31 March 2013

Book review: Small-Space Container Gardens - Canadian Gardening

Do you have a small garden plot, a balcony or deck that begs for greenery and flowers?  If so, check out this book review for Small-Space Container Gardens as reviewed on the Canadian Gardening site:  Book review: Small-Space Container Gardens - Canadian Gardening

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Impatiens downy mildew / Royal Horticultural Society

One day your impatiens are fine, blooming and lovely and the next, they are totally destroyed!  It's not slugs, it's downy mildew and it strikes fast and hard!

Frank Ferragine, aka Frankie Flowers, addressed this problem briefly on CityLine on the gardening special. Downy mildew can be spotted on the underside of the leaves of impatiens as a white coating, even before the damage is evident. If this is present, it is best to dig out and destroy your impatiens.  Do not put them in your compost,  but rather burn them.  There is no known cure available.

Impatiens downy mildew is a fungus which can strike during wet weather in spring and summer.  It causes yellowing leaves and the loss of foliage in impatiens, killing them.

As downy mildew spores can live in the soil for at least a year so, following a year of disease, do not plant impatiens in the same spot.  You may plant begonias, fuchsia, or another similar shade/partial shade plant instead.  Since it is an airborne disease, it is not necessarily a risk free option to plant impatiens in another location in the garden.  The article written by staff at the Royal Horticultural Society suggests you may have better luck growing your impatiens from seed rather than purchasing from a grower/greenhouse as the disease may already be present.  The fungus can be latent, without signs of infection, for some time, so be aware that gardeners in Canada began seeing this problem last year, meaning that it may reoccur this year, to an even greater extent.  For more information, click on the link below.

Impatiens downy mildew / Royal Horticultural Society

Happy Easter!

30 March 2013

Trends in the Garden for 2013

As I was watching the gardening special on Cityline, Frank Ferragine (aka Frankie Flowers) shared this new trend in gardening as found at Canada Blooms in Toronto this spring. Since I like to see what's new in the garden world, I thought you'd like to as well.

The colour trend this year for the garden is  green and white, with greens of varying textures and white blossoms and foliage to illuminate the garden.  The collage below is comprised of photos I've taken over the last year or so, all but one of which is from my own garden.

This colour trend is one I've actually loved for years. It offers the serene feeling I longed for in my garden... a place to escape the busyness and stress of the city, right in my own back yard.  Entertaining in the evening is more dramatic too as light reflects off the white foliage and flowers.  For more wow factor, choose plants with large white blossoms like a clematis or night flowering water lily (I tried to find a hardy one for our pond but couldn't), or a shrub/perennial with clusters of white blooms.

 These are just a few examples of what you can do with a monochromatic scheme.  
Visit http://bit.ly/14lCgKn to see the special for yourself.

Other links which may interest you:
Kingston, Anne. "Instant classic: interior designer Brian Gluckstein teams up with landscape architect Ronald Holbrook to renovate his Toronto garden with trademark sophistication.(city style)."Gardening Life. Canadian Home Publishers. 2004. AccessMyLibrary. 31 Mar. 2013 

2012 Feature Gardens at Canada in Bloom

29 March 2013

Finding the positives

Photo taken by my son, S, while vacationing in Mexico.

La de da de dum...........

Meanwhile, this is what I am enjoying here! 

 I wonder what kind of hydrangea this is?  

23 March 2013

Post Blizzard

We had 33 cms of snow in 12 hours during the storm!!  Not a drop has melted and right now it is minus 19 Celsius (-2.2 F), minus 25  Celsius (-13 F) with the windchill.  The snow plows and sanding trucks have been out so the major thorough fares are fair to drive but the side roads and residential streets are rather bad.  My husband got stuck on one just yesterday.

It even looks cold but the sun is shining and the forecast is for -6 Celsius today.  We don't expect to get above freezing again until Thursday of next week.  

It's a perfect day to stay indoors and watch movies.  My friend Kim and I are doing just that this afternoon.  Has anyone else seen The Hobbit?  I saw it in the theatre with my hubby and just had to get the movie when it came out in Blu Ray/DVD.  

What are you doing today?

21 March 2013

While roads are shut down.....

 There is still beauty in a spring snow storm.....

Henday closed due to poor winter driving conditions | CTV Edmonton News

Henday closed due to poor winter driving conditions | CTV Edmonton News

This is the QEII highway, south of Edmonton, at a standstill following collisions resulting in per 300 injuries.  No known casualties.  Several roads within the city are shut down, including the Anthony Henday and 170 Street.  If you don't need to go out, please don't take the risk.

20 March 2013

18 March 2013

A Visage of Green for St. Patrick's Day

Since Sunday was St. Patrick's Day and the desire for some greenery in the way of plants fueled my passion, I decided to make today's Mosaic Monday a compilation of greenery from photos taken over the last year.  There are sweet memories here and I look back with fondness.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!  

Won't you pop over to The Little Red House to join her for Mosaic Monday today?  Thursday, March 14th Mary's theme was green as well.

16 March 2013

Another Snow Day (the dogs have the right idea)

This is the scene this morning.  What this photo doesn't show is the continual fall of snow.  
Please ignore the glow on the left.  It's the reflection off my window.

Minutes later, no sun to be seen.  What felt like spring last week, feels like winter again this week.  We had a heavy snowfall warning Thursday and Friday.  They were fairly accurate on that.

If this forecast is any indication, winter is here for a while longer.  Perhaps March will go out like a lion, as it came in like a lamb.  Too soon to tell, though.  It's only the middle of the month.

 The dogs have the right idea!  
It's a snow day, alternatively, the perfect day to curl up with a blanket and, 
in my case, a good book!

