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SPRING 2016

Back to Your Roots • Lift Your Spirits • Attracting Butterflies


Available at


Available at

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Contents

6 Back to Your Roots 9 Chef Terry Multhauf 10 Hidden Gems Of The Garden 12 The Benefits Of Green 14 Perfect Peonies 18 Gardeners In Their Glory 20 The Latest Trend Is Your Trend 24 Taking Your Garden From The Ordinary To The Extraordinary

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This publication may not be reproduced, all or in part, without written consent from the publisher and Minter Country 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 trade mark for use by its members, of which the Garden Centre Group Co-Op is an alliance member. Photo credit to Proven Winners® for a selection of photos provided to this magazine. 4 • MINTER COUNTRY GARDEN • 604.792.6612 • MINTERGARDENING.COM


FROM THE OWNERS

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his year, more than ever, we are dedicated to helping folks discover the deeper value of plants. Yes they are colourful, yes they are beautiful, but they offer so much more than just aesthetic pleasure! Whether it’s growing unsung heroes of the vegetable garden to nourish your body or one or two lush houseplants to better your respiratory health, it’s time to see plants as a means of improving the quality of your life, not just your lifestyle. Numerous scientific reports confirm the importance of plants to how well we live, but watch your child or grandchild excitedly pull the first ripe strawberry off the vine, or marvel at a bee carrying loads of pollen from a flowering shrub you’ve grown, and you’ll truly understand just how vital gardens are to our physical and mental well-being, and to the betterment of the planet as a whole.

Stay in the Know as You Grow! • •

Join our Monthly Email Newsletter Group Visit mintergardening.com for detailed planting guides, complete with troubleshooting tips and more! Find us on Social Media at ‘MinterGardening’

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So this year, when you plant something, make it count. We’re proud to offer the most diverse selection of the best, brightest, newest and most unique plants in the province, so finding that balance between healthy and heavenly, sustainable and show stopping, will be a breeze. As gardeners we love all seasons of the year, but spring is when our passion truly sets alight. We invite you and your family to visit us this season to surround yourself with the positive energy of plants and to meet a team that delights in helping you succeed in your own growing adventures. We look forward to seeing you!

The Minter Family

Not Sure Where to Start?

Call 604.792.3799 to book a complimentary 30 minute landscape appointment with Brian Minter! Whether you’re starting with a new home or waking up a tired yard, together you’ll design the garden that’s perfect for you. 10015 Young Rd. Chilliwack P.604.792.6612 www.mintergardening.com

SPRING 2016 • 5


BACK TO YOUR

O

ROOTS

ONIONS: Used medicinally almost from the time they were cultivated for food, onions possess antibacterial properties, are a source of dietary fiber, vitamins B6 and C, folate, potassium and manganese.

nce relegated to the bottom of the vegetable world, root veggies are making a welcome comeback with foodies and gardeners alike. Easy to grow, good for storing and nutritionally dense because they tend to absorb more nutrients from the soil, they offer great health benefits as a source of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. They are filled with slowburning carbohydrates that make you feel full for longer, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. Their low calorie and high fibre content make them excellent choices for weight loss and overall good health. Root vegetables are also rising stars in the culinary world as there are a myriad of ways to prepare them (raw, sautéed, slow roasted, grilled… you name it)!

‘Walla Walla’ Photo: westcoastseeds.com

PARSNIPS: For a sweeter flavour, plant them later in the season and harvest after a frost. Good source of folate, potassium and vitamin C. Excellent source of fibre. ‘Gladiator’ Photo: westcoastseeds.com

Root vegetables should be planted in full sun in sandy, welldrained soil rich with organic matter (but keep manure out of the potato patch!). Be sure to loosen the soil to a depth of at least 18” so that they have lots of room and sufficient air to grow and will not be oversaturated with moisture.

POTATOES: Harvest early varieties 7 – 8 weeks after planting for ‘new potatoes’ or leave late season ones in over winter! ‘Nicola’ is a relatively new variety that has a low GI, making it a good option for diabetics.

So, if your weekly meal plan has become a bit monotonous, try introducing just a few of the following robust roots. No matter how you slice them, literally, they’ll be a welcome addition to your plate!

‘Yukon Gold’

RADISHES: A super quick crop (as early as 35 days) to grow and all parts of the plant are edible! A very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, folate and potassium.

BEETS: Excellent source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamin C and betaine (a compound essential for cardiovascular health). Young greens can be eaten too.

‘Easter Egg Blend’ Photo: westcoastseeds.com

‘Beet Blend’ Photo: westcoastseeds.com

RUTABAGAS: A turnip-cabbage cross growing wild in Sweden as early as 1620. Both the root and greens are edible. Great source of vitamin C and carotenoids.

CARROTS: Rich with the pigment carotene which the human body processes as vitamin A. Different colours contain different carotenoids, each with their own benefits.

‘Laurentian’ Photo: westcoastseeds.com

‘Rainbow Blend’ Photo: westcoastseeds.com

SHALLOTS: Members of the onion family but with a more intense, refined flavour. A little goes a long way! They contain more phenols and antioxidants than regular onions.

GARLIC: A culinary and medicinal workhorse, garlic has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties and contains many vitamins and minerals.

‘Ambition’ Photo: westcoastseeds.com

‘Red Russian’

SWEET POTATOES: Must be planted as rooted slips in order to reach maturity during our shorter growing season. An excellent source of manganese, copper and vitamins A, C and B6.

HORSERADISH: Contains significant amounts of glucosinolates (cancer fighting compounds). This pungent root packs a powerful punch, but it’s worth it! We also carry wasabi (‘Japanese Horseradish’).

‘Owairaka Red’

TURNIPS: Very low in cholesterol, they are also a good source of vitamin B6, folate, calcium, potassium and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C and manganese.

Photo: westcoastseeds.com

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE: AKA ‘Sunchoke’ for its sunflower-like blooms. Tubers have a flavour similar to water chestnuts and can be eaten raw or prepared similarly to potatoes. Very high in dietary fiber and iron. Photo: westcoastseeds.com

‘Purple Top’ Photo: westcoastseeds.com

These are just some of the hundreds of varieties of ‘incredible edibles’ we have throughout the year at Minter Country Garden!

6 • MINTER COUNTRY GARDEN • 604.792.6612 • MINTERGARDENING.COM


ingredients: the root vegetable (parsnip, beet and carrot), non-hydrogenated sunflower or canola oil and a light dusting of salt. Q: What root vegetable did you work with first? Why did you select this to start with? A: Parsnips. We wanted to bring to market a product that was not already there. We believed parsnips were well suited to our small-batch cooking process that we already used for potato chips. The final product and how it was received proved that parsnips were a good choice!

