Garden Chat

the Saskatchewan Perennial Society

Garden Chat

For over 20 years, the Saskatchewan Perennial Society has been providing members as well as the general public with information about using herbaceous perennials and other hardy landscape plants. In addition to this column, they host public lectures, organize local area garden tours, and maintain 2 Saskatoon public display gardens at no cost.

  • Have some fun with creative planters

    When I was growing up in Britain in the 1960s, serious gardeners considered plastic gnomes and similar garden ornaments completely unacceptable. Most planters were made of stone or wood. My mother . . .

    Jill ThomsonJanuary 17, 2019

  • 2019 All-America Selections

    When choosing plants for my flower and vegetable gardens, I stick with my usual dependable varieties like ‘Sapphire’ lobelia or ‘Manitoba’ tomato. But why be boring? Every year, there is a . . .

    Erl SvendsenJanuary 4, 2019

  • Hosta of the Year (2019) – ‘Lakeside Paisley Print’

    There are thousands of hosta cultivars: from dwarfs of only a few inches in height and spread to giants that can be a few feet tall and wide (even taller when in flower). Some have green, blue, . . .

    Erl SvendsenDecember 21, 2018

  • Poinsettia: A traditional holiday flower

    In this article Jackie Bantle describes the origin of the tradition of poinsettias at Christmas time, and how to choose and care for them.

    November 27, 2018

  • Amaryllis: a beautiful winter flower for the prairies

    A recent trip to the grocery store surprised me with a huge display of boxed Amaryllis bulbs shipped directly from Holland at the entrance to the store. These colorful boxes of bulbs promised white. . .

    Jackie BantleNovember 6, 2018

  • Azaleas offer a unique freshness

    Azaleas have been available as winter houseplants for decades, but their popularity always seems to have always lagged behind that of poinsettias or amaryllis. They're at their peak for almost the . . .

    Sara WilliamsNovember 2, 2018

  • Growing herbs indoors

    I was hoping the cool weather of September would turn into a warm, mild October but I’m not so optimistic anymore. Is Mother Nature gearing us up for an eight-month “non-gardening” season? Hang . . .

    Jackie BantleOctober 23, 2018

  • Over wintering geraniums

    The zonal geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum) we grow as houseplants and tender bedding plants are complex hybrids of species native to South Africa. I was shocked when I first saw them in Tanzania,. . .

    Sara WilliamsOctober 16, 2018

  • It’s fall: Time to plant garlic

    Fall is usually the time to clean up the garden and shut things down but there is one job that every vegetable gardener needs to do before winter freeze-up — plant your garlic. In order for . . .

    Jackie BantleOctober 10, 2018

  • Harvesting and storing fall cucurbits

    Fall is a bittersweet season for gardeners. On one hand, harvesting is a glorious reward for months of steady work and patience. On the other hand, the end of the growing season means no more fresh. . .

    Jackie BantleOctober 2, 2018

  • Saving seeds for the future

    Seeds are the promise of future harvests as well as how plants guarantee their survival from generation to generation. Your grandparents kept seeds from year to year not just because they were . . .

    Erl SvendsenSeptember 25, 2018

  • A journey through horticultural history

    Working alone and in geographic isolation, Bert Porter had neither formal horticulture training nor public or institutional support. Yet he made major contributions to prairie fruit and lily . . .

    Sara WilliamsSeptember 7, 2018

  • Keep gardening, despite the frost

    When the Welsh poet, Dylan Tomas wrote about going “gentle into that good night” his thoughts were on human mortality. But with the risk of frost on the prairies, it’s our tender flowers and . . .

    Jackie BantleAugust 25, 2018

  • Out on a limb: Diversifying our urban forests

    As our community and residential trees are increasingly under attack by various diseases and insects, it is imperative that we plant different species and resistant varieties. Never has the need . . .

    Sara WilliamsAugust 19, 2018

  • Out on a limb: Diversifying urban forests

    I remember a friend reminding a judge from Communities in Bloom, “Every tree you see in Saskatoon has been planted.” This can be said for many communities across the prairies. Over several . . .

    Sara WilliamsAugust 13, 2018

  • More on haskaps: extending the season

    The University of Saskatchewan Boreal series of haskaps (lonicera caerulea), released from 2014 to '16, greatly extends their harvest season with the fruit ripening into early August. This series . . .