 Staying warm indoors today.  Hope you are too.

13 March 2013

Spring Prelude

As the earth and water (ice) around here begins to thaw, my son Kent took advantage of his viewpoint 
on another bridge to snap a few photos of the North Saskatchewan River this past week.

As you can see, the ice break up and melting is well under way.  
Now 9 days and counting.....

Spring is on its way!!!  It's the most wonderful time of the year!!  

11 March 2013

Sharing the Yard With Wildlife

I am joining Mary at The Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.  Won't you pop in and visit the others who joined in today too?

Ten days and counting........

10 March 2013

It's Spring in Vancouver

My son sent me this photo taken last week in Vancouver.  
I'm feeling a little jealous right now!

09 March 2013

Rosemary and Thyme and Hogweed

A few years ago I watched a British mystery program called Rosemary and Thyme.  It appeals to me on many levels.  One, it is British.  Two, it is a mystery.  And three, gardening is a major theme throughout.  

My friend Kim sent me the link to the above episode, which is the first in the television series and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to share it with you as well.  This episode deals with hogweed, a toxic giant of a weed that has become a problem here as well as in Britain.  I blogged about Giant Hogweed - Like Something Out of a Science Fiction Movie and Giant Hogweed on the Spread.  Seeing this program was a rather interesting way of bringing to life a topic I had researched almost two years ago.  It's a pity it is so aggressive as I can see why it was introduced to our country by someone who thought it was an impressive addition to their garden.  It is rather striking but don't let looks fool you.  

I hope you enjoy this program as much as I did.  You get to learn a little too, which is always an advantage in the gardening world.

PS  I saw an enormous rabbit in my back yard today and its fur was turning brown in patches on its back.  A sure sign spring is on the way.  Photos to follow soon.

Spring Ahead!!

Don't forget!  Sure we lose an hour of precious sleep, but the longer days of daylight are very much appreciated!  Spring is just around the corner!!  Woot!

Top of the day to you. Alright, eh?

A beautiful sunrise bid good morning today, while I prepared English "Bangers,"
 an English sausage, with eggs over easy and toast.

It's going to be a terrific day!

I'm feeling inspired by all things British this morning.  I'm reading a historical fiction, Passing Bells, based in Britain; had an English themed breakfast, and am hoping to get in an episode of Rosemary and Thyme that a good friend sent to me.  

I enjoy a theme every now and then.  

A friend of mine would celebrate themed Christmases every year with her children.  Each year the theme would be of Christmas from another country.  One year it was Mexico, another year would be themed for another country.  It sounds like it was fabulous fun and I wish I'd thought of doing the same when our children were growing up.  

Now, every so often, I'll plan a meal based on the cuisine of another country.... Chinese, Italian, French.  It really helps take the drudgery out of the daily cooking.  Honestly, I cook only because we have to eat but when I can prepare something a little out of the ordinary, themed perhaps, I find it a lot more fun.  Do you?

Did I mention we have two hydrangea bushes out front?  As the snow is finally beginning to recede with the recent warm temperatures, I can see the dried blooms much better.  I can hardly wait for spring to arrive so I can discover what variety of hydrangea we have here.  It doesn't appear to by an Annabelle but I assume, given the height of the shrubs, it must be a hardy variety.  (this house is only about four years old)

Visiting the greenhouses last weekend certainly whet my appetite for gardening.  I'm already conjuring images of planters for the front and back decks.  We face east in front and west in the back, two directions we haven't previously landscaped/gardened in, so I'm looking forward to experimenting with new plant and colour combinations.

Go out there and enjoy this glorious day.

Looking forward to spring....

07 March 2013

Black Knot Disease Still Rampant But City Has Found a Promising Preventative

According to Jim Hole's newsletter, Reflect, Relax, Reconnect; the City of St. Albert has found a method which seems to be effective in preventing black knot disease.

Black knot disease has been responsible for killing many trees in the Prunus family, namely Schubert Chokecherry, Mayday, Cherry and Plum.  The disease appears as a black mass on the branches of any of the aforementioned trees and, if left unchecked, will spread through the tree.  If it girdles a branch, or worse yet the trunk, it will kill the branch/tree, respectively.  

As mentioned in my post, Fungal Alert - Black Knot on Local Schubert Chokecherries, if you find this disease on your tree, you must trim the branch back at least one foot below the infected area.  Then destroy the affected trimmings as the disease is air born and spreads easily.  Disinfect your pruning equipment thoroughly afterwards.

The city tree care team has been out trimming the Prunus trees and applying a dormant spray.  Why, you wonder?  According to Kevin Veenstra (City of St. Albert and a certified arborist), a spray of a combination of lime sulphur and horticultural oil helps protect the trees from the disease, stating that the trees they've sprayed remain disease free.

What wonderful news!  I wish I'd known or thought of this years ago when my Schubert Chokecherry had the disease.  Since we have moved, I no longer have that particular tree to care for, but you, my readers, can certainly benefit from this development!!

Please, give it a try.  Spray when there is no wind and the temperature is above zero but before the leaf buds begin to swell.  Let me know if you feel this makes a difference for your trees, please.  

*Warning, the lime sulphur does indeed smell like sulphur but the odour dissipates in time and exposure to fresh air.  ;}

**photos taken by myself and previously posted at Fungal Alert - Black Knot on Local Schubert Chokecherries.

04 March 2013

Greenland 2013 Indoor Winter Garden and Store Tour Continued

 Above, a water fixture.  Lime green is quite popular this season.

At the cafeteria one finds these wonderful plaques!

Below, this is what having a professional designer on staff can do to merchandise product that makes the consumer go "WOW!"


Paperwhites, above.

Don't you love this fountain?


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