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40 Years AND STILL GROWING 197 8 - 2 0 1 8

LET’S GET GROWING Naturally, Proven Winners plants are pretty, but it’s the remarkable way they flourish from spring through fall that makes all the difference. So, when it’s time to dress up your front entrance to boost your home’s curb appeal or improve the view out your kitchen window, Proven Winners is at your service. We are honored that you’ve trusted us for over 20 years to enhance your garden with exquisite flowers and plants. Cheers to another amazing season!

Find Proven Winners at your local retailers. For a listing of retailers visit






40th Anniversary Events @ The Spot


The Dirt On Dirt


Nature’s Nurture




Gardening With The Kids


Queen of Vines


The Colour Purple - Garden Style


Look Good, Feel Great

This publication may not be reproduced, all or in part, without written consent from the publisher and The Green Spot Home & Garden. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all content in the publication, however, the publisher will not be held accountable for omissions or errors. Note that products may vary between retailers and regions, and supplies may be limited. Pricing is subject to change and is not valid with any other offer. Home & Garden Showplace is a registered trademark for use by its members, of which the Garden Centre Group Co-Op is an alliance member. A selection of photos in this magazine provided by Proven WinnersÂŽ.


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018 is an exciting year here at The Green Spot Home & Garden as we celebrate 40 years of service to the Western Manitoba gardening community. Over the years we have made many changes to our business, each one with a goal to improve our customer relations. Anniversaries are a time to both reflect on the past and anticipate the future. In reflection, I have many people to be grateful for: the Vreeman family who built a very solid company from the ground up; to the thousands of loyal customers who, season after season, return to The Green Spot; to the hundreds of staff members who have been committed to providing excellent service to the company; and to all the professionals, particularly Vanguard Credit Union and BDO, who have provided their support and guidance. Looking to the future, I am eager as we plan for unique, practical, and desirable products and services to offer. I hope you enjoy reading this anniversary edition of The Green Spot Home & Garden Magazine. You will enjoy the variety of articles written by my staff and garden centre colleagues

from other parts of Canada. As the season unfolds, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, our website and newsletter, and our frequent messages with our media partners, The Brandon Sun, CKLQ, Westman Journal, and CJRB. We look forward to bringing you, our home and garden customer, all of our best for 2018. Sincerely,



40 years and still growing! SPRING 2018 • 5


EVENTS @ The Spot

Fashion Week

Mother’s Day Salebration

Whether we’re going gardening, grocery shopping, or to a party, we like to feel good and look good. The Green Spot can help you all around. To get you started, we’re having fashion week – totally focused on spring and summer fashion for a whole week before we head out to the garden.

Celebrate Mom! Moms love The Green Spot so give her what she loves – a hanging basket, patio planter or choose from patio furnishings, home décor and fashion. You know it - a gift certificate works every time!

You’ve been waiting for it – it’s our Recycle Project weekend. Bring in all your recyclable garden plastics - #2, #5, and #6 (and NOT a day sooner!). We’ll make it worth your effort. Support the Alexander 4-H Club Hot Dog Sale.

May Long Marathon

Father’s Day Salebration

Three continuous days of un-interrupted gardening bliss. Tackling a big garden project? We’re open all weekend to keep you going with gardening supplies and weekend specials.

Celebrate Dad! Whether he likes to relax or work - we’ve got tools, trees, hammocks, and beverage coolers. If it works for Mother’s Day, a gift certificate will work for Father’s Day too!

Pansies for Pancreatic Cancer


Support the Purple Perennial Team in their 5th Annual Pansy Sale – a fundraiser for the fight against Pancreatic Cancer. And there is an “icing on the cake” - a cupcake sale!

Celebrate Canada! Fly the flag. Plant a tree. Show your pride. It’s the end of our spring season and all our plants are on sale - just in time for your Canada Day Garden Party!

Cottage Country Opens

Canada Day

It’s time to bring the cottage deck to life. The Green Spot Cottage Country in Onanole opens for the season. Shop from our selection of hanging baskets, planters, flower and vegetable bedding plants, and perennials and nursery stock. Located right next to Foxtail Café, it’s a destination sure to please.

Whew! We made it. We’re taking the day off. The Green Spot in Brandon is closed to celebrate CANADA 151.

April 16- April 21

Watch for more details!

French Dressing Jean Fit Clinic Tuesday, April 17, 10:00am - 5:00pm

Spring into Fashion Show

Friday, April 20, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Bare Root Sale Begins April 21

Planting bare root trees and shrubs means early spring preparation but the benefits are big. It’s a good time to plant and the savings are good too – over 50% discount from in-season prices and the selection includes shelterbelt, hedging and small fruits. Plant immediately and WATER!

Garden Start-Up Saturday, April 28

Bring in all your garden tools for a FREE sharpening. A sharp tool makes garden work so much easier. Please do not bring electric tools or high quality sheers. While your tools are getting a tune-up, check out our Garden Tool and Garden Supplies promotions throughout our store.

May 11 - 13

May 18 - 21

Saturday, May 26

Saturday, June 2

Spring Hours MAY 1 - JUNE 30 It’s time to shift gears and SPRING into action!

SPRING HOURS OF OPERATION Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 8:00pm Saturday: 9:00am - 6:00pm Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Recycle Project June 9 - 10


Recycle Project June 9 - 10

June 15 - 17

June 25 - 30

July 1

Summer Hours JULY 2 - OCTOBER 29 It’s time to KICK BACK and enjoy the fruits of our labour! SUMMER HOURS OF OPERATION Monday - Saturday: 10:00am - 5:00pm Sunday: Closed


Get creative! We demonstrate the method and supply the materials. You have the Fun! Class enrollment is limited to 20 participants. Classes run approx. 1-2 hours. For prices and registration, please call 204-727-5884 or visit our front desk. A $15.00 non-refundable deposit will be required to hold your spot.

Tillandsia (Air Plants)

Air Plants for Kids

Patio Planter

Thursday, May 3, 2018 – 7:00 pm

Saturday, May 12, 2018 – 10:00 am

Thursday, May 24, 2018 – 7:00 pm

Fun, unique plants that require no soil! Tillandsia (aka air plant) is a petite plant that absorbs moisture through the leaves not the roots making them very suitable for crafting. With a piece of drift wood, some moss, and glue, they will make an eye-catching centrepiece that is tolerant to a wide range of environmental conditions and require minimal care.

