Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winter Madness & Seed Orders

It is snowing today. I'm beginning to take it personally. Things that I'd left for winter interest are now buried in snow. By the time I remove the snow from the brake lights, it's time to start again on the windshield. I've taken out pastry for pie, and I think I'm going to make brownies later. And, because they're good for you, I'm going to make bran muffins with dates.
Just to show that I'm not the only person in the Great White North going mad, saw this a.m. that there is a trapped cruise ship in the St. Lawrence River near Matane. Matane is north and west of Ottawa (the coldest capital city in the world), north of Montreal (one of the coldest and loveliest cities in the world), north of Quebec City, (home of the coldest and oldest walled cities in the world) and north of Chicoutimi (which is one of the coldest and most fun place names to say: Sheecooszteemee). And, the icebreaker that was sent to free these fools is trapped as well. However, Nathalie Letendre, communications officer for the Coast Guard denied the Terry Fox got stuck, "It just had difficulty to move in the ice," she said. "There's a difference." No fears, another coast guard icebreaker is on the way.
So, why you ask are these folks in a cruise ship in the middle of the St. Lawrence River - a magnificent river, that has as far back as anyone knows freezes solid every winter. Glad you asked - these folks are taking "part in a historic cross-country ski and river voyage marking the first time a cruise ship has plied the St Lawrence from Montreal to the Gaspe Peninsula in the middle of winter.....in honour of the 475 anniversary of the arrival of French Explorer Jacques Cartier (who, and as a side note of interest, was forced to stay here because his little ships were frozen in place from November to April).

Included in this ship of fools is founding president of the Montreal Insectarium, Georges Brossard, astronaut Julie Payette and biologist film maker Jean Lemire. According to the report, everyone is having a lovely time, getting massages, singing songs and reciting poems. And, there's even been an insect tasting - cockroaches and crickets coated in chocolate or salsa - I kid you not. Look for empty cages at the Insectarium this summer.

So, back to gardening, or at least preparing for it - seed orders to be done by 5:00 p.m. I've promised myself. And, unfortunately with the $Cdn down at the moment - I'll be ordering from Stokes, William Dam and Veseys. If nothing else their descriptions are pretty accurate - and Vesey's photographs appear to be from their own trial garden.

I pulled out a couple of seed lists from other years and found this - just had to share. It was from Chiltern's. The photo from 2006 follows - a reminder to myself, just like the mirror on my car - objects may appear much larger than they actually are. And, apologies - will figure it out another day, but Blogger is spinning my photos from landscape to portrait.

"TOLPIS BARBATA - Annual
A recommendation in C.O. Booth's famous Encyclopedia of Annual and Biennial Garden Plants published in 1957 when coloured pictures were at a premium, only eight plants merited such an illustration. This is one of them. It is a most attractive plant for border or rockery producing in great profusion from July to September brilliant bright yellow flowers, each 2 ins. across, with deep maroon centres. Splendid for cutting. 1-2 ft."
Not bad, even if it was the right way up.

However, look very closely....see those little flecks of yellow - the very same, Tolpis barbata a "most attractive plant"!

3 comments:

kerrdelune said...

Greetings Barbara, I live in the Ottawa valley, and we are taking this latest snowfall very personally indeed. As much as we love snow here, we are running out of places to put it.

Frances said...

Hi Barbara, HA. I do love Chiltern's though, they have stuff I have never heard of but want. I just pick a letter of the alphabet and choose a couple of things. The descriptions are so fun and the seeds are high quality. Maybe those yellow flowers, sized as advertised, needed to be planted en masse! HA I also loved you snow photos with different settings. I think the 1/800 ones were prettiest if not most accurate. The snow house was cute but looked cold. And cruises now, just plain cuckoo!
Frances

Barbarapc said...

kerrdelune - fingers crossed for you to get a bit of a melt to condense it all. Remember having to do a double shovel in Quebec - Mum in the driveway - us on the snowbanks to move it into the yard. Fortunately we're meters away from anything like that!
Frances - Chiltern's germination was always great - we could always count on extra seedlings for the volunteers and gardens after planting up as much as we could sell for the Royal Botanical Gardens annual sale.