A Soundbite from Hardbite

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ooking for all the flavour and benefit of root veggies in a grab-and-go package? Dig into a bag of Hardbite chips! Hardbite is a local company creating amazing root vegetable chips with the majority of their produce being sourced directly from Canadian growers. We spoke with Flori Chaykowski, Office Manager of Hardbite, to learn more about their story… Q: What was the inspiration behind creating root vegetable chips? A: The knowledge that consumers want to see variety in their snack food choices. Knowing that today’s consumers are much more health conscious and mindful of the ingredients and foods they are eating, we looked past the potato at other vegetables, specifically root veggies. Q: Why is it so important for Hardbite to work closely with farmers? A: Being closely involved with our farmers and suppliers ensures we use only the best ingredients that meet our ‘natural’ and other claims. Because of these strong relationships we can supply the information needed to meet verification standards, such as for our Non-GMO verification process. Q: What has the response been between potato vs. root vegetable chips? Has it been hard to convert die-hards? A: The response has been great! Root veggie chips have been received exceedingly well, and if anything it has given our potato chip fans an added snacking option and expanded our brand awareness. At demo events, when folks have the opportunity to sample our products, some are eager to try them and others more hesitant, but the majority are pleasantly surprised by the natural sweetness of our chips. They are further rewarded when they learn that all of our root veggies are Non-GMO verified and contain only three simple

Q: What has been the most challenging vegetable to work with? A: Beets. Each vegetable has its own unique characteristics, but beets were probably the most difficult due to their higher sugar content [than potatoes] and longer cooking time. To work around these characteristics we added another step in the cooking process to give them more crunch. Q: How have you managed to maximize the incredible flavour and texture of your chips? A: We take note of the characteristics of each vegetable, plan accordingly with input from our fry team and, of course, trial and error. We are lucky enough to know people who understand the frying process who have guided us along the way, but there was also a lot of standing next to the fryer with a clipboard and eliminating what didn’t work. Q: What has been the greatest achievement in your mind so far? A: The greatest achievement will always be our loyal customer base and the constant growth we have seen in this area due to that loyalty. Aside from that, achieving our Non-GMO verified status on our Natural Potato Chips, Lightly Salted Parsnip, Beet and Carrot Chips. It is important to us to have this verification to show that we are who we say we are and do what we say we’ll do. Q: Having won awards and taste tests, what’s next for Hardbite? A: We will continue our high standards of producing the best chips on the market. We are expanding our production facilities and offices this year to meet the product demand and we may be adding to the root vegetable line, and perhaps a new potato chip flavour. Details are to be confirmed and we wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise, so stay tuned to Hardbite to find out! For more information on Hardbite, visit them at www.hardbitechips.com. And yes, they are available for sale at Minter Country Garden!

We’re proud to grow the following varieties and they are ready for sale by late May!

SWEET

S

POTATOES!

weet potatoes need warm air and soil temperatures, so hold off planting until mid to late June. Sweet potatoes mature approximately 90-100 days after setting out transplants. ‘Georgia Jet’ is typically the earliest to be harvested.

Georgia Jet: Red-purple skin, orange interior. One of the most popular varieties for northern gardens as it is very productive, early to ripen and tasty. Good sized roots boast very moist flesh. B18: Orange-pink skin, pale yellow interior. A Canadian variety with excellent flavour and smooth texture. Produces good yields of small/medium sized tubers. Consume soon after harvesting. Korean Purple: Purple skin, white interior. An Asian heirloom variety that is milder than other types but with a subtle chestnut/clove flavour when cooked. Excellent yields. Stores well.

Tainung 65: Deep pink/red skin, yellow interior. An experimental variety from Taiwan that provides exceptional yields. Large, firm, dry tubers have a mild flavour. Stores well. Toka Toka Gold (Gold Kumara): Yellow skin, deep yellow flesh streaked with orange. From New Zealand. Large tubers offer smooth texture and sweet taste. Good storage capability. Compact, productive plants. Owairaka Red (Red Kumara): Red-purple skin, creamy white interior. New Zealand’s traditional, and most popular, kumara. Firm texture and lovely mellow taste. Holds its shape well when cooked.

SPRING 2016 • 7


MOST DRAMATIC FOLIAGE: 1. ZZ Plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) 2. ‘Limelight’ Dracaena 3. Nephthytis (new varieties) Most houseplants need good drainage and must be planted in pots that have holes so excess water can run off. Some decorative pots do not have drainage holes and should be used only as a container for the growing pot. High quality soil is essential and should meet the following criteria: it must be sterilized; it should contain porosity materials, such as perlite or pumice, to allow oxygen to penetrate in and around the roots and to ensure good drainage; and it must have moisture retention capabilities.

Photo Credit: sheurich.com

HEALTHY HOUSEPLANTS

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haring your interior living space with a lush selection of beautiful tropical plants will not only enrich the décor of your home, it will also ameliorate the air quality. Easy-care and inexpensive plants like chrysanthemums, peace lilies, golden pothos, dracaenas (red margin specifically), Chinese evergreens (aglaonemas), philodendrons, ficus benjaminas and spider plants will help remove toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and trichloroethylene. Even phalaenopsis orchids, known for their beauty, remove xylene and toluene. How sweet is that?

Knowing how to water correctly is critical to the well being of your houseplants. This is where most of us get into trouble. Saturated soils dry out slowly and often cause root rot and the demise of the plant. The best way to tell if a plant needs watering is by lifting the pot and feeling its weight. If it feels heavy, the plant does not need water. If it feels light, the plant is dry and should be watered. Water well with warm water, then let the plant dry out moderately between waterings. During the growing season, March to September, immediately after each watering, feed your houseplants with a 20-20-20 fertilizer (with micronutrients) mixed in water. Be sure to check the container directions for the correct ratio.

Science has also shown that having plants in one’s environment will improve cognitive thinking, help relieve depression and increase a sense of well being and happiness. Caring for and nurturing plants is a form of therapy, a counteraction to today’s fast-paced, electronics-driven world. Some houseplants perform better than others under certain conditions or for specific situations such as: LOW MAINTENANCE: 1. Sansevieria (Mother-In-Law’s Tongue) 2. Pteris Ferns 3. Spider Plants LOW LIGHT: 1. Philodendrons 2. Peace Lilies 3. Dracaenas BEST FLOWERING TROPICALS: 1. Bromeliads 2. Anthuriums 3. Phalaenopsis Orchids 8 • MINTER COUNTRY GARDEN • 604.792.6612 • MINTERGARDENING.COM


CHEF

TERRY MULTHAUF What drew you to Pacific Cuisine?

Strangely enough, I wasn’t much of a seafood guy growing up in California, as it wasn’t something my family ate a lot of. After moving to Vancouver and being hired to Joe Fortes Restaurant, which is about 85% seafood, I was exposed to everything seafood, and discovered this new cuisine. I realized this is what fresh fish was supposed to taste like. Shortly after, I also acquired a job at Albion Farms & Fisheries to broaden my knowledge.