Here’s a great Mother’s day gift for any young gardener to share. Air plants (aka Tillandsia) are very kidfriendly and fun to watch. Their growth habit makes them very easy to work with. Glued onto a rock with some moss and other amusing objects, makes this an ideal project for kids of all ages.

Be inspired! With so many different plants to choose from, get creative and design your own personalized patio planter for any location - sun or shade. With the guidance of our experienced staff and the wide selection of annual flowering plants from our greenhouse - the possibilities are limitless.

Exotic/Tropical Planter Saturday, May 5, 2018 – 10:00 am Think outside the box. Tropical plants add colour, size and interest to your summer patio. And if you choose, bring the planter into your home for the winter months. Plant a large patio planter with a wide selection of exotic and tropical plants of your choice. Bring the tropics to the prairies! (This workshop will also be offered Thursday, May 17, 7:00pm)

Succulent Wreath Thursday, May 10, 2018 – 7:00 pm Plant up! Make your wall LIVE. Great for a balcony, or near an entrance door, this unique succulent wreath is sure to say “Welcome!” Once rooted, succulent plants are quite happy growing on a vertical surface. Just don’t forget to water.

Exotic/Tropical Planter Thursday, May 17, 2018 – 7:00 pm This is a second date for the Exotic/Tropical Planter. If you can’t make May 5, hopefully this date will work.

Herb Day Saturday, May 19, 2018 – 9:30 am Meet at 9:30 am for an information session as The Green Spot staff shares their favourite herb uses and recipes. This will be followed by planting your own herb container. You can then enjoy a combination of herbs growing right in your kitchen ready for snipping.

Succulent Container

Saturday, May 26, 2018 – 10:00 am No time for fuss? Create an easy to care for succulent garden! For the active family who still want some gardening presence, succulent gardens are the answer. With minimal care and set in the right location, these mini gardens will provide summer long color and intrigue as their foliage unfolds.

Kids Sensory Garden

Saturday, May 26, 2018 – 2:00 pm Young gardeners ages 5-10, come and engage your senses by planting a sensory garden. These little garden containers are all about touching, seeing, smelling, and tasting. Finally, something that the kids will enjoy that makes NO NOISE!

SPRING 2018 • 7

The History of

The Green Spot


n its 40 year history, The Green Spot in Brandon and has been steadily growing from a green house to a home-and-garden shopping destination. With a focus on life-style, The Green Spot has evolved to meet new needs. People's interests in the environment, growing their own gardens, and enhancing home, business and leisure properties, inspires The Green Spot Home & Garden to continuously develop its products and services to meet this thriving appetite from a dynamic demographic. Located on ten acres surrounded by Rosser Avenue East, CP Rail, and the Assiniboine River, The Green Spot now encompasses 126,000 square feet of production greenhouses, with 30,000 square feet used for retail sales. It has grown extensively from its humble, hobby gardening centre beginnings in 1978, when it sold bedding plants grown in wooden flats in a 1200 square foot wooden greenhouse. Dick and Herman Vreeman Sr. built the first greenhouse on Herman and Jean Vreeman's property at 1329 Rosser Avenue East. They bought the land from Jean’s father, Dirk Van Hoffen, an avid gardener and Brandon Research Station employee. The Green Spot went through a big growth spurt in the 1980s. A store and metal hoop greenhouses were built. Gardening products and bedding plants were added. In 1986, they increased the number of greenhouses and introduced their first poinsettia crop. By the end of the 80s they had purchased adjoining property, continued building, and hired their first full-time employee. Then came their first wholesale crop. The business was well established and moving forward with the times.

In the mid-90s a large shipping and delivery shed, a new store, and more greenhouses became part of the business's landscape. The Green Spot was now open year round, sold tropicals, houseplants, dried flowers, giftware and gardening products, with poinsettias and Christmas trees available in season. With the new century came a new focus on innovative marketing and expanding its customer base. The greenhouses now covered 130,000 square feet, and several full-time, part-time and seasonal workers were employed. It had developed far beyond the original concept – and was ready for more changes. In 2007, Bernie Whetter bought The Green Spot and continued with its enhancements and business expansion. Bernie was raised on the family farm in the Dand community. After receiving his University of Manitoba Degree in Agriculture (1977), he worked for Manitoba Pool Elevators. In 1981, he joined Brandon's Wheat City Seeds partnership, an industry he enjoyed for 24 years. Bernie's next big career step was to become owner of The Green Spot. He started this journey by taking a job at The Green Spot selling trees. That's when the ownership seed was planted. Before jumping in, Bernie got his Masters Degree in Business Administration from Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba. In November 2007, his dream of owning a garden centre became a reality. The Green Spot Home & Garden Centre was his. The opportunity at The Green Spot was ripe for the picking. The facility was well developed, well staffed, and well supported in the community. It had an excellent reputation with loyal clientele. The sun was definitely shining on it. Today, The Green Spot Home and Garden is best known for its


spring offering of annual vegetable and bedding plants, perennials, shrubs and trees, and gardening supplies. And it has great success with their very popular, annual Christmas Spectacular Market. It gives their clientele a festive shopping opportunity, and it creates a way to retain valuable staff year round. With the success of the seasonal events, it seemed only logical to expand the business to become an all-year service centre. Elements Home and Garden Décor, The Patio, The Garden Shed, and The Pantry departments grew from this commitment to be an all-season destination. Department 49 for women’s fashion has become one of the largest growth areas of the garden centre. With the increase of new home builds and development of outdoor living spaces, Whetter Landscapes, a company with over a decade of experience, was added to the portfolio in 2012. Also that year, The Green Spot Home & Garden centre expanded into the summer resort area at Onanole, located at the doorway to Riding Mountain National Park. The Green Spot Cottage Country operates for the four summer months. They have partnered with their neighbouring business Foxtail Café, one of the area’s popular eating and drinking establishments, which serves up wood fired pizzas and a locally infused menu. With the extensive growth and continued success the business has enjoyed over the decades, The Green Spot Home & Garden is well positioned to serve current and future clients in the best ways possible. Inspired by loyal clients and a thriving community, The Green Spot will be here for many more seasons.