    Sara WilliamsAugust 7, 2018

  • Haskaps well-behaved and high in antioxidants, nutraceuticals

    Although also called honeyberry and sweetberry, haskap is the oldest name for this fruit, first used eight centuries ago by the Ainu people who settled Hokkaido, Japan. Its people still gather the . . .

    Sara WilliamsJuly 29, 2018

  • What to do with dry shade? Try ground covers

    Mention the term “ground cover” and many gardeners visibly tense. There is a change in body language as visions of goutweed and ribbon grass come to mind. Quite literally, ground covers are plants . . .

    Sara WilliamsJuly 16, 2018

  • Attracting butterflies to your garden

    A common question I often hear is “how do I attract more butterflies to my yard?” Butterflies belong to the Lepidoptera order of insects. The caterpillar, or larva, go through a series of ‘. . .

    Jackie BantleJuly 2, 2018

  • More than 70 poppy species

    “In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
 Between the crosses, row on row.” — John McCrae John McCrae’s classic First World War poem, In Flander’s Fields, tells of the field poppy. There are . . .

    Sara WilliamsJune 25, 2018

  • Prairie pears, varieties to count on

    Most of the pears hardy on the prairies are hybrids of the Manchurian pear (Pyrus ussuriensis) and the European pear (P. communis). Breeders have sought to combine the hardiness of the former with . . .

    Sara WilliamsJune 4, 2018

  • Container gardening: endless possibilities

    Many urban dwellers may lack either the proper growing environment or the space to successfully grow vegetables or flowers. If you live in an apartment or condo or your tiny backyard is shady, that. . .

    Jackie BantleMay 31, 2018

  • Colourful new annuals for your garden

    Visiting local greenhouses to see what is new and exciting is something I look forward to every spring. I love to have a generous amountve of colour in certain areas of my garden and one of my . . .

    Jackie BantleMay 23, 2018

  • A walk in the park

    Take a walk through the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and follow in the footsteps of James McLean, John Whiteman, Les Kerr and Kate Husky who lived and worked there when it was the Sutherland Forest. . .

    Bernadette VangoolMay 14, 2018

  • All those unique potatoes

    No two potato cultivars are alike. Every type of potato or cultivar has been bred for a particular purpose. Boiling potatoes don’t necessarily fry well and baking potatoes don’t necessarily boil . . .

    Jackie BantleMay 9, 2018

  • Hosta Virus X is difficult to diagnose

    Many prairie gardeners grow hostas. Not only are they attractive, coming in many shapes, colours and sizes, but they are ideal plants for a shady spot in the garden. As our gardens mature, and . . .

    Jill ThomsonApril 30, 2018

  • Get a jumpstart on the season with transplants

    It’s nice to have annual flowers blooming as soon as possible. Or be the first gardener on the block with cucumbers. You can get a jump on the season by transplanting seedlings as an alternative to. . .

    Jackie BantleMay 18, 2017

  • Hosta of the Year is Brother Stefan

    I was a little surprised to discover that there are over 3,000 registered hosta cultivars. The choices are endless: giant, dwarf, green, gold, blue, variegated, wide leaf, narrow leaf, puckered . . .

    Erl SvendsenMay 14, 2017

  • Celebrating spring with the hydrangea

    Potted hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) in blue, pink, mauve, bicolour or white should be available at local florists and retailers now for Easter and later, in greater supply, for Mother’s Day. . . .

    Sara WilliamsApril 26, 2017

  • Celebrating Saskatchewan's horticultural pioneers in our sesquicentennial year

    Looking for a new tree or shrub for your garden? Why not consider planting a made-in-Saskatchewan cultivar to help celebrate #Canada150? Walk down any street or back lane in Saskatchewan and you'll. . .

    Sara WilliamsApril 18, 2017

  • C is for canadensis

    This, the 150th year since Canada’s founding (#Canada150), is a great time to learn about Canadian native plants. I don’t know the exact number of native plants found in Canada (in the thousands,. . .

    Erl SvendsenApril 3, 2017

  • ‘New’ small shrubs for the prairies and some you might have missed

    As people from rural areas move to cities and towns with more limited space in which to garden, and urban lot sizes decrease, the demand for smaller shrubs has increased. Nurseries have been . . .

    Sara WilliamsMarch 20, 2017

  • Gardening with the pits!

    Kitchens tend to be busy places during the winter. It’s also the time of year when we’re most apt to savour the exotic. What doesn’t go into the compote need not end up in the compost. Kitchen . . .

    Sara WilliamsFebruary 12, 2017

  • Catmints (and cats!)

