Page 1





re insects wreaking havoc in your gardens and yard? Are grubs destroying your lawn?

The solution could be designing your own IPM program and it’s much easier than it sounds... IPM, or Integrated Pest Management, has been a term used in commercial settings for quite some time. Now it is time to bring it into the backyard. IPM refers to taking a natural, multilayered approach to pest problems. Prevention, natural pest control and companion planting are the hallmarks of a good IPM programme.

For instance, if you are having problems with aphids, introduce their natural enemies: lady bugs. Another way to keep a variety of garden pests at bay is to plant marigolds around your garden as they have natural bug deterrents in their scent. Nematodes are microscopic worms that are safe for humans but are effective in controlling a variety of garden and lawn pests. So, if you were to plant marigolds around your gardens, introduce ladybugs and spray nematodes on your yard, you are starting to build a multilevel attack that builds on each other to

Available at

create an environment unconducive to pest populations. If your lawn was being attacked by white grubs, apply nematodes, put out a Japanese beetle trap, and encourage birds, that eat beetles, to live in your area; this is an IPM approach to the problem. Garden warriors such as praying mantis, ladybugs, and nematodes are natural enemies of pest insects and an easy way to introduce natural controls into your yard. Speak to your garden centre professional to see which beneficial insect would be best suited to your situation.



Available at

3.5 kg





MYCORRHIZA: The Exciting New Organic Option for Soil Health


Mason Bees


Celebrate Canada’s 150th with Bountiful Blooms


Sweet Summer Vibes


Fragrant Delight... Rediscovering the Joy of Lilacs


Fashion Headlines


Small Bites Pack a Big Punch


Tropical Oasis


Snip It, Clip It & Trim It - Pruning Landscape Plants


Celebrating our 25th Anniversary


It’s Easy Being Green



This publication may not be reproduced, all or in part, without written consent from the publisher and Art Knapp Garden Home & Fashion. 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 Winners®. 4 • ART KNAPP GARDEN HOME & FASHION - 250-334-3024 - ARTKNAPPCOURTENAY.CA

Owners From the


s another spring is well on its way, we are excited to be celebrating 25 years at our current location this April. It’s amazing to think that we have been able to be a part of the local community for over 25 years! We are proud to call the Comox Valley our home, and are extremely grateful for the years spent here. Thank you to all of our amazing customers, past and present, for the opportunity and support to continue to be able to serve you. It has been a pleasure.

great brands like Nygard, Soya Concept, M Made in Italy and many more, plus some new brand additions. The store is buzzing with the energy of another busy spring ahead.

There has been a lot of great new products arriving weekly at the store. The greenhouse staff are busy receiving great new bedding plants, veggie starters and PROVEN WINNER® annuals. Our fashion department is full of new arrivals from

Happy planting!

If you are unable to make it out to our anniversary weekend (April 8 & 9) we would like to take this time to thank all of our customers for supporting us through the years as we’ve grown and evolved. We look forward to celebrating another milestone anniversary with you all in the future.

Linda & Sylvia Van Hage


from your locally owned and operated Art Knapp. TRANSPLANTING FERTILIZER Art Knapp Transplanting 5-15-5 is a starter fertilizer and plant growth regulator. Dilute with water; this solution provides plant nutrients and helps initiate root development.

BONE MEAL 2-14-0


Always use when transplanting. May be used with Art Knapp transplanting fertilizer for faster root growth. An organic nutrient source for roses, flowers, trees, evergreens, shrubs and bulbs, as well as composts. Promotes healthy and strong root development.

High in phosphorus, which is necessary for setting the fruit and buds, as well as to promote a healthy root system. Art Knapp Fruit Tree & Berry Food is also high in potash, which hastens the maturing process of the seeds and fruit, and improves their quality. Rich in many essential nutrients to promote delicious, plump, full, juicy fruit.


2855 Wentworth Rd., Courtenay, BC SPRING 2017 • 5

HealingHerbs by Linda Van Hage


ost ancient cultures believed plants to be magical, and for thousands of years herbs were used as much for rituals as they were for medicine and food. Growing your own herbs is not only easy, but extremely rewarding. Even if you do not have a large garden,


Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso’ Grosso is great variety to grow for the fragrance. It is a cross between English and Spike Lavender. It is deer and rabbit resistant, as well as drought resistant once established (USDA Zones 5-9). Add some lavender to your favourite sugar cookie recipe or sprinkle on ice cream for a unique taste. Lavender is great to help relieve stress, sleep problems and depression. Its bloom buds can be dried and made into bouquets or placed in sachets. Simply rub or squeeze the dried lavender to release and refresh the scent.

most herbs grow successfully in pots, and many can be brought indoors and supplemented with light so you can enjoy them year-round. In addition to their culinary uses, herbs have healing qualities as well. Here are six of our favourite herbs with these qualities!



This herbaceous perennial herb (USDA Zones 4-9) gets its name from its noticeably lemon-y scent. Lemon balm is an easy to grow herb, but it can spread vigorously so it is best planted in a pot.

A member of the mint family (Lamiaceae), rosemary is a drought tolerant, woody perennial herb (USDA Zones 7-10). It is great for attracting pollinators, and has fragrant flowers.