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DIRT By John DeGroot, DeGroot’s Nurseries, Sarnia, Ontario


hat can we add to soil to rejuvenate it? Let’s look at the most common soil amendments to get the scoop on healthy soil.

PEAT MOSS: Hands down, peat moss has always been every green thumber’s favourite soil amendment. Peat moss helps sandy soil hold moisture and loosens clay soil to improve drainage. Peat moss improves all important soil texture but does little to improve soil fertility. Use liberal amounts and mix thoroughly with your existing soil.

BONE MEAL: Use bone meal to build soil fertility. Bone meal contains lots of phosphorous for bigger bolder blooms and stronger roots. Bone meal improves all soils, and especially benefits roses, bulbs and blooming plants. Bone meal releases slowly and steadily, keeping your plants healthy over time.

BLOOD MEAL: High in nitrogen and fast acting, blood meal is a perfect complement to bone meal, which is why they are often mixed together in the same package. Use blood meal to give anemic plants an organic shot in the arm. Blood meal has the added benefit of repelling mice and other unwanted rodents.

MANURE: Like compost, manure improves the structure of soil while increasing its organic nutrient value. Mix manure up to 50/50 with your existing soil. And no, there is little difference between sheep, cow, horse and your neighbour’s manure. If you are a city slicker with a pickup truck you might be able to bum manure from a country farmer friend. If not, bagged manure is odour-free and more highly concentrated.

GREEN MANURE: Follow the advice of an old farmer and grow a green manure cover crop for a year. In the fall plough the crop into the soil and your garden will be grateful. Use alfalfa, sorghum, legumes, clover or any annual crop that will produce lots of vegetation. Green manure serves as a source of food and energy, stimulating valuable microbial activity in soil. Other benefits are a reduction of weeds in your garden patch and improvement in soil aeration.


To break up the heaviest clay soil, spread gypsum on the surface. Be generous and put down about 20 kilograms of gypsum for every 100 square metres of surface area. Repeat for three consecutive years. Gypsum contains calcium and sulfur, but will not boost general fertility.

LIME: My high school chemistry teacher taught that if soil is too acidic, plants are unable to use nutrients that probably already exist in the soil. The solution is to add lime in order to raise the pH and sweeten or neutralize the soil. Apply 10kg dolomitic lime per 100 square metres of surface area. The application of lime may also serve to reduce moss and mushroom formation. While lime is not a moss killer, it will neutralize highly acidic soil where moss often thrives.


COMPOST: Let’s define compost as anything organic that has sufficiently broken down to look like rich dark soil. Compost can include everything from egg shells to leaves, to grass clippings, to banana peels. Compost trumps most other soil amendments because it improves soil texture and is chock full of nutrients. Mix generous amounts of compost with your existing soil.


KNOW THE DIRT.” ...Tips and tricks to optimize your dirt.

MULCH: Good gardeners know that mulch is the ticket to healthy soil and strong plant growth. Mulch keeps weeds down, retains soil moisture, reduces temperature fluctuations and insulates soil to minimize winter injury. Like the forest floor, organic mulches break down over time, contributing to soil health. Top up once a year to refresh appearance and maintain a depth of 2 to 3 inches. SPRING 2018 • 11

Nature’s NURTURE! By Tanya Olsen Royal City Nursery, Guelph, Ontario

• Sunlight: Soaking up the sun provides an influx of vitamin D and the fresh air is good for your body and your soul! • Getting in touch with nature: While we may not have the time for a walk in the woods, gardening for even 20 minutes will help create the primal connection to nature lost with the pressures of daily life. • You create a space that is beautiful and restful. Our garden centre’s mission is to assist in the creation of your outdoor living space, to suit your lifestyle, as an extension of the indoor space.


ith an increasing awareness of the value of gardening as a means to reduce daily stress and anxiety, the therapeutic benefits of nature and cultivated horticulture have been sought after for generations. The Japanese have a medical practice called forest bathing or Shinrin-yoku (森林浴) which is literally a short leisurely trip to a forest. The theory is that “visiting a forest for relaxation and recreational purposes provides the opportunity to breathe in wood based essential oils like α-Pinene (a bronchodilator that increases air flow to the lungs) and limonene (antimicrobial volatile organic compounds) emitted from trees to protect them from rotting and insects.” forest-bathing In Canada, the profession and study of horticulture therapy is growing rapidly. Many hospitals, nursing homes and mental health facilities have established horticulture therapy programs as part of their mainstream practices. Study after study shows that if we take the therapeutic concepts that benefit patient, staff and visitor, and apply them on a smaller scale, we can bring the anti-stress benefits home.

• Reaping the rewards of the garden through wildlife and bird observation and a harvest of vegetables, fruits or cut flowers for your kitchen table.

When you start your healing garden experience, the active benefits include physical activity, cognitive stimulation and a sense of accomplishment. The more passive benefits include:

• The calming effects of being in the moment as you view your green space through the window. Simply put, we decrease our illness recovery time if we enjoy the view!


In order to realize the benefits, we need to engage and connect with the landscape. Keep in mind that it is not so much gardening itself that is the key to stress reduction, so much as the way it is approached. Healing gardens can be gardens created for a single purpose or existing gardens renovated to include new ideas. Before you head to the garden centre to start creating a healing garden at your own home or office, here are a few recommendations:

1. Understand the available space you have. A healing garden does not need to be large. A collection of pots on the balcony can bring as much value as a fully landscaped backyard, if that is the space you have. Know how much sun or shade the space will receive so the plants can thrive properly.

2. Think about your overall maintenance requirements and be realistic about how much time and energy you will need. Your independent garden centre can help you plan for both available space and required efforts. Your landscape must suit your lifestyle. If the garden is at its best when you are not home, it is not functional. To reap the benefits of the experience you have to be in the space. When you come home after a long day, what better way to unwind than to sit on your patio and see the lights turn on one by one and reflect off the white edges of your favorite variegated plant, or watch the dusk blooming pond lilies and perennials come to life.

