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Gardening author Rob Sproule

Planting for an Edible Garden Mixing Tropicals and Annuals Have it all in your own backyard

Colour in the Shrub Garden Flowering shrubs create a statement

Exceptional Performers Begonias and geraniums thrive

Spring Fashion

A kaleidoscope of bright colours

Seasonal Trends

A year of exciting new ideas Canada's favourite gardener, Ken Beattie

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CONTENTS Salsa in a Pot: Grow Everything but the Nachos 8 Gardening author Rob Sproule Did You Say Mix Tropicals and Annuals? - Bernie Whetter


Constant Colour in the Flowering Shrub Garden - Dave VanRaay


Exceptional Performers for Your Flower Gardens - Henry King


Spring Fashion – Anne Carolyn


Now Trending in Your Garden – Jackie Cornwall


Urban Conservation: Planting for Positive Change - Canada's favourite gardener, Ken Beattie


Culinary Herb Gardening - Isabelle Palmer


Mint: The Scent of Spring - Mark DeWolf


684 South Pelham Rd Welland, ON L3C 3C8 (905) 735-5744 Vermeer's Home & Garden Magazine is published by Carle Publishing Inc. All content, copyright © 2013, Carle Publishing Inc.All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced, all or in part, without written consent from the publisher. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all content in this publication, however, the publisher nor Vermeer's Garden Centre will be held responsible for omissions or errors. Please address all editorial and advertising inquiries to Carle Publishing Inc., 60 Shayla Court, Fredericton, NB, E3G 0N3, Canada. Carle Publishing Inc. is not held responsible for the loss, damage or any other injury to unsolicited material (including but not limited to manuscripts, artwork, photographs and advertisements). Unsolicited material must be included with a self-addressed, overnight-delivery return envelope, postage prepaid.

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John Christenson Rob Sproule Bernie Whetter Scott Austin Henry King Anne Carolyn Jackie Cornwall Dave VanRaay Ken Beattie Mark DeWolf


Carle Publishing Inc. and Vermeer's Garden Centre will not give or rent your name, mailing address, or other contact information to third parties. Subscriptions are complimentary for qualified individuals. Printed in Canada by: Audited by:

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Jackie Cornwall (Local)


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FROM THE OWNER As we are well on our way through this new year of 2013, I welcome you to this spring edition of Vermeer’s home and garden magazine. It always surprises me how time so quickly passes by. I’m writing this in the midst of winter, but stepping into the greenhouses, the sight and fragrances surrounding me are sure signs that spring will be here before I know it. Growing up here at Vermeer’s, I always have the pleasure of working with my family, and employees like Mrs. Leone, who have become like family . This spring, Mrs. Leone celebrates working for our family business for 50 years. She has worked faithfully here, long before I was even born. Thanks you and congratulations Mrs. Leone for all your years of service. As you read through this magazine and anticipate getting your hands into your garden, at Vermeer’s we are busy growing new combinations and plant varieties. Plants like Cute Stuffed Pepper, an apple shaped mini bell pepper with a super sweet taste, to Cool-Wave Pansy, a trailing variety that will fill your beds or trail over the sides of your hanging

baskets, and Petunia-Fortunia Paradise Punch, a new abundant flowering variety bursting with bright pink and yellow. You will just have to come in and try these plants in your garden. It is our passion to grow new varieties of plant material but we continue to grow many plants that have become your and our favourites. We always strive to improve your home and garden with patio sets, lanterns and containers in all shapes, sizes and colours, as well as our Arctic Spa hot tubs to make your garden dreams a reality. We look forward to hosting the Niagara Etsy Artisans group as we celebrate with many vendors at the Heirloom Festival. Plan to attend this special event on June 14th & 15th in support of Pelham Cares. We can’t wait to see you here! Best Wishes for a wonderful spring season! Gerry Vermeer




Calendar of Events

Spring & Summer Hours at Vermeer’s

March 4th – April 20th: Mon – Fri 9am – 6pm, Sat 9am – 5:30pm April 22nd – June 22nd: Mon – Fri 8am – 8pm, Sat 8am – 6pm June 24th – July 27th : Mon – Fri 8am – 6pm, Sat 8am – 5:30pm July 29th – October: Mon – Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am – 5:30pm

We’re thrilled to announce our spring 2013 lineup of demonstrations & workshops! Call us at 905 735 5744 to rsvp to any of our events. Monday April 22nd , 8am – 8pm

Earth Day Sale

Kick off your gardening season in style and with huge savings at our annual earth day sale. We’ll be clearing out over wintered perennials, trees and shrubs to make room for big blooms ahead. Early birds get the best savings! Saturday April 27th, 10am

Lawn Care

The grass can be greener on your side of the fence! Join Jeff Bokma to get a jump on your lawn. Grub issues? Weeds? Brown patches? This is the place to come for answers! No cost, Please RSVP. Saturday May 4th, 10am

Miniature Gypsy Gardens

Explore the world of miniature gardens in this new and fun workshop! Create a miniature paradise perfect for your patio. This workshop lets you create your very own fairy garden to take home, complete with fun and funky accessories! A mini garden “starter kit” will be provided – feel free to add extras! Cost $50 per person. Please RSVP. Saturday May 11th, 10am

