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The Green Spot SPRING 2012

The Next Generation

Edible Containers Movin' on Out

Trends to make the most out of the Spring Ahead

Healthy Starts Here Healthy Eating with Mairlyn Smith

Save a Spot for Herbs Texture, Forms and Colours Exterior Design with Ken Beattie

Spring's Pretty Things

Style and Colour with Cobi Ladner A Little Wine and Dine with Mark DeWolf

Food and Drink with Herb Appeal

VOLUME 3 | Issue 1


Available at:




CONTENTS The Next Generation - Edible Containers 8 Gardening Author Rob Sproule Potunia by Red Fox - Bernie Whetter


Movin' On Out - Jackie Cornwall


Everybody Should Have a Home Garden - Mandy King


Healthy Starts Here - Mairlyn Smith's Path to Health – Jami Kloet


Save a Spot for Herbs – John Vanderwees


Texture, Forms and Colour - Exterior Design by Ken Beattie


Spring's Pretty Things – Cobi Ladner


Food and Wine with Herb Appeal - Mark DeWolf


Home & Garden 1329 Rosser Avenue East Brandon, MB (204) 727-5884

The Green Spot Home & Garden Magazine is published byCarle Publishing Inc. All content, copyright © 2012, 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 The Green Spot 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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Carle Publishing Inc. and The Green Spot 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:

Graphic Design and Layout Provided By: Carle Publishing Inc. Fredericton, NB

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John Christenson John Christenson Rob Sproule Bernie Whetter Jackie Cornwall Mandy King Ken Beattie John Vanderwees Jami Kloet Mark DeWolf Lois McDonald-Layden Andy Buyting (National)


Bernie Whetter (Local)


All images sourced from unless otherwise identified.





elcome to our new issue of The Green Spot Home & Garden Magazine. I trust it will find its way to your home and fill your mind with good thoughts for the coming spring!

Keeping our store filled with fresh, trendy, and functional merchandise is our mandate. It’s what perpetuates demand. As an independent garden centre, we have the flexibility to offer broad and changeable product lines that meet the diverse interests of our customers. The quest for unique and sundry products is continuous. If not for completely new concepts, we seek novel twists to mature products. We think we’ve captured many of them to offer to you. But don’t worry. If you like things just the way they are, we still carry plenty of the tried and true. The horticulture industry thrives on product development. Every year, gardening enthusiasts anticipate the release of new varieties. 2012 will be no exception. For example, there are nine new varieties of Echinacea, four Hemerocallis (day lily), eight for the Hosta lovers, and nine in the Lilium

(lily) family. If you find that the winter was hard on your perennials due to the light snow cover and mild/cold mix of temperatures, there are many new options for replacement. We’ll introduce “Fire and Ice” Hydrangea, “Fire Light” Spirea, and “Donna May” Physocarpus (ninebark) and of course, the obvious “Royal William” and “Royal Kate” Tender Roses hit the market right on time. By the way, 3D isn’t just in the movies. It has arrived in annual floriculture. The new 3D Osteospermum has a whole new dimension and it really pops. You won’t need the glasses to get the effect! This will be an exciting year at The Green Spot as we unveil The Green Spot Cottage Country at Onanole (see details on page 30). We’re energized and ready for a great spring. Please take note of the advertisements included in this magazine. These are good companies, good people, and good products. I thank them for supporting the production and distribution of this magazine. Please consider them the next time you are in the market for their services. Enjoy the read! Bernie Whetter

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The Green Spot

News & Events 2012

Friday April 6 – Sunday April 8 The Brandon Home & Leisure Show If you’re planning a building or renovation project for the home, cottage, or garden, this is the place to be. Visit us at The Green Spot Home & Garden booth.

Wednesday May 16, 7:00pm Living Log Workshop Create the feel of the forest floor in your own back yard, We supply all the materials. Take your creation home and leave the mess behind. Please call 727-5884 to register in advance. Cost - $50

Friday April 20 Lady’s Night It’s a kick-off to spring 2012! Ladies, we will be highlighting our spring fashion clothing, jewelry, scarves, hats, and accessories. If you enjoyed the Ladies’ Night at Christmas, you can expect another great evening, this time in a spring setting. Mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, come out to The Green Spot – be entertained, visit, and enjoy some shopping in a party atmosphere!