To make your garden effective:

1. Select plants that tickle all


five senses. How the garden sounds, Summer Photo courtesy of Proven Winners smells or feels - will transport you to another time. To harvest is to taste the garden. Winter When engaging your sense Fall of sight, don’t forget the views out your window during winter, as landscapes should be functional 365 days a year, both up close and from a distance.

2. Choose plants to signal the change of seasons and place them where you can see them from your window or as you enter the house. The blooms of a forsythia mean spring, the changing colours of a maple triggers memories of playing in

piles of leaves on a crisp fall day, while the dark green of a white spruce tree provides shelter in the winter. Sage, be it ornamental or edible, reminds everyone it is time to get into the summer BBQ season.

3. Bring the outdoors in with the use of a small greenhouse. If you don’t have room for a greenhouse structure, use a row cover on your vegetables to extend the season, or start seeds indoors with a mini greenhouse tray, available in the seed section of your independent garden centre.

Specific plants known to reduce stress… OUTDOORS Lavender – A fragrant Mediterranean perennial herb to reduce irritability and prompt relaxation. The essential oil can be consumed as tea or in a dried form. Chamomile – The dried flowers make a tasty tea, whose compounds assist in feeling calm. Lemon Balm – Used to reduce anxiety and help with sleep. It is also a magnet for pollinating insects. St John’s Wort – A small easy to grow shrub, hardy to Zone 5. Tablets can be found in health food stores to help treat depression and insomnia.

INDOORS Studies have reported many benefits to keeping plants indoors – not just for their psychological effects, but because many of our simple houseplants will help clean the air we breathe of chemicals and toxins. Use these sustainable solutions for improved air quality in both your home, your office or your dorm room or in a living wall! Spider Plant – One of the best for air exchange, as the daughter plants (plants produced by aerial roots) develop thick fleshy roots outside of the soil. These fleshy roots exchange gases and airborne nutrients quickly and easily. Peace Lily and English Ivy – Both have large volumes of leaves with porous openings on their undersides called stomata. These stomata release moisture into the air through transpiration, oozing humidity. Use these to help fight the dreaded winter cold and boost the overall humidity of a room by as much as 5%. Janet Craig Dracaena – With a high transpiration (gas exchange) rate, this plant will filter the local toxins and volatile organic compounds in the air. Whether you are just starting out with a raised vegetable garden, a pot overflowing with your grandmother’s favourite flowers or you are creating your first dynamic garden at your home, it is important to recognize that it is YOUR space. Go on, get your hands dirty! The benefits of your healing garden and your staycation are only a few short steps away! Happy planting! SPRING 2018 • 13


Beer and Honey BBQ Chicken Skewers Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 15 mins Total Time: 20 mins

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Cut chicken in small pieces, about 1 ½ inch cubes. 2. In a medium bowl whisk all the ingredients together. Add chicken. There should be enough marinade to cover the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours to 24 hours.

Incredibly delicious Beer and Honey BBQ Chicken Skewers – Perfect for a weekend or even a busy week night. Just prepare the night before, let marinate overnight and grill when ready.

3. Fire up grill.

Servings: 6 Calories: 197 kcal per serving

5. Place chicken on grill and turn every couple minutes or so, at the same time brushing some of the leftover marinade over the chicken. Grill until chicken is cooked through.

INGREDIENTS 3 cloves minced garlic ¾ cup beer 1/3 cup honey 1 tsp red pepper flakes 1 tsp Dijon mustard ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce 1 tbsp olive oil 4 chicken breasts cut into small cubes cilantro for garnish 14

4. Thread chicken on skewers, about 5 pieces per skewer. Do not throw away leftover marinade.

6. Garnish with cilantro and serve. RECIPE NOTES Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.

Healthy Kale Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette Prep Time: 10 mins This Kale Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette is fresh and delicious, loaded with good for you ingredients like kale, blueberries and apples then drizzled with a yummy blueberry vinaigrette! Servings: 6 Calories: 278 kcal

INGREDIENTS 8 cups curly kale leaves stems removed and finely chopped 1 tbsp fresh lime juice 1 tbsp olive oil salt and pepper to taste 1 apple, cored and sliced 1 cup fresh blueberries 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced ½ cup crumbled feta cheese 2 tbsp sunflower seeds FOR BLUEBERRY VINAIGRETTE ½ cup fresh blueberries 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp honey 1 tsp balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp water salt and pepper to taste INSTRUCTIONS 1. In a large bowl add the kale, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss really well making sure that all the kale is covered in oil and lime juice. 2. Add the chopped apples, blueberries, avocado, feta cheese and sunflower seeds. 3. In a blender add all the vinaigrette ingredients and blend until smooth. 4. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve. JO COOKS, JOANNA CISMARU Jo knows her readers so well they might as well be neighbours. She has a sixth sense for what they want to make on any given day, from warming comfort foods like chicken noodle soup to morning indulgences like iced cinnamon rolls. She also knows what’s in their cupboards (never calling for something that’s hard to find) and how much time they’ve got to cook. Add to that her spunky attitude, her endearing writing style and her love of food, and it’s clear why she’s so loved.

Available at select Garden Centres.


1/2 package of mix Cup of mayo / cup of sour cream Great for veggies, potatoe chips, pretzals or bread sticks

Baked Parmesan Artichoke Dip ½ cup (4oz) cream cheese ½ cup (4oz) real mayonnaise 3 tbsp Dip Mix ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 can (13.75 oz) artichoke hearts (drained and chopped) 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional) Squeeze out excess liquid from artichokes. In a small bowl, combine dip blend, mayonnaise, cream cheese & grated Parmesan. Stir in artichoke hearts. Transfer to a heat-proof dish. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired. Bake in a 180° C (350°F) oven until hot, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with crusty sourdough French bread, breadsticks, pita chips or crackers.

SPRING 2018 • 15





YOUR LOVE FOR NATURE By Bernie Whetter The Green Spot Home & Garden, Brandon, Manitoba


ardening is one of the most rewarding experiences we can share with our children. It is a chance to spend time together learning about the natural world, enjoying the outdoors, growing and harvesting food, and appreciating being in the moment. There is no greater way to pass on a respect for nature and a love for living things than teaching our children about gardening. Here are some ideas to help get your kids involved. During the winter months, do some research with your children to choose plants for the garden and help them learn the benefits of each, to allow them to think about questions such as: why are carrots good for your eyes? Do sunflowers make good wild bird food? How do marigolds keep pests away? What makes a zinnia attract a monarch butterfly? How can beans make nitrogen available to the soil? Does catnip really attract cats and repel aphids? If we plant basil beside a tomato, will the tomato taste better?