Living Walls

Living walls are gracing the pages of designer magazines all over the country – why not learn to make your own? This demonstration will highlight the right supplies, procedures, and of course plants to create your own at home. Visit for pictures & more information about living walls. No cost, demonstration only. Please RSVP. 6 ) SPRING 2013 HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE

Tuesday May 14th, 5pm

Kids Club

Join Jackie for early veggie (lettuce, onion and spinach) planting in hanging grow bags that you can take home. More details can be found on our website! Cost $10, Please RSVP. Saturday May 18th, 10am

Container Gardening with Regina

Why would you ever put your urn away? Join Regina for a seminar on creating a planter or urn that can be changed to reflect the season – from spring blooms right through to fall. Regina will show many options of container creations, from simple to extravagant, with lots of examples on display to inspire you and match your budget. No cost, Please RSVP. Tuesday May 21st, 5pm

Kids Club

Plant your own potatoes in a potato growing bag that you can take home and enjoy! Learn about what veggies need to grow, and create a fun plant marker to use in your home garden Cost $10, Please RSVP. Saturday May 25th, 10am

Tropical Impact Containers with Cynthia Vermeer If you’re looking to make a tropical statement this season, this is the seminar for you. Big bold planting combinations are fresh and fun. Join Cynthia to learn the art of creating tropical outdoor containers for your porch and patio. No cost, Please RSVP. Saturday June 1st, 10am

Veggie Gardening

Learn the basics of veggie gardening - the types of plants that will work for you, the easiest crops to grow at home, and some fun ways to grow veggies – like potato bags and bucket tomatoes! For this seminar, it’s beneficial to know the area you plan to grow in, as well as the amount of sun in that area. Come armed with questions, we have the answers! No cost, Please RSVP. Tuesday June 4th, 5pm

Kids Club

It’s tomato time! Plant your own tomato to take home and grow in its very own pot. Learn about staking, fertilizing and watering your tomato plant, and create fun foam bugs to decorate your pot! Cost $10, Please RSVP.

Saturday June 8th, 10am

Exploring Hydrangeas

Join Jeff as he takes a walk through the world of hydrangeas – from choosing the right one for your garden to pruning and maintenance of the many different varieties. Learn about this year’s new varieties and how hydrangeas are becoming a more popular and versatile garden staple. No cost, Please RSVP. Friday June 14 & Saturday June 15

Heirlooms : Niagara Etsy Artisans Festival

We’re thrilled to be the host of this year’s Heirlooms festival. Featuring the best in handmade that Niagara has to offer, this show is something we’ve been waiting for all spring long! Visit them at or “like” Vermeer’s on facebook for details! Thursday June 20th, 12pm – 8pm

Summer Solstice Customer Appreciation Event Join us to celebrate the season with huge savings, fun activities and sizzling food provided by Boston Pizza

Welland. We’ll have more details as this event draws closer, so check out our website ( or like us on facebook to follow the action! Saturday June 22nd, 10am

Standout Summer Centrepiece Workshop

Capture the beauty of summer flowers on your table this season in this workshop, where you’ll create your own summer centrepiece. Let Laura guide you through the design of your piece, and learn about garden flowers that make excellent arrangement choices. Cost $50, please RSVP. Saturday June 29th, 10am

Patio Pizzaz

Make the most of your summer! This demonstration will give you the inspiration to create an outdoor paradise in your own yard this season. Join Jackie for a fun filled seminar that will makeover your patio from “okay” to “you don’t say!” No cost, Please RSVP.




Salsa in a Pot:

f you want to show off Iprowess your edible gardening but don’t consider

yourself to be a pro, try growing ingredients for making your own salsa. The plants are easy to grow, and it’s one of the rare dishes that you can grow everything that goes into it on your patio.


Grow Everything but the Nachos right on your Patio! The word salsa is simply Spanish for “sauce,” and there are countless variations across cultures based on local ingredients and tastes. I’ve chosen ingredients for pico de gallo, a classic Mexican salsa that literally translates as “rooster’s beak.” Its flavours come from fresh, raw ingredients, and it is typically spicy with a twist of lime. A great thing about salsa is its versatility. It’s so simple that you can easily adapt the ingredients to your taste. If you don’t want as much spice, replace the chilis with sweet ‘Mariachi’ peppers. Conversely, if you’re a glutton for punishment, use dwarf and deadly habaneros. The ‘Beefsteak’ tomato is a statement maker but will require a large support structure and a lot of water when it gets larger. I heartily recommend a self-watering container with as large a reservoir as possible. Make sure to provide support that’s both strong and adjustable as the plant grows vertically. If you’re planting in a peat moss–based medium, sprinkle dried, crushed eggshells into the soil to provide calcium. Doing so helps with blossom end rot, which loves to strike ‘Beefsteaks.’ If ‘Beefsteaks’ sound like too much work for salsa, try ‘Early Girl’ or, for a yellow twist, ‘Lemon Boy’ tomatoes instead. If you don’t like the smell of cilantro leaves, you’re not alone. Aphids hate them too and they will usually avoid any other plants that are in the container with it. Coriander inhibits seed formation in fennel, so keep the two plants away from each other.

I planted some ‘Triple Curled’ parsley largely because it grows beneficially with tomatoes. Chop it fine and it will add texture and a fresh, tangy taste to your salsa.

