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E N J OY GA R DE N I NG

Home of the Enjoy Centre

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Botanic Park

Reasons to Cultivate Life in St. Albert

SUMMER 2011

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1

S U M M E R 2011

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Cheers for

Summer Beers Awaken your inner beer-lover

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Largest Outdoor Farmers’ Market in Western Canada

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Petunia Show GardenPerron Street

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It’s Our 150th Birthday

DEVINE VINES

Nine vines to get hooked on

CAMPFIRE COOKING

Enter to win a day of Botanical Bliss

Roughing it never tasted so good

in Canada’s Botanical Arts City

Package includes:

Guided Tour of St. Albert Botanic Park $25 Gift Certificate to Botanic Park Gift Shop $25 Gift Certificate to the Art Gallery of St. Albert $75 Gift Certificate to the Enjoy Centre Lunch at La Crema Caffe (Perron District)

SU M M ER ISSU E 2011 $6.99

www.visitstalbert.com EnjoyGardening-SUM11-NEWspineGOOD.indd 1

Printed in Canada

Draw Date Sept 1, 2011

GAGA FOR GOJI BERRIES

A superfood for healthy living

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enjoy

Great Gardening Books from Hole’s

Lois Hole's Favorite Bulbs Better Choices, Better Gardens By Lois Hole

Lois Hole’s Favorite Bulbs is both an ultimate get started guide for novice gardeners and a comprehensive reference for experienced bulb enthusiasts. Here you’ll find great advice on planting, growing and maintaining flowering bulbs. You'll also find hundreds of tips on where and when to plant, advice on forcing and naturalizing and fascinating sidebars on bulb science and history. $24.95 • 5.5 x 8.5 • Softcover • Colour • 320 pages • ISBN 1-894728-00-9

Hole's Dictionary of Hardy Perennials The Buyer’s Guide for Professionals, Collectors & Gardeners Edited by Jim Hole

The perennial marketplace is larger than ever, with thousands of species and varieties from which to choose. Keeping track of perennials has become an awesome task—but the experts at Hole’s have a solution. Hole’s Dictionary of Hardy Perennials is the comprehensive guide, perfect for anyone who loves perennials, whether retailer, professional grower, breeder, collector, novice or veteran home gardener. $49.95 • 5.5 x 8.5 • Hardcover • 356 colour photos • 144 pages • ISBN 1-894728-01-7

Ordering Order these and other Hole’s publications online at www.holesonline.com • By Phone 1-888-884-6537 By Fax 780-459-6042 Hole’s • 101 Riel Drive St. Albert, Alberta • T8N 3X4

Now Open t w i t ter.c om /enjoyc en t re • fac eb o ok .c om /t he e njoyc e n t re enjoyc en t re .c a

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58

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Stage

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Create an Impression

Landscaping for Curb Appeal By Maggie Clayton

Presenting 23 professionally designed landscape plans that allow gardeners the luxury of implementing designs stage by stage according to time, budget and desire. $21.95 • 5.5 x 8.5 • Softcover • Colour • 256 pages • ISBN 978-1-894728-07-6

What Grows Here? Series What Grows Here? Indoors

What Grows Here? Volume 2: Problems

By Jim Hole

By Jim Hole

Favourite Houseplants for Every Situation Jim Hole takes the guesswork out of caring for houseplants by addressing issues concerning light, water, pests, diseases and more. Complete with full-colour photography and in-depth plant listings, this book gives you the confidence to select the perfect houseplant for every situation.

Brimming with solid advice from one of Canada’s most accomplished gardening professionals, Problems tackles common gardening dilemmas: poor soil, pests, budget concerns and much more. Complete with detailed descriptions of plants you can count on to tackle the garden’s toughest challenges.

$21.95 • 5.5 x 8.5 • Softcover • Colour • 292 pages • ISBN 978-1-894728-06-5

$19.95 • 5.5 x 8.5 • Softcover • Colour • 264 pages • ISBN 1-894728-03-3

What Grows Here? Volume 1: Locations

What Grows Here? Volume 3: Solutions

By Jim Hole

By Jim Hole

Favorite Plants for Better Yards Jim Hole and his team of expert horticulturists present tried-and-true advice, examples to help you tailor your gardening approach and hundreds of today’s best plants, chosen to fill every conceivable location in the garden—including trouble spots. $19.95 • 5.5 x 8.5 • Softcover • Colour • 256 pages • ISBN 1-894728-02-5

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Favorite Plants for Better Yards

Favorite Plants for Better Yards Jim introduces the owners of 13 gardens in different stages of development, discusses the problems each faces and offers his expert advice on selecting the best plants for specific locations and conditions. Novice gardeners and seasoned experts alike will discover how to make a landscape their very own. $19.95 • 5.5 x 8.5 • Softcover • Colour • 264 pages • ISBN 1-894728-05-X

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reflect relax reconnect

ISSN 1916-095X

SU M M ER 2011

Published by Hole’s Magazine Publisher

Jim Hole

Editor-in-Chief

Carmen D. Hrynchuk

Graphic Design

Dragich Design

Principal Photography

Akemi Matsubuchi

Photographic Assistant

Brenda Lakeman

Image Managment

Jean Coulton

Contributors

Linda Bodo, Vanessa Michaud

Staff Writers

Jean Coulton, Bruce Timothy Keith

Proofreader

NJ Brown

Floral Design

Liz Nobbs Alexei Boldireff

Food Styling Advertising & Promotion Printing

Bill Hole

Quad/Graphics, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Distribution

Disticor Magazine Distribution Services

Hole’s Publishing Staff Publisher

Bill Hole

Publishing Manager

Bruce Timothy Keith

Chief Horticulturist Editorial Advisory Group

Jim Hole Bruce Keith, Brenda Lakeman, Karen Wilson, Lindsay Zimmer

Enjoy Gardening is published twice yearly by Hole’s Publishing. It is available on newsstands across Canada. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher.

For more information on the magazine or advertising, please contact us at: 101 Riel Drive St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, T8N 3X4

Telephone 780-419-6800 Facsimile 780-459-6042 Subscriptions 1-888-884-6537 

E-mail

Website www.enjoygardening.com editor@enjoygardening.com advertising@enjoygardening.com

About the Cover Special thanks to Shay Missiaen Photography: Akemi Matsubuchi

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Letter from the Editor

Make no mistake—it’s been a really, really long winter. And I’m not alone in my pining for a change. Canadians everywhere are secretly smooching pictures of their summer holidays the way tweens kiss their Bieber posters goodnight. Yet when summer does finally arrive, most of us won't have a clue where to begin. Overwhelmed by all the things we promised ourselves we’d see, fix and do, we’ll end up struggling to start at all. The yard, void of snow, will seem bigger and less manageable than you remembered. While the yard was growing, the neighbour’s house will have somehow managed to inch itself closer to yours. And how could that thistle you pulled, poisoned and pleaded with last year be coming up again? Well, don’t panic. There’s only one secret to getting started this year, and it’s this: start where you are. The garden will always be waiting for you.

For some, that start will mean a trip to the greenhouse. For others, a beer or three on the deck. The activity, you see, isn’t what’s important—enjoying it is. That’s what this issue of Enjoy Gardening is all about: defining your own garden and expanding the concept to reflect a broader, more inclusive view of living. Relaxing and entertaining, growing and harvesting, learning and appreciating—most importantly, liking yourself doing it. So this summer, find your garden. Look for it in your own yard and the places that inspire you. Go out and explore farmers’ markets. Feel the hot sun on your hair. Marvel with defeated pleasure at the same damned weed you’ve pulled a million damned times. Then cut yourself some slack, because gardening is about enjoying the things you enjoy. So get out there and start where you are. It’s summertime, and there’s no better place to be! —Carmen Hrynchuk

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reflect

Plan Learn Discover inspiration points

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Value Gardening Get more than you bargained for!

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Gaga for Goji Berries A superfood for healthy living

28

Three Cheers for Summer Beers! Awaken your inner beer-lover

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relax

Entertain Style Entice

reconnect Do Change Enrich

trend spotting

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shift

Outdoor Entertaining

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Quick tips for lighting, decorating and more!

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That’s What Summers are Made Of

Devine Vines

Five custom spice blends you’ll never want to be without

Nine vines to get hooked on

how do you do

second look

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Water World

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DIY House Numbers with Linda Bodo

Nature meets underwater photography

Make your own address plaque and get noticed

floral design

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Kitchens with Spice & Everything Nice

The Single Life Turn single flowers into fabulous floral designs

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Pot-ential with Linda Bodo Planters as easy to move as they are to love

recipes

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Grilling & Campfire Cooking Roughing it never tasted so good

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the path to enjoy

Peoples is Peoples with Bruce Keith

“Hey. I tell you what is ... Peoples is peoples. No is buildings. Is tomatoes, huh? Is peoples, is dancing, is music, is potatoes. So, peoples is peoples. Okay?” — Pete, a Manhattan restaurateur, to Kermit the Frog, The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984).