Once you have put together a list of candidates, have your child make the final selection and let the excitement for spring begin. Seeds are available at your local garden centre early in the new year, and frequent visits keep the kids interested in growing plants. It’s also a good time to collect child friendly garden tools with short handles and ergonomic grips. Tools that are brightly colored will add an element of fun.

"Grandpa, will you come to the garden with me?"


It is important that the garden is a fun place to be, so create activities around the work. Kids love to play, they love to make things, and they are all about motion so make an “activity centre” right in the garden. Build a play structure or shelter to provide protection from the sun, rain, and wind, and that can house a small table, a couple of chairs and a small storage container

for paper, crayons, paints etc. Drafting a garden map is a good starter project making areas for vegetables, flowers, butterfly gardens and the activity centre. Incorporating an entrance gate and walking paths will make the space more interesting. Garden projects relating to nature will allow for learning opportunities. Pressed leaves and flowers provide a great lesson in botany and can be used to make cards. Have a picnic or a tea party and enjoy fresh produce from the garden for snacks. Draw and colour pictures of things you see in the garden like flowers, bugs, and birds. Children can make signs for each variety of plant in the garden on waterproof paper stapled to a short stake. With some soil, pots, and bedding plants, make a hanging basket or a planter that can be displayed in the garden or used on the patio. Ant farm kits can be purchased and once populated will capture the attention of children as the ants busily go about their daily chores in full view. Other additions to the garden will complement the experience. If a building is nearby, set up a rain barrel under a downspout. Not only will the kids have a source of water for the garden, but they will also learn about

conserving natural resources. Start a compost pile in the back corner. A rain gauge and a windsock or a wind spinner will make the kids aware of the earth’s elements. A bird house, lady bug house, and a mason bee house will provide living quarters to beneficial friends in the garden and provide interesting viewing. Add a bench for relaxation after the day’s hard work and a garden gnome for good luck. The biggest challenge is to create incentive to maintain the garden. Weeding can feel like a chore, even for adults, but if done frequently for short time periods, added to the compost pile and rewarded with a game or snack, it can become fun. By giving your child their own watering can, you can help them take ownership over keeping the plants well hydrated. On a hot day, get the hose and sprinkler out and combine watering the garden with water play. Even though harvest is some of the hardest work, digging potatoes and carrots, the fruits of their labour, just might be enough gratification to retain their interest. One of the most rewarding activities I had with my children was planting a tree. About the same time as my oldest began school, we planted a small tree. Every year, on the first day of school, we took a picture of her and later on, her brother. These became treasures as we watched both the children and the tree grow and flourish. Above all, let the children make the decisions (or at least feel like they are making the decisions). Keep it fun and always be willing to respond with a resounding YES! when asked “Grandpa, will you come to the garden with me?”

SPRING 2018 • 19

Queen of Vines By Brian Minter, Minter Country Garden, Chilliwack, British Columbia


lematis truly are the ‘queen of vines’ in terms of hardiness, resilience and massive colour over a significant part of the spring, summer and into the fall. Many new varieties debut every year, each bringing something unique to the vine table. One clematis family, however, is often overlooked, according to Rob Wein of Clearview Horticultural Products, one of the largest clematis growers in our country.

“When folks go into garden stores, the tendency is to buy the newest varieties and those in bloom,” says Wein. “There are so many beautiful early-bloomers out there, they are hard to resist. The ones not in bloom, however, tend to be passed over, and it’s a huge miss for our summer gardens.”

"The 'C group' is for charming. Beautiful Clematis to be enjoyed all summer every summer!"

According to Wein, what’s being overlooked are the summer-bloomers, otherwise know as ‘group C’ clematis. Their blossoms are not as large as some of the early-blooming stalwarts, but they produce in great profusion and over a long period of time (8-12 weeks) during the summer when you will enjoy them the most. Among the hardiest (zone 3) of the clematis family, they are also some of the most disease and pest resistant.

Wein says ‘group C’ varieties will grow almost anywhere in our country if they get some sunlight. In areas that have very hot summers, it may be best to plant them in a morning sun location with some protection or shade from the day’s most intense heat. Wein recommends planting a smaller shrub in front of the clematis to shade its roots in extreme heat situations. Some of Wein’s favourite group C varieties are: • “Jackmanii” and “Jackmanii Superba” are among the most well-known in this group, often blooming from June through September with 4 to 6-inch (10-15cm) flowers. • “Ville de Lyon”, a striking red with a silver sheen, is another great one. Again, with 4 to 6-inch blooms (10-15cm).



Ville de Lyon



Comtesse de Bouchard

• For a white, “Huldine” is one of the best performers. Its massive display of 3 to 4-inch (8-10cm) blooms is outstanding.

• “Polish Spirit” is a very strong flowering Polish introduction with small 3 to 4-inch (8-10 cm) deep purple flowers produced June through September.

• “Honora” has attractive velvety red-violet purple blooms and is a great performer.

• “Venosa Violacea” has streaked purple veins on a white background with six petaled 4 to 6-inch (10-15cm) flowers.

• “Comtesse de Bouchard” is one of the better pinks, producing lots of 4 to 6-inch (10-15 cm) blooms. • “Perle d’Azur”, a distinctive purple, also features 4 to 6-inch (10-15cm) blooms that fade to an attractive blue. • “Pink Fantasy”, one of the few bi-colours in this category, sports shell-pink blooms with rosy pink bars. • “Madame Julia Correvon” has 3 to 4-inch (8-10cm) deep wine-red flowers with twisted sepals. • “Rouge Cardinal” is a rich burgundy-crimson with attractive brown stamens that blooms from June till September with 4 to 6-inch (10-15cm) blossoms.