Rob Sproule Excerpted from “Edible Container Gardening for Canada”, 2013, Lone Pine Publishing

Notable Ingredients: Tomato ‘Beefsteak’ The largest commonly available tomato, ‘Beefsteak’ fruit regularly tops 0.5 kg. It’s a large indeterminate, so make sure to give it lots of space and support. The kidney-shaped fruit takes a long time to develop, but if need be you can bring the green tomatoes indoors to ripen. They’re perfect sliced for sandwiches and diced for salsa. Fertilize regularly and keep the soil slightly moist to prevent the fruit from splitting. Onion ‘Sweet Spanish’ Humans have eaten onions since at least 5000 bce. They are easy to grow in a container at least 30 cm deep. Spanish onions have a sweeter, mellower flavour than their hotter, harsher cousins. Some people (I’m not one of them) like eating the baseball-sized bulbs like apples because they have so much flavour. Consider Spanish onions when you don’t want an overpowering onion taste. Key lime Compared to the ubiquitous Persian lime, Key limes are smaller, more tart and yellow when ripe. They provide tangy flavour to fish, marinades and alcoholic drinks. Canadians love them because they perform well in northern climates, being small enough (90 cm to 1.5 m tall) to move inside in winter. Key limes aren’t easy to find in supermarkets, so if you’re a key lime pie purist, growing them is the way to go. Chili pepper ‘Bird’s Eye Chili’ Although chilis may seem exotic to us, they are a daily menu item for the majority of the world’s population. Thai chili peppers are little heat lovers with a big kick. You can keep them year after year as long as they have ample sun indoors over winter, and they don’t grow very large. The curved, pendulous peppers (usually red) can approach habanero heat at up to 100,000 Scoville units.




Did You Say Mix Tropicals and Annuals? Go ahead. Mix it up. Why stick with the same old dracaena plunked in the middle of 4 red geraniums? That’s been the traditional patio planter combination around here. It’s time to think outside the annual box and mix a little tropical flavor in the pot. My first introduction to this concept was during a drive down Portage Avenue in Winnipeg. I was pleasantly surprised to see Crotons happily residing in the planters lined up along several blocks of the windswept boulevard. They were co-habitating with other colour-coordinated annuals making an attractive statement. In central Canada, we think of tropical plants as indoor plants. For them to live outside is risky business. It’s not uncommon to have frost nine or ten months of the year leaving only a couple of months of frost-free days. But certainly those warm summer days offer perfect conditions for tropical plants to thrive. Obviously, the longer warm climates of the west coast and southern Ontario just mean longer periods that tropicals can live out of doors. But other than a weather watch, there are no restrictions to incorporating lush and colourful tropical plants into your outdoor containers. The preparation of the container is the same as for any patio planter. Select a large heavy pot that will withstand your particular wind conditions, especially if you are using tall plants. It’s both disappointing and frustrating to find your planter flattened with broken branches, spilled soil, and a disturbed root ball after a windy day. Glazed or plastic pots or pots with a plastic liner are preferable as they prohibit moisture lost through the walls. Larger pots will house the larger root ball of the mature tropical plants plus give sufficient space for the remaining combination. Always be sure there’s an escape route for water - a hole in the bottom. Choose a rich soil mix that allows for good drainage. Tall plants and vines may need frames or stakes. Your garden centre will have a good selection of trellis, obelisks, or bamboo stakes which will be both functional and decorative. 10 ) SPRING 2013 HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE

The design of your planter depends on its location and the direction from which you will view it. Will you see it from 90°, 180° or 360°? That will dictate where the tallest and shortest plants of the combination will be positioned – the tallest to the back if in a corner or against a wall or, in the centre if it can be viewed from all around. Be sure to make combinations of all sun-loving or all shade-loving otherwise someone in the pot is going to be unhappy. I asked the designers at a couple of garden centres which recipes they have had success with. Here is what they said: - Palm trees work well in planters evoking a tropical atmosphere on the patio. The arching foliage on top and narrow bottom allows for easy groupings underneath. Other tropicals such as crotons and Boston ferns look attractive

Bernie Whetter nestled below. For a shot of colour, add geraniums and coleus. Trailers such as lobelia, bacopa, and ivy will spill over the side. - You can choose crotons as your primary plant. They do well in sunny locations once acclimatized. Crotons are popular with their brilliant yellow, red and orange foliage. They, by themselves, will provide the colour. Surround them with other colour-coordinated foliage plants such as coleus. Ivy and trailers, and spider plants will drape over the side to complete the look. - A favourite amongst garden centre staff is the Mandevilla. With showy, bright, trumpet-shaped flowers, it is a beautiful climbing plant that will grace any obelisk or trellis. It needs 6 full hours of direct sunlight as an outdoor plant and pruning is an important part of its maintenance to create a bushier plant. Mandevillas look great on their own but mixed with other annuals – geraniums for additional colour, potato vine, ivy, and creeping jenny as spillers – this combination planter will be stunning. The garden centre sending you this magazine has a good selection of Mandevillas. Typical colour choices are red, pink and white, making it easy to pair up with other plants. If you prefer, it looks spectacular in hanging baskets as well. The versatile Mandevilla plant with its display of dazzling flowers and rich dark-green shiny leaves, is one of the most elegant plants available at your garden centre. The bonus of using tropical plants in your summer containers is that they can come indoors for the winter months. You will need to remove the annual plants, but with proper care tropicals will over-winter until next season. When bringing them inside, examine the leaves and stems closely for insects and eggs. Spray them off with an appropriate insecticide. Be creative! Who needs an expensive trip to the tropics? Have it all in your own back yard.