Tear up some fresh lemon balm or muddle into an ice tea for a refreshing lemon taste.

Add a few sprigs to olive oil for extra flavour in dressings, it also pairs nicely with meats and potatoes

Lemon balm has eugenol and rosmarinic acid antioxidants that fight free radical damage and support brain health and is frequently used in many cosmetics for its soothing effect on the skin.

Rosemary contains eucalyptol which loosens chest congestion, making phlegm easier to expel, and is rich in anti-inflammatory tannins which will soothe a sore throat. It has a lovely woodsy scent that makes a great air freshener as well.

Melissa officinalis

The first cosmetic use of lemon balm goes back to the 1300s when the Queen of Hungary used it to erase fine lines and wrinkles.


Rosmarinus officinalis

Never assume a plant is safe to consume without researching or speaking with your doctor first. Always talk to your doctor if you are on other medications or have health issues. Please remember to not overdo it, as more is not always better!



The sky is the limit when it comes to mint. There are now so many great varieties available from chocolate mint, spearmint and even pineapple mint! Mint is a perennial herb (USDA Zones 3-9) that can grow very vigorously, and is best contained in a pot.

Native to the Mediterranean thyme is a woody perennial (USDA Zones 5-9) that prefers sunny, well-drained coarse soil. Thyme thrives in rock gardens, or can be planted in containers.


Add chopped mint to greek yogurt with lemon for a great spread on wraps or chicken, or use a large harvest of mint for a pitcher of refreshing mojitos. Contains menthol, a natural compound that relaxes pain-inducing spasms. Mint also is great for fighting nausea and aiding in healthy digestion.

Thymus vulgaris

Thyme blends well with lemon, garlic, & basil. Add some olive oil to that blend and you’ve got a great marinade for meats. Recognized since the 1500s for its antibacterial and digestive properties, as well as its fragrance, flavour and ornamental value. High in vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A, thyme can help you fight off a cold or flu.

CILANTRO Corandrum Sativum

Cilantro is a self-seeding tender herb (USDA Zones 9-11) that prefers a sunny and warm location in the garden. Try tearing some fresh cilantro into a salad mix or add to your favourite salsa for an extra kick. The carboxylic acid found in cilantro binds to heavy metals in the blood and carries them out of the body. Removal of the toxins can help relieve chronic fatigue and joint pain.

SPRING 2017 • 7

Creating perfect

Containers? I

t is easy to feel overwhelmed or not know where to start when wanting to create your own flowering annual planter. Perhaps in the past your container has ended up looking lopsided or just not quite right. By following these three easy guidelines you are sure create spectacular planters.




This is the centerpiece plant, your shining star of the container. You will want to select something that grows tall, big and beautiful. If your container will be viewed from all sides you will want to plant in the center; if your container is going against a wall, place towards the back.

The filler is used to add mass and volume to the overall look of the planter. Select foliage or flowering plants that will complement, but not overwhelm your thriller.

The spiller is the plant that cascades over the sides of the planter, and draws your attention downwards. It also hides the lip of the planter and will soften the overall look.

Suggested Thriller Plants:

Suggested Filler Plants:

Suggest Spiller Plants:

Ornamental Millet, King Tut Papyrus, Purple Fountain Grass, Geranium, Dracaena, Ornamental Banana, Canna Lily.

Euphorbia, Coleus, New Guinea Impatiens, Marigolds, Begonias, Dusty Miller, Ferns

Bacopa, Sweet Potato Vine, Alyssum, Calibrachoa, Ivy, Trailing Lobelia.

Plant selection should be based on sun exposure, and your personal preference. Remember “Thriller, Filler, and Spiller” and you’re sure to create an attractive container planter. 8 • ART KNAPP GARDEN HOME & FASHION - 250-334-3024 - ARTKNAPPCOURTENAY.CA

MYCORRHIZA The Exciting New Organic Option for Soil Health We all know it is important to add organic matter to our soils when we plant. Amendments like peat moss, compost, and manure improve the structure of soil. They make it easier for roots to grow, improve drainage, and increase the soil’s capacity to hold not just rain water, but water from irrigation too. All good stuff indeed and you shouldn’t leave the garden centre without them. Wait, there’s more! Exciting new breakthroughs in healthy soil technology are showing us that plants also need a living community of helpers in the soil. Beneficial fungi, beneficial bacteria, and a workforce of soil creatures so small that you can only see them with a microscope are all required for a plant to live a long and healthy life. One of the essential soil helpers plants naturally need to grow is a specialized fungus that colonizes roots and goes out into soil looking for water and nutrients for plants. This fungus is called mycorrhiza. A Pine seedling with and

without mycorrhiza. New products containing multiple species of mycorrhiza have recently been approved for use in Canada. Look for the latest products with these new formulations. Once your plants have mycorrhizal partners, they will keep them for life.

How to turn your yard into a safe and healthy organic oasis: Organic farmers grow plants sustainably; they nurture millions of tiny microbes in the soil to support the natural growth of their crops. Organically certified foods must be grown without any synthetics or chemicals. We can learn from the organic farmer by paying attention to soil health when we plant trees, shrubs, evergreens and perennials. We can now convert our own yards into organic oases, too by putting life back into the soils where we live. By giving the plants in our yard the natural soil partnerships they need to grow and thrive without the use of chemicals or synthetic fertilizers.