When planting clematis, make sure you prepare a planting hole about 18 inches deep. Then carefully set in the root ball and bury the stems about four inches below the top of the soil. Clematis are ‘stem rooting’ and if the top is broken, this will ensure a fast recovery from the root system. Be careful not to bend the stems when setting in the clematis roots. Water the clematis well to help get it established, but once growing, be sure not to overwater. Another nice thing about summer-blooming clematis is the ease of pruning. When they are beginning to decline at the end of summer, they can simply be pruned down to about 12 inches. Over time, as the stems become thicker, prune them back in stages, down to around 3 feet one year and down to 12 to 18 inches the next – this will lessen the shock to older plants. Any time the leaves look unsightly or get burnt in the sun, a simple haircut will clean them up, and they will soon grow back fresh leaves and blooms. Today, the emphasis is all about the new clematis varieties while the proven success stories are often passed over. So, when adding these wonderful vines to your garden, please consider these amazing summer-bloomers.

SPRING 2018 • 21

The Colour Purple GARDEN STYLE By Carla Hrycyna, St Marys Nursery and Garden Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba


he colour purple. Some may think of the movie or a familiar song, but it is so much more than that! Purple is a secondary colour that ranges from the warm tones of red-violet magentas to the cooler side of violet blues and lavenders, and harmonizes well with yellow. The 2018 inspired Pantone “Ultra Violet” colour was described as a “dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level.” Historical accounts show that for the Phoenicians the colour was valuable and rare due to the painstakingly difficult process of extracting the dye from sea snails. This shade was worn mostly by royalty and often associated with magic and religion. In Eastern cultures, and in Feng Shui, purple is associated with nobility, dignity and 22

abundance. The colour purple is viewed as peaceful, soothing and having spiritual qualities while also having a correlated reference to creativity and independence. Most recently, purple has taken on associations with contentment and passion and has come to symbolize success. In flowers, fruit and vegetables the pigment anthocyanin creates purples, reds and blues. The deep tones of these purple pigments protect the plant against harm from the sun while also acting as an attraction to pollinating insects. Purple fruits and vegetables also posssess medicinal qualities. Studies have shown that antioxidants produced by purple edibles can be effective in preventing diseases. Purple power foods can: • Reduce the risk of high blood pressure and lower cholesterol • Help prevent obesity and diabetes • Assist in lowering the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurological diseases • Reduce inflammation and therefore chronic disease • Aid cognitive functions • Have properties which help prevent urinary tract infections, fight ulcers, and reduce liver damage and diseases which affect cell development

In a garden design, plants with intense dark purple foliage and blooms add a vibrant colour element. These standout plants punctuate the landscape, providing depth and contrast. They can bring focus to a design as either an opposing tone or as a strong complement to yellows and greens.

BLOOMERANG LILACS – This fragrant lilac blooms in spring, and again mid-summer. Its small form will fit nicely into most gardens. Can be used to obtain cut flowers.

Whether choosing annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, fruits or vegetables, opt for purple to celebrate health and happiness for 2018.

SUPERTUNIA BORDEAUX PETUNIA – A vigorous petunia with a slightly mounded habit that functions as both filler and spiller in containers. The medium to large sized flowers are excellent landscape plants.

Top Pick Purples PERENNIALS

FOREVER PURPLE HEUCHERA – A coral bell variety with dramatically fluted, glossy deep purple leaves dressed with short purple-pink flowers. This perennial performs well in part shade to full shade. HIDCOTE AND MUNSTEAD LAVENDER – Lavender is coveted for its oils and beautiful fragrance, which are used as stress relievers. It is a tough plant, and drought-resistant once established. Plant in a sunny location, in an area protected from harsh winter winds.


FRAGRANT BLUE HELIOTROPE – Fragrant, long lasting flowers will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. An easy care annual that is great for containers or in the garden. PERSIAN SHIELD – This easy to care for plant is heat tolerant and boasts beautiful iridescent leaves of purple, green and silver. HONOURABLE MENTIONS – Morning Glory, Viola, Annual Sage, Salvia, Alyssum, Sweet Pea.





MILLENIUM ORNAMENTAL ALLIUM – This “Perennial of the Year” has bright, purple rounded flower clusters above a clump of glossy, green leaves. It is fragrant, late blooming and drought tolerant. HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Clematis, Bellflower, Dwarf Iris, Salvia, Verbena, Phlox, Veronica and Sage.

VEGGIES AND FRUIT FAIRY TALE EGGPLANT – A plant that produces mini 4” eggplants that are super tasty. Perfect for small gardens and patio pots. PURPLE BEAUTY PEPPER – The pepper this plant produces has a blocky full body with thick walls and a mild, sweet flavor. PURPLE RUFFLES BASIL – This plant has large and ruffled leaves, with a strong fragrance and flavour. It adds fantastic colour and flavour to herb vinegars. HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Blackberries, Blueberries, Purple Asparagus, Purple Cabbage, Purple Carrots, Purple Potatoes and Currants.

TREES AND SHRUBS ROYAL PURPLE SMOKEBUSH (COTINUS) – Its dramatic oval, deep purple leaves form masses with clouds of pink blooms. This compact, drought tolerant variety is a fantastic accent plant. Resists deer and rabbits. SPILLED WINE WEIGELA – A beautiful three foot purple foliage plant that produces bright pink blooms for the sunny garden. Easy to care for, grows wider than tall. Proven Winners Landscape plant of the year. Resists deer.

Photo courtesy of Proven Winners -

Attracts Hummingbirds

Attracts Bees

Attracts Butterflies SPRING 2018 • 23

Look Good, FEEL GREAT By Donna Moss, Meadow Acres Garden Centre, Petersburg, ON


pring 2018 is all about comfort, femininity and natural fibres with an upscale flair that won’t stress your wallet.

Your must have this summer is a pair of embroidered denim jeans. Featured here is a pair of distressed butterfly jeans topped with a beautiful feminine silk blend top with a flared sleeve and tie detail. Combine bold floral cotton blend shirts for a punch of colour with your basic jeans to make a statement and show off your personal style. Bamboo, linen, silk and cotton blends are staples that should be in every woman’s closet. Cotton and linen have always been favourite summer fabrics with our customers and are now making a strong showing in fashion boutiques. Look for pieces that will continue to grace your closet for several years. Mixing and matching with new pieces of jewellery will freshen up your look and will keep everyone wondering, “Is that a new outfit?”