About Chef Terry Multhauf

Born and raised in California, Chef Terry Multhauf moved to the West Coast as a young adult. With a strong passion for cooking, Chef Multhauf has seen the industry from all angles, participating in sales, teaching at a culinary school, and cooking at a number of high-end restaurants in the Vancouver area. He has developed a simple, elegant and satisfying cooking style with a strong belief in enhancing the flavour of fresh, quality ingredients. Quality does not have to be complicated and Chef Multhauf’s style is a great example of this!

What is your favourite seafood to work with? Why?

Halibut cheeks are an often overlooked delicacy. Cheeks have an amazing texture and flavour and their size makes them ideal to work with.

What is your best advice for selecting seafood for home?

Buy fresh! Forge a relationship with your counter person or supplier. Search out a reputable purveyor and learn from them. If they can teach you something chances are they’ll turn you onto something you may not know about or have never tried.

What kind of flavors do you gravitate to for seafood? Fresh and simple! Lemon, cilantro, butter. No complicated seasonings. Less is more. I try to enhance the flavour of the product as opposed to masking it. The halibut cheeks with some brown butter, fresh salt and pepper and cilantro will really help the flavour of the fish come through, enhancing it instead of overtaking it.

What are some beginner friendly seafoods or fish for those who are a little bit shy?

Trout is a great one. It’s not super fishy and the mild flavour appeals to a lot of people. Fresh trout is easily accessible in landlocked areas and is quick to prepare. For an 8-12 ounce trout, a 5 minute pan sear is more than adequate. Try it with some brown butter, lemon, salt, and pepper to enhance flavour.

Grilling, poaching, baking, or frying? What’s best?

Although I really like the added flavour of the grill, I would have to go with pan frying if I had to pick one. Many people may not have access to a good grill, and pan frying is quick, easy, provides great flavour and gives you the ability to put a nice sear on the outside. A hint for pan searing: since not everyone has a good non-stick pan, a piece of parchment paper cut into the shape of the pan with some oil will instantly transform into a non-stick surface. Great for some of the white fish, such as cod or sole, that can sometimes easily flake apart.

West Coast Salmon Cakes with an Arugula & Pumpkin Seed Pesto Mayo Salmon Cakes 1 lb. fresh BC Coho Salmon, roughly chopped but not too small 4 oz. fresh BC Coho Salmon, pureed in a food processor 1 bunch Green Onions, finely chopped 1 tbsp. Parsley, finely chopped 1 tbsp. Mayonnaise 1/2 Fresh Lime, juiced 2 pinches Sea Salt 1 pinch Black Pepper, freshly ground Olive Oil for pan searing Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands. Form by hand into 6 equally sized cakes approx. 1 inch thick. Store in the refrigerator while you put together the Arugula Pesto Mayonnaise. Pan sear over medium heat in a small amount of Olive Oil until interior temperature of 145°F is achieved. Serve with Arugula & Pumpkin Seed Pesto Mayo.

Arugula & Pumpkin Seed Pesto Mayo 1/2 cup Fresh Arugula Leaves, stems removed 1 heaping tbsp. Parmesan Cheese 1 Garlic Clove 2 tbsp. Roasted & Salted Pumpkin Seeds 2 oz. Olive Oil Pinch of Sea Salt 1 cup Mayonnaise Combine all ingredients except for Mayonnaise in a food processor and puree well. Mix into Mayonnaise and serve with Salmon Cakes. SPRING 2016 • 9


HIDDEN GEMS I

of the GARDEN

by Sylvia Van Hage

n our eagerness for spring colour it is easy to overlook the late-bloomers, but the plants in this selection are worth the wait. They will wow you with their late-season impact! Many of these plants are beginner friendly, low maintenance, and sure to please the eye.

Caryopteris (Blue Beard Shrub): This low-growing,

Canna Lily: The Canna is a rhizome perennial, with beautiful iris-like flowers and tropical paddle shaped leaves. Flower colours range from brilliant red and orange to sunny yellow but there are also white and pink varieties. Foliage can be variegated, green, maroon or bronze which adds extra drama and excitement. Cannas are surprisingly easy to grow and their long lasting blooms and large foliage are sure to impress. They generally bloom from early summer through to first frost. Canna lilies are a favourite of gardeners who add them to planter pots for a majestic, exotic look later in the summer months. Hydrangea Paniculata “Limelight”: This late-summer blooming, vigorous, upright, deciduous shrub grows 6-8’ tall and wide. Known for producing large, dense, upright, coneshaped flowers up to 8” across which change colour from creamy white to a chartreuse lime, then fade into rosey pink and beige tones. As an additional bonus, as the flowers finish blooming, the dark green foliage turns an attractive shade of red. Flowers may be cut for fresh arrangements and are ideal for drying. Once dry, the blooms are perfect for fall planters and winter urns. 10

sun-loving, 2-3’ shrub is covered with fragrant, powder blue flowers in late summer and early fall. The foliage is silvery green and leaves are 1-2” with a slight eucalyptus fragrance. Caryopteris can be cut back to within a couple inches of the ground in winter or very early in the spring to encourage dense, tightly branched new growth. If needed, additional light pruning can be done in late spring or early summer for shape. Caryopteris blooms on new growth, so pruning does not affect flowering and it does attract butterflies and bees.

Cyperus Papyrus (King Tut Grass): This award-winning, heat tolerant, sun loving grass is an easy pick for anyone’s garden. This is a great plant to introduce children to gardening because they can see how it rapidly grows to 4-6’ tall and 3-4’ wide in just one season! How exciting it is to watch this plant mature, with its bright green, smooth, rounded culms (flowering stems) that require no deadheading. King Tut Grass has wonderful versatility as it can be planted in the garden, in pots, along the water’s edge of a pond or even right in it!


Colocasia (Elephant Ear):

This versatile plant provides a bold, tropical showstopping effect to nearly any landscape or planter design. Colocasia are commonly grown for their large, tropical-looking foliage which resembles the ears of an elephant and ranges in colour from rich emerald green to black or brown and even chartreuse gold. The plant can grow up to 5’ tall, with leaves up to 4’ wide and 5’ long! Colocasia are heavy feeders and do well in rich organic soil and compost material. Think more water, more nutrients, more plant. This is a plant that is sure to please!

Weigela “Wine & Roses”: Rosy pink flowers pop against beautiful dark foliage, making for a high impact statement piece in any garden! Wine & Roses blooms in late spring and reblooms throughout the summer for season long colour. The trumpet shaped flowers are not just a favourite of ours, but hummingbirds as well. This weigela is also deer resistant.

Clethra: Clethra

Viburnum “Brandywine”: This North American native shrub puts on a 3 season show with beautiful white flowers in the spring, transitioning to breathtaking pink. It has blue fall fruit and is self fertile. In the fall, this viburnum will have foliage that will transition from green to a stunning wine red, and it is also deer resistant.

