Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
March 14, 2018 PI Day

Interesting Fact: Stephen Hawking died today. May you rest in peace, Sir!

March 12-16 is March break. Its been challenging when you are mom of 3, working with no helper. But that's just a fact of life. I took the kids to Kanata Wave Pool last monday and it was a blast. Bunos: there was a sauna and hot tub for me.

Ottawa is back at snowing days. Here are pictures this morning. Its quite an exercise to dig your car in the morning. But on the other hand, I am blessed because I have a shovel.

Here is my Eleanor, a fiesty Honda Fit totally covered up.

The Human Animal

March 14. 2018 wednesday

Rouge once said:
"The human animal is a beautiful and terrible creature, capable of limitless compassion and unfathomable cruelty.CXS

That sums up what I have experience this week:) Thought provoking indeed.

Tropical Hibiscus- Purple Galaxy send its fall bloom. I have not captured the color palette, but you get the idea, very pretty.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus)

February 6.2018 
ottawa, ontario, canada

Lemon grass

Cymbopogon citratus ( lemongrass) Because Filipino will put it in anything we cook, from chicken soup to stuffing for a whole pig roast.

Litchi Tomato - Solanum sisymbriifolium

Ottawa Ontario Canada.

Solanum sisymbriifolium ( litchi tomato), the mother plant was from Telsing Andrews Edible garden ( fall 2016). We got a garden tour - with our seed saving workshop and I was given few ripe fruits to taste and save. I love the fiesty look of this plant and sweet fruit such an oddball, in fact, i have one growing near my front door. 

It is my favorite summer plant, i don't think I ever need to water it often like the regular tomatoes. I direct seeded these seeds as well and they grow just fine. 

The fruits are very sweet and I love sweet fruits, and the flush of fruits is in succession. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Gardening Tools: Pinch Point Crow Bar

Garant Pro™ Pinch Point Crowbar, 60" x 1-1/2" x 1-1/2"

Product Details
  • Dimensions L" x W" x H": 60 x 1.5 x 1.5
  • Point/Tip Width": 1.25
  • Handle Length": 60
Great for those project requiring prying and spading in hard, compact or rocky ground. 60 in. 
Premium Forged Steel weighing 18 lbs. 
offers a digging end to break up hard compact and rocky soil.
 Ideal 60 in. length and 18 lb. overall weight, high tempered steel for strength and durability.
  • Painted red
  • 18 lbs.
  • 60 in. steel
  • Perfect for loosing hard and compact soil
  • Bar offers a digging and chipping end and a wedge or prying end

I am the kind of landscaper who like hand tools and this pinch point bar used 
to be my favorite farm tool. 
Sharp 1.5 inch thick,  ideal for digging small post for raise garden bed. 

The current ice build up in the front yard - it will be cleared in no time. 
Lets go Crowbar, my old/new gardening tool. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Jan. 21, 2017 The Womens March

January 21. 2017

What the Women's March mean to me? IMHO, the march is a peaceful assembly of Canadians of every race, gender and ethnicity. It's a positive atmosphere where people gather, have songs and dances. It represents the Canadian spirit and commitment to a better Canada and hope for humanity.

This is the message of Canadian Organizer, Marissa McTasney: (1)
"Canadians are coming together to say loud and clear that discrimination will not be tolerated, and that we stand in support of all those who have been the targets of hatred within Canada and abroad," said Marissa McTasney, from the National Committee of the Canadian Women's March. 

"This is a show of equality, solidarity, diversity and inclusivity. We are marching in support of indigenous peoples, people of colour, Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQI+, people with disabilities, women and others."


Monday, April 4, 2016

ipomea batata ( sweet potato)

In nov 2015, i put this sweet potato tuber in a small pot of soil. So, the idea was to take the slips for planting. it has grown into a tall 6 foot houseplant, maybe more. I have to start cutting the slips and get them ready in pots. 