STEP 1: Use organic soil amendments, such as peat moss, compost or manure, to improve soil on planting day.

STEP 2: For best long-term results, treat the roots and

soil around your new plants with a mycorrhizal product that contains multiple species – read the label to see.

STEP 3: Only use organic fertilizers and garden products going forward.

Your organic landscape makeover is complete! SPRING 2017 • 9




ver wondered why you get little or misshapen fruit from your trees or spring berries? Quite often the cause is poor pollination. Mason bees can be the solution; they are extraordinary pollinators, 100 times more effective than honeybees. Mason bees have a range of about 100 meters, so they benefit you and your close neighbours. Mason bees are friendly and very educational for kids. Children can stand close to the nest and watch the bees in action. Getting started is easy. In the spring, purchase a mason bee home and bee cocoons and set it up in your yard. Pollination does not cost, it pays. Reward yourself with a bountiful harvest.




Celebrate Canada’s P

with Bountiful Blooms th 150

roven Winners is proud to support your local garden centre in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation festivities in 2017. Your window boxes, patio pots and gardens will be overflowing with patriotic red and white flowers after you visit your local retailer this spring to stock up. You’ll have the option of taking home baskets preplanted with patriotic recipes like those you see here, or you can get creative and plant your own.

Pair plants with similar moisture needs together to avoid drowning out one or starving the other for moisture. If you choose all plants with low moisture needs, you’ll make fewer trips out with the watering can or hose.

SHAPE—You’ve probably heard the saying “thriller, filler,

spiller” when it comes to container gardening recipes. That means you’ll choose one taller plant to showcase in the center of your container, then a fuller mid-sized one for the middle and a trailing plant to spill over the edges. If you are filling a large container, you’ll need more than one plant of each type to fill it up.

Feed Your Flowers!

Love Song recipe for full sun features Superbena® Royale Red Verbena, Superbena® Royale Whitecap Verbena and Diamond Frost® Euphorbia.

Just like people, plants need food to grow too. It takes a lot of energy for plants to produce all those beautiful blossoms, and that energy will come from the plant food you give them throughout the growing season. Pick up some water soluble plant food when you purchase your flowers in spring. Then, every third time you water, feed your plants according to the package instructions. This will ensure they have plenty of energy to keep on blooming all season long.

Choosing Flowers for Container Garden Recipes When choosing flowers to plant up your own patriotic combinations this spring, there are a few cultural considerations you’ll need to keep in mind when you are deciding which plants to pair together.

SUNLIGHT—When choosing plants to

grow together in a container, check the labels to make sure the sunlight requirements are the same for all plants. Grow sun lovers with other sun lovers rather than those that prefer shade to avoid scorching, and ensure all the plants will thrive equally in the container.

MOISTURE—The label usually describes how much

Red, Red Wine recipe for full sun features Supertunia® Black Cherry™ Petunia and Diamond Frost® Euphorbia.

moisture a plant needs to grow: low, average or consistent. SPRING 2017 • 11



ith the days growing longer, our thoughts turn to warmer weather, playing in the garden, and—what else—strawberries! With a few simple tips, you can learn how to grow nature’s candy right in your own yard, and reap the sweet harvest all season long. Decide whether you’re after one large harvest early in the season or several smaller harvests throughout the summer. If you opt for a June bearing variety, plan to have roots planted before mid-May, or before June if using potted plants. Space plants in a row, 12” apart. In the first year, clip off the fruit blossoms to encourage more growth for bumper harvests in future years. Remember to mulch your plants with straw before the winter sets in to keep them cozy for the next season.

For everbearing plants, you’ll find optimal success with raised beds covered in plastic or mulched. Remove the first blossoms from new plants for stronger growth with more fruit for the rest of the season. Everbearers produce heavily in the season and aren’t bred for a Canadian winter so consider replacing plants annually. Adequate watering and feeding with nitrogen and potassium fertilizer is essential for all strawberry varieties to ensure delicious, juicy berries throughout the growing season. Whether you decide to grow your own or get your berries from a local farmer, try these tantalizing, summerlicious recipes that put strawberries on centre stage.

STRAWBERRY MOJITO This delectable sipper is sure to keep you cool while you enjoy a hot summer day on the patio or host a BBQ soiree. Growing mojito mint is a natural choice but there are many unique varieties of mint available in your local garden centre for a twist on this classic drink. 8 strawberries, hulled and quartered 2 cups (500 mL) Sprite, 7-Up or sparkling water 1 cup (250 mL) white rum (optional) 1/4 cup (50 mL) fresh lime juice 16-18 fresh mint leaves Ice cubes 1. Mix lime juice, strawberries and mint together in serving pitcher. 2. Crush ingredients together with muddler. 3. Stir in the rum (optional) and Sprite, 7-Up or sparkling water. 4. Pour mix into glasses with ice cubes and serve. 12

TIP! Try it with strawberry, grapefruit or ginger mint!

