Garden with a Winner!™

Trowel Tips

October Tree Planting

The autumn, that is up until about mid November in most of the country, is a good time to plant new trees. Personally, I prefer container grown specimens simply because my success rate is much higher with trees that are fully root bound in the containers. In many parts of…

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Fall Chrysanthemums Hardy?

The inevitable herald of September, right up there with pumpkins, back to school and shorter days sits the Hardy Chrysanthemum. Positioned as an absolute staple in garden centres and box stores during the autumn, these brilliant mounds of colour surely do add to any landscape. As most of the landscape…

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End of the Month Fun

In many regions of Canada the weather is cooling down by the end of August, with some regions experiencing very cool overnight temperatures. These are the most obvious changes to our growing season to us, however plants are commencing great changes due to lowering light levels also. Many of us…

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Where & When to Water

Water restrictions are becoming more and more the norm in many places across Canada with varying degrees of success. Lawns are perhaps the thirstiest of all the mono cultures and it seems that they tend to get most of the attention during approved watering days. The fact of the matter…

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Perennials for the Cottage

The term ‘cottage garden’ may conjure up an image of the stereotypic English country garden bloated with colour and unimaginable species. Gardens at the cottage however, presents a very different image, hopefully. Canadians go to the cottage, the lake, the cabin or whatever term, to relax…or at least should. Planting…

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Delphinium Dilemma

Pacific hybrid Delphiniums make a grand statement in the summer garden despite the trials and tribulations associated with them. I rely on these stately giants to form a frame around several sections of the garden and to draw the eye to height. Delphiniums are extremely hardy perennials throughout the country…

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Water Conservation

The most difficult and most important task in the garden is watering. The best designs complete with ingenious combinations and stellar plants can all be a pathetic wasteland if the watering practises are not adhered to. Many cities across the country institute water restrictions in order to conserve precious potable…

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Lungwort

Lungwort or Pulmonaria should be pretty well past their best in late June, no matter where you are in the country. These delightful and prolific perennials are rather early bloomers and it seems that they run out of steam in late June, at least in the floral department. My plants…

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Forsythia

Forsythia, that wonderfully abundant spring bloomer will need some attention right about now. One of the very first heralds of spring, the Forsythia is usually more than welcome, this time of the year maybe not so much. A rampant grower that will easily take over the landscape if not kept…

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Daylilies

Daylilies or Hemerocallis sp. Are typically growing at a tremendous rate in early June, some may even require division if they are not too far along. One of the best tips for these delightful, reliable perennials is to supply them with ample water in the early stages of growth. Naturally,…

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Bare Root Planting

This is an excellent time to plant container grown trees and shrubs and as well, bare root stock. Bare root material is handled differently than container grown but still rather easy to work with. Some gardeners may shy away from this method of planting but I for one think it’s…

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Oil Me Up

Fruit trees and in particular apples, require attention in the very early season while they are still dormant. Many of the common diseases and fungal issues overwinter on the tree, just waiting for the warmth of spring to spread their ‘joy’. Perhaps the most common of all applications is a…

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Feed the Birds

The earliest buds are bursting and for most of the country, spring is definitely in the air. Migrating birds, such as the Robins, announce that it’s time to enjoy the outdoors. Bird feeders that have supplied the winter flocks with seed and suet may need some tending now and in…

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Renewing the Coddled and Pampered

Many gardeners have coddled and pampered select plants through the winter indoors. As bedraggled as the may appear, the increasing sun will surely perform miracles. If you are repotting your prize treasures and using an artificial mix such as ProMix, use warm water to re-hydrate the mix. The absorption rate…

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German Iris

German Iris seem to have a remarkable resistance to everything from pet disasters to rather poor soil conditions. Late March is the time that I start dividing and/or moving German Iris. These tough garden workhorses require division rather often to encourage the best show of flowers. The root structure of…

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Chomping at the Bit

March is such an inconsistent month weather-wise, often we find ourselves chomping at the bit to get something accomplished in the garden. If you are fortunate enough to have a dedicated gardening shed or potting shed, this is an ideal time to take stock. Typically, there are pots to clean…

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Hellebores

Hellebores may well be poking their noses through the snow in late February. These marvelous perennials are best known for their tolerance to drought and neglect, does it get any better? They are sensitive to poor drainage, so a regular review of conditions is wise as the season progresses. Hailed…

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Drying Up

Desiccation or drying of foliage can be more of a concern in February as the sun is gradually becoming stronger. Evergreen trees and shrubs, particularly those growing in southern or western exposure should be checked for damage. If there is damage the foliage will appear discoloured, brown and in severe…

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Winter Work

As the winter weather closes in and the gardening season draws to a close, a well-deserved breath of relaxation is due. This is an excellent time of the year to review the successes of this year’s garden and perhaps some of the less than successful endeavors. Keeping a record of…

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A New Year’s Plan

We as gardeners and garden lovers need little to prod us along into developing a new garden, addition to or expansion of. There are few things that I enjoy more than scheming and dreaming of what could be done with this corner or how that spot would look if this…

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