Are you ready to spring forward: Clocks will move ahead 1 hour to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday at 2 a.m meaning we’ll lose an hour of sleep. Not to worry though, this just gives us more time to play in the garden. Enjoy the sunshine!
A symbol of the Geneva, Switzerland, watch industry of world renown, the famous flower clock, located at the edge of the Jardin Anglais (English Garden), was created in 1955. It is a masterpiece of technology and floral art. The Flower Clock is the pride and glory of the city, honouring the importance of the watchmaking industry as well as the skilfulness of its gardening team. It changes every year to accommodate the seasonal colours and requires around 6500 flowers, trimmed to the millimetre by horticultural specialists. Formerly only decorative with its sole dial comprising over 6,500 flowers, the new millennium provided it with decisive artistic dimensions thanks to the ingenuity of the gardeners of the Service of Green Spaces and the Environment.
Created in 1955, the clock has been captured through the lenses of millions of cameras every year. In 2002, because the sidewalk in front of it was not wide enough for tourists to capture the whole picture without being run over by passing cars, it underwent minor surgery and resurfaced with a new and more modern look. The seconds hand of Geneva’s Flower Clock is the largest in the world (it is more than 2.5 meters long).
The floral clock was truly enchanting. It had 12 divisions for the hours, and each hour would see the flowers in one of the divisions open or close. People who knew how it worked could leave their wristwatches at home when they visited this garden. A flower clock is a working timepiece. Floral clocks, as they are sometimes referred to, are public clocks, set in prominent locations, that not only display the time but the beauty of the season through the planting of flowers. Therefore at night time flowers are closed but with sunrise they open their heads. Round-the-clock schedule of petals movement is result of irregular growing of upper (inner) and lower (outer) their sides. If upper side grows faster then petals opens out and flowers opens. On the contrary, more fast growing of lower surface leads to deviation of petal inward and closing of flower.
However, there are flowers that open only at night, among them sweet-scented tobacco (Nicotiana alata), enotera, night beauty. This effect related to the fact that they are pollinated by night insects. Flower clocks are good only during sunny weather, during cloudy days they lie. Periodicity of opening and closing of flowers and inflorescences depends not only from nature conditions but from place of plant vegetation. Many plants have a biological clock, which regulates the time of day that their flowers open and close. For example, the flowers of catmint (Nepeta cataria) – also known as catnip – open between 6am and 7am; orange hawkweed follows between 7am and 8am; field marigolds open at 9am and varieties of Helichrysum wake up for 10am. Other varieties follow, with Convolvulus opening at noon.
It’s that time of year again, the red, green, and white time of year called Christmas! Where everything glistens and sparkles, and the smell of cinnamon, chocolate, orange, and peppermint waltz through the air. For many of us it is one of the most blessed days of the year celebrated with family and friends. A time to give thanks, to reflect on what we have and what we could do better. A time for peace and goodwill, gift-giving and good food. Christmas season with all its many traditions is also one of the busiest times of the year and no wonder, the to-do list is endless. Families with young children are particularly hurried with homework, school activities, concerts, trips to see Santa, shopping, baking, cleaning and cooking. Would we have it any other way? Never! Could we pare it down some, enough to smell the mistletoe? Absolutely or should I say I hope so!
This year I decided to give it my best shot paring down the list. First I had to make a few choices, like do I really need to spend a gazillion dollars to have a great Christmas? Will Aunt Ida really care that I baked one less dessert or that my usual formal dinner is buffet style this year? Do I really need to iron ALL the linens, clean every nook and cranny? Will my benefactors appreciate a less than glitzy store bought gift? I don’t know but I will soon find out. If they love me ha, ha,then they had better love my gifts!
So here it goes, I’m going to list them as I make them or when time permits. Remember I’m going for nice, easy and stress-free while reducing my carbon foot print this holiday season so please be patient with me. Like ‘somebody’ once said “there’s always next year”. Seriously though most of these recipes, gifts, and projects can be applied and/or adapted to suit any time of year.
Peanut-Free Granola Bars
The ‘Peace’ rose was introduced to the world in 1945. Today this is one of the most popular roses in the garden and cut flower trade with over one-hundred million sold as of 1992. Much of the success of this beautiful rose lies in its perfect form, fragrance and colour; Large flowers, light yellow to cream color, slightly blushed at the petal edges with crimson-pink. For me it is the history of its origin that captured my heart.
In 1935 at the age of 23, French horticulturalist Francis Meilland, developed a hybridized tea rose known at the time as #3-35-40. In 1939 as war began in Europe, Meilland foresaw the impending invasion of France and secretly sent cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany, and United States to protect the new rose. Rumor has it, that it was sent on the last U.S. plane out of Europe before the German invasion, to Conrad Pyle Company where it was successfully propagated during the war. For over five years, because of no communication due to the war, Meilland had no knowledge of what happened to the rose. It survived its clandestine journey under three separate names. In Germany- ‘Gloria Dei’ (Latin for glory of God), in Italy ‘Gioia’ (Joy), in the United States ‘Peace’ and in France, Meilland named it ‘Madame A. Meilland’ in memory of his dear mother. The latter name is recognized as the true cultivar while the others are the commercial names.