NUTELLA INFUSED STRAWBERRY ROLL You heard that right—Nutella. Infused. Strawberry. Roll. Need we say more? Run, don’t walk, to your kitchen and thank us later. 6 egg whites (approximately 250 mL) 2 cups (500 mL) chopped strawberries (or raspberries) 1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy cream 1/4 cup (50 mL) sugar 1/4 cup (50 mL) shredded coconut 1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped pecans Try maple syrup, 1/4 cup (50 mL) Nutella agave or stevia 1 tsp (4 mL) sugar for natural sugar 1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cornstarch substitutes. 1/2 tsp (2 mL) white vinegar


1. Preheat oven to 325°F. 2. Grease a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. 3. Mix the vinegar, cornstarch and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside. 4. In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form and gradually add the ¼ cup of sugar. Continue beating to stiff peaks. Slowly whisk the vinegar mixture into the meringue.

5. Spread the meringue evenly onto a 9 × 13” (23 × 30.5 cm) pan. Sprinkle the coconut and pecans over the meringue. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely. 6. In a separate bowl, whisk the heavy cream and 1 tsp sugar to stiff peaks. 7. Use a knife to release the edges and remove the meringue from the baking sheet. Turn the meringue over onto a parchment lined surface, nut side down. Spread the Nutella (gently preheat in

microwave so it is spreadable) over the meringue and then spread the whipped cream over the Nutella layer. 8. Sprinkle with chopped berries, leaving a little room at one of the short ends to help seal the roll. Starting with the short end with more fruit, roll the meringue into a log, keeping the roll as tight as possible. 9. To serve, cut into slices with serrated knife.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE A Canadian Tradition 1.5 L / 1.5 quarts fresh strawberries 1/2 cup (125 mL) white sugar 2 1/4 cups (530 mL) all-purpose flour 4 tsp (20 mL) baking powder 2 tbsp (60 mL) white sugar 1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) salt 1/3 cup (80 mL) shortening 1 egg 2/3 (160 mL) cup milk 2 cups (500 mL) whipped heavy cream 1. Slice the strawberries and toss them with 1/2 cup of white sugar. Set aside. 2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake pan.

tablespoons white sugar and the salt. With a pastry blender cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk. Stir until just combined. 4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool partially in pan on wire rack. 5. Slice partially cooled cake in half, making two layers. Place half of the strawberries on one layer and top with the other layer. Top with remaining strawberries and cover with the whipped cream.

3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, 2 SPRING 2017 • 13

Fragrant Delight... Rediscovering the Joy of Lilacs by Brian Minter


he unique perfume of lilacs has kept them at the forefront of our favourite garden plants. Their hardiness and ability to grow well in diverse climates have made them an icon in Canadian gardens. The reality of today’s smaller gardens has limited the use of traditional larger varieties and has created a demand for smaller more versatile plants. And ‘wow’, has the nursery industry responded in spades!





The first Canadian-grown Proven Winners ‘Bloomerang’ Lilacs were introduced in 2010, the same year as the Vancouver Olympics, and did they ever rock the lilac world! Hardy to zone 3, these very compact new lilacs produce deep lavender single blooms that fill gardens with their intense perfume in spring and even more amazingly, they repeat that performance

again late summer into fall. If that wasn’t enough, they are very disease resistant and grow well in containers. In the early years of introduction, they were an overnight success story with demand far outstripping supply. As gardeners recognized the importance of this lilac breakthrough, a darker variety called ‘Bloomerang Dark Purple’ was introduced which grows a little more vigorously to about 2 metres (6 ft.) tall with all the same attributes. It too, was an overnight success story. The newest addition to this incredible series is ‘Bloomerang Pink Perfume’. Its highly fragrant, single blooms are lavenderpink and its compact stature, 1-1.5 metres (4-5 ft.) tall means it can be grown in both small and large gardens. This lilac blends in well with other flowering shrubs or can be planted in groups of 3 or 5 for greater impact.


Another exciting new introduction is called ‘Scent and Sensibility’ which is also a repeat-bloomer but lacking the same vigour as the ‘Bloomerang’ series. Its highly perfumed, bright pink flowers are stunning. It grows only 0.5-1 metres (2-3 ft.) tall and spreads 1-1.5 metres (4-5 ft.) making it a perfect flowering shrub for small gardens. Even though the repeatflowering nature of these new introductions has made them incredibly popular, there are some older garden jewels that just can’t be overlooked. Syringa ‘Palibin’, commonly known as ‘Dwarf Korean’ lilac, is one of the classic early-blooming single varieties, with delightful PALIBIN purple-red buds opening to highly fragrant lavender flowers that bloom for weeks. Growing only 1-1.5 metres (3-5 ft.) tall and wide, this lilac has won many international awards and is perfect for gardens needing a spring punch. Another classic, ‘Miss Kim’ lilac, grows 1-1.5 metre (3-5 ft.) tall and flowers later, extending the colour and performance in May

and June gardens. Its lavender flowers are beautiful and highly perfumed. It’s another keeper! Without a doubt, the favourite traditional French hybrid lilacs are MISS KIM the double and single-flowered, intensely perfumed varieties. The hands-down favourite is ‘Charles Joly’, a deep reddish-dark purple double. It embodies all the desired qualities of blossom size, perfume and fullness. There are many great double whites, but the pink buds of ‘Beauty of Moscow’ (Krasavitsa Moskvy) open to the most amazing double white flowers and are reputed to be among the best. BEAUTY OF MOSCOW There are hundreds of varieties of French lilacs and when in bloom, they are truly remarkable. The single varieties are often just as showy in bloom as the doubles. The undisputed champion of single deep purple varieties is ‘Ludwig Spaeth’ with its extra long blooming period in late May. Another eye-popper, CHARLES JOLY ‘Sensation’ has two-toned wine red blooms with white picotee edges. There is no true deep yellow lilac, but for those who love this colour, ‘Primrose’ is a single soft creamy yellow that is quite classy.