Palindromic phrases always stick in my head and none more than the “peoples is peoples” phrase from The Muppets Take Manhattan. Part of the fascination for me is that it’s catchy, not quite grammatically correct and easy to remember, but mostly it’s that those words speak to pretty much any human situation we find ourselves in, and in their simplicity, they signal great wisdom. Because, you see, when we build things, it’s is not about buildings or technology, it’s not about products or performance. Policies and procedures are helpful, and money and training are definitely plusses, but in the end, it’s always about people. My view of gardening has been shaped by many people: by my mom, who did it out of love; by my aunt, who made me pick raspberries; by Bill Hole, who gave me a job combining most of the things I love to do; and by Lois Hole, who proved to me that beautiful things

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are a bargain at any price. As a result, I spent almost 10 years planning and building my garden, sweating and spending to make real something I could see in my head. But I always enjoyed my yard because it was a place for people. When you build something like that, you realize that without the people, the thing just isn’t complete. Still it’s not just the people enjoying your creation who complete it: it’s also all the people who helped you build it. People create the stories that bring life to any space. My garden is a place of stories and memories, and while it is no longer my responsibility (because I have left that yard behind), it will always be what it is because of all the people who contributed. My latest project, the Enjoy Centre, is now open. It promises to grow to be a thing of stunning beauty, technological amazement and fulfilling activities. It may seem presumptuous for me to refer to it as “my” project, but for the last three years, I and hundreds of others have worked toward this moment. Like my garden, it is defined not by its architecture and construction, but by the people who worked to build it and the energy and

ideas they brought. And it will continue grow and realize its potential because of them. As throughout the history of Hole’s, it is the long list of people and their stories that make up the true structure of the Enjoy Centre. Lois Hole always recognized that building a community of people was more important than building things. When she wrote I’ll Never Marry a Farmer, it was the people who had enriched her, her family and her business she celebrated. This belief was passed on to her family, and this April, when we opened the new building, a quarter of the available retail space was taken up by the Memory Project: a collection of memories from past and present staff and customers remembering the history of Hole’s and the family, accompanied by images of many of the people who made Hole’s Greenhouses & Gardens what it was. It brought a few tears to people’s eyes, more than a few smiles and, of course, many, many memories. But as you glance through the images and read the stories, you see that they are always about the people who contributed to something bigger than themselves. Literally hundreds of

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the path to enjoy

thousands of people have contributed to the history that stands behind Hole’s and the Enjoy Centre, and hundreds of thousands more will soon contribute to its future. But “Peoples is peoples. No is buildings. Is tomatoes…” Like any crop, not everything is going to work out the way a person plans. The imperatives of time and nature can conspire against us, and friends and family can sometimes be an even bigger obstacle. In my experience with people, progress always comes as much from conflict as it does from cooperation. And there are a lot of people in the “Hole’s family”. We have had our share of disagreements and one or two “louder” moments. And what has been fascinating is the ever-increasing size of our “little” family. Architects, construction managers, framers, painters and trades that I had never heard of before: everyone had their own piece of the project, and everyone contributed to the ultimate result. We probably lost a few “tomatoes” along

the way, made a few mistakes and even gave up on a thing or two, but it’s harvest time at last, and we are reaping the rewards of our efforts. Perhaps they’re even a bit sweeter because of the struggle. People in all their wonderful chaos and cacophony have once again managed to come together to build something. Not from concrete and steel, but from commitment and spirit, perseverance and frustration and from simply being there. All their ideas, skills, emotions and opinions, all these processes of the human heart, have ultimately created something bigger than any individual and something that, as magnificent as it is, will continue to grow with each and every person who crosses its threshold and brings a sense of wonder, a sense of joy or even a grumble or two. As Pete so eloquently put it, the Enjoy Centre is not a building, it’s not even tomatoes; the Enjoy Centre is people, and peoples is peoples. Enjoy.

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reflect

Plan Learn Discover

inspiration points

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Value Gardening Get more than you bargained for

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Inviting Spaces are Used Spaces (practical value) The Wow Factor (esthetic value) Reaping the Rewards (monetary & environmental value)

Gaga for Goji Berries A superfood for healthy living

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Three Cheers for Summer Beers! Awaken your inner beer-lover Ale Lager Specialty Beer

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inspiration points

Value Gardening Get more than you bargained for! The saying “Only the rich can afford to buy cheap things” is a bit of wisdom many of us apply to our household and personal purchases. Yet when it comes to our outdoor spaces, we hesitate to apply the rule. Yes, a large planter with wow, a prized feature tree or a built-to-last furniture set will all cost more than their less-expensive counterparts, but remember this: going big translates into smart spending when it transforms a space from unused to well used. Well-spent dollars can increase your property value, reduce your environmental impact or simply reduce your yard work. Another benefit to value gardening: it will help you create an outdoor style you’ll truly enjoy. Simply put, value gardening is about getting the most out of your outdoor spaces—without breaking the bank. So start here, follow the buy-less-to-achieve-more maxim and make this the summer you get more than you bargained for.

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Quick Tips

Prolonging the Life of your Furniture • Clean your furniture periodically with soap and water to remove general nastiness such as bird droppings (they’re quite acidic). • Give aluminum furniture a seasonal coat of liquid car wax; give wood furniture a yearly application of oil or sealant (depending on the original finish). • Minimize the effects of weathering by covering your furniture when not in use. Store in a shed, garage or inside your home to protect the furniture over winter.

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inspiration points

Inviting Spaces are U s e d S p a c e s ( p ra c t ic a l v a lu e ) Extending living spaces to the outdoors is a good way to not only make use of your entire property, but also of our all-too-short summers. Of course, the best way to make a space useful is to make it inviting. For some of us, that means a need for privacy and protection from the elements. For night owls, the addition of a heater, firepit or lights might make the wish list. Finding items best suited to your lifestyle and your space is where the concept of value comes into play. Buying Furnishings Like a tuxedo or the perfect little black dress, outdoor furniture can be a wise investment that’s timeless. The key, of course, is picking special pieces that are tailored to you. Here are some tips to consider. Buy pieces you’ll actually use. For example, garden benches look nice, but would you really use one? Your space is about you, so buy the pieces you want, not the ones you were told a garden “should” have. If your idea of an ideal lifestyle includes regular dinners outdoors, a dining set would be a worthy investment. If drinks on the deck are more your style, a couple of loveseats, ottomans and end tables might make more sense. You also need to consider how much room you have for furniture. To help figure out what will fit, draw a to-scale diagram of your deck, cut out some pieces of paper (also to scale) to represent furniture, then start arranging. Choose furniture with good bones. As fashion teaches us, it’s the accessories that update a look from one season to another. So invest in furniture that has timeless lines and

let your cushions and throws chase the trends. Choose outdoor pieces that complement your indoor décor. If your home décor features modern, clean lines, extend that look outside. Besides making for a seamless transition, the continuity in design will also allow you the option of moving your furnishing and accessories indoors and out, thus doubling your decorating options. Carrying your colour schemes outdoors will further coordinate your style. Invest in well-made. Because it will last, the output for well-made outdoor furniture is warranted. If wood is your material of choice, check that the joints are tightly fitted and sanded smooth. With metal furniture, check for smooth, continuous and thorough welds along the joints. Other durable materials include glass, tile, synthetic rattan and fabrics that are fade, crack and mildew resistant. Take your time. Like your favourite go-to wardrobe, your collection of outdoor furnishings will take a few seasons to build. Be patient and buy only the items you love.

Did You Know? Wrought-iron furniture is made from round bars forged by hand into complex or simple designs. Cast iron, which is very heavy and generally ornate, is made using moulds. Both are versatile, classic and built to last—provided they’re properly cared for. Wash occasionally, apply wax once a year and, to prevent rusting, promptly sand and repaint chips.

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inspiration points

Creating Privacy It can be hard to relax without privacy. And in urban settings, with our close proximity to what seems like everyone, privacy’s hard to come by. That’s where screens come in. Done right, they create privacy and look good doing it. Equally important, they’re great for blocking out the sun and wind. Here are some plants and supports to consider. To create privacy, this homeowner had wrought-iron frames made to size and then wove willow branches through them. Although custom trellising will cost more than prefabricated units, there’s a lot of value in getting both the fit and look you want. (Above)

Clematis ‘Blue Angel’

Blue blooms from summer to fall are a value-added benefit when you create a screen from this hardy clematis. In addition to being lush-looking, pestfree and easy-to-grow, ‘Blue Angel’ has attractive seed heads that create interest as the blooms fade. Requires a support to climb on. Height: 3–3.5 m: width: 1–2 m. Sun to p.m. sun. (Above)

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This clever idea provides privacy and shade without creating a fortress-like feel. The homeowners simply attached panels of premade screening to their existing fence to create not only privacy but also the perfect structure for their Virginia creeper to climb. The glossy, deep-green leaves turn brilliant red in fall. (Above) Invest in an oversized portable umbrella to block out the sun. Many offset or cantilevered models can be rotated 360 degrees around the base and usually tilt to offer even greater shading capacity. Another advantage of side-post over center-pole styles is that there’s no obstruction below the umbrella, allowing freedom of movement and unlimited furniture-arranging options. You’ll find the added functionality and flexibility absolutely worth the investment. (Middle)

Quick Tips • Add string lights, solar lanterns or wired‑in lights to your outdoor rooms. Bowls with gel-burning inserts will also create an ambiance that’s sure to get you outside in the evenings. • Before you get a fire pit or fire bowl, check your community standards bylaws or local fire department regulations. Physical sizes and clearances must be observed.

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inspiration points

The Wow Factor (estheti c va l u e )

Whether it’s meant to enhance your property value or

Did You Know? On average, trees increase property values by 10 percent according to the U.S. Forestry Service.

Image courtesy Jeffries Nurseries

Courtesy of Bylands Nurseries Ltd.

simply satisfy your esthetic sense, going big on one item or one area is a surefire way to create wow. You don’t need a deep pocketbook to do it, either. Whatever your budget, spending a big chunk of it in one place will make more of an impact than rationing it over numerous smaller purchases. So while it’s natural to associate more with more, the value you create with one wow item often makes it the more prudent purchase. Of course, the most important thing is to select items that make you happy and speak to your lifestyle—not just to the pressure to plant along your walkway because your neighbours have. Here are some less-is-more suggestions.