I got this tuber from an organic farmer in a stand right accross the Parkdale market. He is farmer from from Gananoque area (1). It was not the actual Parkdale market, but it was that market just right accross Starbucks on the weekends. We were walking from Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) and I just cross the street. It was about 3pm and they were already packing. I was so lucky to find this stand. The tuber is yellow flesh and sweet.

ottawa, ontario, canada.
april 4, 2016


1. ) Gananoque-

Ipomea Aquatica ( water spinach)

the Ipomea aquatica seems to enjoy being soaked for 12 hours. and the little roots cane out. im very happy, i will have lots of I. aquatica this summer.

This was soaked within the last 3 days, so I hope to transfer these in a small pot. 

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
April 4, 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

Ontario Poem

I found this poem in my archieve today. could have been very fitting for snow storm last week.

i am not the author. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

The tale of the Sweet Potato from Gananoque

Jan. 15, 2015
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

In Fall of 2015, Russ and I went to MEC to shop for something. I cannot even remember what now, but MEC is our favorite store anyways.

We were walking near Parkdale and there was a market, and it was about to close, maybe it was like 2pm already. I look around for sweet potato tubers, because I like them, and wanting to plant many varieties.
There was one organic farmer for Gananoque, and he had organic sweet potatoes. I was so happy and I bought 2 lbs for $5. I took it home, I cooked it and it has yellowish flesh color. I saved one tuber for propagation.
And on Nov. 30, 2015 I put it in a pot with soil. It has sprouted and grown.

Next step is to take the sprouts away and put it in vase of water to encourage root development. And then make it a holding pot for next seasons outdoor planting.

I am also happy that the source is organically grown. If i have surplus of slips, I will gather the leaves, because sweet potato leaves taste good in soups.

So, there is a big reason why I searched out organically grown sweet potatoes. First, I harvest the young leaves to add to my chicken noddle soup and I feed this soup to my kids.

And second, I also like sweet potato tubers. So, if I grow them myself, I will eat it.

What about you? Loving sweet potato?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Blame is better to give than recieve

January 16, 2016
Ottawa Ontario Canada
45.4214° N, 75.6919° W

The sun is up, very beautiful afternoon. My hike today from Central Park to Carleton University. 

  • -9 degrees C
  • no rain
  • no snow
  • no wind
  • bright crisp snow along the path

Stats using app MapMyRun:
distance 3.54 kilometers, time: 44:08
Taken at Fisher Avenue facing experimental farm. The tall building is Dunton Tower - Carleton University. 

The plowed portion of Cow Lane inside Experimental Farm. 

With Cow Lane plowed, I can exceed 30 km per hour? Oh really?

Morningside Lane inside Experimental Farm is also plowed. The Dunton Tower - Carleton University is within few meters away. 

The footpath towards Hartwell Locks - with a bridge to the other side which is Carleton University.

A close picture of the Hartwell Locks sign. The bridge is a small 3 feet wide wooden bridge. It may look nothing, but it is a very dependable bridge to get to Carleton from Ex Farm. Without it, it will be long detour for me to get to Carleton University via Ex Farm. I thank you NCC, for keeping it partly plowed and open to public.
and the title? 

lyrics from the song Freewill by Rush

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jan 13, 2016, PM hike back to Central Park

Jan 13, 2016 WED
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

It was a calm day today as I put on my snow pants. No snow forecast. I am excited to continue my late afternoon hike back to Central Park.

Music: Rush
+ Zumba Tunes from ZIN volumes

Time: 52:55 minutes
Distance: 4.21 kilometers

Picture taken from Fisher Avenue, corner Cow Lane of the Experimental Farm. I decided that this will be my new point to take picture everyday of my hike. Its a perfect location, as I can also see Dunton Tower of Carleton University here.
The blanket of snow taken from Fisher Avenue facing Carleton University.

I saw the moon in this picture. Well, it looks like a small crescent. 

Calm day for a walk, no snow, no wind, just plain cold and pleasant walk. The white snow is really amazing.

half the world hates what half the world does everyday

Ottawa City, Ontario, Canada
Jan 13, 2016 Wednesday

The usual morning hike to Carleton University for me.