Saturday May 19 – Monday May 21 May Long Gardener’s Marathon Three days in a row of un-interrupted gardening bliss. If you’re tackling that big project, we’re open all weekend long to keep you supplied. Take advantage of our MayLong Weekend specials.

Monday April 30 Regardless of the weather, it’s time to shift gears to spring. Spring Hours of Operation Begin Monday to Friday Saturday Sunday

9:00am – 8:00pm 9:00am – 6:00pm 12noon – 5:00pm

Saturday May 5 Spring Garden Fair Calling all gardeners! Even though it may be early to begin planting out of doors, it’s a great time to do some scouting for varieties and color schemes, and to discover the new releases for 2012. See the demonstrations, gather the information, and take advantage of the many spring specials. Wednesday May 9, 7:00pm Herb Pot Workshop Enjoy season long fresh herbs right at your back door. We supply all the materials. Take your creation home and leave the mess behind. Please call 727-5884 to register in advance. Cost - $30 Friday May 11 - Sunday May 13 Mother’s Day Weekend Celebrate Mom. Give the gift that lasts all season – a hanging basket or a patio planter. If you like gifts that last longer, choose from some great patio furnishings, fountains, or birdbaths. If you just can’t decide, she’ll love a gift certificate for The Green Spot. The Green Spot specializes in things that make Mothers happy! Saturday May 12, 10:00am Veggie Pot Workshop Don’t have a garden? Put one on your patio or balcony. We supply all the materials. Take your creation home and leave the mess behind. Please call 727-5884 to register in advance. Cost - $35




Saturday May 19, 2:00pm Kids Planter Kontest Young gardeners aged 6 to 12, come in and plant a patio planter. On July 15, take a picture of your planter and send it in to us. We will choose 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners who will receive a $75, $50, and $25 gift certificate from The Green Spot. We supply all the materials. Take your creation home and leave the mess behind. Please call 7275884 to register in advance. Cost - $25 Saturday May 19 Grand Opening - The Green Spot Cottage Country If you spend your weekends in or around Riding Mountain National Park join us at our new location at 10 Victor Avenue, at the intersection of Victor Avenue and #10 Highway between Onanole and the Park Entrance. Throughout the summer, keep coming by to see how our project progresses. Wednesday May 23, 7:00pm Succulent Garden Workshop They’re all the rage. Enjoy the lush and unique shapes of these delightful plants. We supply all the materials. Take your creation home and leave the mess behind. Please call 727-5884 to register in advance. Cost - $45 Saturday May 26, 10:00am Hanging Basket Workshop Add a touch of “welcome” to your front door. We supply all the materials. Take your creation home and leave the mess behind. Please call 727-5884 to register in advance. Cost - $30 Wednesday May 30, 7:00pm Patio Planter Workshop Get up close and personal with the flowers you love right on your deck. We supply all the materials. Take your creation home and leave the mess behind. Please call 7275884 to register in advance. Cost - $40

The Green Spot Home & Garden Saturday June 2 – Sunday June 3 Pond-in-a-Pot Weekend Enjoy the serenity of a living pond on your deck – a selfsustaining micro eco-system. The kit comes complete with all the materials you will need. The EZ-Pond is assembled in 3 easy steps. We will be demonstrating one of the kits all weekend. Purchase your EZ-Pond-in-a-Pot and get a $50 discount! (discount on this weekend only) Saturday June 16 – Sunday June 17 Father’s Day Recycle Project Celebrate Dad. Dads love tools and engines. But even more, he loves hammocks and loungers to relax in. Check us out - we’ve got it all. Since it’s usually dad’s job to clean the garage, this weekend is also our Recycle Project. With the assistance of Rotaract Club, we will receive all your garden recyclable plastics - numbers 2, 5, 6. We’ll make it worth your effort! Support the Rotaract Club Hotdog sale. Note: Please keep all your garden plastic until this weekend. Do NOT drop it off before. Monday June 25 – Saturday June 30 Red and White Sale Fly the Canadian Flag and hang a red and white flowering hanging basket on your front porch. Show your pride in this great country Canada. For the whole week prior to Canada Day, everything red and white at The Green Spot is on sale. Sunday July 1 – Monday July 2 We are closed to Celebrate Canada

Canada Day

Tuesday July 3 Time to kick back and enjoy the fruits of our labor! Summer Hours of Operation Begin Monday to Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm Sunday Closed Subscribe to our newsletter or check out our website at for more details on each event as the date approaches.

