Garden with a Winner!™

Trowel Tips

Early Spring Chores

February is a tad early to start removing any winter mulches or coverings that have been applied last season. Of course, as is the way in horticulture there are many exceptions, none the least is gardening in coastal regions and warmer regions of the country. My information tends to relate…

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Early Spring Pruning

February for the most part is still rather nippy, but the days are getting longer and the sun much stronger. This mixture of daytime warming still with low overnight temperatures causes many plants to enter into a roller coaster of early dormancy break then an abrupt change. Luckily, many Canadian…

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Colour and Texture

Colour is a very important concept when considering the garden design. Whether you are rearranging an existing landscape, bed or container or starting from scratch with a new one two fundamentals in my mind are texture and colour. In our household one of us is very fond of colour and…

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What to do with the Christmas tree . . .

The days are actually getting longer with those precious few moments more of sun becoming noticeable. I for one am thrilled to see the sun spending more time in the sky as I reside in one of the colder parts of Canada, so the sun is a psychological boost if…

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Winter Protection

The winter months in Canada can be cruel and unusual punishment with cold temperatures, dry air outside and even worse inside and typically higher winds. The Prairie Provinces are at least blessed with tremendously sun shiny days, even though the temperatures rival those on Mars. Just imagine how difficult it…

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Nature-Scaping

There can be much more to the colder months in Canada than just shovelling snow! As a person who is not terribly fond of snow, I attempt to spruce up the front of my home with more than the standard fare of snowbanks. I have heard that my artistic endeavours…

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Freeze Dried Compost

Time and time again I am asked the same questions about compost, most notably, does it freeze and may I compost all winter. In this information overload period we have allowed ourselves to be involved in, of course there are a zillion answers and opinions on the subject. The long…

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Turf Finale

Every year around mid-November, provided there isn’t snow, I tackle what is left of my lawn. Late season preparation for winter is crucial to the health of even my limited amount of turfgrass. Generally speaking, the leaves have all fallen so a good, brisk raking is in order. I do…

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Final Chapter for Roses

Hybrid Tea roses as well as Floribunda roses are all finished for the season, with the exception of the mildest climates in BC. Many gardeners are concerned about pruning roses this time of the year, and for the most part, it is not necessary. I personally do all my pruning…

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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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