Monday, February 9, 2015

A New Best Friend - The Toronto Gardener's Journal

Day 6, and hopefully the final day of plumbing woes.  We thought we might be bidding farewell to our maroon fixtures last week, (circa 1953!), but as luck would have it, the toilet was fine.  It was detached, and received a brand new seal at the base.  Then several nights ago, I heard a disturbing gurgle, bubble, bloooop sound.  The toilet had come alive and was sending bubbles up through the bowl.  More alarming was the fact that the water level was rising faster than I could spin the shut-the-darn-thing-off-valve.  Managed to stop its performance and get some sleep.

Called in the plumber who diagnosed a blockage.  He needed information from Halton Region. We called in the Region to give the plumber the green light to fix it.  Two brightly dressed regional workers arrived in two large vans.  They tromped through the house in their boots, played my piano briefly ("Boy, wish I'd had my sheet music with me!" said one of them), asked for direction for the clear-out pipe, (why am I the one who knows where his pipe is?) joined me as I pointed mid-garden bed where the clean-out pipe was - and then began to dig up my garden with a spade.  Shortly thereafter, one of the men, in one of the vans left.  And, after 30 minutes, the second man in the second van left too.  Kevin and I stood incredulously in the foyer thinking, what on earth?  Now what?  They were with the Region, it was 5:00 and no doubt the vans were due back to the garage.

Kevin called the Region the next day - they said we needed a "Call before you dig" guy.  We called and a very nice young CBYD guy arrived and proceeded to mark all the services in brightly coloured paint, all over the snow.  And most importantly produced a PROCEED certificate for the plumber.

Which brings us to today - the plumber and his assistant are in the garage.  Bart and I are now waiting in the office for it all to be over and for our celebratory flush. 

And, one more thing to be happy about on this cold Monday morning is this little burst of green:

One of the Amaryllis is starting to sprout.

Now, had I had my act together, I would have rescued it from the garage and planted it up sooner. Perhaps the week of December 7th, as recommended by friend and colleague Margaret Bennet-Alder in her gold-standard The Toronto Gardener's Journal and Source Book.  

This journal is a terrific reference.  Good for new gardeners (and experienced, though forgetful ones), it takes you week by week providing tips of what to do when.  This week, the suggested task is to take cuttings of some of your favourite houseplants, along with a good description of how to do it.The source section is extensive - books, columnists, bloggers, ezines and ebooks.  There are associations; suppliers listed by type of plant; events and tours; garden centres, and one of my favourite sections is the Gardens to visit within and beyond Toronto - many of which were completely new to many gardens, so little time!Margaret and her son produce this journal and coordinate its sales and distribution.  If you are interested, go to  Anyone who gardens along the Lake from Niagara Falls to Oshawa would benefit from having this book in their library.  (The only benefit I receive from this shoutout is feeling good for recommending a good garden book.)
And, on another note, the plumbers have left.  They were able to get to the "root" of the problem - one of my fine remaining trees had stretched its gnarly toes into the waste water line about 12 feet from the house.  So, problem solved.  Cheque written.  Celebratory flush just moments away.   Am off to find a houseplant in need of a trim.  Looks like it's going to be a great day!  


Barry said...

So happy that you were able to flush. Its cause does give me pause as I have a silly number of trees [albeit small still] within 12' of my house. Plant ye no more trees Barry!

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

It always seems to be something when you own a house. Glad it was resolved. I planted my amaryllis around the beginning of December and have been harvesting blooms for vases. But they say it is not too late to even pot them up now. And we need any blooms we can get here with all our snow.

Kim and Victoria said...

Cute little Bart! Good luck to you all!

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Karla Foster said...

It's good to know that you already fixed the problem with your toilet bowl. Thanks to Mr. CBYD for that. Hahaha! Anyway, I hope that everything is doing well now, and that you'll never have to experience the same problm again. Thanks for sharing that! All the best to you!

Karla Foster @ South West Houston Plumbing

Levi Eslinger said...

It seems as though you have a bit of red tape to get through with doing your plumbing repairs, but at least they get done! However, I hope your garden did not suffer too much damage and you were able to get back to normal fairly quickly. Like you, I am also always fascinated and so excited when I see the first shoots of a plant or a tiny fruit beginning to form! Oh, the miracle of nature!