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The Next Generation of Gardening:

Edible Containers By Rob Sproule Salisbury Greenhouse Sherwood Park, AB

Whether it’s carrots or raspberries, there’s no better way to spend a sunny summer afternoon than eating right out of the garden. Asking someone if they want to eat fresh food that they’ve grown themselves is like asking them if they want a million dollars. The answer is always yes, they just don’t know how to make it happen. Eating straight from the garden or container is the most direct link the gardener can have to the earth. The fresh taste is so incredible that once you’ve eaten peas or strawberries that you’ve grown you’ll wait eagerly for the next season to come so they can ripen again. Unfortunately, there are many stereotypes about edible gardening that scare many people away before they begin. Today I want to dispel some of the myths and, hopefully, inspire you enough to pull an old pot out of the shed and plant some herbs, lettuce, or tomatoes to enjoy this summer. 8a



The Myths For many, vegetable gardening conjures images of long, straight rows of potatoes, beans, and cabbages scorching under the July sun. Countless hours are spent labouring in the fields weeding, tilling, staking, plowing, planting, and toiling. When everything matures at once, countless more hours are spent picking, preserving, plowing, planting, and toiling. It sounds exhausting! I think it’s human nature to think that, because we get something out of growing edibles, it has to be a chore. It doesn’t have to be. Gardening is as fun or as onerous as we make it, we just need a bit of confidence so we can step out our door and start being creative. You don’t need a field, a plow, or oxen to grow your own food. All you need is a pot, a few seeds, a pinch of sunlight and a dash of enthusiasm.

The Facts Home-grown veggies have far more vitamins and nutrients than imported veggies, which often have to be harvested before they’re ripe in order to be shipped. It’s also the best way to ensure that easily contaminated foods, like sprouts, are safe to eat. Growing your own food is also cheaper over the course of the summer than buying, especially if you learn some of the many ways you can preserve your harvest. Lastly, it’s a great way to get your kids involved in the garden. Children are fascinated with life and they will be amazed at how that tomato develops and ripens from a small flower.

The Trend Innovation is about walking towards the future instead of standing in the past. Innovative gardeners across Canada are looking past how edibles have traditionally been grown and embracing the creative ways that they can be grown. They are changing the rules by bringing their vegetables from the country to the city, from rolling fields to cozy patios, and from labour intensive to inspiring. Megan Bertagnolli and her husband Dave are newly married and, like many young people, they have the busy schedules of budding careers. However, even with very little time and a modest west facing deck, they are at the quiet spearhead of the edible container gardening movement. I chatted with Megan about why she takes the time to grow edibles. She replied that she grows for numerous reasons. “I like having them (fresh herbs) close to hand for when we need them. They also taste much better than a grocery store, and I can grow things in my garden that I can’t find in the grocery store.” One patio at a time, people like Megan are changing the face of gardening in Canada. Not feeling bound by tradition, she’s reinventing as she goes. She blends ornamentals, like ‘Million Bells’, in hanging baskets with strawberry plants and plants dahlias and violas next to her herbs and tomatoes. When I asked her what she would tell people who were just starting to plant edibles in containers, Megan’s advice was refreshingly down to earth. “I would tell them to talk to someone in a greenhouse so you know what kind of exposure you need. It’s fun to experiment, but pick things that are fool-proof to start out. Pick plants that you want to eat and that you enjoy. If you put too much pressure on yourself you won’t keep it up, so make sure to have fun.”

Rob Sproule and his family own and operate Salisbury Greenhouses in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Rob is a published author of several gardening books including: "Gardening with Colour; Creative Design Ideas for Canadian Gardens". HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE



“Some Annuals like it Hot!” By Lois McDonald-Layden Sunset Nursery Greenhouse Manager Pembroke, ON

Second only to “I want plants that bloom and look good all season,” one of the most common requests we get here at the store is, “I need something that can tolerate hot, hot sun and drying out.” Our customers need drought tolerant plants for many reasons. Some only visit their cottages on the weekends. Often newly built houses have absolutely no shade and their poor annual containers are left to bake in the hot sun all day. After a long work day, there is often no opportunity to water as often as one would like. Some just forget to water and they need something that will joyfully bounce back from their neglect.