Bamboo, linen, silk and cotton blends are staples that should be in every woman’s closet.

If you haven’t tried bamboo, you must! Bamboo keeps you cool and dry on the warmest of days and will carry you into the evening with comfort. A wide range of bamboo fashion will become staples in your closet. From tanks to bras, underwear, leggings and tops you will be singing bamboo’s praises to all of your girlfriends. A girl can never have enough shoes, sandals or boots. Whether it is a sandal, flats or bootie, footwear is as important as the clothes above the ankles. Your choice of footwear can make or break an overall look. Take your time and choose wisely. However if you like more than one look, why not purchase them all! The same is true for your handbags. Choose the one that says “Yes this is ME”.

Courtesy of Orange Fashion Village

Style should reflect your personality and taste. Check your image in the mirror before leaving your home. There is nothing worse than a dropped hem, a stain or a frayed seam. Step out of your home and wear those clothes with confidence and grace and you will receive compliments that will make you smile and confirm your choices. Remember when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you look GREAT!!


Courtesy of Papa Fashions


Natural Mosquito Repellents

By Lynn Baarschers

osquitoes are great food for bats and birds, but a nuisance to people. Why not try planting some of these plants and allow their natural fragrances to help repel mosquitoes while you are enjoying your outdoor space. Although not proven scientifically, crushing the leaves and rubbing them onto your skin might help in repelling those pesky insects.


TENDER PERENNIAL Plant in pots. It can be used in cooking as an herb as well.



PERENNIAL Plant in pots as it can be invasive. Mint can also be used to flavour beverages.

PERENNIAL Plant in pots or the landscape. Mosquitoes dislike the lavender scent.

Lemon Grass

ANNUAL Plant in pots or the landscape. It can also be used in cooking.


ANNUAL Plant in pots. A member of the geranium family.


Available at

ANNUAL Plant in pots. Herb that has a pleasant aroma, and is easy to grow.

SPRING 2018 • 25


for Colour

By Jen Van den Ham


Headliner Pink Sky

s the weather warms up it makes me so excited for spring and seeing things turn back to green. Spring and summer offer us the warm outdoors and an escape from being cooped up inside, binge watching Netflix all day. Being outdoors gives us the opportunity to disconnect from our phone and reconnect with nature and the beauty that we can plant ourselves. So if you are starting to think about what to plant this spring and want to try something new and exciting, take a look at what we have to offer.

Blushing Beauty Osteospermum has an exciting bi-colour bloom that brings a unique look to any garden. The outside of the petals is a beautiful yellow that really draws your eye towards the pinkish-purple centre. It attracts bees, butterflies and humming birds. Along with its sister variety “Night Sky,” Headliner Pink Sky Petunias are very unique. They are mounding Copper Prince Blushing Beauty petunias that look great in baskets and pots with their vibrant colours and Ornamental Millet Osteospermum splashes of white, creating an eye-catching arrangement. Check out the rest of the Headliner series. We are trying something new this year and getting a new generation of hydrangeas. The Kanmara Hydrangea series boasts majestic blooms and is sure to win you over. Create that curb appeal by placing these on the doorstep, terrace, or balcony. Add them to your planters to create that drama on your wedding day - perfect for any occasion and always ready to show. Copper Prince Ornamental Millet stands up to its name and is unique amongst the ornamental millet family. It begins as a light caramel and then deepens to a coppery bronze. It is a perfect statement for large containers and landscapes, as it is also low maintenance. Diascia Piccadilly Series are compact plants with large flowers. Even though they are a partial sun plant and perform their best in cool weather, they are heat tolerant making them perfect for any garden. Miss Sunshine Sunflower, a dwarf sunflower, only gets to be about 16” tall. While being heat tolerant and low maintenance, this sunflower has beautiful golden yellow blooms. It is sure to brighten up any planter or garden. We have too many new flower varieties to talk about so come on down The Green Spot and see the rest for yourself. Miss Sunshine Sunflower Kanmara Hydrangea

… and Taste

There is something about the taste of vegetable and herbs from your own garden. I’m not sure if it’s the satisfaction of growing your own food or the work you put into it. Either way, everything just tastes better, and if you don’t want to put the work in come and get our pre-potted vegetables. The name Midnight Snack Tomato creates intrigue. This indeterminate cherry tomato is red in color with a unique

Mad Hatter Peppers

Midnight Snack Tomato

overlay of glossy black-purple when exposed to the sun. It is productive all season and is great in salads or straight off the plant. Mad Hatter Peppers are a unique flat-disc pepper that is sweet with a little heat. It has a delicate floral scent and a flavour that only gets better as it matures. A pepper you’re sure to go mad over. Grow this beautiful white ornamental Lumina Pumpkin in your garden to give your kids a real treat come Halloween. Cucamelon, on the outside, looks like a small watermelon but on the inside a cucumber-lime taste like no other. They are perfect for snacking, pickling, or adding to salads. Lemon Apple Cucumber – add a little appeal to your salad by growing these lemon-flavoured cucumbers. Their flesh is crispy white, sweet and burpless. … And this is just the appetizer of all the new vegetables we have. Lumina Pumpkin


Villosa Plum Pudding Heuchera

Maid of Orange Iris

POWER OF PERPETUAL NEW Perennial Introductions by Karla Anderson


erennials are always welcomed because some species are the first sign of spring after our cold harsh prairie spells.