    Gardeners are seldom neutral when it comes to catmints. Like cats, they generally love them or hate them. Catmint aficionados enjoy their long bloom period, attractive foliage and easy association . . .

    Sara WilliamsFebruary 6, 2017

  • Slug-resistant hostas?

    If last summer was any indication of what the coming summer holds for us, slugs may be included. Especially, if our spring, summer or fall is humid and rainy. On the more optimistic side, the cold . . .

    Sara WilliamsFebruary 2, 2017

  • Reduce pesticide use by using barriers

    Most insect pests crawl, walk or fly to work. If you can interrupt their commute or make it more difficult with a barrier, they may not arrive, leaving your produce unmolested. Barriers come in . . .

    Sara WilliamsJanuary 21, 2017

  • Defining seeds

    In scanning through the seed catalogues that arrived at my door starting in November and those found online, I came across several terms that may be unfamiliar to some. Annual plant – a plant . . .

    Erl SvendsenJanuary 19, 2017

  • Chums or cherry plums

    Cherry plums are hybrids of our native western sandcherry (Prunus pumila var. besseyi) and the Japanese plum (Prunus salicina). The western sandcherry, generally only a few feet in height, has . . .

    Sara WilliamsJanuary 17, 2017

  • Reducing garden chemical pesticide use in 2017

    Consider adding one more to your list of new year’s resolutions – reduce your use of lawn and garden pesticides. Most prairie gardeners are aware of their negative impact on our environment. The . . .

    Sara WilliamsJanuary 13, 2017

  • Azaleas are worth the extra trouble

    Azaleas have been available as winter houseplants for decades, but their popularity seems to have always lagged behind that of poinsettias or amaryllis. They're at their peak for almost the same . . .

    Sara WilliamsDecember 27, 2016

  • New hardiness zone map for Canada

    With a cup of coffee in hand, I was recently reading through a major wholesale perennial catalogue that serves Canada’s prairies, and becoming increasingly dismayed at the hardiness zones into . . .

    Sara Williams and Erl SvendsenDecember 20, 2016

  • Rosemary for the holidays

    Aromatic, space-saving, easy care and with a long afterlife, here is a "Christmas tree" with a difference. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), a member of the mint family, is a woody . . .

    Sara WilliamsDecember 13, 2016

  • What to do with your houseplants while you’re sitting in the sun on a beach far away

    Planning a winter holiday? Somewhere warm, I hope. Passport, toothpaste, tickets, sunscreen, bikini, destination guide, foreign money, but what about your houseplants? How will they survive without. . .

    Erl SvendsenNovember 28, 2016

  • A few of my favourite garden tools

    Like most people, I get a lot of junk email. I’ll admit some of it is my own fault as I voluntarily subscribe to certain sites. One of them is a cooking magazine. About once a month, they send out . . .

    Erl SvendsenNovember 22, 2016

  • The prickly art of cactus care

    A commonly held belief is that cacti are tougher and more resistant to neglect than other plants. This reputation is likely due to two factors. First, their spiny, well-protected exterior gives . . .

    Erl SvendsenNovember 19, 2016

  • Remembrance Day poppies

    The most recognizable and enduring symbol of Remembrance Day is the bright red poppy that Lt. Col. John McCrae famously depicted in his poem, In Flanders Fields — “In Flanders fields the poppies . . .

    Erl SvendsenNovember 10, 2016

  • Five easy houseplants

    Most of us have busy lives, too busy to take care of finicky indoor plants that require exacting care to thrive and reward us with flowers. For a short-term craving for something green with bright . . .

    Erl SvendsenNovember 6, 2016

  • Houseplants 101

    The first rule of houseplant care is that houseplants should enhance your home. Take a critical look at your houseplants. Do they have yellowing leaves, long stems with no leaves, stakes because . . .

    Erl SvendsenOctober 23, 2016

  • Take care of black knot in the fall and winter for best results

    Black knot is an ugly, disfiguring disease of some of the tree and shrub species in the plum and cherry genus (Prunus). Most susceptible are native chokecherry (including purple-leaf selections . . .

    Erl SvendsenOctober 22, 2016

  • Fall garden chores

    There’s still time (but not a lot) to take care of a few last chores to get your yard and garden ready and save yourself some time next spring. Rake leaves/fallen fruit: Do not give mold, mildew . . .

    Erl SvendsenOctober 14, 2016

  • Fall colour on the prairies: a photo essay

    Prairie dwellers often talk wistfully and enviously of the brilliant fall colours of eastern and maritime Canada. Yet our autumn landscape can be (almost) equally beautiful, especially if you’ve . . .