Weeping Larch

Mountain Ash ‘Cardinal Royal’

Graceful, weeping branches make this tree the ultimate choice for a feature plant. For a funkier look, you’ll also find varieties that have a more random branch arrangement. They’re often identified as “varied directions” weeping larches. These coniferous trees are known for their soft green needles that turn yellow in fall and are then shed. Height: training dependent; width: 3–4 m. Sun. (Above left)

Uniform upright branching and a straight trunk set this variety apart from other mountain ashes. As with other mountain ashes, it offers seasonal diversity. Blooms in spring, produces lush green foliage and red berries in summer, orange-red fall colour and holds its berries for winter interest. Height: 10–12 m; width: 4–6 m. Sun. (Above middle) Northern Pin Oak ‘Shooting Star’

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There’s nothing more majestic than an oak. But because oaks are slow growing, get a jump-start and opt for the largest specimen you can find. Foliage on this oak emerges brick-red, matures to dark-green and reverts back to brick-red in the fall. Furrowed grey bark and silver branches provide additional interest. Height: 12 m; width: 12 m. Sun. (Above right)

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Topiary Juniper ‘Mint Julep’

Topiaries make interesting focal points. You’ll often find this hardy juniper trained and pruned into an assortment of forms. Spirals and pompons are the most commonly found variations. To maintain shape, prune yearly. Height and width: training dependant. Sun to p.m. sun. (Above) Statuary also creates great wow appeal—especially when you find the perfect spot for it. The key to that is nestling your statuary and garden art among the plantings. Front and centre might seem like the right choice, but it’s often not. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, illuminate your treasure to really make it shine. (Right)

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Mother of Thyme ‘Elfin’

This thyme is just right to use between paving stones. It tolerates light foot traffic and releases its fragrance when brushed. It has pink flowers in summer and is mat forming. Tolerates poor, dry sites once established. Height: 5–8 cm; width: 10–25+ cm. Sun to p.m. sun.

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inspiration points

Reaping the Rewards (monet ar y & e n vi r o n m e n t a l v a lue )

Converting flowerbeds into xeriscapes, or stripping out your sod and replacing it with stonework and vegetable beds are all environmentally sound ideas. But getting those projects off the ground is neither cheap nor easy. As we all know, there’s little value in a project that’s not manageable. The solution? Start small. Replace a portion of the grass with raised beds or a stone patio area. It won’t take all your weekends to complete, and that’s more manageable from both a cost and effort standpoint. Here are some drought-tolerant plants and environmental tips to inspire you.

Did You Know? The amount of pollution produced by a gaspowered lawnmower in one hour is equivalent to the amount emitted by a car driven for more than 70 km according to the American Environmental Protection Agency.

Reel Mowers Switching to a reel mower will reduce your carbon footprint and maybe even lighten your own—it’s good exercise! Unlike older models, they’re now light weight and offer adjustable cutting heights. They’re also quiet, low-maintenance, take little space to store and won’t kick up rocks or other debris. If you’re considering a switch, here’s what you need to know. Allow more time. Expect that a lawn that takes 30 minutes to cut with a gas or electric mower will take 10 extra minutes with a reel mower. If you’ve got more than 275 sq. m of lawn, a reel mower might not be for you. Mow more frequently. The effort needed to cut grass with a reel mower grows exponentially with the height of

the grass. If the grass is really long, a reel mower will come up really short. Commit to grasscycling. Although models with rear basket attachments are available, reel mowers throw most of their clippings forward, rendering a rear basket almost useless. The good news, however, is that leaving your clippings on the lawn is a natural way to recycle and add nitrogen to your lawn. Also note that with this type of mower, you’ll be mowing more frequently, so the clippings will be shorter and less noticeable. Finish with a trimmer. The wheels on reel mowers are set to the outside of the blades, so you won’t be able to cut as close to fences as you’re used to. For a manicured finish, tidy up with a trimmer.

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inspiration points

Bergenia

Coneflower ‘White Swan’

Bergenia is exceptionally versatile because it grows under almost all conditions. Granted, growth is more vigorous when there’s more moisture. It sports spikes of pale- to dark-pink flowers in spring, and its leaves take on red tones in the fall. Clump forming; do not cut back. Height: 45–50 cm; width: 60 cm. Sun or shade. (Above left)

Coneflowers grow and overwinter wonderfully on the Prairies provided they have well-developed crowns with multiple shoots. Spindly, single-stem specimens won’t see another spring, regardless of how much snow you pile on them. This variety features inwardcurved, pure white flowers from summer to fall. Clump forming. Drought tolerant once established. Height: 45–60; width: 30–45 cm. Sun to p.m. sun. (Above right) Daylily ‘Stella de Oro’

As one of the longest-blooming daylilies available, this short-statured variety earns a gold star. Its star rating is further enhanced by its tolerance for shady and dry conditions. Blooms from summer to fall; clump-forming. Height: 30 cm; width: 30–60 cm. Sun to p.m. sun. (Top) 22 enjoygardening

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Did You Know?

Inspired by the gardens of Versailles, the mowed lawn aesthetic took off in the late 18th century. It was an aristocratic trend that quickly travelled across the channel to England where moderate temperatures and frequent rains made it easy to grow turf grasses.

Perennial Dusty Miller

Ninebark ‘Little Devil’

Cover ground quickly with this fastgrowing perennial. The silver-green foliage, which happens to be silky soft, is the clue that tells you this plant likes hot, dry conditions. Shear off blooms once flowering ceases to keep Artemisia stelleriana compact. Height: 15–30 cm; width: 60–75+ cm. Sun to p.m. sun. (Top)

The variety name of this charismatic shrub is a nod to its deep-burgundy foliage and short stature. It also has clusters of small white-pink flowers in spring. This ninebark will look great mixed with yellow shrubs and other ninebarks. Very easy to grow. Height: 1.2 m; width: 1.2 m. Sun to p.m. sun. (Above right)

Juniper ‘Blue Rug’

Beautiful trailing branches make this juniper ideal for draping over retaining walls or rocks. It will just as readily creep along the ground. This fast-growing evergreen tolerates hot and dry sites. In winter, its silver-blue foliage is tinged purple. Height: 10–15 cm; width: 2–3 m. Sun. (Above left)

Quick Tips Raised beds, for either vegetable or ornamentals, can be built directly on top of existing lawn. Just place cardboard on top of the grass (it will suppress the grass and eventually decompose), and then build a frame tall enough to hold a minimum of 30 cm of soil. enjoygardening 23

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inspiration points

Gaga for Goji Berries

A superfood f or h e alt h y liv in g The goji berry—one of the latest fruits to hold the title of “superfood”—has long been known as a health food. The “longevity fruit,” as it has been dubbed, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. In modern terms, we recognize that it’s the antioxidants in the berries that purportedly contribute to longevity. As a treatment, it’s used to enhance immune system function, improve eyesight, protect the liver and improve circulation. Found almost exclusively as dried berries, in juices or as supplements, gojis are also known as a good source of vitamin C. Whether or not goji berries truly are a superfood, well, that’s for you to decide. But one thing’s for certain—they’re a super hot food trend worth learning about. Here’s what you need to know.

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Goji plants came to our attention a few years ago, when a customer asked us to help identify some shrubs growing in her Edmonton back alley. Luckily, the plants were laden with orangey-red fruit at the time, which helped us identify them as goji berries. So too did the story she told us about her neighbourhood. Apparently, sometime during the 1940s, one of the local property owners introduced the plants to the neighbourhood (quite literally—gojis, much like raspberries, think nothing of property lines). As the story goes, the gardener, who was of Chinese decent, had an appreciation for gojis long before they became vogue in North America. Unfortunately, despite our discovery, and knowing about the rising popularity of goji berries—which we now knew could be grown here—we weren’t able to source the plants commercially. Today, all that’s changed. Gojis are sold commercially as shrubs, which means you can try growing your own. It’s also probably the only way you’ll taste them fresh, because the berries themselves still aren’t available in the marketplace. With a plant or two and a food dehydrator, you’ll also be able to dry your own. If you’ve ever bought them dried, you know how much money you’ll be saving. Best of all, given that the plants grow perfectly well in back alleys with poor soil and no attention, it’s safe to say that gojis are undemanding. What better reason to try growing your own?

Did You Know?

Goji Berry

Lycium barbarum

With dangling berries on arching branches, the plants look slightly exotic, as if alluding to their Asian roots. The branches also bear thorns—although they’re sparse and don’t impede berry picking—and form a somewhat tangled clump. Purple, trumpet-shaped flowers appear in early summer, followed by elongated (1.25 cm) berries that ripen between late July and September. A selfpollinating shrub, but you’ll get better pollination and more berries with two plants. Dislikes wet soil. Height: 2.5–3 m; width: 2.5–3 m. Sun to p.m. sun.

Science & Technology • Native to China, the fruits of Lycium barbarum and its close relative, Lycium chinense, are considered interchangeable, although the former is known for its larger berries. • It’s no surprise the purplish-pink flowers of goji berry plants look similar to potato flowers—they both belong to the Solanaceae or nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes and peppers. • Goji plants are known by many different names, including gouqi, Chinese wolfberry (or just wolfberry) boxthorn and matrimony vine. • Although goji juices and supplements are often branded as Tibetan or Himalayan, this is not always an accurate indicator of the country of origin.

Dried goji berries are often described as tasting similar to raisins or dried cranberries (but certainly aren’t as chewy). We think the flavour is more reminiscent of figs or rose hips with a dry finish like black tea—a taste that isn’t to everyone’s liking. Fresh goji berries are juicy and very sweet.

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inspiration points

Three Cheers f o r su m m e r b ee rs!

Aw a k e n y o ur in ne r b e e r- lov e r The long wait is over. People everywhere are donning their sunglasses and flocking to patios in search of the perfect pint. Frat boys and fashionistas are rubbing suntanned shoulders, united in a carbonated declaration of summer love. Gone are the days of beer being the make-do drink of poor students; there are a multitude of perfectly chilled modern brews just waiting to be discovered by amateurs and connoisseurs alike. There are rugged beers. Gentle beers. Classy beers, and beers a little rough around the edges. Beers blonde and dark, light or heavy-bodied. Exotic foreign beers whose names you can’t always remember. Whatever your taste, there’s a beer for you. Today’s handcrafted lagers, ales and specialty brews are finally giving beer the respect it deserves. So put down that gin and tonic and head to the nearest beer garden. Summer all but demands it.

