Turf's Up

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 […]

Gardening is an activity that has more than its share of techniques that fall in the “It’s always been done this way, so that’s how I’m going to do it” category.  It’s not surprising; we are governed by nature to a large extent and our gardening chores have an obvious seasonal flavour to them. Now […]

Bright sunlight during the winter months is a precious commodity here in the Okanagan Valley.  When the cloud gets trapped in the valley it can make you wish you were on a sunny beach far to the south! If you think it’s tough on the human psyche, pity your poor houseplants, who also appreciate a […]

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 […]

When we look out our windows from our cozy living rooms in winter, we look at a winter landscape that, depending on the weather that particular day, appears to be lifeless. Nothing could be further from the truth.  According to entomologist Hugh Philip, who joined me recently on Garden Talk, the radio show I host […]