There is a growing demand for smaller trees for privacy screens as well as a bit of shade in hot summers and that’s where a Japanese tree lilac comes into play. Hardy to zone 2 and growing about 6 metres (20 ft.) tall, the ‘Ivory Silk’ lilac has beautiful creamy white flowers in late June going into July. They bloom readily on new growth, even as a young tree, and produce flowers that have a light musky perfume. One of the last variety of lilacs to bloom, it is a real treat. It is hard to imagine a garden without lilacs and with such incredible diversity, they can fit any garden size and yes, even adapt well on balconies and patios. IVORY SILK SPRING 2017 • 15

Fashion Headlines by Kim Burns


elcome spring! It’s that wonderful time of the year when the snow finally has melted, trees begin to blossom, and we can pack away our heavy coats and sweaters to embrace a new fashion season. Spring 2017 brings a fresh wave of new styles, including bolder prints, ruffles, slip dresses, midi length hems and athleisure to name a few. Spring is the perfect time to experiment with your style. Fashion’s obsession with athleticinspired clothing (athleisure) is a staple for spring, meaning that leggings and sweatpants will still be considered acceptable to wear outside and not just at the gym. Who doesn’t love being comfortable and right on trend? With athleticinspired pieces popping up everywhere, it seems the comfort of this ongoing trend is way too good to pass up! Florals is a trend that comes around every spring. They might not be new but are nevertheless, versatile. Wear them to the office, on the weekend or for a special occasion. Spring’s florals are bright, splashy and tropical. Florals are all about having fun with fashion and embracing the joy and romance of the season. Perhaps this is why the floral trend is one that just won’t go away. Go for fully in-bloom creations and get ready to feel and look pretty.


This season, there has been a shift to ‘easy elegance.’ A graduated hemline will be your ticket to style! Midi length, ruffles and side slits appear on spring dresses and skirts. Whether your hem is shorter at the front and longer at the back, or longer to one side, just make sure it’s asymmetrical. Who doesn’t love stripes? Get ready to see these classic prints in all sizes and colours on everything from sweaters to knit dresses, sheer fabrics and oversize shirts. Don’t be afraid of an oversized stripe. The thing to note this season is the direction your stripes are moving – use them to your advantage to flatter your form. You didn’t think the cold shoulder was going anywhere did you? Stay flirty and classy and dare to go bare this spring – on your shoulders at least! Off-the-shoulder tops and dresses are a must-have! Fashionforward blouses in structured poplin are staples to pair with everything. Some can even be found with smocking or a ruffle layer. Achieve a different silhouette by layering a tank under the OTS shirt. Midriff tops, peasant and poet blouses and statement sleeves are also must-haves for 2017. Over the past year, no outerwear trend has caught on quite as rapidly as the bomber jacket. This is fashion’s favourite new jacket and takes on a new twist in bold colours and patterns. It’s the perfect layer for a feminine dress or skirt; try an oversized version for the ‘boyfriend vibe.’ Other notable trends are slogan tops with empowering messages and bodysuits. Make sure to have fun layering your jewelry with delicate chain necklaces and chokers.

Available in a variety of colours. - Courtesy of Papa Fashion

Courtesy of Orange Fashion Village

SPRING 2017 • 19


Big Punch By Sylvia Van Hage


ith more people than ever living in small spaces, mini vegetable container gardening is an ideal practice. Get creative by using window and railing boxes, pots, or hanging baskets. You may surprise yourself with the amount of vegetables you can harvest!

practical life skill and be encouraged to eat and try new types of produce, but they will learn how fresh food truly tastes. Container gardening is low maintenance. Ensure you fertilize with an organic fertilizer, water regularly and that your garden receives approximately 6 hours of sunlight a day.

There are many reasons why container gardening with mini vegetables is not only fun but rewarding. Growing organic produce such as kale, lettuce or tomatoes is healthier than most store bought options and can save on your grocery bill. Involve your kids or grandkids, educating them on where their food actually comes from. Not only will they learn a very

Vegetables that are suitable for container gardening are the ones that are cultivated for small spaces -- particularly dwarf or determinate (bush) varieties. Visit your local garden centre and try some of these fun and exciting varieties. Most can be purchased in transplants as well as seeds.

CUCAMELON This fruit is a cucumber, the size of a grape, that looks like a miniature watermelon and tastes like a tangy cucumber. The cucamelon is also called the Mexican Sour Gherkin or Sandiita, which means little watermelon in Spanish.