    Sara WilliamsOctober 3, 2016

  • Pot up bulbs today for a late winter cheerful display

    As a horticulture student, I volunteered to start a horticulture therapy program in a psychiatric facility. My greatest pleasure was witnessing a chronically depressed patient giving a pot of . . .

    Sara WilliamsSeptember 29, 2016

  • Reliable tulips for years of spring joy

    Tulips add spring colour to a perennial or mixed border and are often used in annual beds. Native to the Near East, the genus name, Tulipa, is from the Turkish tulbend, meaning turban, a reference . . .

    Sara WilliamsSeptember 18, 2016

  • Fall vegetable harvest and storage ideas

    Fall is a bittersweet time for vegetable gardeners. All the hard work of the growing season is finally paying off with a delicious harvest of all types of vegetables. But the chill in the air . . .

    Jackie BantleSeptember 10, 2016

  • Honeywood’s A Touch of Autumn is not to be missed!

    If you’ve grown Honeywood saskatoon; Spring Snow flowering (but non-fruiting) crabapple or Earlibird, Flaming Giant, Jolly Miller, Golden Age or Happy Thoughts lilies, you’ve been the beneficiary . . .

    Sara WilliamsSeptember 4, 2016

  • Getting the most from your plum trees

    Two of my favourite plums for fresh eating, crisps and plum cake are Patterson Pride and Pembina. Patterson Pride was one of Dr. Cecil Patterson’s selections from 1942 but not introduced until . . .

    Sara WilliamsAugust 27, 2016

  • New life breathed into former Agriculture Canada rose breeding program

    Shakespeare famously penned, ‘that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’ He could have used any other flower to make his point, but he chose rose because he knew it would . . .

    Erl SvendsenAugust 27, 2016

  • Ready or Ripe? Vegetable harvest from A to Z

    Judging when to harvest your vegetables can be tricky and sometimes depends on it’s end use (e.g tender green fresh vs. dry bean). To sort things out, the following is a list of commonly grown . . .

    Erl Svendsen and Jackie BantleAugust 25, 2016

  • Slugs: slimy, shiny, slippery, slithery and just plain gross

    I have a brick mowing edge between my lawn and my wood-mulched shrub/perennial beds. Recently, I’ve wondered why the birds insist on digging through the mulch and scattering it over the brick and . . .

    Erl SvendsenAugust 9, 2016

  • Pear slug: not a slug, but just annoying

    If you own a cotoneaster hedge, you know what pear slugs are. They are relatively small (five to 12 millimetres long) and initially slimy, green-black slug-like creatures that, in bad years, can . . .

    Erl SvendsenJuly 31, 2016

  • Gardening during the dog days of summer

    Now’s not the time to slack off if you want to continue to enjoy the beauty and bounty that you’ve worked so hard for up to now. So here are a few essential tasks (some would say chores, but that’s. . .

    Erl SvendsenJuly 24, 2016

  • An addiction to flowering tobacco

    My tobacco addiction to date has been limited to the closely related flowering types. How could one not fall in love with these (mostly) tall, stately plants with a quiet understated garden . . .

    Sara WilliamsJuly 17, 2016

  • Prairie tree evaluation trial yields results

    When choosing a new tree for your yard, you want to be sure of your choice because trees form part of the long-term structure of your garden and take a few years to become established to provide . . .

    Erl SvendsenJuly 10, 2016

  • ‘Seascape’ strawberries

    Two years ago in late spring, I decided on a new strawberry patch, fenced to exclude my large strawberry-loving dog. A local nursery recommended Seascape. I took their advice and put in a row of 25. . .

    Sara WilliamsJuly 2, 2016

  • Summer blues, calming and peaceful

    Blue flowers create a sense of calm and peace. A completely blue summer border is particularly attractive, but, from a design perspective, it’s important to include a few plants with silver foliage. . .

    Sara WilliamsJune 24, 2016

  • Ants do have a good side

    Ants are synonymous with picnics and pants. And for some, that list also includes their yard, where they may have invaded the lawn, garden and patio, driveway and sidewalk. Despite their . . .

    Erl SvendsenJune 19, 2016

  • Spring and early summer pruning questions and answers

    Pruning is a year-round activity. The heavy-duty pruning (removal of diseased, damaged, crossing and other problem limbs) is best left for late fall through to early spring, while the leaves are . . .