Sunflare Hakonechloa

Kickin Lilac Blue Aster

Melting Fire Heuchera

Kickin Carmine Red Aster

The Perennial Plant of 2018 is the Millennium Allium, otherwise known as “nodding or ornamental onion”. This allium is clump forming and produces sterile seed. Purple-pink flowers will appear in late summer from its green grass like foliage. Excellent deer & rabbit resistance and always a favourite to bring cheer to your garden is the Echinacea or Cone flower plant. Prairie Splendor Rose Compact Echinacea is an early bloomer with deep rose flowers. Coral Bells or Heuchera contribute some rich texture into a bed or even a planter with all their interesting foliages. Melting Fire Heuchera has bright red spring-time foliage that matures to deep burgundy in the summer. Leaves are ruffled and produce tiny white flowers that can compliment a cut flower arrangement. Villosa Plum Pudding Heuchera is happy when planted in the hot or cold, sun or shade. The foliage will change from burgundy red in spring to purple/ pink and adds a touch of silver in the summer. Flowers will appear in June and then again in September. Adapting

to any kind of soil, Irises adapt to alkaline soil. Maid of Orange Iris is a vigorous early bloomer which consists of big beautiful orange flowers with a dark tangerine beard. The favoured and highly recommended perennial is the Hosta. They can be used in many diverse situations with their big bold leaves. The new Prairie Edge Hosta has vibrant yellow centres with dark green margins and produce lavender flowers. Valued for its late summer and fall display of flowers, Asters contribute a great deal of colour to a season where not much else is blooming. Kickin Carmine Red Aster is a vibrant magenta-red flower with yellow centres and has a compact-clump forming growth habit. Kickin Lilac Blue Aster gives a lilac-blue flower with the yellow centres as well. Both these perennials will attract butterflies to your garden beds! We can’t forget about perennial grasses that give that extra touch to a flower bed. Sunflare Hakonechloa, a Japanese Forest Grass, has a compact growth habit preferring partial shade. This slow spreading grass has graceful arching spring golden foliage tipped with burgundy and turning to fall colour foliage consisting of burnt orange/red in the fall! SPRING 2018 • 27

Dark Purple Bloomerang Lilac


SHOW NEW Trees and

Shrub Releases

by Karla Anderson

Prairie Rouge Red Maple


veryone loves that time of year when winter is over and thoughts turn to spring! We are eager to introduce the new and exciting specimens for the upcoming season. In our nursery department you will find some new varieties of Maple trees. Regal Celebration Freeman Maple is a seedless tree with a rapid growth rate and consistent red fall colour. The name was chosen by Manitoba’s Lieutenant Governor to recognize distinguished Manitobans and visitors to our province. Prairie Rouge Red Maple, a narrow accent tree, is great for a slim space.

It has a bright red fall colour, tolerates alkaline soils and is good for our cold prairie climates. Shrubs are wonderful assets because they require less maintenance and offer a wide range of different colours, textures, and sizes that make the landscape more appealing to the eye. Hydrangeas are one of the most popular and gorgeous flowering shrub to beautify your yard. They give the "WOW" affect. It’s the most ideal shrub for shade or if you have acidic soil. Firelight Hydrangea exhibits upright panicles of white turning to pomegranate-pink as the flower matures. Invincibelle Limetta Hydrangea is a dwarf rounded shrub with dark green leaves and displays lime green to white blooms. Invincibelle Mini Mauvette Hydrangea, also dwarf and rounded, has dark green leaves and features a mauve-purple mophead flower. Sweet Summer Hydrangea, a new paniculata, has broad pink blooms that start off white in the summer but change to light pink through the season. A compact and showy shrub Firefly Nightglow Bush Honeysuckle has bright yellow flowers that compliment its dark red

Red Wall Virginia Creeper

foliage. Another smaller compact shrub Royal Jubilee Ninebark has dark purple foliage with pink/white blooms in the spring. Dark Purple Bloomerang Lilac is slightly larger than the original “Bloomerang” and displays large purple flowers in the spring and then again in the middle of summer to frost. We all have that area in our yard that we'd like to hide or cover up, such as an ugly fence. Red Wall Virginia Creeper is an excellent choice. It grows fast with glossy green foliage turning a bright fire engine red colour in the fall. For year-round green, Baby Bear Cedar, a rich green dwarf upright cedar formerly known as "Skinner’s Dwarf Cedar", holds it’s uniform shape and therefore does not require pruning! Celtic Pride Russian Cypress is a very hardy low growing shrub for the sun or shade and is disease resistance as well. For all you fruit lovers, there is a new apple. Red Gemini is a medium to large red apple that ripens in late August and stores well into the New Year. Honey Queen Raspberry is a yellow raspberry with a sweet honey like flavour.

Celtic Pride Russian Cypress


Baby Bear Cedar


Marlene Heise, Krista Corrigal, Susan Alders, Brett Norrie, Morgan Ashcroft, Brian Currie, Jennifer Seib

We’re right where you are. Let our team help your team. Brandon, MB 204.571.3850 / 1212 18th St.

204.728.7540 |

We measure beauty - one yard at a time.

Landscape Design | Hardscape Installation | Plants | Water and Fire Features Lawn and Garden Maintenance | Snow Clearing | Garden Coaching SPRING 2018 • 29

Available at

Available at



• Precision, non-stick coated blades, soft component for a better grip • 25 year warranty

• Ideal for vines, roses and small branches • Stainless steel lower blade • 25 year warranty



• High performance versatile saw • Harden chrome plated saw blade, made of quality spring steel, impulse-hardened toothing for staying sharp! • Non slip ergonomic handle • Great for a lifetime of yard work • 25 year warranty

• 6.7” teflon coated blade • Gel padding in handles absorbs shock from cutting action, reducing stress on forearms. • 25 year warranty



Classic Bypass Lopper

Garden Saw

Hedge Trimmers

9 Pattern Nozzle • • • •

Bypass Pruner

Thumb control nozzle 9 position spray head Heavy duty hose nozzle Easy to use thumb control for flow and shut off

8 Pattern Telescopic Wand • Thumb control wand • Expandable to 60” • Reach to the back of the flower garden with 8 pattern nozzle head • Easy to use thumb control for flow and shut off



• 6 pattern rotary sprinkler • Adjustable multi pattern gear drive sprinkler • Full or partial circular coverage up to 70’ diameter • 3,800 sq ft coverage

• 5/8” x 50’ long Superior all weather hose • Stays flexible in low temperature • No memory hose will lay flat and coil easily • Aircraft grade aluminum fittings • Drinking water safe

Rotary Sprinkler


Prem-A-Flex Hose




Before they reach your garden, our flowering shrubs undergo years of trials and testing for color, quantity of blooms, cold tolerance, foliage and ability to thrive with ease. Only a few prove they’re worthy of the #1 plant brand.

Green Spot Spring 2018  
Green Spot Spring 2018