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Constant Colour in the Flowering Shrub Garden


lowering shrubs have always created a statement in the garden. Peeking out from a distant corner of a shrub border, the big beautiful bold white globes of Hydrangea are what catch the visual senses first. With the eyes falling to the foreground, several mounding Weigelas with their masses of vivid blooms give contrast, dimension and depth to the garden. The hidden Butterfly Bush adds life and motion throwing out its blooms like shooting arrows across a prism of other green bushes yet to come into a glory of their own. A mossy narrow flagstone pathway winding and disappearing into the depths of the garden tickles your curiosity and draws you in. Enter through the weathered wooden arbour and past the stone bench to seek out the sound of a soft trickling of water and the croaking of a frog and possible other flowering shrub delights hidden in the recesses of this yet-to-be discovered backyard paradise.

one time a flowering shrub couldn’t exist on its own; it needed companions to cover them while out of bloom. They took up too much valuable space in today’s small garden. But with the advent of plants like Endless Summer Hydrangea, Bloomerang Lilac, Sonic Bloom Weigela and many other new, improved varieties which have been bred to re-bloom again and again, we can now count on them pulling their weight in the garden and giving us the show we paid for!

There are so many plants in our world. And every year there are so many more new ones. Over my 35 years in ornamental horticulture I’ve seen flowering shrubs come and go, but in recent years the number of new and improved introductions has created a renewed surge in their popularity. At

Distinctive plant producer Proven Winners is responsible for many new plant introductions. Many of the following are their introductions. Here are some of my very favourite shrubs: Endless Summer Hydrangea What a breakthrough! Although it’s not brand new this plant has become an all-time favourite with its multicoloured pink and purple blooms and continuous flowering ability throughout the summer. Be careful not to trim back in the fall as far as you normally would other Hydrangeas because this prolific performer reblooms on old wood as well as new. Water well and plant in plenty of 12 ) SPRING 2013 HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE

Dave VanRaay

morning sun but avoid locations in the scalding afternoon heat. Fertilize in spring and summer with a slow release, high phosphorus all-purpose plant food but no later than early September so next year’s buds will harden off nicely for its winters sleep. Bloomerang Lilac This relatively new dwarf mauve Lilac has become quite well known over the past few years. It continues to bloom fragrantly from early spring through early summer, takes a short rest in mid-summer and then re-blooms well into the fall. Growing to just a couple feet tall it is useful in shrub or perennial borders or even large containers. Enjoy the butterflies and hummingbirds it will attract or cut the blooms and bring them in the house. Deadheading will force even more new blooms! Sonic Bloom Weigela In the gardening world, we’re excited about the new Sonic Bloom Weigela series. Weigela are natural bouquets of colour in spring. This new variety for 2013 has a very high bud count. A burst of spring bloom followed by waves of rebloom until frost will be a delight to the eyes and the butterflies. Available now in red, pearl and pink.

Bobo Hydrangea A winner of the Gold Floral medal for best novelty plant, this Hydrangea has just been released this spring. Engulfed in large white blossoms, this plant holds its blossoms up high on strong stems and resists the temptation to flop. The spectacular pure white display morphs into a soft pink at first sign of cooler temperatures in the fall. Compact to 3 feet tall, it is a perfect specimen for any small garden with colour from mid-summer through late fall. Magic Carpet Spirea The first thing that comes to mind at the sound of spirea is a waterfall of confetti. We all have memories of the oldfashioned Bridal Wreath spirea. With the name being the only similarity, Magic Carpet forms a low perfect mound of bronze and copper foliage in early spring. Dark rich pink blossoms cover the plant in May. The trick is to trim down the spent blossoms in June and watch it do it all over again. The most manageable of all dwarf shrubs and far superior to any of its predecessors, this plant will surely stand the test of time in many gardens. Bluebeard Caryopteris Every shrub garden needs Caryopteris. ‘Variety is the spice of life’ and this is what Bluebeard is to the garden. The rare blue fluorescent flowers contrast with its rich glossy green leaves. Blooming midsummer to late fall, Bluebeard fills a gap when many shrubs are past their prime. Caryopteris provides the ideal compliment to autumn’s yellows, oranges and reds and is another reason for the birds and butterflies to come visit. Flowering shrubs are the natural denizens of the garden. They are indispensible for adding colour and structure and bridge the flow of your landscape. The few mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg; look for other notable new improved varieties at your local garden centre including Sweet Summer, Incrediball, and Bombshell Hydrangea, the Lo and Behold series of dwarf Butterfly Bush, Sugar Baby Forsythia, Coppertina Ninebark and more. For more information on what varieties will perform best for your location, be sure to stop into the store and talk with a nursery expert. They are best suited to give you location and site specific advice for your yard. HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE