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Ale Generally known as the heartier brews on the beer spectrum, ales have a reputation for being a little bit complicated. Nevertheless, they’re enjoyed around the globe. No one knows exactly when ale production started, but there is evidence of basic beer being made in Iran, Syria and China as early as 5,500 years ago. Hops were added to beer during the ninth century, with the process being perfected around the thirteenth century. Novice drinkers often associate ales with very dark brews, but you don’t have to dive into a stout (think Guinness) to enjoy ale. There are white, gold, red, brown and dark ales, each with different flavours, textures and aromas. The difference between ales and lagers has nothing to do with the alcohol content or the colour of the brew. Ales are characterized by their top-fermenting strains of yeast, which ferment faster and at warmer temperatures than those of lager. This type of yeast produces more full-bodied brews with multi-layered flavours and aromas. Ales can have undertones of fruit, nuts, spices, coffee or caramel. They can be sweet or bitter, light or full-bodied. And contrary to popular belief, ales are no more fattening than lagers, so don’t be shy!

Did You Know?

Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale

Alexander Keith’s most popular beer is a pale golden ale that has a little sweetness and subtle notes of licorice, corn and citrus. It is lighttasting with a slightly bitter finish. Hoegarden

This popular Belgian unfiltered white ale has a pale, cloudy appearance and the aromas of coriander and spiced orange peel. Smooth and light-bodied, it has a hint of sweetness and a refreshing citrus flavour. Fort Garry Dark Ale

Winnipeg brewers Fort Garry produce an easy-to-drink dark ale with subtle caramel, chocolate and coffee flavours. It is light to mediumbodied, with notes of vanilla and roasted malt.

Beer

101

Beer is composed of water, malt, yeast and hops. Water makes up over 90 percent of beer. Malt is the result of processed grain—usually barley, although wheat, corn and rice grain are also used. The process of malting (germinating and drying grains) turns starches in the grain into sugar. Malts determine the colour of the beer and add different flavours to it. A beer high in malts will be full-bodied and sweet. Yeast converts the sugars produced by malting into alcohol. This process is called fermentation. Hops are flowers from a rapidly growing vine that provide bitterness to balance the sweetness of the malt. A beer high in hops can taste earthy, citrusy or bitter.

Beer has been used as a health supplement throughout the ages. In ancient Egypt, beer was prescribed to treat a range of illnesses. During the Middle Ages, poor people drank beer to supplement calories and to stay hydrated because water purity could rarely be guaranteed. More recently, Irish doctors recommended Guinness to pregnant women to supplement their iron. This is no longer advocated, but recent studies suggest that drinking a pint of the black stuff a day may be as effective as low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attacks. This is due to its antioxidant compounds, which may slow the deposit of cholesterol on arterial walls.

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inspiration points

Lager Beer snobs everywhere have been known to look down on the mere lager, judging it for its simple taste and often pale complexion. In fact, the process of developing good lager is more complex than that of ale. Lagers are high-maintenance: the primadonnas of the beer world, if you will. They are characterized by their bottom-fermenting yeast, which requires a longer fermentation period and low temperatures. It is believed that lager was created by accident during the sixteenth century, when beer was stored in cold caverns for long periods to keep it from spoiling. Technology eventually facilitated the production and refrigeration of beer, and the lowly lager became one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. Lagers range in colour and body from pale gold to honey brown to dark. They are known for their clean, crisp tastes and are usually characterized by one main flavour. Lagers can be light and mellow or intense and bitter. Unlike ales, which are often served at warmer temperatures, lagers must be served cold. Yellowhead Premium Lager

If you’re looking for an easy introduction to lagers, Yellowhead is a great choice. Brewed in Edmonton, this German-style lager has bright citrus notes and a subtle sweetness. It is medium-bodied, softly carbonated and crisp with a refreshingly dry finish.

Science & Technology When beer is exposed to any form of light, it triggers a chemical reaction called the “light-stuck effect.” The acid in the hops change and interact with sulphur in the beer, forming a complex compound that gives the beer a skunky smell and taste. Beers stored in clear glass bottles or kept in lit refrigeration units are more likely to get light-struck.

Beck’s

Beck’s is a popular German pilsner with a more full-bodied flavour. It is pale gold in colour and tastes lightly of corn, grass and citrus hops. A crisp and clean tasting beer. Serve cold. Sleeman’s Honey Brown Lager

Perhaps the Ontario brewer’s most wellknown beer, Sleeman’s honey brown is a good place to start experimenting with darker lagers. The full-bodied beer tastes subtly of honey, with notes of clove, grain and caramel.

Did You Know? Looking for an excuse to crack open a beer before everyone else? Add it to your meal preparation! Beer makes a great meat marinade and can be reduced for sauces and glazes. Use it to flavour soups, stews, seafood dishes, fondues—even breads and brownies. There are hundreds of recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus, you never have to worry about what to do with the leftovers.

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How To Sample Beer Have a free sunny afternoon? Grab some friends and start sampling. Here are a few tips to get you started: • Sample beers with a clean palate. Don’t eat right before sampling as this will affect the flavour of the beer. Rinse your mouth with water between beers. • Move from light to dark. Drink lightcoloured beers first, and finish with your dark beers. • Check the temperature. Some beers are meant to be served very cold, while others are served around room temperature. Read some product information to find out what temperature your beer should be. • Use the right glass. Some beers have signature glassware that is designed to highlight certain aspects of the beer (e.g. colour, foam head, etc.). Use it if you can. • Remember your wine training! Beer tasting is much the same. Look at the colour and clarity of the beer. Smell it to detect the prominent and subtle aromas. Taste it. Consider its body and mouth feel. Identify any flavours, and see if they change from start to finish. • Repeat (responsibly).

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Specialty Beer For as long as there have been people making beer, there have been people finding innovative ways to make it better (or at the very least, more interesting). It’s uncertain exactly when the first specialty brews arrived on the beer scene, but it’s likely that fruit was used to promote fermentation and add flavour to beer long before the introduction of hops. Whatever their age, specialty brews have been steadily gaining popularity throughout the last few decades. Today there are large and small breweries worldwide that produce beers flavoured with everything from fruit to flowers. Specialty beers are beers that have unusual ingredients or production methods. Fruit-and-vegetable flavoured beers (like raspberry or pumpkin) are

a popular type, as are beers flavoured with honey or spices. There are smoked beers, herb beers and chili beers. British Columbian brewery Dead Frog even makes a chocolate mint brown ale, giving us yet another reason to jump on the beer train. Aprikat

Local brewers Alley Kat have a gem of a fruit beer that has remained popular since its inception. Aprikat is a light, refreshing wheat-based ale that’s overflowing with the flavour and aroma of fresh apricots. It’s the ultimate patio pint. Rosée d’Hibiscus

This rose-coloured wheat ale from Quebec brewers Brasserie Dieu du Ciel smells like flowers and light perfume. It tastes a little like hibiscus tea, with a hint of citrus, berries and spice. Light-bodied and highly carbonated, it’s a perfect summer selection. Innis & Gunn Original

Did You Know?

In 1516, a German food regulation law concerning the purity of beer was passed by the Duke of Bavaria. The law restricted the ingredients of beer to water, barley and hops (yeast was included in 1857). This was met with resistance from many local and foreign brewers who could no longer produce and distribute beers made with spices, fruits or different starches. The law of 1516 passed from formal German law in 1987 but is still followed by some brewers today. It is seen as the mark of a better quality beer, although this is controversial.

Innis & Gunn is unique in that it is aged in used wooden whiskey barrels, which, in turn, give flavour to the beer. It’s a complex Scottish beer that tastes prominently of vanilla, with hints of caramel, smoke and bourbon.

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Converting the Non‑Believer Still not convinced? Don’t lose hope. You don’t have to live in exile, the lone highball drinker on the patio, excluded from the beer community for having an inferior palate. The following options are all perfectly acceptable ways to drink beer—without having it taste anything like, well, beer. • Try a Fruli. This Belgian strawberry beer looks like beer, feels like beer, and tastes like strawberry pie. Loved by some, detested by others, it could be the key to bringing you into the beer world. Try it on its own, or tone down the sweetness by topping it off with Guinness. • Make it a Snakebite. Half lager, half cider, all delicious. The cider adds a fruity sweetness to the beer, and you can add a hint of grenadine or fruit cordial to really get rid of that pesky beer taste. • Drink Shandys. A shandy is a lager mixed with another carbonated beverage. You can use citrus-flavoured soda, gingerale or ginger beer. Try adding a squeeze of lime as well. • Add juice. Some people add cranberry, orange or lime juice to their beers. You can drink a Red Eye (lager and tomato or clamato juice) or make a beer caesar.

Brilliant Gardening Enjoy tropical colours with RED FOX Aloha calibrachoa in your garden. Perfect for hanging baskets, decorative pots or window boxes, these dazzling Aloha flowers will brighten your day, and easy care will give you beautiful blooms all summer. Say hello to Aloha, and smile.

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relax

Entertain Style Entice

trend spotting

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Outdoor Entertaining Quick tips for lighting, decorating and more!

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Devine Vines Nine vines to get hooked on

second look

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Water World Nature meets underwater photography

floral design

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The Single Life Turn single flowers into fabulous floral designs

recipes

62

Grilling & Campfire Cooking Roughing it never tasted so good

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Grilled Pizza BBQ Pork Back Ribs Rosemary-Smoked Potatoes Gin Lemonade Fire-Roasted Candy Apples

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trend spotting

An insider’s look at what’s hot for 2011

Outdoor

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Entertaining Quick tips for lighting, decorating and more Whether it’s morning coffee on the porch or dinner under the stars, there’s a unmistakable decadence about entertaining outdoors. It doesn’t require a large space either—just a desire to use the space you have. Simple things, such as thoughtfully placed lights and a fearless attitude will help you create a space you’ll love. So too will comfortable seating and enough privacy to make you want to use it. Remember, it’s about you and your relationship with your space. So start here and get inspired. Then make this the summer for outdoor entertaining.

