Renovation & Design

I'm a bona fide COWCH potato

Life's not so bad with the right thing to lounge on

My favourite things to peruse at Ron Paul: the outdoor decor, furnishings and wood creations.

Photos by Laurie Mustard / Winnipeg Free Press

Company president Ray DuBois and rescue dog Izzy hang out on a COWCH at Ron Paul Garden Centre.

Don’t have a cow man!

Actually, I want a cow — a plastic cow, or COWCH (brand name) the same as Ron Paul Garden Centre president/owner Ray DuBois is sitting on here, getting a smooch from his latest rescue dog, Izzy.

Izzy, a lady, is the four on the floor greeter at Ron Paul, as lovey as can be unless you’re another dog.

She’s a little territorial about her hard-won home, but just with other pooches. With people, she can’t get enough!

She gave me many kisses, then lay on my feet while I did a short interview with DuBois. Such a sweetheart.

This COWCH is amazing. It even has small holes in the seat to allow the rain to drain so you don’t get a wet butt upon sitting down.

Actually, I’d like about 20 COWCHes around my yard and in my house, but at two grand-ish a pop, that ain’t gonna happen til I get my 1960 Dodge Polara safetied and on the road. Then maybe I’ll dig into my junk, sell something or 10 and buy a COWCH. One project at a time.

Being the animal fanatic I am, I’d like to have a REAL cow — or 20 — here at home.

But as I’m no longer zoned agricultural, there’s no shot, even if they’d be super cuddly. And since I love all animals with a passion, I won’t eat them.

I could sell my lawn mower and give the neighbours free fertilizer. That’s a win-win any way you look at it!

Mooooooving right along (sorry), one of the reasons I thought a chat with DuBois would be interesting for all, would be to have him answer a few questions about the most common problems faced by homeowners and what solutions Ron Paul has to offer them.

He surprised me by saying insect control would probably be the No.1 challenge he is approached about.

He notes that the reduction in pesticides has resulted in a movement towards "all naturals and predatory insects" for managing insect numbers and varieties where needed.

Bugs buggin’ ya?

He may have some Diatomaceous earth nematodes — otherwise known as "beneficial insects" — that can posse up and eliminate the bad guys on your behalf.

They’ll chow down on the bugs you don’t want, like your own private army.

Whatever your insect challenges, DuBois has the "green" method for dealing with them, so just pop by, call or text. All contact info is available on their website at

Without question the most detested, pesky insect in the great outdoors is the mosquito. And, yes, DuBois even has a natural weapon/repellent for that. It’s called MOSQUITO-Less, one bottle treats 3,000 square feet and the main repellent in this gift from nature is garlic.

There may be an initial — but temporary — garlic odour once applied, but us garlic-loving mosquito despisers just don’t care.

I asked DuBois if this product might attract garlic lovers in general to gather and linger in your yard or on your dock and he said there have been no problems of this sort reported to date.

DuBois even has a spray that will repel deer.

Why anyone would want to do that, I have no idea; I love watching them stand on their hind legs grazing in my apple tree. They’re beautiful.

DuBois says second to insect control, the next major concern Ron Paul customers come seeking solutions for is fungal infections on their trees.

Too boring to talk about here (no pun intended), but if you have fungus issues dragging you down, suffice it to say that answers and relief are as close as your Ron Paul Garden Centre at 2641 St. Mary’s Rd.

There is no end to the project ideas people come in seeking advice and materials for.

Those fantasizing about creating the perfect pond or waterfall in their yard probably have the most homework to do before breaking ground.

DuBois is not trying to scare anyone away from the idea, but says because of a plethora of possible maintenance and repair issues down the road resulting from a poorly planned or improperly installed pond, seek the advice of an expert before diving in. Pun intended.

I also thought you might appreciate a tip on successful sodding, as it were.

Once delivered, install rolled sod within a couple of days because it has a life span and, left too long, it may heat up, burn and die.

I just thought you should know that.

Understandably, there’s everything you’d expect a garden centre to have at Ron Paul’s, but I particularly like going in to browse through all the cool patio furniture, yard ornaments and fabulous wood creations they have available, all pleasantly perusable while sitting on the COWCH, sipping a cool drink and cuddling with Izzy.

It’s a great destination. Do check it out.

Comments or feedback, love to hear from you!


Browse Homes

Browse by Building Type