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Exceptional Performers for your Flower Gardens n order to fully appreciate the value of these plants I ICanadian, need to explain a little about myself. First of all, as a we live in an unpredictable and often challenging climate. Equally important is that I am demanding of the plants that I grow. My wife and I are both very busy during the spring season so have little time for gardening in May and June, then expect peak performance from our plants all summer as many people walk past our garden, and have high expectations of us. Time is one of our most valuable commodities. This summer we trialed the Big Series begonia. In the full sun. ( I know that is not a sentence but it certainly is a statement.) The Big Series Begonia is a wax or fibrous begonia and they thrive in the full sun or in the shade, it is just that the sun part is so unusual in a begonia. The vast majority of begonias like little to no sun, let alone the full sun of a desert climate where I live. Now last year in our area we had one of the wettest Junes on record, with over 2.5 times the average rainfall. The result was that many annuals and vegetables suffered a lot. Through the rest of the summer mildew ravaged as a result of that wet June. My zinnias - history. My gaillardia – compost. My cucumbers – white with mildew. My Crimson Sentry maple – looked like a variegated leafed variety from the distance. My tomatoes – let’s not even go there. My Big Series Begonia – magnificent. Did I tell you that it grows almost twice the size of a regular wax begonia ( so peaks at around 20 inches) and comes with both red or pink blooms? Available in pink and red, these are truly not your average “wax” or fibrous begonias... this series offers huge flowers, large attractive leaves, and a larger bushier habit. 14 ) SPRING 2013 HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE

Perfect for landscapes or a larger container, with carefree color all season...If I have not waxed eloquently enough about this plant, here is the crowning piece of information – they require absolutely no deadheading. Not minimal, no deadheading at all. Honestly, ours thrived in full bloom with no effort at all until late October when we needed to plant bulbs. You would be very remiss not to try these plants in your garden or planter. Did I tell you about the Award of Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society in the United Kingdom given to the Big Series Begonia? Let’s just say: ‘BIG’™ is Beautiful! Onto another fantastic product of modern plant breeding. The Calliope Hybrid Geraniums have

Henry King been bred to provide dynamic, living colour all summer long. By crossing various species of ivy geraniums (most commonly used in hanging baskets) and zonal geraniums (most commonly found in pots), the breeders have refined the best features of both varieties into a single series of geranium. Sporting a velvety-red color, the calliope geranium is drought-tolerant, versatile and easy for all gardeners to care for. Calliope grows about 1012″ tall, with a vigorous, mounding to semi-trailing plant habit that will quickly fill your hanging baskets, patio planters and garden beds with dark red colour. Its large, semi-double flowers bloom under conditions ranging from full sun to part shade. They will thrive in full sun but need at least four hours of sun. The amazing large flowers, like a zonal geranium, are semi-double and dark velvet red in colour. But dark red doesn’t describe it adequately. Is it blood red, wine red? I am not sure. Eye catching and outstanding to be sure. I am out of space in this article, but make sure that you allow space in your garden or planters for both of these truly great plants – your neighbours will appreciate it!



_ 15

Spring Fashion W

hen you think spring fashion this year think of a kaleidoscope of bright colours. It seems almost no colour has been left out. Tops are as multicoloured as they ever have been... geometrics, splatters, tie-dye... you name it and you can probably find it so long as it’s bright. Bright tanks and T’s are still hot, especially in bamboo and stretch fabrics. Top lengths have moved to a more traditional mid length but there are still longer styles around to cover those tights! Speaking of bottoms, even denim gets into the act with colour carried over from fall but freshened up with a spring colour pallette. If you are a more traditional gal and like your traditional blue


Anne Carolyn

bottoms, it’s still ok... just throw on a multi coloured top and you are set to go. This explosion of colour extends to the entire world of accessories...light and bright scarves, smaller but colourful handbags and even jewelry cases. When it comes to jewelry, gold and silver are always in fashion. However, this spring why not consider being more playful by adding coloured jewelry, if you can find something that complements your clothing. Footwear is also getting in on the act and you will find colour and the introduction of materials that mimic patent leather! So... shop for light and bright and you’ll be out of sight!



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reating a beautiful garden is in many ways similar to building a library. Neither can be hurried — gardens and libraries evolve slowly, reflections of our individual taste, interests, passions, inspiration and flair. And the making of them not only gives enormous pleasure but adds to our appreciation of the world around us. In any library, the core is made up of reference books, and The Complete Gardener’s Collection contains four classic guides endorsed by both the American Horticultural Society and the Royal Horticultural Society. As your introduction to The Folio Society we are offering you this magnificent set, worth $200.00, for only $14.95 (shipping included). Plus, reply within 14 days and you will receive a FREE Folio tote bag, worth $19.99 — which is yours to keep whatever you decide about joining. The Folio Society does not send you unsolicited books or ‘choices of the month’. You simply choose four books from our catalogue to fulfill your membership. Our current publications include modern and classic fiction, history, biographies, children’s books, humor, myth and legend. Prices start as low as $37.95, and many of our books are less than $50. Our books are not available in bookstores. The Folio Society, established in England in 1947, publishes beautiful illustrated books for readers who wish to experience the pleasure of owning a collection of fine editions to enjoy now and in the future. Why not join us now with The Complete Gardener’s Collection? Simply fill out and return the coupon today or call Toll Free 1-866-255-7314.

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_ 17

Now Trending In Your Garden


is going to be a great year to dig in to your garden!

