Showing posts with label Gardening tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gardening tips. Show all posts

March 28, 2012

Greenacre garden tour anyone?

Welcome to my garden....
Some of the beds were still sleeping last week, 
until we had a heat wave of 26'C for a couple of days straight
Then everything came to life! The flowers bloomed and the grass turned green.
Popsicle's stained clothing and flip-flops made their comebacks!
I even pondered cutting the grass for the first time this year.
Lucky for me we had no gas and my ambitions turned to relaxing and enjoying the view.
Summer-dreaming weather it was!
Can you believe this photo was taken the 21st of March? 
It's usually to cold to go outside still and the flowers would just be starting to grow. My garden is about a month ahead of it's regular schedule and I am wondering how much of this is global warming?.
Warmer temperatures bring bugs and other undesirables to the garden...starting with snakes!
While I was on my knees weeding, a garden snake slithered right up to me and I fell backwards screaming. This snake just looked at me as to say what?..I cussed at didn't move (my husband later informs me they have no ears) I threw a rock at didn't move...threw my trowel and still nothing....being the bigger person...I moved.
 This glorious event usually occurs in late July when my plants are really tall and I immediately stop cleaning the garden beds until fall or there are no signs of snakes. Never thought the fun would come so early but it prompted me to do some research and to my horror found out that Canada does have one poisonous rattlesnake.

The Eastern  Massasauga Rattlesnake , Sistrurus catenatus, is the only venomous snake still found in Ontario. Although the venom is potent, this snake's small size and retiring habits make it a minor risk to humans.
rattle of an adult Massasauga

Massasaugas once had a wider range and were far more common in southern Ontario near the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Huron. Rattlesnakes were common in the Windsor area fifty years ago but their population has seriously declined with development and urbanisation of the area. They are still relatively common on the Bruce Peninsula and the eastern shoreline of Georgian Bay. Ojibway and the Wainfleet Bog near Port Colborne support small populations.
The range of the Eastern Massasauga closely coincides with the range of tall grass prairie in the United States. Less than one percent of the original prairie remains in North America and the Massasauga has declined over much of its range. These attractive grey and black reptiles were once killed indiscriminately because of a perceived danger of being bitten. In Wisconsin this rattlesnake was considered a nuisance up to 1975 and bounties were paid for dead snakes. It is now considered endangered in Wisconsin and Massasaugas are protected in eight of the ten states where it is found.
Due to the rapidly disappearing habitat and declining population, the eastern massasauga rattlesnake has been officially designated as threatened and is protected from harassment or killing under Ontario's Wildlife Conservation Act and the new Ontario Endangered Species Act . They are quite timid and pose no threat if they are left alone. For more information visit the Massasauga Recovery Team web site.
Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

The name catenatus in Latin means chained or chain-like and refers to the central row of dark spots on the body. Massasauga is from the Ojibwa language and means "great river-mouth" which alludes to the marshy habitat of the snake.
A rattlesnake can be identified by the presence of bony, loosely segmented rattles at the tip of the tail (click here for sound), a pit between the eye and nostril and the vertical cat-like pupils. Adult length is about seventy-five centimetres (thirty inches). The head is not so triangular in shape as other rattlesnakes but it is noticeably wider than the neck.
~ Courtesy of

I am praying I NEVER see one!
So much so that it has me thinking about changing out my plants to drought resistant species and  spending less time tending the garden beds.
Click on the image to check out Better Homes and Gardens free garden plans.
And for their list of the Top perennials to have in your garden.
Seems rather foolish to let a big ole' rattlesnake get the upper hand when there are so many beautiful plants to be growing and enjoying. What's would be the point living in the country if not to have big and luscious garden beds?.
Tomorrow I will research on how to deter them and always walk around with a big shovel .*wink*wink*

July 18, 2011

Greenacre Summer'lovin

''A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.'' 
~James Dent
We have been enjoying the most amazing hot and sunny weather. The days are spent poolside listening to 80's music and watching the girls discover all the things Summer can bring.
Riding on 4-wheelers,
trying new foods and getting super messy,
learning a new ways to share,
relaxing in the pool,
trying new looks,
playing with the sprinkler,
finding new things to touch,
loving their big sister,
and celebrating their newest accomplishment...the ability to climb ANYTHING! 
(Spiderman has nothing on these two)
It's a good thing the butterflies and hummingbirds are airborne or they would end up in their mouths like just about everything else.
These Delphiniums are just one of the many flowers I use to attract hummingbirds to my garden. Some other flowers that butterflies love are;
Blanket flower
Butterfly weed
Garden Phlox
New england Aster
Joe-pye weed
Black-eyed susan
Bee Balm

Plants that attract hummingbirds are;
Bee Balm
Red Columbine
Delphinium and Hollyhock
Butterfly Bush 
Catawba Rhododendron
Rose of Sharon
Trumpet Vine and Trumpet Honeysuckle
Cardinal Vine
Lantana and Fuchsia
Silk Tree
Beard Tongue
Bleeding Heart
Coral Bells
Obedient Plant
Pincushion Flower

For a complete plant list and more information about hummingbirds go to

Click here for more information about Gardening for the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird in Canada

Even though we are right in the middle of summer...I can't help to to think of the cooler temps around the corner. In 5-6 weeks it will be Fall and I wanted to start planning my garden beds ahead of time. 

But it is hot! hot! hot! today and for the next week the temps are going to be 41'C with the humidex so no planting until the heat wave passes.

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. "

~Russel Baker

Fall countdown banner



June 14, 2011

Grab a coffee and come on over !

Hello!..glad you stopped by. It has been a very busy couple of weeks over at Greenacre. The garden beds needed tending and the weeds have been waging one serious war. One that I intend to fight to the bitter end...or until I see a snake then I wave the white flag and the weeds get to live until next Spring.
The twins love the outdoors and tasting everything! I thought the mere taste of a piece of wood would deter them from doing it again but no such luck. Rocks, leaves, soil, grass, bugs, flowers and pine cones are all tasty snacks to them. I'm sure a delicacy in certain parts of the world too but 'round here , it's just gross. So I keep them in their stroller as long as I can and buy time with arrowroot cookies, cheerios , toys and pray they fall asleep with the fresh air.  A girl can dream!
Columbine flowers are really great self seeder
I love hummingbirds and make this nectar all Summer long.
We decided to take the girls and drive two and a half hours (one way) to a car swap/show in the pouring rain. FUN FUN FUN! My husband asked Cesina if she preferred to play soccer or go to Barrie and she choose Barrie. The best part was when she moved the lock on the porta potty to unoccupied and some guy opened the door as I was pulling my underwear up. Yep! I am officially a flasher.Can't say I died of embarrassment because after you have a baby and have had a zillion people looking and touching when you are larger than life...somehow....a random bunch of people at a car show don't really matter in the grand scheme of things. It will a funny story I can share with her when she's older. The five hour drive was well worth it as I found a pink Christmas tree for Cesina's room and a concrete statue of Mother Mary for my garden. Something I have been wanting and looking for a couple of years now.
What an amazing find!!!
We made sure to enjoy all the nice weather when it came because it goes from hot to cold and rain in a matter of hours. It has been a very weird start to Summer.
Watching Cesina's first soccer game was alot more fun than I thought it would be. I was so proud of her! Running after that ball with determination and the one of the only girls that actually got to kick it a couple of times. Who knew little 5 year boys were so competitive? ...down right fierce!
(Cesina's team won the game )
I hope your day is as beautiful as this flower!
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