All posts by: Scott Austin

About Scott Austin

Snow has certainly been a dominant topic of conversation so far this month of January.  It is beautiful to look at while you’re sipping your coffee but what effect is the snow having in the garden?  Snow is, first, an excellent insulator for plants.  Although it didn’t get as cold as first forecast temperatures were […]

It’s hard to imagine, but in the next few weeks over 2 million poinsettia plants in British Columbia will be selected from greenhouses, sleeved, boxed and shipped to destinations all over Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. The poinsettia’s association with Christmas, which dates back to the Spanish conquest of the Americas, will see them […]

When the pond and waterfall were constructed in front of our garden centre there was much discussion about which plants we were going to install.  There was, however, no question that we were going to plant a weeping form of Acer palmatum, the Japanese maple.  And there was no discussion over which one it was […]

It hasn’t begun just yet but with the cold morning temperatures we’ve had this week the foliage on deciduous trees and shrubs will begin to turn.  It will peak sometime in October and then the show will be over as the ground is littered with leaves.  Meanwhile, the ornamental grasses, the other star player in […]

It’s much easier to have a colourful and visually interesting garden in say, June, than right now in the heat of August.  We’re in a transition phase; the late spring and early summer colour explosion has passed and given the hot temperatures we’ve received for the past month it’s amazing that anything looks good out […]

At the risk of making a broad generalization, most of us cut our lawns too short and too often, particularly during the summer months.  Short lawns often fall prey to weeds and diseases.  In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture purposely cuts its test lawn plots short to encourage diseases for their experiments. Why […]

If your garden is at all like mine, it has likely passed one “peak of perfection” (perfection being a relative concept, meaning different things to each gardener) and is now in a bit of a holding pattern, thanks to the heat.  The next peak of perfection is building, with its arrival expected when the gardener […]

It’s flying season in the great outdoors.  The elm seeds continue their migration south into my driveway.  Last holiday Monday we were on our deck with some friends and suddenly enormous snowflakes were drifting lazily through the air; cottonwood seeds from the large trees across the highway.  And I can see the pollen collected along […]

1/2 cup margarine 6 tbsp sugar 1 tsp vanilla 3/4 cup flour 1/4 cup baking cocoa powder 3/4 cup ground hazel nuts 24 whole hazelnuts, toasted option-icing sugar Cream margarine and sugar together.  Add vanilla.  Combine flour and cocoa, gradually add to creamed mixture. Roll into one inch balls.  Press one whole hazelnut into each, […]

Do you remember the “death scene” in The Godfather.  I know there were several of them, but specifically the scene in which Don Corleone has a massive heart attack while running through the tomato patch with his grandson. Have a look at it again, and notice how incredibly healthy the tomato plants are in that […]