Whether you’ve spent the winter months pouring over seed catologues or pinning your heart out on Pinterest – it’s finally time to put your garden dreams into the ground. Fun & funky ideas are all over the map this season. Check out some of these fantastic trends that are sure to sow some seeds of inspiration. Creative Containers Upcycling and reclaiming are all the rage in interior design, and nowhere is this trend easier to take part in than in your garden. Before you make your spring dump run or check out the season’s first garage sales – have a look at items from a fun and whimsical garden perspective.

Old pair of boots? No longer needed chest of drawers? Poke some holes in the bottom & voila! Instant planter. Most types of annuals lend themselves to container planting nicely, but don’t be afraid to try oddballs too – red & green lettuce in an old bowl makes a pretty salad planter, or try a big impact “Potunia” in a drawer with some lemongrass for height. Just remember – the smaller the container, the more you’ll have to water! Sedums & Succulents Sometimes the biggest impact comes in the smallest packages. Sedums & succulents are beautiful specimens, full of tiny intricate detail. While under examination they look delicate and exotic, they actually are very tough 18 ) SPRING 2013 HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE

plants, lending themselves to bed, container, or even wall plantings with hardly any fuss. They can handle dry spells and are incredibly easy to split and move around your garden. If you’ve had a patch of cheery little hens and chicks in the past, this year go one step further with an “October Daphne” sedum or Echeveria succulent - you won’t be disappointed! Be sure to check with your local garden centre – while most sedum are perennial, not all succulents love a Canadian winter. However, most will continue to shine when potted and brought inside.

! NT A R


Jackie Cornwall


Veggie Bags Popping up on the radar last year, veggie bags are sure to make waves this season! Perfect for the porch, patio or balcony, growing veggies in bags is as easy as it is fun – and it’s also the first time you’ll ever be able to move the veggie garden out of the way if you’re having company over! Surprisingly good candidates for growing bags are potatoes. Now you can enjoy the delicious buttery goodness of a potato straight from the garden without acres – or even square footage – to worry about. If you’ve never picked a potato to put on tonight’s plate, it’s a whole different vegetable – you need to try it! Digging In With the Kids Whether you have kids of your own, or, like me, you have curious faces that start coming around at the first sight of a shovel, this season invite children into the garden with open arms. Letting little fingers help plant your annuals or pick your peppers makes fun & light work. At your local garden centre you’ll find child sized gloves and small watering cans – I like to have a few of these on hand for anyone who wants to help! Sure, your rows might not be the straightest, and you might end up snacking on your crops just as much as harvesting, but a budding gardener is one of the sweetest seeds you can grow! This year is full of exciting and new ideas for the garden – let this spring be the season to embrace inspiration!

Double Oriental Lilies Look for this selection and many others at your local garden center or visit for the garden center nearest you! ‘Polar Star’

‘Magic Star’

‘Distant Drum’

‘Sweet Rosy’



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Urban Conservation

Planting for Positive Change


don’t know about you but my toes and ears start to twitch at the very notion of that first big trip to the garden centre. Spring is such a wonderful time of the year in so many respects, from the whole renewal, rebirth thing to the simple satisfaction that rain doesn’t have to be shovelled. The garden centres and plant stores are in their glory as the official launch to the Canadian gardening seasons unfolds. Bulging with product in what appears to be at least forty shades of green, textures abound and the aromas, oh my! There is a lot to be said about an outing to the garden centre in early spring to lift the spirits and foster goodwill. Consider taking along someone who perhaps has spent the winter under medical attention, house arrest due to cold weather, or simply as one of the nicest things that you can do for a friend. Speaking of friends, the garden is perhaps the hottest venue on the block for the who’s who of wildlife to get to know each other - yes, without social media too. Now, for the most part when a gardener mentions wildlife in their garden, castigating glances whip over the shoulders of other gardeners and that “oh ick” look squiggles across the faces of many. Indeed, slugs and racoons, skunks and, yes, even deer do bring a different sort of appreciation to the gardener. What I am referring to is beneficial wildlife, and that does include insects. For many years a great many gardeners have waged war on all manner of insect life in their private gardens because that’s what we did in those days. Dust, sprinkle, spray, douse and otherwise load up the garden with products to kill good, bad and indifferent perceived foe on our precious plants.


These practises are at best unacceptable to today’s gardener, relinquished for a more holistic and natural based control methodology. When you actually stop to consider the actual number of nasty critters in your garden, they are far outweighed by the beneficial, about 7:1 actually. Of course, there are times and conditions where the gardener must resort to the heavy duty products, but they are applied on an extremely localized area. There are many more naturally based solutions for control of slugs and aphids such as insecticidal soaps and garlic sprays. Even though these solutions are not harmful

Ken Beattie

to humans, or pets for that matter, the good bugs are not so lucky. Ladybugs for example, are huge consumers of aphids but if sprayed with a soap solution or other such organically based control, they too will succumb. The point here is to be reasonable and come to some terms with what you can tolerate as “damage� in your landscape. Another suggestion is to plant species that are native to your region of the country. This is not to say that the entire garden or landscape design must be dedicated to entirely native plants, but do consider a combination. Prove

to yourself that indigenous plants are much tougher, more drought resistant for the most part and more easily maintained than many horticultural varieties. Some regions of Canada have a broader spectrum of native plants to choose from than do others and therefore may find it easier to incorporate a pleasing mix into the design. In regions with fewer or perhaps less attractive species, there is no rule that says one can’t mix and match with horticultural varieties. Hosta, for example, provide excellent refuge for many beneficial insects during the heat of the summer as do Pulmonaria and Brunnera. Many of the native grasses from the Prairie regions adapt beautifully across the country blending in with other colourful perennials and offering great texture.

