Lots of lettuce which I pick daily to eat. The black raspberries are finished for this year but the beans are starting up and the tomato plants have blossoms – some have small green tomatoes forming. I pay attention to what needs watering – in the pots or in the ground.

And yes, I also attack the weeds. That is my direct therapy to deal with all the crap shoved my way by individuals, companies and governments. I also sometimes name the weeds as I pull them and throw them in the yard waste bins for city pickup to carry off to the …well not the dump for yard waste.

So when the going gets tough, go to a garden. Pull weeds, absorb, return to normal.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

 

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Filed under Garden Clubs, Gardening, Gardening health benefits, Gardens, Public Gardens, Uncategorized

Only Child says Carpe Diem

00240021If the unsettled weather in the world teaches us nothing else, we need to grab the good-weather summer days and get outside. (Winter is another matter, better left swept under the carpet for now).

This beautiful long Victoria Day holiday weekend in Toronto, Canada got me outside in my garden. I enjoy gardening but there is always lots to do. The trick is to pace yourself over time, even within the time span you are currently out in the garden. So I did a “to do” list, but didn’t tie myself to what I did when. I started in the front garden, but I had been already out there, 30 minutes at a time or so when possible during lunchtime, evenings on workdays the past couple of weeks. So some areas were weeded and just needed fresh topsoil and the plants planted. One area I had even put down the topsoil. As I did this, I also yanked out a few dandelions that had sprung up. My neighbour next door was rotor-tilling one area of his garden and gave me some strawberry plants. They went into the front and some in the back. Later that day when I was out only for a short walk to Shopper’s, I did what any garden fanatic would do.

Bought some more perennials I saw outside a convenience store I passed by. So I had to plant them.

The rest of the day I spent sitting outside in the backyard, reading a mystery novel and snoozing.

Sunday, was much the same – except this time I dug up the area (weeds) for onions and lettuce, put down some topsoil in the front part of the area, and planted some onions and lettuce. There is still more onions to be planted but I’ve been sneaking some of the onion bulbs in with the flowers in both front and back. I use a lot of onions and like to store the remaining ones in the root cellar in the fall, so the more the better. (But we won’t think of fall now because we know where that leads).

I’m trying to be innovative with the garden this year, partly because I’m still dealing with the aftermath of God’s winter (make that two winters) destruction outside. But we won’t think of winter now. Also I’m removing a lot of what is mostly weeds and planting new perennials. So, I have a few areas in front where it looks somewhat weedy in back and is cleared with new perennials in front. My excuse? I’m waiting to see what perennials come up from last year so I don’t dig them up by mistake. Two hostas up and spreading and those two spikes might just be the third hosta poking through the weeds.

It has been dry here lately – we got some rain Friday evening but not enough to loosen the ground where the false sunflowers are starting to come up for this year. I need to remove some of them so I can get at my compost bin and also promised Tanya and Alex next door at least once clump. And I have another place in my renovated garden for a clump too.

Oh well, hopefully next weekend. It’s getting cold again before then.

Meantime the garden club I go to is having its annual plant sale this Thursday evening. Carol and I hope to get there. I need more sedum and lavender and a new sage plant. My old sage plant didn’t make it through the winter.

Enjoy the flowers, the greenery you see around you. Remember – carpe diem – seize the day. You never know what disaster will land on you tomorrow.

 

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Carpe Diem, Gardening and depression, Home and Garden, Only child, Peace and quiet, Reading

Only Child’s Canada Day thanks and no thanks

Only Child's magnificent juniper tree as it once was. Slowly coming back some.

Only Child’s magnificent juniper tree as it once was. Slowly coming back some.

Canada Day, July 1, is one of the few statutory holidays I like to celebrate. Christmas is another. However, we all know why last Christmas was a write-off – the ice storm – except for one thing, my son’s wonderful help here – getting my boarder, her cat, and me into a hotel downtown and paying for it when we had no hydro power and no heat here. And driving us back here Christmas Day (when we had power – but not everybody in Ontario did) and making dinner.

On Canada Day I have a ritual – I don’t usually make it on time for the parade but I go to the nearby community area where there are booths for gardening, crafts, City of Toronto information, community groups, food, entertainment and a lovely garden maintained by the East York Garden Club. I like to sit by the latter and eat a lunch I have brought along as I no longer eat burgers and hot dogs, let alone the buns that go with them (gluten). After that I like to go for a long walk in the neighbourhood just south of this community park area and end up back on a main street and take the bus home.