Some of my favourites are:

PATIO SNACKER CUCUMBER Patio Snacker Cucumber produces prolific yields of small, fleshy, crisp ‘snack box’ sized cucumbers which have great flavour and can be eaten straight from the plant with no need for peeling. It will need a trellis or netting against a wall to vine up. Frequent harvest will encourage production.

THAI DRAGON PEPPER A small, pointed hot red pepper, growing 3-4” long, it matures from medium green to dark red. The Thai Dragon pepper plant grows about 1-2’ high and can produce up to 200 chilies in a single season. Try moving it inside as an attractive ornamental after the gardening season is done.


A compact, upright plant that is ideal for a pot or patio container and produces an average of 60-80 tasty cherry tomato sized fruits. This bush variety is very easy to grow, needing no supports.


This gourmet European selection produces uniform golf ball sized carrots with a nice orange colour and excellent carrot flavour. This cute, petite carrot is ideal for container gardening.


Also known as a candy cane or bullseye beet, its flavour is similar to a purple beet but sweeter. Prepared like other beets its unique pink and white inner rings make it a stand out vegetable. The greens are also edible.


With its chartreuse colour, fractal shape and light nutty flavor, this vegetable is sure to be a conversation topic at your dinner table. It can be substituted for cauliflower in many recipes, and allows you to use a vegetable that is certainly weird and wonderful.

Salad greens like lettuce, arugula, herbs, or any of your favourites thrive in shallow bowls. Create your own seed blend, purchase a pre-mixed package of seeds or even MINI LETTUCE a ready made lettuce bowl BOWL MIX to give you salads that you have grown yourself. When you are ready to harvest, trim the leaves about 2.5 - 3 cm above the base. You can cut the leaves about 3 – 4 times in the growing season, so plant up a number of different combinations to use and enjoy throughout the growing season.

SPRING 2017 • 21


Oasis by Martha Vandepol


ransform your favourite outdoor space into a spectacular tropical oasis with the use of an array of flowering and foliage plants. Many of these leafy, textured and colourful plants require minimal care, can withstand the summer humidity and are a delight to look at all season long. It seems fitting we place such emphasis on botanical home decor, leafy plants and natural settings this year, since the Pantone colour of the year is called “greenery.” Even with this colour palette, not all foliage plants are green: many feature colourful leaves, ranging from sunset reds, oranges and yellows to pretty pinks, creams and striking whites. Planting tropical plants together in a large weather resistant container provides an abundant focal display for your outdoor living space. A good potting soil enhanced with slow release fertilizer will ensure your container gardens thrive all summer long. When creating a tropical garden, do not be afraid to pack plants together for an instant, extravagant effect. Set your foundation by starting your outdoor container garden with a tall Majesty Palm, which adds height towards the back and sets the foundation for something magnificent. This tall dark and handsome plant will provide visual strength to your arrangement. Add a touch of colour beside the Palm with a vibrant, striking red Cordyline plant or a dark red Dracaena, creating depth and interest as it pokes out the sides of the planter. You can create harmony by placing the same plants on the other side of the palm. Another option is to plant a Petra Croton, which has a striking display of orange, yellow and rust tones along its broad leaves. Flower power should thrive in the centre of your planter. Insert a hardy, exotic Hibiscus with frilly, vibrant flowers that come in a vast spectrum of colours. This beauty requires minimal care throughout the summer – just a daily deadhead as each flower usually lasts for only a day or two. Or you can enhance your planter with a drought tolerant Mandevilla plant, whose trumpet shaped flowers provide an endless supply of colour to be enjoyed by hummingbirds and humans alike. Finish the outer edges with cool white and green Spider Plants or any variety of Ivy. To create an instant effect, you can purchase these trailing plants in a larger size pot (6”-10”) and divide them into smaller plants. Tuck these trailing plants along the container’s outer rim where they will cascade in all their glory. To keep them vibrant, make sure to water your planter when the soil is dry to the touch.


If you do not have the time or do not want to get your hands dirty, you can still create your tropical retreat by grouping together your favourite plants in individual containers. These could include a dark green, drought and sun tolerant Kimberly Fern or Sansevieria plant. If a flowering plant is more your style, choose a striking Bromeliad where the flower sits majestically above the curled green foliage. Group single plants in larger pots at different heights in corners, beside your favourite wicker chair or even hanging on your porch. Tuck in a lantern and candle amongst your plants for nighttime ambiance or match the floral and leaf colour with coordinated pillows, napkins and throws.


More adventurous gardeners should not be restricted to leafy foliage plants. Cool succulents are the latest trend, whether nested in a vintage wooden crate, housed in a glass terrarium or hanging in a modern round vessel. Air Plants “Tillandsia� can be another enhancement for your garden retreat. These low-maintenance plants grow without any soil, their roots acting as anchors, securing themselves to driftwood, shells, rocks and almost anything you can imagine. Air Plants absorb moisture and nutrients from the air, and are perfect for a screened porch or enclosure where they can receive the filtered sunlight that they crave.


To create visual barriers from neighbours and to extend your garden upward, hanging planters are the perfect choice for areas with limited space. Depending on sunlight requirements, options include an old fashioned Boston Fern, Wandering Jew plant, or English Ivy. A thriving, full hanging garden can be enjoyed well into autumn. Once your outdoor retreat is complete, these container gardens and tropical plants require minimal care, allowing you the extra time to curl up with a great book in your favourite chair or gather with friends and enjoy the bountiful, colourful oasis you have created.

