Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April is Daffodil Month

The daffodil is considered a symbol of wealth and good fortune in China. If one blooms on New Year's Day, the Chinese New Year is off to a good start for the household and they will have good fortune for that year.
The Romans believed the sap from these flowers had special healing powers, and here in Canada the daffodil has been the symbol of cancer awareness since 1956. It became part of the logo of the Canadian Cancer Society in 2000 and pins are sold in support every year.
Bunches of daffodils are also sold in April as a fundraiser by the CCS and whether purchasing bunches of daffodils for this worthy cause or cutting them from your garden, they need to be conditioned to last in a vase.  Always start out with a clean container and secateurs to cut the ends from the stems.  Daffodils excrete sap when the stems are cut which is harmful to other flowers.  Let them sit alone in water overnight and rinse off the stems before adding to a mixed bouquet of cut flowers.  They seem to last longer in cool shallow water containing some floral preservative. Change the water every couple of days.
N. 'Fragrant Rose' in my garden; 
established from the fall 09 Gardenimport bulb trials
Planting daffodil bulbs in the fall for spring blooms will bring rewards of cheery flowers that increase their numbers each year, naturalize well and squirrels don't like their taste. The botanical name is Narcissus but we've all come to know and love these flowers by their common name of daffodils. If you haven't included them in your spring garden display yet, remember to buy some good sized bulbs this fall and plant in a well drained soil.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Come to a Daffodil Tea

Welcome friends, won't you join me for a daffodil tea?
The table is dressed with its scalloped daffodil tablecloth.
There's a bouquet of fresh daffodils on the table...
and coffee cake with a lemon filling.
Help yourself to a teacup..
Earl Grey tea is steeping in my spring Marjolein Bastin teapot. Please visit my hosts and their guests.
I'll be linking with:

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Gardener's Corner

In June of 2001 I started writing a weekly gardening column called 'The Gardener's Corner' for our community paper The Innisfil Scope. I was invited to contribute to the quarterly magazine 'Footprints' that the publisher also produced and enjoyed writing for both. The beautiful coffee table magazine that we were all so proud of was discontinued a couple of years ago when The Scope was sold to  a new publisher. Unfortunately The Scope was recently sold again to a larger group and has been discontinued with any news absorbed by the small paper they already deliver in our area. The advantage of our long standing community paper was that it was mailed to the residents. However, with the increases from Canada Post on April1, our paper became more of an expense and not able to hold its own any longer.
I know a number of residents read my blog and the above information is for you to know and pass on, as well as where my weekly column can be found please.
Occasionally my articles may appear in the New Tecumseh Times and/or Shelburne Free Press as the last editor of The Scope is willing to run them when there is space.
For my blogging friends and anyone else who stops by for a visit, we all restructure our blogs from time to time and after giving it some thought, I'm going to continue The Gardener's Corner here every Thursday. There is no label specifically for it as any gardening information I've shared in the past is under Garden Musings. Gardening events of interest will be shared for our corner of Ontario as well.
This is the logo the paper created for me years ago which will be at the top of each column I post.

“All Things Plants” ( is a fantastic website with a spring and fall growing calendar for use by Canadian and US gardeners. Entering Innisfil or my postal code brings up Barrie each time, but that’s close enough to discover our last frost date this year is May 26. The suggested planting times for transplanting or direct sowing a large list of vegetables is available, and a handy guide to have. There’s also a link at the bottom to Margaret Roach’s planting guide, the long time garden writer for Martha Stewart Living. Just enter your last frost date for her chart.
The Biology Department of Carleton University (Ontario) is again soliciting our help to track the lily leaf beetle. 
web source
 The bright orange eggs found in my garden.
The larval stage that is supposed to look like a bird dropping, and therefore not tasty to a predator.
Many gardeners, myself included, felt it was easier to remove the lilies.  If you’d like to participate in tracking the beetle, visit their site at
The weather is warming again and it's time to get out and do spring cleanup in the garden!
Many thanks to the followers of my blog, new followers and visitors that like to have a look. Comments are always appreciated and if you are unable to do so, my contact information is along the top to contact me with questions or comments regarding the articles I post.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Artsy Note Cards

I like the monthly link parties and Vee's note card party is a favourite.  Share 4 photos that would make nice cards to send to friends or family and include a box top if you want. It's simple, easy and you're invited to join us.
My note cards this month have an artsy theme, related to gardening of course, if you know me. The brother of a fellow garden writer makes the most amazing statues that I've captured in his sister's gardens.
 B Davis 'Generations'
 B Davis 'Water Harp'
B Davis 'Tides of Time'
 (I call this one the Darth Vader water fountain)
Some fairies come out in daylight, photographed in a daylily breeder's garden.
A box top for my cards.
Thank you Vee for hosting this fun party every month. Visit the others at A Haven For Vee.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

From Greece with Love

Welcome friends for tea this week. My post is about bringing the love of friendship and tea all the way from Greece to her birthplace in Ontario to celebrate a milestone birthday. Wanting to meet other bloggers, an open invitation was sent out by our hostess, Poppy from Poppyview to meet at The Old Curiosity Tea Shop in Markham for a Victorian afternoon tea.
The quaint little tea shop is on the main street and has been in business for 15 years. On the left is a miniature tea cabinet display and the right is a cute piano teapot.
The interior had so much to look at on the walls, the cross beams, window sills and really, every nook and cranny. The vast array of teapots are old ones from the shop itself, and those donated to them.
Four of us met for the tea and with me above is Karen from My Little Home and Garden blog. You may recognize her blog as she is the host of Sunlit Sunday throughout the winter months.
Jennifer from A Garden of Threads is seen here hamming it up with Poppy and their cameras.  Jennifer and I were the only two that knew each other before the tea, having met through our Master Gardener group.
We were so busy talking and sipping tea, I did not take one photo of the food, which was excellent by the way. I did manage to snap my teacup of the Old Country Rose pattern; teacups, tea pots and plates were a delightful mix and match of china patterns.
We started with two tiers of dainty sandwiches and later were brought tiers of decadent sweets and scones with Devonshire cream. With almost 60 varieties of tea to choose from I went with an English favourite of Buckingham Palace which had hints of earl grey and jasmine.
Many thanks to Poppy for arranging the gathering and when we were about to leave, I noticed we had been lingering together for four hours. We were never hurried nor felt any pressure by staff to vacate our table which was much appreciated.
I keep a journal of the tea rooms I visit and give them a score on a scale of 1-10.  The Old Curiosity Shop is definitely a 10 and I recommend it to any of our blogging friends who may find themselves in Markham, Ontario.  A reservation would be a good idea and necessary for the afternoon tea. Visit their website at
Since Sandi is hosting an Easter Tea I'll share a couple of Easter cards I made and sent out to friends.
And on the inside, my wishes for each of you!
I will be linking with:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April Personal Photo Challenge

It's rolled around to that time again to join Donna at Cottage Days and Journeys for the monthly photo challenge.  Our mission for April is to share one to three photos of macro shots and the link page has plenty of guidance to accomplish this.  It doesn't mean it's easy, but definitely fun to get up close and personal.
Later this month the magnolia buds will split open from their catkin enclosures and create a spectacular display of pink flowers. Canon 40 D macro lens. f 5.6 ISO 400 (auto)
A store bought tulip that I went eye to eye with. Canon 40D macro lens. f 2.8 ISO 800 (auto)
A dragonfly with a golden body and gossamer wings. Canon 40D macro lens f 2.8 ISO 320 (auto)
If you'd like to join us for the Personal Photo Challenge you can link up here. Thank you Donna for hosting monthly and giving us a topic for each challenge.


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