DROUGHT TOLERANT CONTAINERS: • Use the biggest container you can accommodate or afford. More soil volume equals more water retention and cooler roots. At home I only have 2 or 3 huge planters since I do not want to spend my time at home watering! • Make sure your soil mix retains water. Things like peat, vermiculite, perlite and especially polymers like Soil-Moist increase a soil's ability to hold water. Our greenhouse mix contains all of these, but by special request we will add more Soil-Moist or you can buy little packets and work it into your container mix yourself.

Dusty Miller




Purple Fountain Grass




• Unglazed clay pots allow water to evaporate freely and are great for succulents, cacti, or plants in shady areas that tend to get overwatered. If you find your wire basket with cocoa fiber liner keeps drying out, use a layer of plastic (with drainage holes) between the liner and your mix to retain more water. Plastic, fiberglass or glazed clay hold moisture well.

Annual Vinca

Licorice Plant



Annual Geraniums




So what is the answer? Our go-to, drought tolerant, heat loving annuals include:


Remember that overwatering can cause just as many problems as under watering! If you get a few cloudy wet days in a row, if the temperature dips, or if you move the container to a sheltered location you will have to adjust your watering schedule.

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Keep your hanging baskets out of the wind if possible. When you do water, water really well. If a container keeps drying out, a saucer left under it to hold extra water may help.



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Re-Inventing the Petunia

Potunia by Red Fox No, it’s not a spelling error. P O T U N I A is correct. But yes, it is a P E T U N I A. Say it quickly three times – potunia petunia, potunia petunia, potunia petunia. That’s what you will be hearing this spring at your favorite garden centre. The new phenomenon in the petunia family is the Potunia from the Red Fox breeding program. The unremitting demand for the petunia is fodder for the horticulture industry to continually re-invent this constant on every gardener’s shopping list. “These petunias POP” is the slogan used to describe the new potunia petunia. Potunias are a unique breed of petunias producing a bubble-like round habit. The perfect selection for planters and flower beds, these plants are well suited for hanging baskets. The potunia delivers profuse blooming giving colour impact all summer long. Continuous mounding habit holds true all season covered by a canopy of blooms. The unique colours are intense and vibrant. Potunias can be grown in mixed containers, hanging baskets, window boxes and flower beds. The mounding habit makes them ideal for containers as they do not become overgrown and stringy. Like petunias, potunias prefer a sunny location with at least 6 hours of sunlight daily and planted in well drained, good quality soil or planting medium. When transplanted, spacing of 9” to 12” apart or 3 plants for a 10” or 12” basket will produce the desirable effect. Potunias will thrive on regular watering done in early morning and applied to the root zone. They respond to a weekly application of liquid fertilizer which

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By Bernie Whetter The Green Spot Home & Garden Brandon, Manitoba

can be supplemented with a slow release fertilizer. Always follow label recommendations on your fertilizer packaging. Enjoy the low maintenance! Potunias continue to flower without dead-heading. Shoots can be pinched if they become too leggy in late season prompting new growth / new bloom response. Rain will not keep the potunia blooms down; they bounce right back after rain showers. Potunia varieties are available in a range of distinctive and vivid colours. Here are some of our favourites: Papaya is a unique orange petunia that will “spice” up many colour combinations Deep Purple has been the most popular colour with deep dark centers contrasted against the lighter flower petal. Blackberry Ice is a nice complement to Deep Purple. The white flower appears to be dipped in a bowl of juicy blackberries emulating a cool feeling on a hot summer day. Yellow produces a delicate white edge highlighting the sunny glow of this variety increasing its attractiveness. Red Fox is a genetics program owned by Dümmen, a German based, global, horticultural plant breeder and producer of young plants. Among many other species, Dümmen is a breeder of geranium, petunia, calibrachoa, verbena, New Guinea impatiens, osteospermum, and begonia. Photo supplied by Redfox



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By Jackie Cornwall Vermeer's Garden Centre

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After day upon day of grey skies, bitter winds, and slushy parking lots if there's one thing that Canadian gardeners can all agree upon - it's that winter is, well... long.