Rudbeckia “Goldsturm”: This free-flowering perennial

boasts masses of yellow flowers with black centres amongst deep green foliage. The rudbeckia blooms midsummer to midfall, makes beautiful borders and is excellent for cut flowers. This plant tolerates hot, humid summers and does well in drought conditions.

is a shrub that may be deciduous or evergreen and is often grown for its honey-like fragrance. Cup-like flowers are white to yellow-white or pink, and grow on spikes up to 4” long. The Clethra’s bloom time is mid to late summer. Foliage is dark green in summer and turns yellow to orange in the fall before dropping.

Sedum “Dazzleberry”: This sun-loving, early-blooming sedum bears large clusters of bright pink flowers up to 9” in diameter from late spring to early fall. A great option for slopes, green roof systems or ground covers, it will spread to form colourful clumps. Its smoky blue-grey leaves are disease resistant and hold their colour from spring to fall. The Dazzleberry Sedum also attracts butterflies and bees.

SPRING 2016 • 11


The Benefits of Green

THROUGH HORTICULTURAL THERAPY by Karin Vermeer

Let me tell you about a therapy that so many of us gardeners engage in but have no idea that there is a name for! Horticultural therapy (HT) or therapeutic horticulture is the use of gardening and plant-related projects to improve people’s physical, cognitive, emotional and social functioning. The field of horticultural therapy is vast. People in the garden and plant industries, and gardeners such as ourselves, need to understand that we must give everyone the opportunity to enjoy plants and growing things, harvest plants they have grown, or pick a bouquet of flowers. Perhaps it needs to be presented in a different way than we have in the past; there are always many opportunities to bring green spaces into areas accessible to everyone. It can start with children, by teaching them how to plant a seed or nurture a plant, and by allowing them to discover where vegetables come from by growing something from scratch. Or through an elderly parent, by making it possible for them to garden by providing a raised bed in which they can grow some of their prize winning tomatoes! Here are some of the benefits to people of all ages when we enable them to garden;

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hhhh, it’s spring! That smell of the earth awakening after a season of cold and dormancy is so fresh and good. It just does something to your soul. We are able to enjoy another season of the world coming alive with brilliant greens and vibrant colours. The feeling you get when you step into a garden and smell the plants and earth doesn’t leave you as you age or if you have a handicap. We all need the benefits we receive from plants throughout our lives.

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• builds up self esteem in that no matter their age, disablility, or cognitive awareness, they can nurture a plant to grow and bloom • develops a love for plants and the desire to try to grow different varieties • creates the ability to socialize with others in sharing a common interest • provides an outlet for creativity in being able to create something beautiful whether that is a garden or a fresh flower centrepiece • allows us to enjoy time spent with others and plants!


Through plants and nature, we can share sensory stimulation. Using the five senses is a very important part of horticultural therapy. We as gardeners are very engaged in using our senses, often without even realizing it! How could we plant hyacinths and primulas without smelling their sweet fragrance? Or plant an herb pot without tasting and smelling the basil or rosemary? Using our senses is often a trigger for those with cognitive disabilities, helping them remember that certain flowers and plants have wonderful characteristics, fragrance and taste. It’s been proven in hospitals and other health facilities that if patients/residents have access to a green space, their hospital stay is reduced and their recovery is much quicker. Everything we do in HT activities is for the betterment and wellness of the resident/client. If they can enjoy longer periods of time gardening or being focused on a task, then we have been successful. If we can give them even a few moments that they can clearly understand what is happening around them (in the case of a person suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s)

understand the benefits and will want to participate, even if not actively, in creating a green space. There are those who have no desire to garden, however we all need access to green spaces for calming, relaxing, and restorative effects. Are you new to gardening or growing plants? Find someone to mentor you! Join the local horticultural society or garden club. Gardeners and plant lovers are some of the nicest people I know and I’m sure they would love to share their plant knowledge with you. Go ahead, grow a plant!

then we are helping them. If we can help them be socially appropriate and build up strength in areas of weaknesses, we are doing something good for them. Our job is to help them enjoy an improved state of mind and body in whatever stage of life they are in. How can we communicate this to the next generation of non-gardeners? I believe once they start to garden, many will

Karin Vermeer is a plant and gardening specialist in Niagara and she works in two different ways. She works at people’s homes, to help them create an ideal outdoor space. And she works in therapeutic settings, bringing plants and gardening to the elderly, those with brain injuries and others who benefit from being around growing things. She can be reached at www.karinvermeer.ca. Sign up to receive her monthly e-newsletter.

SPRING 2016 • 13


Paeonia Festiva Maxima

Perfect Peonies

A Touch of Class

by Sylvia Van Hage

Peonies like to be grown in deep, fertile, well-drained soil with a neutral pH. Choose your location carefully as peonies do not like to be transplanted or disturbed and do not compete well with other trees or shrubs for food and moisture. Provide shelter from strong winds, and space three to four feet apart to provide adequate air circulation. Peonies bloom best in full sun, but will tolerate part shade. Peonies usually need a few years to establish themselves, and thrive when ignored. They do not require much care in the way of feeding. Fertilizing should occur in spring, once the plant reaches about 3-4” tall, before the leaves begin to open. A low nitrogen fertilizer such as 5-10-10 is recommended to support strong blooms and avoid excessive foliage. Often the stems are not strong enough to support the huge blooms and the use of peony rings or a support that will allow the plant to grow through the centre is recommended. Deadheading as soon as the blooms begin to fade is also recommended, as is cutting the foliage down to the ground in the fall to prevent overwintering diseases. The sky is truly the limit with peony varieties. There is a vast range in flower shape, colour and foliage. Some interesting speciality varieties include fern leaf peonies which have an airy, fern like foliage and bloom with short stems, making it appear as if they’re just

“The fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers, a rare fusion of fluff and majesty, the peony is now coming into bloom” Henry Mitchell, American Writer (1923-1993)

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eonies are hardy, herbaceous perennials, long lived and often fragrant. Their beauty is unsurpassed and they make wonderful cut flowers. Stunning in bloom with lush foliage all summer long, they require little maintenance as long as they are planted properly and become well established. For success, plant peonies in full to part sun and cover them with about 1” of well-drained soil. Peonies do well in colder winters as they need the temperature to drop to successfully form buds for the following season. 14

Sorbet


sitting on the foliage. Tree peonies are another unique variety, different from a classic herbaceous peony in that they are actually a woody shrub and reach an average height of 4-5’. Itoh peonies are a hybrid between the herbaceous and tree variety. With large blooms and foliage like the tree peony, their stems die back in the fall and must be cut back like the herbaceous peonies. A few truly classic herbaceous peonies are ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ (pink), ‘Karl Rosenfield’ (deep red), ‘Alexander Fleming’ (bright pink), ‘Sorbet’ (a pink/ivory ombré) and ‘Festiva Maxima’ (white). These varieties all offer

Music Man

large, fragrant, double blooms and are taller prototypes, growing up to 34-38” tall and making their long stems ideal for cut flowers. Don’t allow the beauty and complexity of this amazing perennial to intimidate you; once established, peonies are surprisingly easy to grow and disease resistant, making them ideal for the novice gardener. Blooms are sure to be a conversation piece either in your garden or as cut flowers in your home, making them a truly rewarding experience to grow.

