Articles

Articles

BOWEN ISLAND PARADISE Spring and Summer

Here are photos of some of Ann's favourite spring and summer plant combinati on Bowen Island: #1 Shade Garden in May - Heuchera sp. (Coral bells), Tiarella sp. (Foamflower), Alchemilla alpina (Alpine Lady's Mantle), Iris spp.,  Athyrium niponicum var. pictum (Japanese Painted...

01/20/2012 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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STUNNINGLY SIMPLE WINTER COLOUR : Nandina domestica

What a wonderful way to brighten up a barren bit of space or create some instant drama at your doorstep. The lacy leaves of Heavenly Bamboo shed snow easily. Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) Heavenly Bamboo is classified as an evergreen shrub, however it may lose foliage and...

01/20/2012 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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SMALL SPACE GARDENING

Only have a bit of space? Two Vancouver Master Gardeners, Karen Bos and Kristin Crouch make a statement and have  fun with these mini garden ideas!  

01/20/2012 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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Winter is a time for Planning and Dreaming

On a visit to RHS Wisely last summer we walked through their lovely gardens and left with many ideas for new plants.  Annual poppies, like the one above,  seem to be a staple of UK cottage gardens and are on our list of things to add to our coastal garden this coming year.  Much...

01/20/2012 - 08:32 in Vancouver | Read more
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WINTER VEGETABLES that stand up to the cold

For winter vegetables that stand up to the cold, look for descriptions of cold hardiness and suitability to winter weather which brings icy winds, freezing temperatures and snow.  Terms such as 'frost hardy' , 'stands all winter' or  'good cold tolerance' on seed packets or...

01/19/2012 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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BUTTERFLY GARDEN: Burnaby Lake Nature House

As I was going through the Basic Training to become a Master Gardener I was unaware of the number of volunteer hours that were required, and then very surprised at the number of clinics and community projects where one could do those hours.  I was a little frightened that I did...

01/16/2012 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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WINTER BIRDS & Wildlife in False Creek

Here in the heart of the city, False Creek South, the birds are thriving.  My feeder (filled with sunflower chips) has a regular roster of visitors: chickadees with their buddies the bushtits, juncos & towhees, finches & warblers, and beneath sparrows & varied...

01/16/2012 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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HUMMINGBIRDS & WINTER FEEDING

With colder temperatures forecast, it is worth repeating some simple but needed reminders for birders keen on keeping hummingbirds safe and regularly fed. With eleven years of experience feeding hummingbirds twelve months of the year, throughout weather changes, it is essential...

01/16/2012 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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HARDY CYCLAMEN - Bill Bischoff shares his passion

(An excerpt from a Vancouver Chapter General Meeting lecture, January 2011) Bill Bischoff is a passionate plants person who with his wife Carla has created a garden of visual delight with their enviable collection of hardy Cyclamen in Surrey B.C.   Bill and Carla have won many...

11/30/2011 - 12:20 in Vancouver | Read more
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WINTER PROTECTION FOR TROPICALS

There is a trend these days to plant trees, shrubs, and flowers that remind us of either 'the Old Country' or our recent vacation in the tropics.  Some of these plants will survive (emphasis on SURVIVE!) our basic BC / Lower Mainland winter relatively untouched.  Most, however,...

11/26/2011 - 16:00 in MGABC | Read more
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EXCELLENT WINTER READING

If you haven't read The Brother Gardeners by Andrea Wulf, get it and do it!! The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire & The Birth of an Obsession is an excellent winter read.  It is an absorbing and delightful story about early 18th century botanists, Linneaus included, and how...

11/25/2011 - 16:00 | Read more
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SHUTTERBUG ALERT - Winter Photography 101

In the November/December 2011 issue of Garden Design, Becca Bergman Bull profiles Photographer Karen Bell.  Capturing a garden's vitality through a camera's lens can pose a challenge. Trying to do so in winter is even harder. Karen Bell has led seasonal photography workshops at...

11/23/2011 - 16:00 in MGABC | Read more
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OH THOSE WASTE WATCHERS!

Katie Mendelson, in the Garden Design November/December 2011 issue, introduces us to Robert Reed of Recology.  For many gardeners who diligently save and compost leaves and other discarded plant material, the idea of keeping food scraps hanging around in the kitchen is fairly...

