Saturday, August 31, 2013

How to dry Fall Hydrangeas, & Hydrangea Wreaths, The Camellia , Thunder Bay, On

 It's almost September, where did the Summer go? A  bittersweet time, when all the Garden flowers are hopefully at their peak, and who can resist plucking them to dry and make into Wreaths so that the  blooms  can be enjoyed all Winter long? 
 We get asked so many times, when is the right time to pick my Hydrangea blossoms, they are so beautiful, and I would  like to preserve them to enjoy in the coming Winter months. How do I do this?

Here is a finished Hydrangea Wreath , just made, on a moss base. What you can't see is all the work that went into making it, abour 3 hours of labour, not including climbing up and down ladders to grab the nicest blooms, which are usually at, you guessed it, the top of the tree. It's best to pick from several bushes to get variety of size and colour.

 This type in  the photo above is best picked just after a light frost, or just before a light frost, but make sure to wait until there's a good amount of pink showing on the bloom. If the frost is too heavy, then the bloom will turn brown, which is okay depending on your colour scheme. If it has been raining lots, the blooms will also turn brown. The lime green mophead hydrangeas should be picked before a frost, so when you see the temps going down to about 4 degrees C. It's a hit and miss process, sorry,  there are no easy answers. You will know your hydrangeas were picked at the correct time if the heads dry nicely and keep their conical shape. If they were picked too early, the blooms simply shrivel up, which is okay as well. Lay them out on a sheet so that the white spiders that are in the blooms can run away.

 Here at The Camellia we work with all blooms when they are fresh.  You may prefer to work with dried blooms.

 Here the blooms are being attched to a base of Birch Twigs.Once the wreath is made, and the hydrangeas are left to dry, carefully rotate the wreath, and then there is the filling in of any gaps after the wreath is dry,using additional hydrangea blooms.

Hydrangea blooms also look beautiful in a glass or crystal Vase.

Pretty, aren't they? Come on into The Camellia to see our Hydrangea Wreaths and  Vase floral designs which are for sale. We are Open Saturday August 30th, 2013 from 11-5.After that we are closed and will reopen on Wednesday September 11th. 2013. If you need anything during this time, please call 807-475-3551 and leave a message. 

Happy Harvesting and wreath-making!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to choose a new Mattress, The Camellia, Thunder Bay

Today, we are introducing our fictional characters, Mr. & Mrs. C, and they are off to buy a new mattress, having put off this decision for quite a while. They now have a sort of saggy dip in the middle of their old mattress, which is not so comfortable. 

Mr. C has to be up at 5 am to get to work , Mrs. C works until the wee hours of the mroning, and gets up later. So yes, they need to look at a mattress that has the least motion transfer. They both have aches and pains, so probably a pillow top or a Plush is better. If you are mattress shopping, the best way to figure all this out is to lay on the mattresses in the showrooms. Most big-box retailers offer a satisfaction guarantee - which means if you buy the mattress, and don't like it, you have a time period varying from 90 days ( L---'s is 90 days, Sears is 365 days  in which to take it back and exchange it.)

There are the Big S's - Sealy, Simmons, Serta. Then there is Kingsdown, Stearns and Foster, and others. To confuse Mr. & Mrs. C even further, the major manufacturers will make Private label brands for Big box retailers, each offering different features. Mr. and Mrs. C notice also that different stores will carry different models of the same mattress, making it hard to comparison shop.

It can be a daunting task choosing a Mattress, Mr. & Mrs. C are already confused, and worse yet they enter the store 15 minutes before closing. Not enough time, so their Sales assistant writes down their price quotes to hold the sale prices for 48 hours. . ( Sale ends that day).

Pocket coil, tight top, cushion top, coil  count, tempered steel, latex foam, silk and hollo foam, and the list goes on and on. How does one choose? At this point, Mr. C is starting to lose patience, and Mrs. C is upset. They leave the store, vowing to do some research on the internet to help them with their decision. Stay tuned to see what type of mattress they buy.

Did you know we carry a wonderful line of Bedding at The Camellia? You can custom order in all sizes up to a California King. And most of it is washable, a plus for those who sleep with Pets and kids. Come see our cozy, monogrammed, Made in Canada Pillows. 

A hot Bath before going to bed helps promote a great night's Sleep. Treat yourself to a hand-made bar of soap from The Camellia.