Alexander Fleming

Sarah Bernhardt

Karl Rosenfield SPRING 2016 • 15


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SPRING 2016 • 17


Gardeners in their Glory at Ste Anne’s Spa

By Shannon Lavigne

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estled in the rolling hills of Southern Ontario an ancient castle rests majestically, awaiting guests from around the world to come and indulge in a stay free of technology and abundant in beautiful gardens, superior spa services and relaxing activities that help rejuvenate and replenish the soul, transporting them back to a time when guests were treated both like royalty and family friends.

Jane Owen, whose parents Robert and Sarah Blaffer owned the property from 1939 until 1981, is said to have named her family’s summer home Ste. Anne’s after Sainte Anne de Beaupré, the patron saint of Canada, because of her family’s belief in “divine healing and in the protection of our saints”. Much of the beauty and tranquility that surrounds Ste. Anne’s is a result of the work done by Darlene O’Connor and Debbie Turk, the resident gardeners. Having both worked at the spa for 12 years, they agree that bringing beauty and imagination to the gardens they care for is a mission to be embraced with passion. It is a busy life being a gardener at Ste. Anne’s, with a rose garden, perennial garden, kitchen garden and a new meditative labyrinth to care for. However, both are quick to say that it is an act of love to create and maintain something that brings peace to those who visit. Their pride is abundant when guiding their guests on garden tours, held three times a week, seasonally. 18

Flowers have always been prominent at Ste. Anne’s and the English Garden style was a favourite of Sarah Blaffer. As such, the distinct characteristics of this type of gardening, which emerged in England in the early 18th century, were a part of the surroundings during her tenure as the owner. Debbie and Darlene, along with Jim Corcoran, the current owner, all agree that the shrubbery, graveled walks and eye-catching flowers that sweep and sway in the beds of the garden are an important part of why guests find comfort, solace and relaxation walking through them.

While many garden centre visitors ask the staff if there is any way to not have to deadhead their flowers, Debbie and Darlene agree that deadheading is one aspect of caring for their gardens that they most enjoy. Their philosophy is simple: in doing so they help other flowers that may have gone unnoticed to ‘pop’ and allow all of their flowers to bloom better. They work through this process every two weeks, ensuring that everything is always looking its best. When asked what their favourite part of gardening is, they are quick to respond that they love it all. Flowers from their meticulously cared for gardens are used in bouquets and arrangements found around the facility.

While beauty and serenity are foremost in the minds of the owner and staff at Ste. Anne’s, the gardens in particular have multiple purposes. Debbie and Darlene work directly with Ste. Anne’s chef to create a kitchen garden that will provide the spa with delicious organic vegetables and herbs that are used to create the sumptuous meals served to visitors. In maintaining the commitment to organic and natural ingredients, Ste. Anne’s gardens are untouched by chemicals. The rose garden and rose field are favourites of visitors due to their beauty and scent. Rosa rugosa shrubs originally planted


when the Blaffers owned the property are still in existence, along with another 300 plants recently added to accommodate the Ste. Anne’s Skin Nourishment line used and sold at the spa. Rose extract is used in nearly every product in the line.

These talented gardeners traveled to Washington to learn the art of distilling, in order to know what to grow to continue providing the spa with the essential extracts used in the Skin Nourishment line and during spa treatments. Debbie and Darlene both feel this has diversified their jobs and challenged them to create the best gardens. While many gardeners spend their non-gardening months planning and sketching the perfect garden, these two gardeners believe in the ‘random is best’ philosophy. They plant where they see a need and if things need to be moved, it is just another part of creating the random perfection they are so skilled in achieving. And just like so many of us, they are avid lovers of Pinterest, and often find themselves hunting for new ideas that will complement or add dimension to what they have already planted. Their newest project, the Serenity Garden features a rock fountain, flowers, a fire pit and a labyrinth. This gardening team is always adding and changing in line with their philosophy of rebirth and renewal. Allowing the garden to grow and change

provides the guests who walk through the ultimate peace they are looking for. So what’s next for this amazing duo? They plan to explore beekeeping and the benefits it would provide the spa, along with creating a tea garden. And while Debbie and Darlene are extraordinary gardeners who spend their days digging in the soil, deadheading, moving plants and discussing what is best for the gardens, they are very much like the weekend gardener. They love to shop at a variety of local garden centres, as this is very much in line with the philosophy at the spa: they support local. They learn from local gardeners, trade tips and advice and love to talk about what they are doing and what they are imagining. They love to make their own planter pots and they too keep a journal from year to year, reflecting on what worked, what didn’t, what to keep, what to change and why. Like many of us, the highlight of spring is getting back into the dirt, planting flowers and getting the kitchen garden started. In the fall, it’s the thrill of the harvest and the success of the vegetable garden they have cared for and waited on all summer. In the end, while many of us wish to have the dream job of working in the garden all day, we are lucky to have access to beautiful flowers, fresh herbs, seeds, starter vegetables, knowledgeable garden centres and knowing that when we walk through the doors we are with people who can’t wait to get their hands in the dirt! Ste Anne’s Spa 1009 Massey Road, Grafton ON K0K 2G0 905-349-2493

Happy Planting!

ONE OF DARLENE’S FAVOURITES

or

Darlene O ’Conn

Cone F lower

ONE OF DEBBIE’S FAVOURITES

Debbie Turk

Perennial Poppies

SPRING 2016 • 19


the

LATEST TREND

is YOUR

TREND

F

inding fashion inspiration can be challenging, with trends changing overnight and the seasons blending together. We live in a virtual world, where social media plays a huge role in inspiring our inner Fashionistas and helps us stay updated with current trends. Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, as well as other platforms, are full of creative fashion ideas for any style at any age. Here are a few of the many sweet styles that are trending into Spring/Summer 2016!

Flared Jeans – Bohemian 70s

Move over, skinnies! This season, the flared silhouette is a must-have. Your favourite 70s fashion is back and you can rock the retro look by pairing your denim with earthy warm tones, ivy green, canal blue or fiery coral. Add suede or fringe accents, grab a dip dye tank or blouse or even a macrame sweater for that festival vibe. Tassels are the perfect detail on any outfit, while laser cut fabric adds elegance and style. Find your inner bohemian as you play the part of a lady.

