Turf's Up

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, […]

Kids love garden projects where you don’t have to wait long for action and results, which makes growing paperwhites a perfect choice if you’re looking for an indoor adventure for children or grandchildren.  They begin to produce foliage almost immediately after planting and they’ll be blooming before Christmas, filling an entire room with their sweet, […]

Insects can be sneaky and cowardly.  Gardeners don’t mind battling enemies that they can see.  A rose bud covered with scores of aphids may not be visually appealing, but we can see plainly who the culprit is.  Tent caterpillars in trees should not be closely viewed by the squeamish but you can at least determine […]

Cotinus coggyria grows native in areas of central and southern Europe, and in China and the Himalayas. It gets its common name from the “puff of smoke” effect of the blooms on the branch ends. The leaves are initially green, but turn to brilliant shades of orange, yellow and red in the fall. The best […]

Any fruit that is ripe from your own garden is the best you ever tasted, but there is something about the flavour of fresh raspberries that make them my favourite.  When you add the benefit of ease-of-growth and the fact that you don’t even have to bend over to pick them raspberries are as close […]

By the time we are grown-up gardeners it’s likely that most of us have figured out the intricacies of reproduction.  While this my be true inside the home, I find an abundance of confusion, half-truths and myths surrounding reproduction outside in the garden, specifically concerning fruit trees, berry crops and fruit-producing shrubs. Pollination is the […]

It’s great to see interest in vegetable gardening on the rise as we finally see spring.  Home-grown vegetables are fresher, more nutritious and cheaper than those from the store.  You know what fertilizer and chemicals have been applied to them, they haven’t been transported thousands of kilometers and, perhaps best of all, there’s the deep […]

CLEARING UP CLEMATIS CONFUSION   During the nearly 30 years that I have hosted the open-line radio show “Garden Talk” one question has been asked far more frequently than any other, “How do I prune my clematis?” There seems to be more confusion and trepidation about pruning this vine, with its enthusiastic growth and amazing […]

Although I loved Popeye and the cast of characters as a kid, my nose would wrinkle immediately at the sight of spinach on my plate, especially when it came out of a can.  Mom tried the “look what it does for Popeye” argument, but to no avail. Move forward forty years and the situation, and […]