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An insider’s look at what’s hot for 2011

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Lighting makes all the difference Lighting can instantly transform the mood and character of any outdoor space. Not only can it highlight the niches you love, it can hide the areas you don’t. But before you can do either, you’ll need a few basic tips for getting it right. Here’s what you need to know. Outdoor lighting, just like indoor lighting, can be divided into three types: ambient, task and accent. Ambient lighting is best defined as the general light for an outdoor space, a.k.a. the natural light and the lighting that substitutes for natural light. Your goal with this type of lighting is to cast a broad and enveloping light that feels warm and, well, ambient. String lights on a gazebo are a good example of ambient lighting. Task lighting is just that—the light you need to perform tasks. In the case of our outdoor spaces, the task most commonly upon us is to walk from point A to point B

without ending up in the shrubs. Lights along walkways, a lamp to read by, or a floodlight on the yard that allows your kids to play later into the evening are all examples of task lighting. To decide what type of task lighting you need, simply ask yourself what kinds of activities you’d like to perform in that space. Accent lighting is both mood lighting and spot lighting. It can be candlelight on a table or an uplight at the base of a piece of statuary. Accent lights set the mood of a room. They can draw attention to objects you like, or hide the eyesores you wish weren’t there. enjoygardening 41

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An insider’s look at what’s hot for 2011

Comfort equals joy It’s simple: if your want to relax, you need to feel comfortable. For most of us, that means a cushy place to stretch out, a temperature that’s enjoyable and enough privacy to feel content. Patio heaters and fireplaces don’t just add warmth to an outdoor room—they add style. Today’s versions run on propane and look more like fire-breathing coffee tables than they do fire pits. Many, such as the one featured here, have slate tops and hidden control panels. What they all come with is built-in convenience—an instant campfire feel, minus the smoke, ashes and concerns about flying sparks. However, just as with any fire, be sure to manage the height of the flames to ensure added safety. Canopies and screens create shade, privacy and the structure we associate

with the indoors. Free-standing gazebos, canopied decks and vine-covered trellises all create shelter and protection from the elements. Cushions and comfortable seating are just as important in outdoor rooms as they are in indoor ones. And therein lies the golden rule: the key to decorating an outdoor space is to approach it as you would any indoor room. Choose furniture that’s comfortable, durable and in scale with the space, and make as many of those pieces as possible work double duty. Bench seating and hinge-topped coffee tables are great for storing blankets, board games, etc. Resin furniture is, of course, ideal for handling the rain, but if you have an enclosed spot, opt for fabrics and other indoor textiles. They create that extra comfort that transforms outdoor spaces into rooms.

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Quick Tips Outdoor Dining • Keep the first time simple. If you’ve never entertained outdoors before, keep it simple. Having a giant mess to clean at the end of the night will quickly undo the enjoyment of the evening. One-plate dishes passed around family style are the perfect solution. • Don’t be afraid to take good dishes and glassware outside. Dine outdoors with the same abandon you’d have indoors. Breaking a piece of china is terrible, but so too is never using it. • Make sure your table is level. Nothing is worse than a table that teeter-totters every time you spear a potato with your fork. Have a few shims at hand to level things out when required. • Create some shade. If you’re entertaining in the afternoon, make sure your guests have some sun protection. It could be as simple as tilting an umbrella or moving a picnic table under the shade of a tree. • Stay cozy. Hang a light-weight throw on the back of a few chairs for guests who get chilly in the evenings or are bothered by bugs. It’s a simple idea that’s always appreciated.

Linda Bodo breathes life into the ordinary as she upcycles everyday objects into inspired designs for the home. • Easy-to-follow projects • Concise step by steps, supported by colour photography • Materials lists, timelines, helpful tips and more Whether you have one hour or one weekend, this book has a project to fit you. Inspired, artistic and easy. The Art of Upcycle turns DIY into DIwise. $21.95 • 9 x 10 • Softcover • Colour • 144 pages • ISBN 978-1-894728-09-6 Order online at www.holesonline.com By Phone 1-888-884-6537 By Fax 780-459-6042

Also by Linda Bodo $21.95 • 9 x 10 • Softcover • Colour • 144 pages • ISBN 978-1-894728-08-9

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An insider’s look at what’s hot for 2011

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trend spotting

An insider’s look at what’s hot for 2011

Devine Vines Nine vines to get hooked on This summer, fall Jack over beanstalk for vines. From Prairie-hardy grapes to bulletproof houseplants, these overachieving allstars have one thing on their minds: impressing you! So if you’ve got vertical space to fill, we’ve got vines to fill it with. Take a look.

Passion vine ‘Lady Margaret’

Curly flower filaments don’t just make this flower stand out, they serve the practical purpose of directing eager bees to the flower’s pollen. Fertilize weekly to encourage blooms throughout the summer. Can be overwintered indoors in a sunny spot. Height: up to 1.8 m. Sun. (Opposite page)

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An insider’s look at what’s hot for 2011

Lipstick vine

Mandevilla ‘Crimson’

Black-eyed Susan

This is a fantastic houseplant. Cascades of lance-shaped foliage perfectly offset the tubular, orange-red blooms of this plant. Easy to care for and great for nervous beginners. Keep the soil consistently moist but never soggy. Trails: 20–30 cm; spread: 40–60 cm. Bright indirect light.

If you’ve got a hot location, this is the plant for you. Mandevillas thrive in the summer sun, and the flowers on this Sun Parasol Giant are just that—giant (10–15 cm across!). The perfect punch of red for any garden. Can be overwintered indoors near a sunny window. Give this one a try. Height: 1.5 m; width: 20–30 cm. Sun.

This vine’s open-faced blossoms with black eyes are large and showy for all to see. And as lovely as the curling tendrils and heart-shaped foliage are, they take a backseat to the pumpkin-coloured flowers. Prefers warmth rather than extreme heat. Height: 1.5–2 m; space: 10–15 cm. Sun.

Cup & Saucer Vine

The thick, lush foliage of this vine makes a fantastic privacy screen. This fast-growing annual is best known for its large cup-shaped flowers and the green calyxes that form its saucer. The papery buds emerge light-green and mature to dark-purple. Foliage and tendrils are also shaded purple. Blooms summer to frost. Tolerates the wind but will scorch in extremely hot sun. Height: up to 3 m; spacing: 25–30 cm. Sun. (Opposite page) enjoygardening 47

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trend spotting

An insider’s look at what’s hot for 2011

Sweet Potato Vine

Pole Bean

English Ivy

You’ll have colour in spades with this vivid green vine. Its lush and fastgrowing habit makes it ideal for any container. The large, spade-shaped leaves cascade beautifully but also stand quite upright at the plant’s base. This sweet potato is grown as an ornamental, but its tubers are edible. Height: 10–15 cm; trails: 60–75 cm. Sun.

Plants with multiple purposes are always a fantastic option, especially if you’re trying to optimize space. Pole beans have it all covered: a vigorous climbing habit, ornamental appeal, brilliant scarlet flowers that attract humming birds—and they’re a tasty vegetable, too! Grow them on a potted obelisk, near a fence or on a trellis. Green 15-cm beans are ready to harvest in 65 days. Height: 2–3+ m; spacing: 15–25 cm. Sun.

Traditional yet remarkably versatile, English ivy does to containers what pearls do to a neckline. Leaf shape and colour varies by variety, but all are easy to grow. Elegant trailing habit. Height: 5–7 cm; trails: 30–60 cm. Sun or shade.

Grape vine

If you’re going for height, a grape vine won’t disappoint. A native grape, such as Vitis riparia, is an ideal choice because it’ll suffer little to no dieback. Its cream blooms appear in June, followed by waxy blue fruit 6–15 mm in diameter. Great for jelly and hardy to Zone 2 with winter protection. Height: up to 15 m, width: 1–1.5 m. Sun. (Opposite page) enjoygardening 49

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second look

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Water World Nature meets underwater photography Photography by Akemi Matsubuchi

It used to be that underwater photography was only for those with deep pockets and scuba gear. Not anymore. Thanks to economical cameras, the world beneath the water is accessible to everyone inspired to explore it. And explore is exactly what photographer Akemi Matsubuchi did.

“What developed through the course of shooting this series was the voyeuristic pleasure of feeling like an outsider looking into a secret world. Once I saw the first results, I realized that the distortion of the water created an intriguing effect that made me look twice at the scenes I had captured. That unpredictability of the final image made me feel like I was ten again and looking through a camera for the first time.� Photography note: All images were taken with a Stylus Olympus Tough-6020 camera.

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second look

I h a ve n e v e r s e e n a r i v e r th a t I c o u ld n o t lo v e.

Mo v in g wa ter h a s a fa sc in a tin g vit alit y.

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I t ha s p o w e r an d g r ac e a n d a ss o c ia tio n s .

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second look

It h a s a th o u s a n d c o l o r s a nd a t housand shape s,

ye t i t f ol l ow s l aw s so de f i ni t e

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t h a t t h e t i n i es t s tr ea m l et is a n e x ac t r ep l i c a o f a g r eat ri ve r.
 —Robin Hyde

Akemi Matsubuchi was born in Montreal, Quebec and lived in several countries before settling in St. Albert, Alberta. Her love of photography harkens back to the age of 10, when her father put a camera in her hands and encouraged her to take a second look at the world. She’s been capturing it ever since.

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oral design

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The

Single Life

Tu r n sin g le f lo w e rs in t o fa b u lou s f lor a l d e sig n s One, the loneliest number?

Never! A single

branch or flower is all you need to create a signature floral design worth celebrating. In fact, you’ll likely discover, as we did, that working with only one flower frees you to be creative in ways that truly reflect your personality. Best of all, most single stems cost less than a cup of coffee and can be found almost as easily. Original, affordable and ready to change at a whim— floral design has never been easier. Take a look!

