Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Cautionary Tale

I purchased a Dwarf White Pine from Mori Gardens, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario on Saturday, July 12th. I couldn't find this pine in my area, and on a family trip to the Niagara area I decided to visit Mori to see if they had one.

There was one left, located in their prime display at the front of the garden centre, priced at $99.99.

I brought it home and planted it on Monday. Unfortunately, the pine began to turn brown by Wednesday. I called Mori and the employee I spoke to led me through the usual questions about how I had watered it or not, etc. I explained that I am a horticulturist and garden designer, and that I've worked for CBC radio as a gardening phone-in expert. Yes, I had watered it and no, not too much.

Mori Gardens' dead Dwarf White Pine

The new garden with Mori Gardens' dead Dwarf White Pine

Mori's guarantee on nursery stock reads as follows:

"The Mori 100% two year guarantee is subject to the presentation of your receipt and the dead nursery stock. We will replace the full amount paid once for guaranteed plants that die within two years after the purchase date by a credit note - no cash refunds."

The employee insisted that I bring the dead plant in, as per their policy. I explained that I lived near Sudbury, an 8 hour drive from the garden centre, and could I just email them a photo? The answer was no.

I know exactly what happened to this plant and why it died. At some point shortly before I bought the plant, it had been allowed to totally dry out. Conifers cannot handle this, but unfortunately they don't show the damage for several days. This poor pine was doomed before I even laid eyes on it.

What I have learned from this expensive experience is that I will never buy a conifer from a garden centre (and certainly not from Mori Gardens!) that is any distance away from my home. You can't tell right away that they haven't been cared for properly.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

'Frosty Beauty' Daylily

'Frosty Beauty' finally bloomed! This is the daylily that I had planted in my street garden, shown in my post called Anatomy of a New Garden from June 23, 2008.

I've been working away on the backyard since I returned from Quilt Canada 2008 in early June. Photos will follow soon!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Introducing Baby May

This is the story of Baby May.

At 8:30 a.m. of May of 2007, Nurse Angie of the Martindale Animal Clinic, Sudbury, Ontario stepped outside the clinic to see a taped cardboard box left beside the large trash bin. She could hear purring, and through a hole in the box, Angie could see a tiny paw waving in the air.

She brought the box into the clinic and when it was opened, she found a 5 month old kitten with one eye severely injuried, from an apparent dog bite.

Dr. Dan Ransberry, the veterinarian on surgical duty that day, called the SPCA but they couldn't take the kitten because of her serious injury. Dr. Dan gave her a pain shot. The kitten continued to purr when handled, despite her condition.

Since the kitten was probably unadoptable, Dr. Dan decided to keep her. He called her Baby May, and she turned out to be a cuddly beautiful little girl. I met May at Dan's house. Her one good eye is a lovely China blue, and she has the most gorgeous patterned coat. Dan says she is a Silver Tabby and Lynx Point Siamese cross.

Dr. Dan is the vet for our two Golden Retrievers. His clinic has been voted Sudbury's favorite animal clinic 4 out of the past 5 years, for many reasons including his compassion for cruelly discarded, wounded kittens.

Baby May's colours

Tuesday, July 1, 2008