We are Open Wed. 11-5. Thurs. 12-7. Fri. 11-5. Sat. 11-5. This Sunday August 25th. 2013, we may be closed. P-807)475-3551
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Monday, August 12, 2013

On letting go of expectations..The Camellia, Thunder Bay

To quote Cookie Monster,  "Today me will live in the moment unless it's unpleasant in which case me will eat Cookie!!" It's true, we all have unpleasant days, those blah days when you just want to go back to bed, and then wake up and find out it was all a bad dream. but just one look at this cheery Sunflower bloom from last year's Garden ... and you start to feel a tiny bit better. It's always hard to let go of expectations, and it's crushing when you realize that it is what it is, no matter how much you wish otherwise. Like our weather this Summer, which now feels like Fall.

 All this rain has led to much grass cutting and my grapevine has grown to gignormous heights. May have to cut some of it to make a wreath.

 We must remind ourselves that Life is Beautiful.

 Garden lilacs, burlap, hearts and old windows.

 We have a Vegan dog,he loves tomatoes and zucchini, and beans and cukes. ...

 We have Canadian Soy candles out at the store, they smell wonderful!

 Saying Good-bye to Summer.

And hello to Fall handbags .. we have a great selection in store at The Camellia. 
Come visit us... we are Open Wednesday 11-5, Thurs. 12-7. Fri. 11 -5. Sat. 11-5. Sun. 12-5. 
phone 807)475-3551.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Welcome to August, The Camellia, Thunder Bay.

Hello! This Summer seems to be flying by, leaving me way behind, how about you? Summer is filled with so many want-to-get-dones. More walks by the Lake, time at the Cottage, house and maybe deck repairs, pools to put in, garage sales to have, and so the list goes. So much living to pack into a few short months. July was supposed to be my Manana month, ( manana is tomorrow in Spanish, it means don't worry if it doesn't get done today, it will get done tomorrow). The Manana concept has not kicked in yet. Then we sometimes have Family visiting, kids moving out, and Life happens, and the hecticity continues. This year all our whacky weather has added a new dimension, gotta get it done before it starts raining again!! Photo above was taken at a friends's Garden party, beautiful, isn't it? 

Lower than normal temperatures and lots of rain have left our Gardens looking like mud baths, but on the plus side, no time has to be spent watering the Gardens. Somehow the plants are putting on a good show and blooming away. Plants and Flowers add so much Joy to our lives!. 

A rare moment the other day, a Blue Sky! Have to share this with you. Things always look better with a blue sky. How has the weather been where you live? We love to hear comments, so leave us one below. 

A brief moment of respite this past month was a wonderful Garden Party at my dear friend's house. She has a spectacular Garden, we all wore hats and a relaxing time was had by all. The weather was beautiful and sunny. A reminder of what Summer is supposed to be like, time spent outside in the Garden, doing nothing, and enjoying a meal with friends. 

A container planting of all succulents. They are great in hot, dry climates, and will grow profusely. Too much wet soil will kill them, they hate too wet conditions. If you go to Camp lots, and cannot water often, these are the type of plants you should get. 

Aaahh Summer! The sound of water running and cascading in fountains, also a great de-stressing tool for most people. 

These Aqua glazed pots are simply stunning ..large pots add a great dimension to your Garden, they also add a feeling of grandeur. I can see a mass planting of vivid Sunpatiens in these. 

And the Ocean or Lake. Our bodies are 70% water, and we feel so much better when we are at the Ocean or Lake. Make some time to do this before Summer is over. Which beach have you been to lately?  Please share below in the comments box.

A family of Grizzlys eating by the roadside. They look sort of cute, don't they? As seen in Jasper National Park. 

Ah yes, the Vintage autos all come out of their garages in the Summer. Nothing beats a drive in one of these on a hot day! Especially a drive to an Ice-Cream or Hamburger joint. 

Mermaid in Stanley Park, Vancouver. A great park with lots of walking trails, however, if you're driving, roads are not clearly marked, so easy to get lost in the park. 

We've been inspired by all this cool, gloomy weather to start preparing for Fall. This is one of our Designs, a table piece of Magnolia, gerberas, callas, ranunculus and anthuriums. Rich, dark tones with a pop of orange to transition your Home from Summer to Fall. 

Another design we just made of Hydrangea, Poppies, and snapdragons with dried grasses and preserved salal. Drieds are wonderful to use in the Fall and Winter, a reminder of the glory of our Summer Gardens.

More Summer glory in Thunder Bay, Peonies.

Happy Long weekend!   Come Visit us at The Camellia at 30,Hacquoil Rd. We are OPEN all weekend.  Wed. 11-5, Thurs. noon-7. Fri. 11-5. Sat. 11-5. Sun. 12-4.     p .807)475-3551

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