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floral design

Top a gift with a flower instead of a bow. It’s a nice touch that’s sure to get noticed. We used a blossom from a cymbidium orchid, but a flower fresh from the garden would look equally lovely. Whatever your preference, be sure to plunge it in a water pick to keep it fresh.

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We love water picks. Besides being inexpensive and readily available, they effortlessly turn almost any environment into a garden. We chose to dress up a bowl of apples with a water-picked hydrangea but could just as easily have inserted the flower between books on a shelf. Give it a try.

Fun! And it should be. The moment you stop “arranging” flowers and begin decorating with them, the possibilities become endless. To create this look for a kids’ bathroom, we simply filled a small water pick with water, inserted it in a toothpaste tube and added a ranunculus. Playful, cheery and sure to yield smiles. This one couldn’t be easier.

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floral design

There are a lot of great vases on the market, and these are prime examples. Not only do they link together, they can be hung just about anywhere (including a Christmas tree!). We used orange roses and water tinted with food colouring for a high-contrast look, but the possibilities are endless.

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We love this idea for a hostess gift, and it couldn’t be easier. In fact, once you find your glue gun, the hard part is over. You’ll need two penny-sized magnets, a gerbera and some leaves from a houseplant (we used foliage from a ‘Florida Beauty’ dracaena). Face your magnets together so they attract each other, then start building your corsage. Glue a few leaves to the top magnet, then cut the stem off your gerbera, centre the flower, and glue it in place. To affix to the bag, separate the magnets, position the top magnet with the corsage on the outside of the bag and the back magnet on the inside. Then just let them snap together. enjoygardening enjoygardening 61

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recipes

Grilling CampďŹ re Cooking

&

Food stylist, Chef Alexei Boldireff

Roughing it never tasted so good

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Whether you’re camping under the stars or firing up the grill in your backyard, roughing it doesn’t have to mean hot dogs and canned peaches. Instead, impress your friends and family with food that’s as memorable and satisfying as a long weekend. Fire-roasted candy apples, bubbling-hot pizza crisped to perfection, or how about a gin-lemonade so refreshing it sinks you back in your lawn chair? Simply put, your weekend’s not gonna know what hit it. Simple ingredients, minimal prep, brag‑worthy results. With recipes this fantastic, all you need to add is summer.

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recipes

G r i l l e d Piz z a Smokey, crispy and out of this world. This is how pizza’s meant to be eaten. (Makes two medium pizzas)

1 package (21/2 tsp.) active dry yeast

1.

11/3 cups warm water 1 tbsp. sugar 31/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tbsp. olive oil

2.

1 tsp. salt

3. 4.

5.

6. 7.

8. 9.

Combine the yeast, water and sugar in a large bowl, and allow to stand for 10 minutes and become foamy. After the 10 minutes, add the olive oil. Mix the salt and flour together in a separate bowl, and add it to the yeast mixture. Mix by hand until dough begins to form, then turn it out onto a table and knead for 10 minutes. Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly coated in olive oil; cover and allow to rise 90 minutes in a warm place out of the way of drafts. Punch down the dough and divide it into two equal portions. On a floured surface, roll out each portion into a free-form shape that will fit your grill (aim for a 1/4" thickness). Cover with plastic wrap and let rest while your grill heats to medium-high. Brush both sides of your pizza dough with olive oil, and place on the preheated grill. After five minutes, flip the dough, smother it with prepared pizza sauce (see recipe on opposite page) and add your favourite toppings. Close lid to let the cheese melt, but peek in on your pizzas to make sure they’re not burning. When crisped to perfection and bubbling hot, remove to a plate or cutting board, and slice in!

Quick Tip: Try classic combinations like pepperonimushroom and ham-pineapple, or mix it up with crumbled feta and olives or BBQ chicken and aged cheddar—all of which can be picked up at the deli, pre-packaged and ready to go.

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Pizza Sauce 2 cups tomato sauce 1/2

cup tomato paste

1/2

tsp. dried basil

1/2

tsp. dried oregano

1/2

tsp. dried, ground fennel seed

1. Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. 2. Cover, and allow to simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

1 tsp. onion powder Pinch of salt Pinch of ground black pepper

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recipes

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BBQ P o r k B ac k R ibs Fall-off-the-bone, tender ribs that’ll have you coming back for more. (Makes four racks of ribs)

4 racks of fresh pork back ribs (to be braised at home and packed up to take camping) Salt Pepper 1 L (4 cups) apple juice Your favourite BBQ sauce

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). 2. Using a sharp knife, remove the thin, elastic silverskin from the back of the ribs; this will ensure your ribs fall apart as you eat them. 3. Season the ribs well with salt and pepper, and set aside. 4. On a preheated grill or in a hot pan, sear the ribs until golden brown on both sides. 5. Transfer to a roasting pan, and spread out the ribs as evenly as possible. 6. Pour the apple juice into the roasting pan, and add just enough water to cover the ribs. 7. Cover the roasting pan tightly with foil, and place in the oven for two hours. Then turn down the heat to 130°C (250°F), and braise an additional 2 hours. 8. Carefully remove the ribs from the pan, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge until it’s time to pack them up and head outdoors. 9. Unwrap the ribs, and smother them in your favourite BBQ sauce. Then roast them on a campfire grill for 10–15 minutes per side until they are warmed through and the sauce is nicely caramelized. Baste with additional BBQs sauce if desired. 10. Remove the ribs from the grill, allow them to rest five minutes (the roof of your mouth will thank you), then have at ’em.

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recipes

R o s e m a r y –Sm oked Pota toes Bursting with outdoorsy flavour, these potatoes are like nothing else you've ever had.

(Serves four to six) 1 kg (2 lbs) fingerling or new potatoes 60 mL (1/4 cup) olive oil 2 cloves of garlic, smashed Salt Pepper 2–3 bunches of fresh rosemary

1. 2.

3.

4. 5.

Soak the rosemary in a container of water for one hour. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, wash the potatoes and cut them into bite-sized pieces, leaving the skin on. Boil the potatoes in the water for six or seven minutes until slightly cooked, but not cooked through. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Dry the potatoes, and toss with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

6.

7. 8.

9.

On a campfire grill heated to medium-high, create a herb bed with the rosemary you soaked earlier. Pile the potatoes on top of the rosemary, and cover with a pot. Allow the potatoes to smoke for 30–40 minutes, until cooked through and infused with rosemary flavour. Transfer to a serving dish, and discard the charred rosemary.

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G i n L e mo nad e Cold, refreshing and possibly the best reason to sit in the sun all afternoon. (Serves four to six) 2 lemons 1 large orange 125 mL (1/2 cup) granulated sugar 250 mL (1 cup) ice cubes 180 mL (6 oz) gin Water as needed

1. Wash the lemons and orange, then cut each into eight wedges. 2. Squeeze the juice from each wedge into a large 2 L (8 cup) pitcher. Throw the wedge in afterwards. 3. Add the ice cubes, gin, sugar and enough water to almost fill the pitcher. 4. Stir vigorously for 4–5 minutes to dissolve the sugar, then pour into tall glasses.

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F i r e- R o as t e d Ca n dy A pples The perfect after dinner treat—this fire-roasted dessert takes candy apples to a whole new level. (Makes 4) 4 Granny Smith apples 375 mL (11/2 cups) granulated sugar 2 tbs. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. salt

1.

2.

3. 4.

5. 6.

7.

Wash the apples, and spike them firmly on the ends of four fireproof BBQ skewers. Roast the apples over the fire, turning often, until the skins are charred and coming off. Using a tea towel, rub the apples to remove the skins. Place the sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large Ziplock bag, and shake to combine. Add the apples and shake well to coat. Return the apples to the skewers and roast over the open fire until the sugar has caramelized and the apple has heated through. Allow to cool five minutes (the sugar will be very hot) and enjoy!

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reconnect

Do Change Enrich

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Kitchens with Spice & Everything Nice, that’s what summers are made of Five custom spice blends you’ll never want to be without

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Garam Masala Herbes de Provence Harissa Paste Ras El Hanout Five-Spice Powder

how do you do

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DIY House Numbers with Linda Bodo Make your own address plaque and get noticed

92

Pot-ential! with Linda Bodo Planters as easy to move as they are to love

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&

Kitchens with Spice Everything Nice th a t’s wh at s um m e r s a r e m a de of Five custom spice blends

you’ll never want to be without

If you’ve ever licked raspberry-stained fingers in your backyard or bitten into a slice of warm baked bread, you know nothing beats fresh. The same goes for spice blends. Create your own and taste the difference for yourself. All it takes is a little creativity and a willingness to experiment. Custom blends follow no set guidelines. Look up 10 recipes for a particular blend, and each will include different ingredients in varying quantities. The only governing force at work is preference. Don’t like fennel? Try a little sage instead. With no set rules, you simply can’t go wrong. So go ahead—spice things up a little!

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Garam Masala There are many reasons why India is widely regarded as the finest spice centre in the world. Garam masala is one of them. Make it yourself and enjoy the exotic flavours of the East without having to wander further than the supermarket. Fresh garam masala is essential to any homemade curry and is also delicious in tomatobased sauces. Add it to chili and use it to heat up roasted squash and hearty soups. The basic blend 12 black cardamom pods 30 mL (2 tbsp.) coriander seeds 20 mL (4 tsp.) cumin seeds 5 mL (1 tsp.) whole black peppercorns 1 cinnamon stick, broken into match-like pieces 22 mL (11/2 tbsp.) whole cloves Experiment with: bay leaf, nutmeg, ginger, saffron, green cardamom and/or caraway seeds. Mellow out your masala by replacing some black cardamom with green cardamom. Use two to three green cardamom seeds in place of one black pod.

Method

1. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan at a medium-low temperature. 2. Dry-roast the ingredients, stirring constantly, until the mixture is fragrant and the coriander seeds are golden brown (three to five minutes). Avoid raising the heat to speed up roasting; this can burn the skins and leave the insides raw. 3. Remove from heat and place mixture on a separate plate to cool. 4. Remove the small seeds from the cardamom pods by lightly crushing the pods to break them open. Discard the shells. 5. Grind the mixture into a fine powder using a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. 6. Use immediately.