A Pop of Colour

Brighten up your neutrals with a softer pop of colour this spring. For the first time since its SERENITY Pantone #15-3919 inception 16 years ago, Pantone chose a blend of two shades as ROSE QUARTZ Pantone #13-1520 its 2016 Colour of the Year: Rose Quartz and Serenity promote balance, connection, order and peace. The other brilliant colours highlighted this season are Buttercup (a happy sunny yellow), Fiesta, Green Flash, Iced Coffee (an earthy soft taupe), Lilac Grey, Limpet Shell (a crisp, clean light blue), Peach Echo, Snorkel Blue and Luminous Mint (a fresh pistachio mint hue). These colours are a great choice for the times, especially for those looking to unwind from life’s frantic pace and find feelings of relaxation and calm. 20

Oriental Blooms

Floral in spring? Totally predictable, right? In an effort to change things up, the Flowers of the Orient theme, a new take on an old favourite, is reworked with a modern twist. Visualize orchids morphing into animal prints and extra large single blooms dominating, for a floral look with added drama. Sheer fabrics, botanical lace, stylish embroidery and perforated textiles are trending this season and will add class to any look.

Rio

The 2016 Summer Olympics are being hosted in Brazil, a beautiful country famous for its carnivals and vibrant with bursts of colour and texture. This season’s look is based on the excitement of these celebrations, with their bright, bold colours and patterns. To avoid looking costume-like, look for long, flowing garments, floaty and silky with elements of bold prints and colours covering sections within an outfit.


Accessories

It’s no surprise that the whimsical nature of this season’s fashion trends has been incorporated into your favorite accessories. Handbags are receiving playful zipper add-ons, as are everything from youthful key chains to furry pouf balls (all removable if that isn’t your style)! Backpacks have also been given a makeover and are now available in grown-up versions. The new backpack is structured, sleek and smooth and can be worn in many different ways. Other key items to watch for are shoulder grazing extra long earrings (mismatched if you’re brave enough), classic chunky chain statement necklaces, ornate headbands and cocktail rings with intricate patterns and natural stones. No matter what style you choose, stay true to yourself and your body. Never follow anyone else’s style simply because what suits others, may or may not suit you. Everybody has a unique silhouette. Learn it, embrace it and adorn it in the right way. Kim Burns, Fashion Buyer, Art Knapps Port Coquitlam, BC

SPRING 2016 • 21


LIFT YOUR

Spirits I

magine… hearing the call of that first field-ripe strawberry beckoning you to take a bite, breathing in the heady aroma of plump juicy blackberries, picking a silky smooth dewkissed cucumber first thing in the morning and savouring the sweet/tart flavour of the bluest blueberries on your tongue. The ripening of summer crops is one of the most sensory events that happens in a garden, and luscious, ready-to-eat produce really does arouse the senses. Now imagine… the intoxicatingly delicious flavour of fruit, berry and herb-infused spirits. Infusing is an easy way to create unique libations and impress your friends. More sophisticated than sangria, these DIY recipes are quick to make and not nearly as involved as making your own fruit wine. They also make wonderful hostess gifts and will be the hit of any backyard BBQ. First, choose your spirit. Vodka is usually the go-to here, but white rum, tequila, brandy and gin would work equally as well. You don’t have to splurge on highend brands, but a good middle-of-the-road selection is better than a lesser quality brand. You don’t need a large amount: 250-500ml of spirits is a good starting point. Once you’ve mastered the process, try larger batches if you are serving a crowd but as a general rule, rotating smaller batches will keep your stock fresh. Second, select your flavour. As is true with any culinary endeavour, use what’s in season as it is sure to taste the best. Just take a walk through your garden to see what inspires you. Use only fully ripened/mature fruits and herbs though to maximize the flavour potential of your beverage. Clean and prepare your fruit by removing skins and peels, stems, cores etc. and cut it up into pieces.

22

Third, bottle it up! Place fruit into a clean, re-sealable glass container, top with the alcohol of your choice and place it in the fridge. Try to remember to swirl the container every few days to keep the flavours moving. Depending on the intensity you’re after infusion time can take anywhere from a couple of hours (i.e. for hot peppers) to a month, but you can generally plan on the process taking about two to three weeks. Please note that many infusions will make the liquid look ‘murky’, and herbs and fruit will discolour as they break down. This is all part of the process and, though it may not be pretty, the end result will be divine! Once you’re content with your concoction, remove the fruit and strain the liquid into a clean re-sealable glass container and enjoy. If there are any leftovers they can be stored in the fridge. For a ‘Pinterest-worthy’ hostess gift (or a Father’s Day present with a kick) use mason jars and gift tags tied with jute and a sprig of rosemary. Here are some easy combinations to try: • Cucumber and star anise gin • Rosemary gin • Raspberry vodka • Strawberry and mint tequila • Fig bourbon

Cheers!

Jo-Ann C, Lisa G & Lisa MB from Minter Country Garden


SPRING 2016 • 23


TAKING YOUR GARDEN FROM THE

Extraordinary

ORDINARY TO THE

By Darrell Boer & Lynne Warren

S

pring is in the air, the grass is getting green, and our thoughts escape to the sights, sounds and scents of our garden retreats. As the first bulbs peek ever so cautiously above the fresh earth and our sunny forsythia reaches for the sky, we realize how ever changing this little piece of heaven that we call our garden really is.

Looking ahead to the coming season, our imagination takes us to all the ways we can enhance the character of our outdoor living room and take it from being ordinary to extraordinary. The following ideas are just a few simple and often inexpensive ways to do just that.

SIT BACK AND RELAX

Whether you are looking to create a casual seating area, a sophisticated dining space or a complete outdoor room that will complement your lifestyle, there is patio furniture that is designed just for you. When looking, be sure to consider these points: comfort, functionality, quality, design, strength, durability and of course price.

SOOTHING SOUNDS

What better way to create a relaxing oasis than to add the calming influence of a fountain. When we think of fountains, many people visualize a threetiered traditional style in concrete. So much has changed! Although concrete fountains remain very popular, and in many cases timeless, modern and contemporary styles in fiberglass and resin have become quite fashionable. Both offer the advantage of being lightweight and less expensive. The featured fountain resembles natural rock with a beautiful cascade and the added feature of LED shimmering lights for evening ambiance.

24

DECK THE WALLS

Turn that ordinary fence or slightly imperfect spot on your outdoor wall into an eye-catching focal point with metal wall art, a UV treated outdoor canvas print, or a decorative outdoor clock. A colourful, unique piece will add drama to an otherwise lost space.


LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE

Extend your summer evenings by incorporating lanterns into your landscape. Let the soft glow of candlelight, flameless or solar powered lanterns illuminate your conversation or light your way down the garden path. Your local garden centre has a multitude of lanterns to choose from in all shapes and sizes. They make a wonderful gift for any gardener.

