Coreopsis makes its own sunshine

Yesterday’s frigid winds had me dreaming of summer – and sunshine. And reminded me that America’s National Garden Bureau (wish Canada had a similar organization) has the perfect “Plant of the Year” for a day like that. Coreopsis or tickseed. Sunshine on a stick! As usual, here am I, the shady gardener, yearning for plants I […]

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Check these out at Canada Blooms 2018

No more nay-sayers, please. There’s always something to see at Canada Blooms, if you look for it. Often, you don’t need to look too hard. Here are a few of the things I’ve pointed out on the early-morning tours I’ve led this year. The Gardens The big gardens are often exquisitely done, and this year is […]

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How to (not) kill a houseplant

Beware! This is a picture of a crime scene. It’s a dumb cane plant (Dieffenbachia), being killed slowly by a combination of too much neglect and too much “love.” How can that be, you ask? Look at the tell-tale signs. Naked stems The first clue is that “palm tree” effect that happens when lower leaves die off […]

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Love-in-a-mist is one cool, hardy annual

So you’re desperate to get out and do something in the garden? In our Canadian Zone 6 (USDA Zone 5), you’ll be happy to learn some annual seeds are okay to scatter right now. Some may have already scattered themselves last fall – and early spring is a second chance to do it yourself. Provided you’ve picked the right spot, […]

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Snowdrop alert 2018

Sarah wins the Snowdrop Sweepstakes this year [Ed: At least, on our street.]. Her prize is the chance to crow over these adorables sticking their tongues out at winter. And at her sister, because my 250 newly planted Galanthus and the 50 or so already in my garden are way behind. On the other hand, when […]

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Remember to grow some edible flowers

Have you ever eaten a begonia? I hadn’t even thought about eating one until a tour with the National Garden Bureau introduced me to a Pink Lady garnished with one, courtesy of plant breeder Benary. It was the flower of one of their BIG series (Begonia x benariensis) and its lemony flavour was a complement to […]

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So, where can you find exotic vegetable seed?

If you’ve read our review of two books on growing not-the-usual vegetables, you might be curious about where to find the seeds to grow them. By coincidence, a couple of leads fell into my hands last month, and sent me into a digging expedition for more.  Like the cute little mouse melon above? Read on to find seeds. […]

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Want to win the Gardener’s Gratitude Journal?

Yes, we publish our own gardener’s journal, but we think there’s room for all of us. Read on and find out how you can win a copy of the new one from B.C. garden writer Donna Balzer and her daughter Chelsie Anderson, The Three-Year Gardener’s Gratitude Journal. Balzer’s journal announces its attitude right from the cover, with fun […]

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