I listen to Rush, I am a big fan of Rush.

The first track on my phone was Half the World from the Album: Test for Echo

"Half the world hates what half the world does everyday".

If I hike to university everyday, does half the world would hate me?

Maybe, only freaking insane people would hike in this cold. It was really pretty cold.
-23 degrees C including wind chill. But really? That's nothing. Ottawa can get as cold as -40 degrees C.

I walk in my bright red Columbia Snow Pants and a CloudVeil Ski Jacket.
My peach toque is a gift from Tessie last Christmas. Over all, it was a nice hike.

Stats: From MapMyRun App
Distance: 3.92 km, Duration: 55:27minutes

Sunrise: Take from Fisher Avenue facing Carleton University

I have to take a selfie with Carleton University's Dunton Tower in the center. Its really off center, top of my head. Take at Fisher Avenue towards Cow Lane of Experimental Farm.

My path along Cow Lane. This section from Fisher Avenue is not plowed, so it is a challenging walk until you reach Ash Lane which is plowed and nicely cleaned everyday.

I decided to take a selfie because I love my peach toque given by Tessie.

This sign is in Cow Lane(un plowed trail) , and it is about 50 meters until I hit Ash Lane and Cow Lane intersection which is plowed well.

The intersection of Cow Lane and Ash Lane. Here starts the nicely cleaned/plowed trail until I hit Prince of Wales Drive. 

The walk was beautiful, I enjoyed the scenery. It was a bit windy coming from the west, I feel my ear a bit frozen, so I have to wrap my head with a scarf under the toque. The sunrise is amazing warms me up.

So, I guess, hiking to Carleton University is a fun activity that I love to do everyday.

Does the other half hates what I do every morning? I hope not!

Hiking to Carleton University and back home at Central Park Jan 12, 2016 Tuesday

Jan. 12, 2016

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

As all you know, I live in Central Park. Close to everything and I don't need a car. I could want one, but I am not giving in to that.

So, my means of transportation is the local OC (Ottawa City) Transpo Bus and if I bike or walk. Unfortunately, the snowfall is quite high, so my biking option is gone...I could, but my bike is not winterized.

I opted to use the bus system, but it goes around that bend that it takes the bus an easy 1 hour from my home to Carleton University.

I explored the option of hiking from my home to Carleton University. Drawing a straight line from Central Park, that is straight bulls eye to reach Dunton Tower of Carleton University.

The challenge is mostly deep snow during the morning, and also snowing in my face in the afternoon hike. However, this is the fastest route from home to Carleton hoo yah...this engineer will figure out a way for the most efficient route to Carleton.

This picture was taken about 5:30 pm. I reached Summerville corner Merivale.
Holy crap it snowed really hard and hit me in the face. My phone was soaked just by taking one picture.

Today, Jan 12, 2016 - I completed a distance of 3.71 Km, total time 51:16, according to my app - MapMyRun by Under Armour. I believe that is the company that manufacture sports specific shirts.

Other than that, it was pleasant walk. I love the variety of elevation, the different terrain, plowed road, icy conditions, sometimes black ice and near falling...but did not. So, all in all, this hiking adventure is fun.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sweet Potato - Lime green, Ornamental

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
November 30, 2015

feels like -10C outside

Today, it was a regular busy Monday. Kieren cried all the way from the kitchen to the bus stop, he does not want to get to school. Tell me why I hate Mondays? That's right, my little one need more cuddles from mama, but its time to go.

I also clear some trays for more seed propagation project.
I am very surprise to see sweet potato sprouting. I know, this was like a 2 inches small tuber from the garden last Fall. I never think it will thrive, since I never watered it, just stuck to a pot with dirt. However, today, I was ready to use the pot and saw some nice lime green leaves. It makes me smile.
Cheers me up because it is very cold out there.

Hope a good coffee cheers you up...or tea. Because I am smiling with love today for this awesome lime green sweet potato.