ART IN THE GARDEN

The clean distinctive lines of modern stainless steel or rustic and timeworn metals will create the element of surprise. By adding a classic or contemporary sculpture, you can turn any corner of your backyard into an expression of your own personal style. Always include a fun feature and conversation piece in your garden.

LET’S REFLECT

Gazing balls had their beginnings as far back as thirteenth century Venice and are widely associated with the Victorian era and English gardens in particular. Although they fell from popularity in the 1950s, there has been a refreshing resurgence and a multitude of modern choices of this age-old standard. Mounted on a concrete pedestal, a metal stand, or simply placed in your garden amongst your ground coverage, gazing balls are a simple way to add a touch of colour and interest to an otherwise unadorned setting.

ROMANCING THE STONE

Let a timeless piece of garden statuary add elegance and sophistication to your landscape. From a whimsical fairy to a stately statuette of St. Francis you can put your personal fingerprint on that special place and give heart to your garden. Spring is here and your garden centre is calling. We’ve got what you need to take your garden from ordinary to EXTRAordinary.

THESE ITEMS AVAILABLE AT:

10015 Young Rd. Chilliwack, BC 604-792-3799 www.mintergardening.com (While supplies last.) SPRING 2016 • 25


Portulaca

SUNNY T

SUMMER GARDENING

here was definitely a shift in our weather pattern last summer, and when Level 3 Watering Restrictions are put in place by many municipalities, it’s a wake-up call that we may need to change our approach to summer gardening. This isn’t bad news for gardeners, however, it’s an opportunity to turn restrictions and long dry spells into enjoyable, beautiful and productive summer gardens. Now is the time to plan and prepare to make the most of our new situation: • Plant a tree! Trees create shade, keeping you up to 8-10°C cooler in your home and garden. Strategically placed trees help keep temperatures more level inside your home too, thus reducing energy bills from your air conditioner in summer (and furnace in winter… win-win!). Smaller properties need not miss out. Columnar trees grow tall and narrow and are ideal for such locations. A few of our favourite trees for small spaces are: ‘Amanogawa’ Japanese Flowering Cherries, Gold & Purple Columnar Beeches, ‘Green Pillar’ Oaks, ‘Slender Silhouette’ Sweet Gum, and Columnar Red Maples. • Plant heat and drought tolerant plants. No, this does not mean you’re limited to a cactus garden! There are many stunning candidates that, once well established, will tough it out during hot dry weather. Try: Portulaca (especially the new ‘Cupcake’ series), scaevola, succulents, Kangaroo Paws, ‘Profusion’ zinnias, achillea, lychnis, artemesia, euphorbia, perovskia, crocosmia, lavender, perennial salvia, sedums, rudbeckia, echinacea and ornamental grasses like miscanthus and pennisetums. Remember, even if a variety is labelled as drought tolerant, it still needs to be planted in well-prepared soil and watered thoroughly and deeply while it becomes established.

Sedum

Longer, drier summers provide an opportunity to grow fantastic heat-loving fruits and vegetables too. Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, honeydews and melons all thrive in the heat, and their flavour improves with an extended season.

• Prepare your soil properly. Most plant problems in heat and drought occur because the soil was never prepared properly. The key is to dig a planting hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball of the plant. If you’re growing into heavy clay or gravel soil you need to do further amending. Working 50% fine fir or hemlock bark mulch into the planting hole along with a well-drained, but moisture retaining, soil blend will go a long way to getting new roots to grow quickly and deeply, allowing them to access more moisture from the ground. This makes all the difference in the world. • Get the right tool for the job. There are many products that will help you water more efficiently and save you time in the process. Soaker hoses, drip irrigation systems, Oya™ underground watering vessels, tree watering bags and rain barrels are great investments. Rain barrels should be started in spring so that they are topped up before summer. For hand watering, choose a hose-end nozzle with a minimum of 1000 holes (don’t worry, the package will indicate this, you don’t have to count) to provide the most effective water penetration.

Crocosmia

Even with the best preparation you will still need to check your plants frequently in summer, particularly those in containers. It is important to water at the soil level (not on the foliage) around the drip line so that the roots get the full benefit. Water deeply and thoroughly less often, as opposed to watering lightly more often. Shallow watering will only encourage roots to stay close to the surface where they will quickly dry out again. Deep watering encourages roots to grow down to where they can access more moisture and be protected from high temperatures. Try to water early in the morning when temperatures are on the rise, and try not to get water on the foliage during the heat of the day as this can burn the leaves. Water is a precious resource, and with a little planning, the right tools and the right plants, your garden can still flourish without consuming a lot of it.

26 • MINTER COUNTRY GARDEN • 604.792.6612 • MINTERGARDENING.COM

Perovskia


TOP 10

Exciting Plants FOR 2016

‘Summerific®’ Perennial Hibiscus Collection from Proven Winners including ‘Berrylicious’, ‘Cherry Cheesecake’, ‘Cranberry Crush’ and ‘Perfect Storm’. These are 4-5’ tall perennials that show off 7-8” wide ‘WOW’ blooms from July to September. Zone 4. PHOTO CREDIT: Proven Winners®

‘Windcliff Fragrant’ Pachysandra from Monrovia. An incredible find! Fragrant white flowers bloom in spring and autumn over a dense carpet of glossy green foliage. 4-6”H. Full to partial shade. Zone 6. PHOTO CREDIT: Monrovia®

1

‘Perfect Storm’ Hibiscus

‘Everlasting®’ Hydrangea Series from Kolster BV in the Netherlands. Initially bred for the cut flower market, these compact plants (3’ HxW) are repeat bloomers, offering the longest lasting blooms of any macrophylla hydrangea! Flowers open in shades of green, mature through shades of pink to blue (depending on variety), then finish off in green with a hint of their signature colour. 6 great varieties to choose from. Zone 5. PHOTO CREDIT: Minter Country Garden

6

‘Windcliff Fragrant’ Pachysandra

2

‘Everlasting’ Hydrangea

‘Hawaii’ Hibiscus

‘Tilt-a-Swirl™’ Hydrangea The latest introduction from BC’s own Bloomin’ Easy® line of plants, this is a bold magentared and apple-green bi-colour whose blooms continually change colour from early summer through to fall. Outstanding! 3-4’ HxW. Zone 5. PHOTO CREDIT: Van Belle Nursery

3

‘Sonic Boom™’ Weigela from Proven Winners, in white, pink and red varieties. Very hardy and blooms repeatedly from May until frost without deadheading! Attracts hummingbirds and is deer resistant. 4-5’H x 5-6’W. Zone 5. PHOTO CREDIT: Proven Winners®

4

‘Sonic Boom’ Weigela

5

‘Yellow Wall’ Virginia Creeper

‘Fine Line’ Rhamnus Frangula from Proven Winners. An amazing buckthorn that has lovely green, fern-like foliage and a narrow upright habit. Ideal for containers and for adding privacy to your home or patio. Drought tolerant! 5-7’H x 2-3’W. Zone 2. PHOTO CREDIT: Proven Winners®