11/23/2011 - 16:00 in MGABC | Read more
Articles

CUCUMBERS: Long, Straight and Clean

The secret is to grow them up, just off of the ground.  While you can build a trellis and grow vines straight up, this simpler arrangement will yield good results.  1. Take a few garden stakes about 2 feet long and secure them upright about 2 feet apart in each direction.  I...

11/23/2011 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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TIMELY ADVICE

Late planting your Spring bulbs?   If you know in advance you won't be able to plant Spring Bulbs until very late, throw small tarps or leaf piles over proposed planting areas to keep the soil warm and workable until you are ready to dig.  (GardenWise, Fall 2011) Winter Proof...

11/21/2011 - 16:00 in MGABC | Read more
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REFLECTIONS OF A PASSIONATE MG

I’ve been an MG for ten years.  The thought struck me at a quiet moment in the garden while mindlessly weeding (thank God it's so addictive) and simultaneously doing the math on how many hours I’ve spent in the grip of this passion, even one discovered so late in life. At the...

11/19/2011 - 16:00 | Read more
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FAVA BEANS - Good for You, Good for the Soil

Fava beans are native to North Africa and Southeast Asia.  They have a long history in world agriculture, being the most ancient plant in cultivation, and among the easiest to grow.  Fava beans are not a bean, but a pea, or vetch.  They are annuals that are high in protein. ...

11/18/2011 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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RAPINI - a favourite in Italian and Asian cuisines

Rapini originated in Southern Italy and Sicily, and is a favourite in Italian cuisine.  It was also domesticated in China, and is a staple in Asian cooking.  The small yellow flowers look like small, immature broccoli but it never forms the characteristic flower head, and...

11/18/2011 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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HAVE YOU HEARD THESE BEFORE?

A little inspiration, some shared humour, or just recognition that others feel as you do.  Perhaps you've heard some of these before, but they are worth hearing again - and sharing with your friends.  These are some that I found interesting.  Enjoy. "The man who has planted a...

11/18/2011 - 16:00 in Victoria | Read more
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BUILDING A GARDEN OASIS

The pros of moving into a brand new, fully renovated garden suite in a beautiful old heritage house in one of Vancouver’s greatest neighbourhoods - Mt. Pleasant, or Pleasantville, as we like to call it - are numerous.  The place is gorgeous, the location is unbeatable, the RAV...

11/17/2011 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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GARDENS AND BORDERS: WREST PARK, GIARDINO GIUSTI and Beyond

Like most of us when we travel, garden visits are part of the itinerary.  This October for me was no exception and, on a visit to Europe, I had the chance to see two quite contrasting gardens which, as always, brought me back to thinking about my own small plot here. Wrest House...

11/17/2011 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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LETTUCE NOT FEED THE SLUGS: Blondes don’t have more fun

This year we managed to avoid buying lettuce from April to mid-November.  I still have some under the Reemay but with snow in the forecast, perhaps I am pushing my luck. Every year, I try ten to fifteen different varieties of lettuce but still prefer the Batavia (French crisp...

11/16/2011 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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MUSINGS: MULCH THOSE TOMATOES

Tomatoes are one of my favourite crops, but this year after a miserable cold spring and non-existent summer, I almost gave up on growing them.  Fortunately, we enjoyed a long, warm fall and even plagued by mildew, those twenty plants kept producing.  Fruits are still ripening on...

11/16/2011 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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NEW PUPPY OR KITTEN? BEWARE THESE PLANTS

A new puppy or kitten?  Plant lovers take note: a number of plants can be toxic, most especially to young animals at their most active and curious!  Though most of us have had pets and rarely had problems, you’ll want to keep a close eye on a young animal who wants to chew...

11/16/2011 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more
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NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION - BE KIND TO BEES

Nearly all types of bees are gentle creatures who have no interest in stinging. They are searching for pollen and nectar to feed themselves and bee babies. There are over 850 identified species of bees in Canada! Bees are attracted to flowers which contain nectar.  As the bees...

11/16/2011 - 16:00 in Vancouver | Read more

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