Turf's Up

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 […]

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 […]