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.
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 . . .
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. . .
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 . . .
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,. . .
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. . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . . .
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. . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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. . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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. . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
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).. . .
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 . . .
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. . .
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. . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .
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 . . .