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Plant Profile Coriander

Coriander has a bit of a reputation. Considered an acquired taste, it is grown for its citrus-flavoured seeds and aromatic leaves, known as cilantro. Love it or hate it, you can grow coriander to help repel aphids and other pests in your garden. Just be sure to plant it where you want it to stay, as it doesn’t react well to transplanting.

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Herbes de Provence A fresh and fragrant blend from the South of France, herbes de provence is traditionally prepared using a wide range of locally grown herbs. You can make your garden last a little longer by drying your own herbs for a different version of this blend. Dried blends are more potent, so use a third of the amount suggested for fresh. Add fresh herbes de provence to home-made pizzas, roasted vegetables and salad dressings. This blend makes an excellent rub for meat and works particularly well with lamb. To make a rub, lightly coat your choice of meat with olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste, and press the blend into each side. Brown the meat, then cook it to your preference. The basic blend

Method

60 mL (1/4 cup) fresh chopped thyme

1. Wash your fresh herbs and dry them with a clean towel. 2. Chop all the ingredients and combine in a clean, dry bowl. 3. Toss well, and use immediately (chopped herbs that sit lose their potency).

60 mL (1/4 cup) fresh chopped marjoram 60 mL (1/4 cup) fresh chopped summer savory 60 mL (1/4 cup) fresh chopped basil 22 mL (11/2 tbsp.) fresh minced rosemary Experiment with: lavender, grated orange zest, fennel seeds, mint, tarragon, oregano, bay leaf and/or sage. Fresh oregano can be substituted if marjoram is not available; use two or three tablespoons as it has a stronger flavour.

Plant Profile Marjoram

Marjoram is oregano’s softer, sweeter cousin. Where oregano is bold and spicy, she is more subtle, offering summery bursts of mint and light citrus. Marjoram is rich in antioxidants and has a gentle, floral scent. It is often added to rich soaps, body lotions, bath gels and potpourri.

Did You Know? Lavender was originally added to herbes de provence to please tourists, who were enchanted by the region’s rich lavender fields. Purists today maintain that the flowerbud has no place in the popular blend, yet it’s included in almost every North American version. Always make sure your lavender is food-grade if you intend to cook with it.

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Harissa Paste Harissa paste is a fiery North African chili paste that’s popular in the Middle East and Europe. Have a delicate palate? You can tailor the paste to your liking. Many western versions are softened with roasted red peppers or fresh tomatoes for those who prefer more gentle flavours. This blend is often added to couscous and can be used in place of any hot sauce. Add it to omelets and sandwiches, or blend it with fresh tomatoes and your favourite herbs. Serve the mix as a dip for meat, bread and vegetables.

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The basic blend

Method

12 fresh red chilies, mild or spicy (guajillo, ancho, chipotle, habanero, etc.)

1. Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies. The oil from the chilies will linger on your fingertips, so be sure to wash your hands afterwards and avoid touching your eyes. 2. Dry-roast the coriander and cumin seeds in a heavy-bottomed pan on a medium-low temperature. Stir constantly until the seeds are golden brown (three to five minutes). 3. Place seeds onto a plate and allow to cool. 4. Add the garlic, salt and chilies to a food processor and grind into a fine powder, or use a mortar and pestle and mash until smooth. 5. Add the spice powder and the oil to the chili mixture gradually, mixing constantly until you have a smooth paste. 6. Use fresh harissa paste immediately, and refrigerate any remainder. Coat the top with a thin layer of oil before storing and after each use.

15 mL (1 tbsp.) coriander seeds 10 mL (2 tsp.) cumin seeds 3 garlic cloves 2 mL (1/2 tsp.) salt 60–90 mL (4–6 tbsp.) olive oil Experiment with: caraway seeds, bay leaf, paprika, oregano, fennel, mint, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon zest and/or sundried tomatoes. Use roasted chilies for a smokier flavour.

Plant Profile Cumin

A member of the parsley family, cumin bears lovely clusters of small white- or rose-coloured flowers. It’s used today to help digestion and decrease joint inflammation, but was once believed to ward off infidelity! Cumin grows quickly and doesn’t require much tending, making it an ideal addition to your herb collection.

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Ras El Hanout Literally meaning “top of the shop,” this Moroccan spice blend can include anywhere from 10 to 100 ingredients. Moroccan spice merchants compete to produce the most popular blends, hiding their recipes for generations. Create your own family secret by experimenting with this basic blend. Ras el hanout is perfect for seasoning barbecued meats. Rub the blend and a bit of olive oil onto your choice of meat, then cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Grill to your preference. This blend also enhances rice dishes and stews. The basic blend

Method

1 cinnamon stick broken into match-like pieces

1. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan to medium-low temperature. 2. Dry-roast all whole ingredients, excluding the nutmeg. Stir constantly until the mixture is fragrant and the coriander seeds are golden brown. 3. Remove from heat, and place mixture on a plate to cool. 4. Grate the whole nutmeg into small pieces using a nutmeg grater or mortar and pestle. 5. Mix the roasted spices with the remaining ingredients. Freshly ground nutmeg can be potent, so consider starting with half the amount. 6. Grind into a fine powder. 7. Use immediately.

10 mL (2 tsp.) black peppercorns 10 mL (2 tsp.) green cardamom seeds 10 mL (2 tsp.) cumin seeds 10 mL (2 tsp.) coriander seeds 6 whole cloves 1 small whole nutmeg 7 mL (11/2 tsp.) ground ginger 5 mL (1 tsp.) ground cayenne pepper Experiment with: all-spice, fennel seeds, lavender, saffron, aniseed, ash berries, dried rosehips, mace, salt and/or white pepper.

Plant Profile Ginger

If you want to add a little tropical influence to your garden, consider ginger. You can grow this resourceful plant in the garden during hot summer months, and then bring it inside for the winter. Its uses go beyond seasoning dishes, to calming nausea and warding off colds. Add it to homemade body scrubs or soak a muslin bag of grated ginger in your bath to treat sore muscles.

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Five-Spice Powder Legend has it the Chinese were attempting to create a special healing powder when they came up with their fivespice blend. One thing is certain: five-spice packs a punch. It includes all five flavours of food—sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty. Add this versatile blend to dishes gradually; it’s quite potent, and large amounts can be overpowering. Chinese five-spice makes an excellent marinade when mixed with plain yogourt. It’s traditionally used to flavour fatty meats, such as duck, and can revive soup stocks and stir-fries. It is also widely used in baking. Try using five-spice in place of nutmeg the next time you bake an apple pie or pumpkin spice muffins. Then enjoy the rave reviews.

The basic blend

Method

10 mL (2 tsp.) whole schezuan peppercorns

1. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan to a medium-low temperature. 2. Dry-roast the ingredients, stirring constantly, until mixture is fragrant (three to five minutes). 3. Remove from heat and place mixture on a plate. Allow to cool completely. 4. Grind the mixture into a fine powder. 5. Use immediately.

8 whole star anise 12 mL (21/2 tsp.) fennel seed 6 whole cloves 11/2 cinnamon sticks, broken into match-like pieces Experiment with: nutmeg, ground ginger, white pepper and/or salt.

Plant Profile Fennel

Fennel is an exceptional, multi-purpose plant. All parts of it are edible: seeds, leaves, stalks and roots. Fresh fennel smells faintly of licorice and can be eaten cooked or raw. Eating fennel is said to have a number of health benefits. It is used to help treat anemia, baby colic, joint inflammation, bad breath and a variety of digestive issues.

Quick Tips For the best blends, use freshly picked herbs and buy whole spices from stores that have a high turnover. Avoid using pre-ground ingredients whenever possible, as these quickly lose their flavour. Add fresh herbs and toasted spices at the end of the cooking process. Place any remaining blends or whole spices in air-tight containers, and store them in a cool, dry place for up to three months.

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DIY House Numb3rs Make your own address plaque

and get noticed! with Linda Bodo Unique address marquees add the finishing touch to any home. Handcrafted from tumbled marble tile, these custom house numbers will be the envy of neighbourhood friends. Stylish, practical and one of a kind. This project’s definitely got your number.

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how do you do

Materials

(for a two- or four-digit house number)

4 tumbled marble tiles*, 6" x 6" 4 tumbled marble tiles*, 3" x 6" Self-adhesive stencils and black exterior spray paint, or vinyl numbers and letters Exterior spray sealant 1/2" exterior plywood, 16" x 36" 2 boards, 1" x 1" x 8' Exterior wood glue 1" finishing nails 150-grit sandpaper 24" x 36" chicken wire 946 mL ready-to-use exterior stucco patch Exterior latex paint Silicone adhesive Wrought-iron accent pieces 1" deck screws Upholstery studs (optional) Bolts or screws to attach to wall or gate

Tools

Step by Step

Tape measure Table or circular saw Hammer Wire cutters Staple gun with 3/8" staples Taping knife Notched trowel Paintbrush

1. To create the framework for the plaque, cut the 1" x 1" boards into the following lengths: • two 36" lengths • two 14 1/2" lengths • two 23 3/4" lengths • two 10 3/8" lengths 2. Glue and nail the 36" and 14" Tip: Spray several light lengths around the perimeter coats rather than one heavy coat to prevent of the plywood to create the unwanted drips. exterior frame. 3. To create the interior frame, first centre the 3" x 6" tiles against a long side of the exterior frame. Then, place one of the 23 3/4" lengths along the top of the tiles, followed by the 6" x 6" tiles, followed by the second 23 3/4" length. On either side of this stack, place a 10 3/8” length. Adjust vertical position of tiles and middle board if necessary. 4. Carefully mark the frame position. Remove the tiles. Glue and nail the frame in place. Sand any rough edges.

* To paint numbers and letters on tiles you need a porous surface; however, porcelain or other finished tiles may be used if you opt for vinyl numbers and letters.