9

‘Fine Line’ Rhamnus ‘Yellow Wall’ & ‘Red Wall®’ Virginia Creepers from Proven Winners. Both provide an incredible fall display but, when planted together, prepare to be dazzled! Both are vigorous climbers spreading out to 30’ at maturity. Their foliage is green during spring/summer then matures to brilliant yellow and fiery red (respectively) in fall. Zone 3. PHOTO CREDIT: Proven Winners®

‘Blue Chip Jr.’ & ‘Pink Micro Chip’ Lo & Behold® Buddleias from Proven Winners. The shortest, most compact buddleias yet! Ideal for containers as they grow less than 28” HxW. They attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees and provide perfume all summer long. Zone 5. PHOTO CREDIT: Proven Winners®

8

‘Pink Micro Chip’ Buddleia

‘Tilt-a-Swirl’ Hydrangea

‘First Editions®’ Hibiscus Series (Rose of Sharon) from Bailey Nurseries. ‘Bali™’ offers semi-double white blooms with a purple-red centre, ‘Fiji™’ bears semi-double medium pink blooms with a deep red centre and a pink outer blush, and ‘Hawaii™’ boasts rich blue flowers with a distinct red-purple centre. These are all deciduous flowering shrubs growing 5-8’H, 4-7’W. Zone 5. PHOTO CREDIT: Bailey Nurseries®

7

‘Porterhouse’ Tomato from Burpee. An EXTRA large beefsteak tomato weighing in at 2-4 pounds each! Smooth texture, incredible old-fashioned flavour, deep red colour throughout and just the right balance of meatiness and juiciness. Indeterminate (staking is required). PHOTO CREDIT: Burpee®

10

‘Porterhouse’ Tomato

SPRING 2016 • 27


COMPOSTING AT HO M E

W

ith many cities tightening garbage collection rules, composting green waste is both environmentally advantageous and economical. By composting, we not only cut down on household waste but we also return organic matter to the soil in a form that plants can readily use to grow and thrive. Compost, also known as humus, is an ideal soil conditioner, helpful in breaking down heavy clay soils and enriching sandy soils. What items are compostable: • most yard waste like leaves, grass clippings, spent plants and seedless weeds • wood ash but not charcoal or coal ash • kitchen scraps like egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags and veggie peelings but not meat, bones or fatty foods • do not compost animal waste Think of your compost pile as a ‘cake of many layers’. For example, start with a layer of leaves and top them with soil or well-rotted steer, mushroom or chicken manure. Next, add a layer of kitchen scraps and more soil/manure, then a layer of garden waste followed by soil/manure and so on. Try to alternate ‘green and brown’ and be mindful not to make your

layers too thick. Proper layering will allow sufficient air and moisture to penetrate. Microbes, fungi, protozoans, beetles and earthworms will all do their part in breaking down this material. Our job is to periodically turn the cool outsides of the pile into the centre and to occasionally poke holes into the pile with a broom handle, allowing in more air. We also have to keep it moist during hot weather and covered during rainy spells. Regular maintenance such as this will keep it functioning effectively and will also prevent animals from using it as a source of food and shelter. Ideally, as the decomposition process accelerates, more and more heat will be generated until the pile may actually start steaming. Depending on the ingredients and other factors, your compost ‘cake’ may take from 2-6 months to fully ‘cook’. Compost that is ready to go into the garden should have the consistency of a wrung-out sponge. Once it is ready, dig it into your garden beds and give your plants an organic treat!

28 • MINTER COUNTRY GARDEN • 604.792.6612 • MINTERGARDENING.COM


Attracting Butterflies TO OUR GARDENS

W

e are slowly learning the true value of many insects in our gardens, both as pollinators and natural predators. Some, like butterflies, also add an element of grace and beauty. As butterflies and moths transition through metamorphosis from egg, to larva, to pupa, to adult, each specie lays its eggs on very specific plants - those on which its caterpillars must feed. The caterpillar of the Anise Swallowtail butterfly feeds on members of the carrot family such as parsley, fennel, carrot, dill, and Queen Anne’s Lace. Other Swallowtail larvae require the leaves of aspen, poplar, willow, alder and ash. Even Viola odorata leaves are larval food for Fritillary butterflies that winter as tiny caterpillars. So if you find caterpillars rolled inside leaves, don’t be too quick to remove them – they might be a special gift - not a threat! Allow the leaves to die back naturally. Soon the caterpillars will complete their transformation into beautiful butterflies.

Tortoiseshell Butterfly on Echinacea

Red Admiral and Tortoiseshell butterflies require nettles for their larval food. If you can tolerate a corner with a few of these plants, you will be providing a butterfly habitat.

Adult butterflies also need moist, muddy spots and warm rocks on which to sun. Being very vulnerable to cats, a protected location is important. Butterflies share many of the same plants as hummingbirds. By attracting one, you are also inviting the other to your garden.

Plants That Attract Butterflies Herbs:

1. Fennel (Foeniculum spp.) 2. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) 3. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) 4. Peppermint/Spearmint (Mentha spp.) 5. Bergamot (Monarda didyma) 6. Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana) 7. Parsley (Petroselinum spp.) 8. Upright Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) 9. Thyme (Thymus spp.) 10. Sage (Salvia spp.)

Anise Swallowtail Butterfly

Perennials: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Yarrow (Achillea spp.) Columbine (Aquilegia spp.) Echinacea spp. Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) Coneflower (Rudbeckia spp.) Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Shrubs: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Wild Blue Lilac (Ceanothus) Salal (Gaultheria shallon) Low Oregon Grape (Mahonia nervosa) Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewisii) Red Flowering Currants (Ribes sanguineum) Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana) Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) Butterfly Bush (Buddleia crispa). Try the new PW ‘Lo & Behold’ small garden varieties!

A ‘white’ garden will attract night-flying moths and so will evening-blooming nicotiana and evening-scented matthiola ‘Wild Blue Lilac’ (stocks). The larval stage of many moths are the orange/black striped ‘woolly bear’ and ‘fuzzy yellow bear’ caterpillars - both are garden friends. A minor downside of attracting any insect to our gardens is the appetites of their larval stage. If you can stand a few nibbles out of your plants then you’re halfway there. You will also have to rely more on organic methods and less on insecticides to control pest problems, but even with these few adjustments, attracting butterflies to our gardens is both interesting and environmentally friendly. SPRING 2016 • 29


30 • MINTER COUNTRY GARDEN • 604.792.6612 • MINTERGARDENING.COM


Available at

Only $22.99

Available at


MINTER COUNTRY GARDEN 10015 Young Rd. Chilliwack, BC 604-792-3799 www.mintergardening.com

Minter Country Garden Spring 2016  
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