Turf's Up

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]