No matter what your style of garden or where you live in Canada, you will be sure to find a widening selection of native plants to try. Trust me, they are well suited to our climate(s) and have passed the test of time with flying colours. Be kind to your beneficial insects and remember that not all wildlife in the garden is negative.



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Culinary Herb Gardening Window Boxes Pack a Fragrant Punch of Aroma and Flavour


f you want to create a window box that will supply you with useful ingredients, why not grow a selection of culinary herbs to accompany some of your favorite meat and poultry dishes? For this window box, I’ve selected herbs that complement chicken and, of course, also work well in a range of other poultry dishes.

Herb Window Box for Chicken What you need x • Black window bo s” or small stone ck ro “c • Polystyrene • Potting mix • Horticultural grit fertilizer • Seaweed extract • Blackcurrant sage m • Compact marjora • French tarragon • Golden thyme • Hamburg parsley


atch the herb to the me at: I think the following he rbs make good accompan iments to plenty of meat dishes and will all be great plants for a fla voursome and attractive window box. Personally, I think sage , sweet marjoram, summer sa vory, thyme, and tarragon are also good choices for poultry me ats, while rosemary, star anise, ch ives, basil, and sweet marjoram ar e perfect for pork dishes. If you prefer beef, I would opt for summer savory, thyme, cilantro (coriand er), sweet marjoram and basil, an d, finally, garlic, rosemary, dill, mi nt, and summer savory for lam b.


his is a great culinary window box, and you’ll be able to reach out and pick instant ingredients and garnishes for your various recipes. So many herbs can be used to enhance the flavor of different meats and poultry. Indeed, several of these herbs are versatile enough to be used in a range of delicious dishes. You may wish to design a customized window box with a specific meat in mind, so think about which meats you like to cook and what you enjoy as a flavouring.


For this window box, I have chosen a selection of herbs that go beautifully with chicken. It includes some unusual herbs such as blackcurrant sage and Hamburg root parsley. All of the herbs used here can be planted together and aren’t particularly invasive. They are also perennials, which means that they will last for a few years in the same window box. If you can’t bring the window box indoors during the winter months, then use a cover to protect it against the frost. I mixed a few handfuls of horticultural grit into the potting mix before planting because herbs prefer well-drained growing conditions. You’ll need to feed the herbs occasionally with some seaweed extract fertilizer, and remember to cut them back after they have flowered.

Isabelle Palmer

Ginger is best grown either indoors or in a sunny spot. To grow your own ginger, simply plant the “rhizome” (the root ginger that you buy from the store) in a pot. It needs regular watering and should be brought indoors in winter. Holy basil: Although often used in salads, I have found that holy, or sacred, basil tastes delicious in Thai curries. Like many herbs, it enjoys full sun and free-draining growing conditions, so add some horticultural grit to the potting mix as well. The leaves bruise easily, so take care when harvesting.

Curry Window Box What you need • Window box cks” or • Polystyrene “cro small stones • Potting mix rbs suitable for • A selection of he f ‘Apache’ Thai curries (dwar ro, garlic, chilli pepper, cilant e and holy basil, kaffir lim lemongrass

This aromatic window box is planted with some of the most common ingredients in Thai curries. All of these Thai herbs and spices are simple to grow at home. Here, I’ve put together some helpful advice on growing each of these ingredients: Cilantro (coriander) is an annual herb, which is best grown from seed sown directly in the potting mix. It’s quite a sensitive plant and won’t appreciate being moved around too much. The leaves can be harvested as soon as the plant is big and robust enough to cope. Chilli peppers are easy to grow in most climates and similar to tomatoes in that they grow well in pots. The chillies used in Thai cooking are known as “bird’s-eye chillies” and can be bought from most garden centers. Often, the cooler the weather, the milder the chillies will be. Keep picking in order to let new chillies come through. Garlic and shallots are alliums that like growing in a mixed climate. It’s said that you should plant them on the shortest day of the year to harvest them on the longest day.

Kaffir lime trees can be bought as a standard tree or a starter one. You can use the leaves in Thai green curries. If you also want fragrant, zesty fruit, then choose a mature tree and place it in a sunny, sheltered spot in the ground. Lemongrass is often an expensive ingredient to buy and rarely has the same taste as fresh lemongrass, which you’ll find a lot more intense and lemony. Instead, I would suggest buying a few nursery plants and rooting them in well-watered potting mix in a sunny spot. You’ll have to move them indoors when it gets colder, but they can be placed on a windowsill if you have limited space. HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE SPRING 2013 _ 23








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The Scent of Spring

he fragrant and unmistakable scent of fresh mint is synonymous with spring. It adds a distinctive flavour to a number of traditional spring dishes. I love to make a mint rub for lamb by combining fresh mint with garlic, sea salt and really good olive oil in a blender, or better still, using a pestle and mortar. Rub the mint and olive oil mixture over a leg of lamb and slowly roast it in the oven. If that isn’t spring cuisine, then what is? While herbs are most often used as an accent to support other ingredients, with a little imagination you can make them the stars of the dish. I absolutely love the combination of basil and mint with peas. I often serve scallops with a pea basil or pea mint purée – it all depends on what’s available and fresh. To make the purée, cook the peas and blanch the basil (or mint). Add both to a blender along with a little of the water used to cook the peas, a healthy dab of butter, a little salt and pepper and dash of lemon juice. Give it a quick pulse or two so there is a little texture left in the purée and you have a show stopping sauce for scallops. I like to add a little smoked bacon to this dish for a little contrast to the fresh flavours of the pea and basil sauce but it works well without as well. Here are two recipes incorporating fresh mint. Enjoy!

