All posts by: Scott Austin

About Scott Austin

The small piece of turf that I maintain in my garden is a lovely shade of emerald green right now, as are the lawns of most homeowners.  The fact that our turf in this part of the world is composed of cool season grasses means that your lawn is going to look great in April […]

Heat oven to 350 deg. F 1/4 cup margarine 1 cup sugar 1/3 cup brown sugar 2 large eggs 2 tsp vanilla 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup cocoa powder 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 3 or 4 tbsp icing sugar for rolling dough Stir sugars into margarine and mix well.  Add eggs […]

It’s not easy being a plantsman at this time of the year.  Instead of enjoying the colour of early-blooming bulbs, seeing the first buds unfurl on deciduous trees and shrubs or watching the daily progress of emerging perennials what do I see?  I focus on the bad pruning inflicted upon innocent trees. I wouldn’t be […]

It was officially the second-coldest February on record in Penticton and the coldest in Kelowna.  As we went through December and most of January most of us were thinking that it was going to be a pretty mild winter.  After all that’s what the weather experts told us in October.  Mild El Nino, a bit […]

1/2 cup softened margarine 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1/2 cup sour cream 1 tbsp orange zest 1/2 cup orange juice 2 cups flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1 cup blueberries (if using frozen do not thaw) additional sugar to sprinkle on top Mix margarine and sugar.  Add […]

Gardeners tend to have foibles.  You know the definition of a foible?  According to Webster’s Dictionary it’s “a minor flaw, weakness or failing.”  One of those foibles is our inability to throw things out.  From used pots and trays to broken tools, malfunctioning sprinklers and bent tomato towers that could be modern art…someday, many of […]

Oven at 375 deg. F 1 cup sugar 1 cup margarine, softened 2 eggs 3 cups flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed–reserve 3 tbsp 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1/2 cup golden raisins 1 tbsp water extra sugar Usual method: Mix margarine with sugar; add eggs. In separate […]

Perhaps you still have some eggnog left in the fridge.  Put it to good use with this recipe! 3 eggs 1 cup vegetable oil 1.5 cups sugar 3/4 tsp vanilla 3/4 tsp rum extract 1.5 cups regular eggnog 3 cups flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1 cup candied fruit […]

I think that we all have a tendency to take our houseplants for granted much of the time, but it’s during the Christmas season that this neglect is most pronounced.  The Christmas tree takes centre stage, furniture is moved, dinners and parties mean extra space is needed, and any houseplants that are taking up that […]

According to polls taken in the U.S. many people still believe in an enduring myth that one of the most recognizable symbols of Christmas, the poinsettia, is a toxic plant. The Bruskin/Goldring Research firm polled 1000 Americans.  Fifty percent of those polled said they believed that poinsettias were poisonous.  34 percent said they didn’t know, […]