The variation of the commercial name ‘Peace’ was announced by the Conrad Pyle Company on April 29, 1945. Interestingly, on the same day that Berlin fell, which is also the day officially recognized as the end of WW2 in Europe. Later that year the ‘Peace’ rose was given to the delegates at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco with a note which read “We hope the ‘Peace’ rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace”.
It’s remarkable that sixty-six years later the ‘Peace’ rose is still the most enduring and beautiful hybrid tea rose on the market. Unfortunately world peace is still so elusive to our world today.
Nothing is more precious than peace. Peace is the most basic starting point for the advancement of humankind.
~Daisaku IkedaPeace rose image by Firegodess1-photobucket
Wow, it has been quite some time between posts, I’m awfully sorry about that! It was not my intention to be gone so long, but you know how life is, sometimes it drifts in other directions if only for a moment. I may have been gone for a bit, but you were not forgotten. Closing up the greenhouses, covering perennials in thermal blankets and prep work for the 2012 season is hard work. Fun for me because I love what I do but hard just the same. Grass Root Gardens has been a one woman operation the last few years and I have become a ‘Jill of all trades’. Soup to nuts, I do it all. Probably not a good thing but there you have it! The economy has taken a beating, road closures and detours in front of my business due to municipal and federal infrastructure forced me to cut expenses. I trimmed my inventory as much I could without affecting quality however that was not enough so I had to let my employees go. Hopefully the economy picks up for everyone so that I may relinquish some of my duties and rehire. On a good note I have been assured by the government that my road will NOT be blocked this year. Fingers crossed on that one because Grass Root Gardens just could not take a third year of road closures!
Thankfully I’m an optimist, any gardener can tell you this is one our most endearing qualities, so what’s a few obstacles, right? Pull up the boot straps, again and carry on. As my grandmother used to say “life is good if we don’t weaken” so three cheers to Grass Root Gardens as it embarks on its ten year anniversary in 2012 and cheers to you for coming along for the ride, I could never have done it without you.
Give me love, give me peace on earth, give me light,
give me life; keep me free from birth,
give me hope; help me cope, with this heavy load,
trying to, touch and reach you with, heart and soul.
Well the journey from seed to harvest this year regarding peppers was long and often times uncertain due to weather conditions. Too cold, too much rain and lack of sunlight slowed the peppers greatly. Many farmers across Ontario had to plant a second crop of peppers this year to make up their losses and to have peppers for you the consumer. There were many days I spied black trays of dirt praying for any signs of life. It wasn’t until late May when sprouting began in earnest and some varieties didn’t sprout until June, a few didn’t germinate at all. Next year I will start the peppers 30 days earlier than this year. Oh it’s the farmer’s life for me, I wouldn’t want to do anything else, so if waiting a few more months for peppers has to be – so be it. All the more sweeter!
According to the Marconi seed cultural notes Marconi is an Italian heirloom prized for extremely sweet, large red fruits. Plants produce 3-lobed tapered blunt-tipped fruits that measure 3″ at the shoulder and up to 12″ long. Excellent for using green, in fresh in salads, and also for frying. 70-90 days from transplant.
Some peppers were ready for harvest September 17th, 2011. There are four more plants with dozens of unripened peppers as of this date. I would suspect they need another four weeks to harvest. Normally from seed to harvest these peppers should take 150-160 days but this year they needed a longer growing time at 210-240 days. Proving 2011 was a poor year for peppers in Windsor Ontario, at least for my Marconi’s. Long red Cayenne peppers seemed to do just fine.
A fall garden is not complete unless you have at least a few ornamental grasses. Partner them with other fall blooming perennials and shrubs for dramatic results and eye-popping colour.
In this picture-mums, asters, sedums, kale, and fountain grass grass. For less than 100.00 this garden could be yours. Grass Root Gardens would love to help you select everything you need to make this garden happen. Plant it once to enjoy for years. Sure its an investment, but think of what you spend on annuals per year-its a bargain! And..you don’t have to water and fertilize it constantly like the annuals. I don’t know, why plant every year if you don’t have to. Just saying..
You know what I like about this book on ornamental grasses? Everything! Whether you use it as a reference book or a casual read as a coffee table book, bored you will never be. Durability-wise it holds up nicely, the designs are before their time, thus never out-dated. I’m giving this book 5 green thumbs up.
From the moment I picked it up in 2002 I loved it. The photography is exceptional, and photographer Saxon Holt captures the breathtaking beauty of ornamental grasses in the landscape and garden in extraordinary ways. From cover to cover the author Nancy J. Ondra presents outstanding garden design showcasing the versatility and splendour of grasses for any garden setting. Discover unique ways to combine other garden plants such as perennials and shrubs with ornamental grasses to bring out the best in your garden year round.
Light, wind, texture, movement, drama, grasses do it all. To every home and commercial landscape embracing these lovelies there is joy in knowing very little maintenance is required to keep them at their best. One snip in the spring, amend the soil with organic matter, water and you are good to go for another year! So what are you waiting for-plant your grass today. You will love it..and the book too!
The procurement rules in CETA don’t just discourage buy-local policies at the municipal level — they will ban them. Only the bottom line cost of a contract will count, and multinational bidders will have a right to hold up projects by challenging procurement decisions in front of trade tribunals.