Croton Petra


Majesty Palm

Kimberly Fern SPRING 2017 • 23


Pruning Landscape Plants By John DeGroot


ike the auto mechanic, nurse, lawyer or interior designer, I can’t go to a function without friends asking me gardening questions. Most are about lawn care. Pruning comes in at a close second. The questions about pruning are usually one of the following: when should I prune and how far back can I prune? The answer to the first is easy. My father taught me that the best time to prune is whenever the pruner is sharp. And while my Dad was mostly correct, I would elaborate by suggesting that anything that flowers should be pruned soon after the flowers drop. Evergreens can be pruned anytime. If you want to mega prune by removing more than half the plant, I recommend doing so early in spring soon after the plant wakes up. As for how ambitious you can get with the pruner, it is safe to say that you can err on the aggressive side. Most plants enjoy a thorough pruning and because the roots aren’t pruned to match the stems, the plant will respond with a vengeance. Evergreens such as Boxwood, Yews, Junipers and Cedars have a strong ability to withstand a drastic pruning. 24

It is usually safe to prune off half its green growth. But if you remove all of an evergreen’s active needles, you will remove the plant’s purpose for life. Large growing evergreens such as Spruce, Fir or Pine need to be treated more gingerly. These conifers will sprout new growth from the ends as well as from within. Don’t remove more than about 50% of the green growth of these conifers unless you are prepared for them to look unsightly for a year or two. And yes, it’s okay to prune off the central leader. Conifers know well enough how to make for themselves a new leader. Spring flowering shrubs such as Lilac, Snowball and Forsythia are tough as nails and will withstand almost any degree of pruning. The same holds true for Burning Bush, Spirea and Weigela. Cut these back as far as you like and whenever you like. They will regrow on the remaining stems but may also send up new limbs from the roots called suckers, which should be cut off. Spring blooming shrubs don’t mind when they are pruned, but do keep in mind that if you prune these in fall or early winter, you will forfeit their blooms for the following spring.

over the winter and the plant practically begs you to cut it down. It takes nerve to chop it so close to the ground but when the job is done, the Clematis will thank you by quickly responding with new growth.

Summer flowering shrubs such as Rose of Sharon and Butterfly Bush are best pruned in fall or early spring. My trick for growing nice Butterfly Bush is to prune the shrub down to 15 cm and allow the shrub to grow. In early May prune again by cutting the green stems down to the size of a large basketball. Allow the plant to grow and prune again in early June. Repeat again in early July. The result will be a tidy compact bush with hundreds of flowers in August. By April, Roses are almost budding, and it is the perfect time for pruning. Use a pair of secateurs and cut canes down to 15 - 20 cm, and make a clean cut just above an outward facing eye or bud. My Clematis by the back door got what it deserved a few weeks ago on a sunny day in February. I removed all the brown stems and chopped it down to just a few inches. Pruning Clematis is easy. Last year’s stems turn quite ugly

Pruning Hydrangeas is tricky because each variety has its own pruning recommendations. Gardeners who prune their Hydrangeas too aggressively in late fall or early spring might expect mediocre bloom performance. For today’s popular Hydrangeas in the Mophead or Lacecap group pruning should be done in late August to ensure good bloom performance for the following summer. Go ahead and remove about a third of the old stems to encourage the younger stems to flourish. For the old fashioned white Hydrangeas such as Annabelle and PG, prune anytime except in late spring or summer. If you are unsure of your Hydrangea type, leave the pruner in the shed for a year and it will surely bloom the following year.

“My father often said that pruning in the wrong way or at the wrong time is better than not pruning at all.”

SPRING 2017 • 25


e are excited and proud to be celebrating 25 years at our current location!

Here’s a bit of the history behind this local family owned and operated business. We hope you can join us on the April 8th and 9th to celebrate with great specials and door prizes! Art Knapp Courtenay began in Prince George, British Columbia. Wil and his brother Jos immigrated to Canada in the mid-1970s and opened their first location in December 1976. Their business continued to grow and thrive and they opened a second Prince George location in 1985. They both married and started their own families during this time and decided it was time to evolve. Wil and his family moved to Courtenay in November of 1990. The first location of Art Knapp in Courtenay was on the corner of Grieve Rd. and North Island Highway (the current location of Eatmore Sprouts). Eventually growing out of the property, we were able to purchase land on Wentworth road (Art Knapp Courtenay’s current location) and start construction. The grand opening of this location was April of 1992 and it has been an adventure ever since. What started as a traditional garden centre slowly grew into the lifestyle,

gardening, home décor and fashion destination we are proud to provide now. Wil’s daughters, Linda and Sylvia, now play an active role in the business, allowing Wil some well-deserved time to enjoy the things he loves. The entire family is proud to celebrate 25 years of business in the beautiful Comox Valley and is incredibly grateful to our amazing customers who trusted us to help provide them great service and products. The demands, challenges and feedback have pushed us to go ahead and improve the best we can. Our success would not be possible without each and every single customer we have had the privilege of serving over the years. Without the support of our amazing team none of this would have ever been possible. Each and every one of our staff plays a vital role in the daily operations of our business. It is their enthusiasm, support and dedication that have brought us to this milestone. Once again, thank you for helping us make the past 25 years successful.



