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  • Clarke Wallace

What’s the old expression? ‘A stitch in time saves nine?’ You’d think by now I’d have that tattooed where I couldn’t help but see it. I’m more likely to mumble, “I’ll do it later.” That’s the kiss of death.


We have some antique furniture that cries out for attention. I’d often put together my special mixture to bring it back to life. I’ve neglected doing it lately. Not a good thing.


What I used for years to polish the antiques was a mixture of beeswax and turpentine. I’d heat the beeswax until it melted, add slightly warmed turpentine and stir them up. You can’t imagine how this gives old pine furniture a new attitude. With the wonderful fresh smell of the polished wood.


Back to ‘doing it later’. I’ve been putting off having seat covers of our two leather loveseats repaired. Both worn with lines crisscrossing the surface. One of the cushions has a two-inch (50 mm) tear in it. What to do? Check the internet.


What popped up was FIBRENEW: ‘Experts in Leather, Plastic, & Vinyl Restoration’. Added: ‘Mobile Service: Repair, Re-Dye and Restore’. Crossing our fingers, I gave it a call.


Art Abrenica arrived several days later bringing a truckload of large plastic boxes, along electrical buffers and whatever. He gave me a quiet nod and I retreated to my office down the hall.


Hours later – three, four – I ventured back to the solarium. The seats are now a rich brown matching the rest of the couches. Art told me not to sit on them for the next 48 hours, for the seats much needed time to dry.


“Sit on them any sooner,” he warned me, “and the brown mixture will come off on your jeans.”


Author’s comment: By the way, when I mention products, places or people, I don’t expect, or ask for, remuneration. I write my blogs both to entertain and let readers know what I’ve discovered. The original tear in the leather? You’d never know there had been one.

  • Clarke Wallace

I picked up the Toronto Weekend Star recently and this is what caught my attention-the headline: ‘Six blooms that make a lot of scents’.


It was a column by Mark and Ben Cullen. ‘We’re now at mid-summer and the flowers in your garden are competing with one another for the attention of pollinators.' They tell us that’s the real reason why Mother Nature infused many garden variety flowering plants with a sweet scent.’


It’s that scent from various perennials that attract these pollinators, such as hummingbirds. That’s not to leave out we humans who breath in what these flowers are offering us.


I can't tell one flower’s scent from another, let alone not always one flower from another. I can spot lilacs, and maybe the phlox or hydrangea. Those below are among the perennials flowering right now.


Phlox: According to the Cullens, these flowers are outstanding ‘by any standard’. The blooms can be so large they can be mistaken for hydrangea. (Hmm.) It seems butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy them too.


And what about the Bee balm, which they call a magnet for many insect pollinators. It’s a native plant blooming up to six weeks through to early fall. It is also insect and disease resistant.

We’ve seen those large purple clumps of Russian sage which can withstand long periods of drought and heat. Here’s something I can spot. Delphiniums. Those large, fragrant flowers which, when you cut them this time of year, can rebloom on their own. They grow up to one or two meters ‘depending’ on the variety.


Author’s comment: It’s while researching my blogs that I learn so many things. I write what catches my attention. Not knowing a hell of a lot about garden flowers, it seemed natural for me to write about them.

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