Today it doesn’t look like that will be possible, thanks to God and his weather. I mean the parade just started 20 minutes ago and then the rain. But more on that later. First, what am I thankful for on this July 1?

1. My son, Martin, for all his help and support, not just with dealing with the ramifications of weather, but for helping me with computer stuff and well just being there. I will do a separate post on this in future.

2. The miracle of the trees and shrubs damaged by the cruel extreme winter and early spring weather (the latter was actually winter weather going to late April/early May). As mentioned in a previous post, two of my evergreens suffered extensive damage – that damage from winter burn from extreme cold when the sun gets lower in the sky (late April and into early May). Half the boxwood turned rusty brown and most of the big beautiful juniper. I gave God you know-what for that and it looks like he is making some amends. The juniper is slowly coming back – not sure if it will be 100 per cent. Despite my next door neighbour and the arborist saying “no it’s not,” I do not want it removed. “Over my dead body” is what I say to them. I’m not losing hope here…yet. I’ve watered the Juniper in between rainfalls (which works out to not often for the watering), added bone meal plus and those fertilizer sticks you put in the ground around the drip line of the tree. I also weeded around the tree as much as possible. One of my two patches of silverlace over by Tanya’s and Alex’s fence is dead. Alex removed the deadwood from his side and I’ve removed some from my side. The other silverlace on the fence and gate to the backyard is slowly coming back. Still lots of deadwood there but that will get removed in time. Which brings me to miracle no. 3.

3. My Good Samaritan. This retired gentleman who took it upon himself to just show up and shovel my snow (and other seniors – older than I – in the neighbourhood) again just showed up and offered to cut down and prune the deadwood. Turns out he is a certified arborist, now retired from the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation. This was almost a month ago. Still nothing done. But it is not his fault. We have had too much rain, too much of it heavy and with thunder and lightning, the area can’t get dry enough for him to do his work. We have also had a few too humid days to do tree work. I do not want him getting heat stroke or worse. So, God sent me a Good Samaritan but makes it impossible for him to do his work. Something is wrong here.
4. The miracle of the lost leather bracelet. I love leather bracelets, especially the wide one I wear all the time in the summer. Never wear more than my watch on my arms in winter when it is long-sleeved sweaters. A weekend ago I was gardening, removing a lot of dead rosebush (I can do most of that myself), weeding and finally getting the replacement lavender plant, and a few others, planted. When done I discovered I was no longer wearing the bracelet. Usually I remove it for gardening, but I decided I had forgotten this time. A thorough search of the garden areas worked in and the bin and yard waste bags (I emptied the latter three onto my driveway and rummaged through them three times) brought out no bracelet. I did find a sort-of replacement in Chinatown but it isn’t the same. It is smaller but has dome fasteners – not that that ever stopped my bracelets from getting lost. Yesterday morning while sitting on the veranda drinking my coffee I saw the bracelet sitting on its side on the other side of the veranda just past the other chair. I grabbed it and washed it. And also thanked God and a few saints for this miracle (Well, with this and the trees I had pestered God a lot – for blame and he had to make amends. Looks like he did).

Not so for the weather. This is what I am not thankful for. And I am referring to the weather Canada-wide, not just in my neck of the woods.

For the most part Canada used to be a good place to live weather-wise. Oh sure, we had the cold Arctic and cold winters and lots of snow in various areas. But only the odd severe weather storm in any season.

That all changed eight/10 years ago. Some people might say before that and I won’t argue here. Suffice to say Canada has joined the US for tornado alley and eastern Asia for monsoon-like weather. You can’t live anywhere in Canada without experiencing severe weather of some sort. If you don’t believe me check out The Weather Network on TV or online. The station now has a regular segment every 10 minutes (right after the local weather forecast) called The Force of Nature – highlighting the extreme weather all over. (It should be called The Force of God).

As mentioned in previous posts I know there is global warming and the theories behind that. Some of it is true, but even very religious people can’t eliminate the God factor. You know the will of God. God gave us humans free will and maybe, just maybe he doesn’t like what we are doing with it. The weather? He is either making it happen or letting it happen. Take your pick.

For now the brief heavy rainfall has stopped. But who knows what will happen weather-wise for the rest of the Canada Day celebrations.

Happy Canada Day.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

 

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Filed under Canada Day, Extreme Weather, God, Good Samaritan, Lost Bracelet, Trees and Shrubs