S PE C IAL S Valid April 8 and 9, 2017 only. Cannot combine with other promotions.




2KG FERTILIZERS • 2KG Bonemeal • 2KG Fruit and Berry • 2KG Rhodo and Azalea





REGULAR $12.99











SPRING 2017 • 27

Blueberries by Sylvia Van Hage


lueberries are one of the easiest small fruits to grow. To optimize the success of growing your own blueberries, ensure they are planted in full sun (at least 3/4s of the day). Blueberries like well drained, acidic soil which is rich in organic matter. A PH of about 5.0 is ideal to achieve optimum production. Blueberries are a shallow rooted plant. Because of this, they require more water than most fruits as they will dry out much more quickly. Quality deep watering will ensure they do not dry out. Use a quality fertilizer designed specifically for fruit and berries as it will contain the trace minerals needed for the plant to set its fruit. A great option is Art Knapp Fruit Tree & Berry 4-1917. Fertilizing in early spring and after pruning will ensure your blueberries will have the nutrients to provide you with a bountiful harvest.

Bluecrop is the most widely planted mid-season cultivar in the world. It produces high yields of medium sized, firm fruit with good flavour. The canes tend to be weepy so care should be taken to maintain the shape. It has very good disease resistance. Winter hardy to -25 degrees. Spartan fruit is firm and very large with very good flavour. A late bloom date avoids many frosts, but it still produces a large, early crop. It has some resistance to mummy berry. Requires cross pollination for best yields. Winter hardy to -25 degrees. Top hat produces an abundance of late season pea-sized, light blue fruit with good flavour. A compact dwarf only growing to 1-2 feet high and wide makes this variety ideal for container gardening. Self-fertile and winter hardy to -25.

Some great varieties to try that grow well in our coastal region are: Duke is considered the best early season cultivar available. It has late bloom that avoids many frosts and still produces an early crop. The fruit size and quality is very good. Frost and winter hardy to -25 degrees. Chandler produces late season with very flavourful, large berries. It has a long ripening season over 6 weeks, which is better for hand harvesting. The bush is vigorous with a slightly spreading habit that can reach 1.5 to 2 m high. Winter hardy to -25 degrees.



WREATHS by Sylvia Van Hage


decorative year round wreath is a great way to complete the look of your front door while adding your own signature touch. Perfect for any time of year, front door wreaths add colour and welcome visitors.

have come a long way in the past 10 years, and are often mistaken for real flowers. They’re pre-wired, making them easy to mold and work with and make it possible for you to change up your wreath for different seasons or holidays.

Wreaths are simple to make and fun to change up the look. For a quick year round look try using a grapevine wreath. You can leave part of the form exposed for a rustic country look or cover the entire form for a more uniform classical feel.

The perfect finish to a wreath is always a bow. It just makes a wreath look complete! Pick a ribbon and size which will be complementary to your theme. Don’t be afraid to play with different textures, materials or colours - ribbon comes in a vast array of looks and feels.

Another option is to use live greens and cuts with a wire wreath frame. Make sure to fill the inside with wet floral foam or moss to extend the life of your greenery and cuts. Creating small uniform bundles and then wiring them into place is one method. You could also use larger flowers such as hydrangeas and wire them directly onto the frame. Think of embellishing with difference textures and accent colours. If your preference is a wreath without an expiry, check out your local home and garden store for quality silk flowers. Silk flowers

If you’re not feeling too crafty or run a tight budget on time, a custom made wreath is a service your local home and garden shop can provide. This will allow you to have that custom feel that matches your colour and décor and no one has to know. Using your imagination and tailoring to what you like when picking out materials will have you coming home to a beautiful wreath that’s sure to be a conversation piece amongst your visitors every day.

SPRING 2017 • 29

Available at


It’s EASY C Being Green DECORATIVE WALL HANGINGS are perfect for patio spaces, and will add drama to an otherwise lost space.

elebrating the Pantone colour of the year, Greenery, these gifts and plants inspire us to revive and restore, allowing us to harmonize with nature and the renewal of spring. Green is nature’s neutral and we think of flowing, flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors. As the grass gets greener, and the bulbs start poking through the soil, we feel a sense of excitement to create our own backyard and garden retreats. Adding decorative elements to your outdoor living space will create a cozy, calming environment to enjoy all season long. Bring peace of mind to your outdoor gatherings with a beautiful and reusable WASP TRAP.

LIMELIGHT GREEN HYDRANGEA lives up to its name as a showstopping, elongated midsummer flower.

GREEN POTATO VINE Don’t forget to add this classic “spiller” plant to container gardens and hanging baskets. They are so easy to grow and will look fantastic all summer long.

SUCCULENT PLANTERS are perfect for forgetful gardeners because they are easy to care for – so trendy and modern.

This CHARMING TEACUP can be planted with your favourite herbs, which can be enjoyed in your favourite recipes.

Available at 2855 Wentworth Rd., Courtenay, BC 250-334-3024

Art Knapp Courtenay Spring 2017  
Art Knapp Courtenay Spring 2017