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5. Cut the chicken wire to fit the space between the interior and exterior frames, then staple the wire to the plywood. 6. Use a taping knife to apply ready-to-use stucco (no more than 1/2" thick) to the area covered with wire. As the stucco begins to set, trowel the surface to create a rough finish. Allow stucco to dry as specified by manufacturer. 7. Next, paint all surfaces with exterior paint. Let dry four hours. 8. Prepare the tiles by thoroughly cleaning them with a dry cloth or brush. To paint the address, follow Steps 9 and 10; if applying vinyl numbers and letters, skip to Step 11. 9. Place number stencils on the 6" x 6" tiles. Firmly press into place to prevent bleeding or overspray. Then spray five or six extremely light coats of paint over stencilled tiles. Remove stencils when paint is dry.

10. For the street address, butt the 3" x 6" tiles together and determine number/letter spacing. Keep the tiles aligned as you apply the stencils and paint as detailed in Step 9. 11. Spray all tiles with several light coats of exterior sealant. Allow to dry for at least one hour. 12. To finish, affix tiles to wood with silicone adhesive, and attach wrought-iron detail with deck screws. Mask screws with upholstery studs if desired. 13. Wait 12 hours for the silicone to cure before hanging the address plaque.

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Pot-ential! with Linda Bodo

Planters as easy to move as they are to love If outdoor space is at a premium or a traditional garden is not practical, these Versailles-inspired planters are the perfect solution. Pair with dwarf trees or topiaries to frame a door or gateway, and relocate with wheeled comfort when desired. If gourmet is more your thing, site them near your kitchen door for a fresh supply of herbs and tomatoes.

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how do you do Note: The pre-drilled frame pieces must be on the same edges of both the front and back of each panel.

Materials (for two planters) 2 pressure-treated posts, 4" x 4" x 8' 2 pressure-treated boards, 2" x 2" x 8' 12 pressure-treated boards, 1" x 1" x 8' 1/2"

sheet pressure-treated plywood, 4' x 8' 8 wood appliqué detail pieces (optional) 8 decorative pressure-treated post caps, 4" x 4" 1", 11/2" and 2" finishing nails Wood glue

21/2" deck screws, 1/4" diameter Wood filler 150-grit sandpaper 1 L exterior stain killer (bond) paint 1 L dark navy and 1 L white exterior latex paint 1L exterior satin varnish 8 caster-style wheels, 2" diameter

Tools Chop saw, table saw and jigsaw Drill with 1/8" and 3/4" drill bits Extended Robertson screw bit Hammer Putty knife Sander 4" paintbrush Rags or sponges

Step by Step 1. Begin by cutting the wood as follows: • cut the 4" x 4" posts into 18 1/2" lengths (8 total) • cut the 2" x 2" boards into 17" lengths (8 total) • cut the 1" x 1" boards, at 45˚ to create mitred joints, into 17" lengths (64 total) • cut the plywood into17" x 17" side panels (8 total) • cut the remainder of the plywood into 191/2" x 191/2" bottom pieces (2 total) 2. Using a 1/8" bit, pre-drill three pilot holes through the inside face of 32 of the 64 lengths that were cut from the 1" x 1" (note that these pieces will now be referred to as the “frame pieces”). Space the holes about 5" apart, with the first and third holes positioned 1" in from the board ends. 3. Using the 3/4" bit, drill several drainage holes in the two plywood pieces you cut for the bottom of the planters. 4. On each plywood side panel, glue two pre-drilled frame pieces onto opposite edges of panel. Then, glue two undrilled frame pieces into place to complete the frame. 5. Carefully turn panel over, and reinforce each frame with 1" nails making sure to offset nails from pilot holes. Tighten any gaps in mitred corners by nailing joints together with 1" nails. Glue optional appliqués onto fronts of two panels.

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Note: Nail-head sides of all panels must face inwards; one appliqué panel per box, if used.

6. On the reverse side, repeat Step 4 and, in addition to gluing, secure with 11/2" nails (offset from pilot holes). 7. Begin assembly of boxes by vertically centring a pre-drilled frame side of a panel against a 181/2" corner piece. Make sure the bottom of the panel and bottom of the post are flush. Then, mark the three interior and three exterior pilot holes, remove panel, and pre‑drill another set of pilot holes in post with a 1/8" bit. Glue panel to post, and use extended Robertson bit to drive deck screws through the frame into the post. 8. Repeat the Step 7 process to make the second and third sides of each box. Then, with the last panel of each box, pre-drill holes in the fourth and first posts before driving screws. 9. Make a template of the interior corners of the planter, and transfer to plywood bottom pieces. Notch out corners with jigsaw. Drop into bottom of planter boxes.

10. Next, finish top edges of boxes by gluing and nailing the 2" x 2" pieces onto panel tops with 2" nails and attaching post caps on corner posts with glue and 2" nails. 11. Use putty knife to fill gaps and rough patches on exterior surfaces with wood filler. Allow to dry for an hour and sand. Repeat, if necessary, to obtain a smooth finish for painting. 12. Then, apply to all surfaces: • 2 coats of stain killer—let dry 2 hours between coats, then dry an additional 24 hours • 2 coats navy paint—let dry 4 hours between coats, then dry an additional 12 hours 13. On exterior surfaces, dry-brush white paint diluted with an equal volume of water (50:50) to achieve patina look. Mottle brush strokes with a rag or sponge by rubbing with the grain. Add more white paint in corners and around appliqués to achieve an aged polish. Let dry 12 hours. 14. Finally, apply two coats of varnish; let dry 4 hours between coats. 15. Attach wheels onto bottom of posts with deck screws.

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the last word

The Big Apple with Jim Hole I’ve always believed that for any homegrown apple to be considered truly great, it needs to obey the six-bite rule. In other words, if it takes less than six bites to eat or you have to squeeze one eye shut to swallow it, you don’t have a winner. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not a crabapple hater by any stretch of the imagination, but a golf ball-sized apple just doesn’t have the cache of a six-biter. Getting that too-large-to-wrap-your-hand-around size, however, doesn’t happen based on genetics alone. It takes choosing the right variety for your region (i.e. ‘Honey Crisp’ and ‘Prairie Sun’ for the Prairies) and understanding a few basic growing principles. Here’s what you need to know. By the time August rolls around, apple trees are working full-time to synthesis sugars in their leaves and to transport those sugars to the rapidly developing fruit. But for that developing fruit to reach its full potential, there has to be a sufficient amount of water available to the tree at that time. Applying a good soaking of water around the base of your tree each week will ensure that the fruit get enough water to fill out properly. Just keep in mind that lawns intercept a fair bit of water, so consider using a root feeder that can be pushed beneath the grass root zone and down to the tree’s roots. Fruit thinning is another way to increase fruit size. Few home gardeners remove fruit because (A) it takes time, and (B) it seems counterintuitive when the objective is to grow lots of apples. The reality, however, is that there are only so many leaves on an apple tree. And if those leaves have to partition the sugars to thousands of fruit, well, there’s only so much to go around. Some commercial growers will select only the “king” fruit or the dominant fruit in a cluster and prune off the others. The result is a tree with fewer, but much larger, fruit. Exposing each of the tree’s leaves to as much sunlight as possible is another key to growing large fruit. If you think of leaves as equivalent to nature’s solar panels, it makes sense that shade is a curse to sugar production. Therefore, if you want the best fruit, always do a little pruning in the spring to “open” your apple leaves to

sunlight. Ideally, pruning is best done when the buds are still dormant, but a little pruning during the growing season is fine. Soil nutrition is also important for producing quality fruit, but contrary to what many people think, it’s not critical for producing big fruit. Normally, a single application of fertilizer in the spring is enough to provide plenty of nutrients for the apples that develop during the summer. I recommend using a root feeder and a small amount of water-soluble fertilizer. And now a little something for the mathematically inclined: if you want to determine the volume of an apple, simply cube the diameter of it, multiply that value by pi (3.14) and then multiply that product by one-sixth. What’s rather surprising when you do the math is that a 10 cm apple has a whopping 8 times the volume of a 5 cm one! Math aside, growing large apples really is a satisfying endeavor. And why wouldn’t it be? Having sink-your-teethinto apples a stone’s throw from your door is a pretty great thing. Of course, for some of us, a six-bite apple could be as big as grapefruit…but I guess that says more about the genetics of the grower than it does of his or her apple tree. Enjoy gardening!

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enjoy

Great Gardening Books from Hole’s

Lois Hole's Favorite Bulbs Better Choices, Better Gardens By Lois Hole

Lois Hole’s Favorite Bulbs is both an ultimate get started guide for novice gardeners and a comprehensive reference for experienced bulb enthusiasts. Here you’ll find great advice on planting, growing and maintaining flowering bulbs. You'll also find hundreds of tips on where and when to plant, advice on forcing and naturalizing and fascinating sidebars on bulb science and history. $24.95 • 5.5 x 8.5 • Softcover • Colour • 320 pages • ISBN 1-894728-00-9

Hole's Dictionary of Hardy Perennials The Buyer’s Guide for Professionals, Collectors & Gardeners Edited by Jim Hole

The perennial marketplace is larger than ever, with thousands of species and varieties from which to choose. Keeping track of perennials has become an awesome task—but the experts at Hole’s have a solution. Hole’s Dictionary of Hardy Perennials is the comprehensive guide, perfect for anyone who loves perennials, whether retailer, professional grower, breeder, collector, novice or veteran home gardener. $49.95 • 5.5 x 8.5 • Hardcover • 356 colour photos • 144 pages • ISBN 1-894728-01-7

Ordering Order these and other Hole’s publications online at www.holesonline.com • By Phone 1-888-884-6537 By Fax 780-459-6042 Hole’s • 101 Riel Drive St. Albert, Alberta • T8N 3X4

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Enjoy Gardening Summer 2011  
Enjoy Gardening Summer 2011  
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