    Erl SvendsenJune 13, 2016

  • Annual bluegrass – it’s driving me mad

    I’m surprised at myself. I didn’t think I was that guy obsessed about the lawn. I’ll admit I take a certain not-so-quiet pleasure that my lawn is always darker than my neighbour’s – obvious where . . .

    Erl SvendsenJune 3, 2016

  • Another winner from new prairie garden author Lyndon Penner: Native Plants for the Short Season Yard

    With book number three – Native Plants for the Short Season Yard – Lyndon Penner is establishing himself as the latest prairie garden writer. Unlike his previous books, which may be great primers . . .

    Bernadette VangoolMay 30, 2016

  • Hardy perennials, recent introductions

    For many, gardening is a competitive sport. Some brag that theirs is bigger, better, brighter or bloomier (OK, not a real word, but it fits in the sequence). Others like a challenge and go to . . .

    Sara WilliamsMay 21, 2016

  • Even more tough perennials for your first border

    In fashion, older styles that have made a resurgence are called retro and if they’re truly old then vintage, instead of used or hand-me-downs. In gardens, older varieties are usually looked upon . . .

    Sara WilliamsMay 16, 2016

  • Another selection of tough, dependable perennials

    Tough and dependable are admirable traits in people as well as plants. These perennials have stood the test of time not just in my gardens but likely your grandmother’s as well. And with some of . . .

    Sara WilliamsMay 9, 2016

  • A selection of tough, long-lived perennials – great for your first perennial border

    I remember my first perennial border. I had bought two packets of seed in late winter. That spring I proudly planted about 30 feet of Shasta daisy and Bellis perrenis. The Shasta daisy thrived and . . .

    Sara WilliamsMay 2, 2016

  • The lily beetle – be prepared

    Canadian prairie gardeners can be proud of the many early plant breeders who developed hardy, drought-tolerant, disease-resistant Asiatic lily hybrids in a vast array of colours and heights that we. . .

    Sara WilliamsApril 26, 2016

  • Giving vegetable vines a head start

    Jackie Bantle provides timely advice on starting vine crops like cucumber, watermelon and cantaloupe.

    Jackie BantleApril 18, 2016

  • Drought tolerant perennials

    If you’re looking for dependability and durability, and you have limited water or you’re looking to cut your water bill, here is a sampler of the more than one hundred drought-tolerant perennials . . .

    Sara WilliamsApril 12, 2016

  • Prairie biennials — hollyhocks and foxgloves worth a try

    A true biennial is a plant that takes two growing seasons to complete its lifecycle. During the first season, the seed germinates, typically forms a low rosette of leaves, stores up energy in a . . .

    Erl SvendsenApril 4, 2016

  • Preventing damping off of seedlings

    You’re excited for spring to arrive. And you’re a DIYer. So you start seeds now instead of buying transplants in May to save some money and to have more choice of plants and varieties. What could . . .

    Erl SvendsenMarch 22, 2016

  • Iris are both beautiful and survivers

    I still have the white and purple bearded iris (Iris germanica) that I first grew more than 40 years ago, ‘Mrs Andrist.’ It was a gift from an older gardener down the back lane and would now be . . .

    Sara WilliamsMarch 15, 2016

  • Trees, trees, trees — a celebration

    I’ve never been ashamed of being a tree hugger. After almost four decades, I still pause and reflect on the beauty of the trunks and orange peeling bark of Scots pines as I enter my driveway. For a. . .

    Sara WilliamsMarch 5, 2016

  • Sissinghurst, the White Garden and so much more

    When writer Vita Sackville-West first fell in love with Sissinghurst (in Kent County, southeast of London, England) in 1930, then a ruin used to incarcerate French prisoners of war in the mid-1700s. . .

    Sara WilliamsFebruary 18, 2016

  • Some like it hot

    With snow on the ground and spring several weeks away, I’ve been trying to warm myself up by thinking about hot things. Since this is a gardening column, I’ll focus on hot peppers. Pepper heat is. . .

    Jackie BantleFebruary 1, 2016

  • A glossary of garden terms

    How many times have you read a gardening article, looked at a website or catalog and wondered, "What does that mean?" Thanks to NGB Member Park Seed we've excerpted their list of garden . . .

    January 26, 2016

  • Les Jardins de Quatre Vents in Quebec is well worth the trip!

    When we think of glorious estate gardens, we think of Great Britain and Europe. But Quebec has one of the finest in North America, Les Jardin de Quatre Vents (The Four Winds Gardens), created by . . .