November 30, 2015
sweet potato - lime green

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Basella alba (Asian spinach, malabar spinach)

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Dear Basella alba, you are an awesome spinach. 

Its 8c outside, I just cut the last of what I call tender annuals. I drag basella alba inside and some sweet potato slips, because ...just I can't leave them frosted outside.

Inspired by Telsing, I will plant sweet potato next year. Yahoo!... That's decided. Hurray to sweet potatoes. It will be in the ground and in the tubs, and everywhere.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

24C and raining

Teusday. September 29, 2015
Ottawa City, Ontario, Canada

Today is such a nice day, a little bit of humid in the morning. My gardening work takes me to Stittsville, a perennial bed which has become overgrown after 3 years. So, we moved around 2 big Emerald Cedars, some daylilies, a hydrangea, and hosta.

3 hours after, the rain pours. We accomplished most of the bed, I have 2 more daylilies to split, and nice Karl Foerster grass, but it will be next week.

It is 24C high earlier  and it is now 14C raining. Signal for fall I think. In general, gardening calls for clean up is still around. I only work 3 days a week now, as I have my Fall 2015 course in Soils for Monday and Wednesday.

I hope everyone is doing well with fall, if the weeds took over your garden last summer, its time to hack them all out and bag them. Hoping spring is a clean season for all the blooms.

And BTW, the craneberry bush beans have dried too. Time for seed saving.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Phlox Purple

A neighbor friend of our gave us Purple Phlox. Kieren is my happy planter.

Amazing weather... summer is great.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Garden Jedi

My darling daughter, my gardener in training. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 2015

Crunch time, from winter to spring.

I have enjoyed every moment with it with my kids and family. let it be skiing, skating or hockey.
Now, where are my seeds?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

oct 14, 2014 nice clear morning

It is nice clear morning, and I went for a run after dropping the kids to school. I still have that cough and stuffy nose.
30 minutes run, that is all I can master.
i love fall, but this cough is not the best way for me.
i really do not like being sick.

And on the other news, Vertical reality is opening, October 31. get your heel hooks ready.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall 2014

It's been awhile that I have posted. Well, it's no excuse, but I can say it is beyond my control.
Hint: a painful separation.
Fast forward, I trained myself hard and I successfully finished the army run on September 21 2014. If you were there, you know it was blessed with good rain. Yes, swish swoosh slip slush!! Soaking wet! Yes, I finished the half marathon. I finished strong, proud and ready! Just like the army! However, I also admit that I run too slow, 2 hours 30 minutes to finish a half is not the best time. So, that's one disappointment. However, the strong point to that is that I did not have any blister, cramps and I was not walking funny on Monday. I came home that Sunday, I cooked, do the laundry, iron my kids clothes for Monday. I packed their lunch kits. I also ran the next day, just like any regular day of my life.
So, that is mission accomplished.

I also need to slow down to smell the roses. Therr are emotional scars within my soul that could use some healing, some feeling of relaxation! Yeah... tell that to a runner! slowing down is really hard to do. I run every chance I get, so today, I decided to wear stilleto, tiny heels. Lol it might work, it might not! I might end up running on this shoes, pretending that I am training for the stilleto run! I hope not, I hope I really slow down, and take it easy!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter Monday! 18C/63 F

Garden's  last for hundred years, companies don't. That's because people love and take care of gardens.
Larry Ellison - CEO Oracle Corp. ( Excerpts from Softwar)

I think gardens are immortal. People die, seasons change, but the garden renews itself each season. The joy I found looking at tulips poking  up from beneath the ground, the mint showing buds, ready for the next mojito. Reminds me of life springing right in front of me again, the passion I took up in life is the very passion that drives many people to give reason to live - just one more day, regardless if you are a penniless mom or a handsome billionaire. Each person has a special place in their heart when it comes to gardens.
It could be the flowers.
It could be the meals over fresh herbs and BBQ.
It could be friendships.
It could be empowerment, because the smell of Mother Earth inspires you.