Mint Risotto Ingredients: 4 cups vegetable stock 2 tbsp butter 1 ½ cup peas 4 cups spinach 1 bunch mint leaves ¼ cup fresh basil 2 tbsp olive oil 1 onion finely chopped 1 1/3 cups (360ml) Arborio rice ¼ cup dry white wine ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano preferred) Directions (Risotto): Bring the stock to a boil in a pan, then reduce the heat and keep simmering gently over low heat while cooking the risotto. Heat half the butter in a deep skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling. Add the peas, spinach, 26 ) SPRING 2013 HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE

mint leaves and basil; season. Cook, stirring frequently for approximately 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Purée in a blender. Heat the olive oil and remaining butter in a large, heavybottom pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until softened. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the rice, and stir to coat in oil and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until the grains are translucent. Add the white wine. When the white wine has been absorbed, gradually add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs each addition. I like to say you want to make the rice beg for liquid before adding another ladleful of stock. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy but still has a slight bite. Stir in the mint-pea mixture and the Parmesan. Note: Add a skewer of grilled shrimp to transform this dish into a main course. Mix It Up with Mint Fresh herbs like mint don’t have to be limited to the kitchen. Try incorporating them into your cocktail repertoire. Mint has long been used as a flavouring agent for liqueurs and cocktails alike. Remember how popular bright green Crème de Menthe used to be? However, the liqueur’s appeal has diminished as the demand for potent cocktails such as the Grasshopper and Stinger have lost favour to a more natural approach to mixology. Now the focus is on fresh mint cocktails such as the Mojito. Herbs can add a wonderful light and elegant flavour to your cocktail repertoire. Mint is a staple ingredient for many mixologists but just about every herb is now finding its way into mixed drinks. Basil is particularly delicious when mixed with citrus fruits or strawberries. Try muddling fresh basil with some lemon slices and a dash of sugar. Top it with some soda water and suddenly you have a refreshing spring cocktail.

Mark DeWolf

Mark’s Mess Free Mojito Purists will argue the process of muddling fresh limes and mint is the best method to extract flavour for a Mojito but I prefer the ease of preparation of this method, especially if you want to serve this to a number of people at a party. I’ve use sparkling wine in place of club soda to give my version a refreshing and sophisticated twist. When choosing a sparkling wine, forego Champagne and other classically made versions. Instead, I would opt for Prosecco or another similarly uncomplicated, fruit forward style. 1 oz white rum ½ lime, juiced 1 tbsp mint syrup Sparkling wine Slice of lime Sprig of mint Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the rum, lime juice and mint syrup. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint. How To: Mint Syrup Ingredients: 1 cup water 1 cup white sugar 1 cup mint leaves Directions: Place the sugar and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the mint leaves. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let the syrup steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Pour the syrup through a fine sieve. Be sure to press hard on the mint to extract as much of its flavour as possible. Let the syrup cool. HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE


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Feature Products Ergo Outdoor Clocks

Complete your outdoor living space with a beautiful weather resistant Ergo clock. Choose from a great selection of styles from one of Canada’s leading manufacturer of fine quality clocks.

The Living Wall by Bright Green

Bring your garden walls and fences to life! Simply plant up, hang by clipping them together on a vertical surface and watch them grow in together and create a mass of beautiful, colourful and very interesting plant life.

‘Miracle Worker’ Gloves

A good nitrile coated gardening glove really makes all the difference when it comes to comfort and durability. This snug fitting revolutionary glove is super strong with a light texture finish. Available in 6 colours.

We’re having a love affair this season with all things tea. Our

favourites include the beautiful Tea Forte line, and a Canadian made Yerba Mate Chai so good we can’t say enough about it!

‘Let’s Grow’ Potato Bag

Grow your own potatoes in this incredible and reusable grow bag! Harvest them as you need them right outside your back door. ‘Let’s Grow’ Potato bags are the newest trend in home-grown vegetable gardening, without the garden!

Outdoor Lanterns (by Garcia)

The casting glow of a flickering flame from a lantern on beautiful evening creates a most surreal ambiance. This weatherproof candle is battery operated so no risky flames to worry about. Choose from several new lantern styles all now available at your local garden centre. HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE


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Vermeer's Home & Garden Magazine  

The Spring 2013 Issue of Home & Garden Magazine offers Canadian insight into gardening techniques, theme gardening, home decor, seasonal tre...

Vermeer's Home & Garden Magazine  

The Spring 2013 Issue of Home & Garden Magazine offers Canadian insight into gardening techniques, theme gardening, home decor, seasonal tre...