    January 19, 2016

  • More winners from All-America Selections

    All-America Selections (www.all-americaselections.org) has, for more than 80 years, been a trusted source of information on what are the best new vegetable and flower cultivars. They have a network. . .

    Erl SvendsenJanuary 11, 2016

  • And the winner is … 2016 All-American Selections winners

    Each year, the All-American Selections organization (www.all-americanselections.org) tests several new, yet-to-be released vegetable and flower varieties in trial gardens across North America . . .

    Erl SvendsenJanuary 4, 2016

  • Looking forward to 2016

    Looking back over 2015, I had a few successes (bumper crops of squash, beans and corn, my new Quick Fire hydrangeas performed well) and a few misses (no watermelon, again, and a poor carrot yield).. . .

    Erl SvendsenDecember 27, 2015

  • A history of an enduring holiday tradition

    The earliest records are of Romans decorating trees with bits of metal for Saturnalia, a winter solstice celebration honouring Saturn. In the northern countries, evergreen boughs were brought into . . .

    Erl SvendsenDecember 21, 2015

  • The Saskatchewan Perennial Society – serving the community for over a quarter century

    Whether you realized it or not, this gardening column has been provided by the Saskatchewan Perennial Society for the last nine years. It is just one of the many community activities the society is. . .

    Sara WilliamsDecember 14, 2015

  • The perfect gift for the gardener: books about gardening from Prairie writers

    I’ll admit, the Internet helps me extensively in what I do, especially with researching and writing about gardening. But not everything about Prairie gardening is found on the net, so I haven’t . . .

    Erl SvendsenDecember 7, 2015

  • Away from the maddening crowd – two of Victoria’s lesser-known gardens

    Next time you’re in Victoria, you should take the time to visit two of Victoria’s lesser-known gardens. Where one is sheltered, quiet and secluded, the other is larger, more diverse, and teeming . . .

    Sara WilliamsNovember 26, 2015

  • Cyclamen: a great addition to the indoor winter landscape

    It’s time to admit outdoor gardening is over for the year. Frozen ground and snow are on their way. To help with your withdrawal symptoms, you can start gardening indoors. One colourful, long-lived. . .

    Erl SvendsenNovember 7, 2015

  • Seeding your fall vegetable garden

    If you are one of those vegetable gardeners who is not quite ready to say goodbye to the 2015 growing season, there is one fall project that you may want to try. Besides garlic, fall seeding . . .

    Jackie BantleNovember 5, 2015

  • Irish Gardens – all worth visiting

    Earlier this month, I returned from hosting a garden tour of Ireland. We visited 17 Irish gardens, both public and private, ranging from landed estates of many acres to small urban holdings. More . . .

    Sara WilliamsOctober 26, 2015

  • Minor Bulbs have a mighty impact

    While most of us are familiar with the well-marketed and visually larger tulips and lilies, there are other bulbs — a group that is collectively referred to as “minor bulbs.” These are the small . . .

    Sara WilliamsOctober 6, 2015

  • Alliums for the Prairies – the time to plant is now

    Ornamental onions, generally known by its genus (Allium), are a diverse group of plants, several but not all of which are prairie hardy. Many of the taller and heavily advertised ornamental onions . . .

    Allan DakuSeptember 30, 2015

  • Alliums for Prairie Gardens – the time to plant is now

    You need a vivid imagination to perceive the lowly onion (Allium cepa), the odorous garlic (A. sativum) or even common chives (A. schoenoprasum) as particularly ornamental, yet with more than 400 . . .

    Allan DakuSeptember 23, 2015

  • Planning for spring? Plant a bulb today!

    It’s hard to believe. Fall is nigh and it’s time to start planning for spring. I’m talking about planting bulbs. It’s truly an act of faith when you can put a somewhat dried-up bulb in the ground . . .

    Erl SvendsenSeptember 17, 2015

  • What’s been eating my roses?

    The rose, the jewel of many a yard, has been beloved by gardeners everywhere for nearly three millennia. Shakespeare immortalized it Romeo and Juliet with “that which we call a rose, by any other . . .

    Erl SvendsenSeptember 10, 2015

  • What’s eating my corn

    Few things say summer like the sweet flavour of homegrown corn. But then comes along a few corn earworms (Helicoverpa zea) to ruin things. The corn earworm is not a worm, but the caterpillar (i.e. . .

    Erl SvendsenSeptember 7, 2015