I don't know about me, I know working in gardens brings the best  in me. The bees buzz around me, the  birds sing, the sun bath me with glistening sunlight, my life is never the same without a garden. My parents always remember me as such the math wiz kid, who would just love to come home to water her tomatoes and bougainvillas. Plants love me too, my presence let them bloom. They feel my energy, some sort of living breath within me.

While I mentioned that life has been rough lately, I should need rest and forget about gardening for my clients this season. But....i personally think that gardening will re-energize me again. Gardening gives me hope, makes me smile, brings me money and  makes my clients happy.

I never meet a sad client after my work...all of them were very happy sipping ice tea after a long day of work. All of my clients enjoy my company while gardening. I have many clients all through these years who call me each spring for gardening work.

Sometimes, I think I was born to garden...and maybe I really was. I should move somewhere warm and garden all season. But I love Ottawa, this is my hometown, regardless if the winters are harsh. I love the variety of season, I love the winter surprise.

Gardening is my therapy. Gardening makes me smile. Gardening makes me feel satisfied with life. Gardening is a welcome rest, from the hustle and bustle of life.  The plants around me, gives me one more reason to live. The flowers are just so beautiful.

I cannot find a price for the feeling of being one in the universe by being a gardener.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday 9C/48 F for you my dear friends over the border

good friday
april 18, 2014

I have been silent all winter season, I was in school and most of my plants in my basement died. I know I was grieving for them.

Actually, life has been very rough for me. And let us put it that way for now.

Today, I went in the front yard, all the snow were gone. I picked up the garbage and sprinkled some seeds. It always make me feel alive, the smell of earth, the smell of dirt.
I went in the backyard, it was still snowy. I manage to remove the debris and clear few pots. Clearly, the mint are coming back. The smell of mint and perilla were so good.

I sprinkled many seeds, bok choy, marigold, coneflowers and some beans.
The beans might be too early, but i covered them deep enough to acclimate.
I won't be doing anything special this summer, simply let the perennial grow back, make sure the herbs are in full abundance for BBQ and summer mojitos.
Speaking of mojitos, I really do hope all of them are still alive. That is my fave summer drink.:)

So, happy spring everyone, I am back to work on my final school report, work for my job later while the laundry is going.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

First Snow in Ottawa

October 30, 2013

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Weather : 1 degrees C

Yes, it did snow this morning.
Kieren was happily stumping every snow flake he found in the ground.

Just like the days when he discovered his shadows, and every chance he got, he try to chase his own shadow or his sister shadow.

My plants were not too impressed with snow, of course, they are tropical. LOL
see my snowed in avocado!

i have lots of basella rubra and basella alba in my basement.
a pot of mint
my herb garden (parsely, oregano, mints, lemon balm)
pineapple sage

and yes... my basement is getting crowded.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall: Frost visited my garden?

October 21, 2013
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Mr. Frost, did you visit my garden?

I was so oblivious with weather lately, and the garden was neglected. The midterms ordeal was a perfect excuse.

Today, after my Earth Science Laboratory midterm, I have enough of academia and decided to come home and cook myself some pancit. I bought a bag of shrimp, Kenny loves it, so do I.

I came home and started on cooking. I usually add all the herbs and veggies from the backyard, so I decided to clip some. And oh my! The backyard is a sorry state, but my favorite mints are still kicking.
Coleus is totally browned - like any tropical plants.

I manage to bring in my "Berries and Cream Mint".
 Isn't mint perennial in Zone 5?
Beats me, I like my berries and cream mint for winter. So, I rather have this inside, added to my many pots that I drag inside my house.

So, here are some pictures of my plants, evidence that Frost indeed visit. Or maybe not frost, just plain cold nights...

Basella alba

coleus canina

coleus blumei

coleus "peter wonder"

sweet potato "Ipomea batata"

scarlet runner beans and tomato

pot of herbs

pots of herbs

see the totally burned "browned coleus" in the middle

So, how is everyone's garden doing?
Not as bad as mine?