That's why, when the first breaths of spring make their anticipated arrival, it starts a whirlwind of spring dreams turning in my head. The smell of freshly mown grass, the feel of fresh garden earth between my fingers, and the warmth of the sun's rays on my shoulders. We northern gardeners have to make the most of every summer minute. This year, invite all your senses to the garden with these simple yet rewarding outdoor enhancement tips. Stop and smell the roses...or the primula, or the peonies! This season, plant one species simply for it's smell. There's nothing quite like catching a drift of a Hall's Honeysuckle or Variegated Iris as you relax on your patio. Like a reward for a long day's work, fragrant perennials are visually stunning forms of aromatherapy. If you don't have room for them in your beds, simply pot one up near your favourite reading spot or sitting area‌you'll thank yourself daily! Incorporate Edibles. For a garden so good you can literally taste it incorporate edible plants! There's no hard and fast rule saying vegetables must be grown in a vegetable garden...a stunning 'Sweet Baby Girl' tomato just outside your back door makes a delicious juicy treat as you head off to mow the lawn, and a patio planter full of blooms and herbs near the barbeque adds spice and garnish to an outdoor feast. Most veggies take about as much care as a pot of petunias... and you get to savour the rewards!

Listen to the water... Just because you don't have a pond doesn't mean you can't enjoy water gardening. Add a water hyacinth to a simple garden fountain and presto - instant trickling tranquility! Check out ideas like "Pond in a Pot" - a simple way to grow unique, eye catching water plants right on your deck, step, or patio. The relaxing sounds of your patio side water garden will wash away the cares of a long work week after all, who has time to worry - it's finally summertime! Light up your patio with lanterns Kim Mitchell isn't the only one who highly recommends adding some patio lanterns into your lifestyle. Extend your summer evenings by incorporating lanterns of all shapes and sizes into your landscape. Whether they guide you through your garden beds, or cast a warm glow on a good summer's eve conversation, the vast array of solar and candle powered lanterns at your local garden centre are not to be ignored...they are sure to illuminate all that is to be enjoyed in a Canadian summer. Add a Bold Splash of the Tropics Mandevilla and Passion flower aren't usually the first plants you think of in a northern garden...which is all the more reason to add them! The bright, eye-catching pinks and reds of mandevilla, or the intricate detail and perfectly purple bloom of the passion flower are a head turner that announce to the neighbourhood "Hey! I'm celebrating Summer!"...and add a hint of master gardener look to any space.



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Why everybody should have a home garden By Mandy King Art Knapp's Plantland Penticton, BC


ou may think that you are eating very healthily, but sometimes beauty really is only skin deep. Are those fresh vegetables and fruits that you bought today as nutritious and good for you as you think? Maybe not. Once produce is picked, it stops receiving nutrients from the source plant and it immediately begins to lose some of its vitamins and minerals. Now add in days of traveling to the store. At the store, it may take a couple more days before the vegetables are sold to customers and now the amount of nutrients in the fruit or vegetable has really diminished. Ask Thomas F. Pawlick, author of The End of Food. “The tomato was the last straw,” he writes. He had the simple intentions of putting a regular supermarket tomato into a salad, but after waiting an entire week for the tomato to ripen and nothing happening, he forgot about the salad. Instead he turned his attention to understanding WHY this rock hard tomato, or as he calls it, “red tennis ball,” had remained completely solid and had not ripened into the juicy and soft fruit he expected. Why had the tomato not ripened? In short, the commercialization of the North American food industry is to blame. When Pawlick questioned scientific experts, they listed out in order of importance what makes a tomato crop successful in a supermarket. The top ones included:

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1) Yield (lbs per acre) 2) Size 3) Firmness (ensures tomato is not ruined when traveling long distances) 4) Uniformity in colour and ripening Now, in order for farmers to adhere to these characteristics, there’s a range of chemicals, pesticides and practices that are administered to the growing tomato crops. For example, in order to make sure the tomato is firm and won’t ruin while it travels the thousands of miles to our local supermarket, they are often picked green. Nobody likes a green tomato though, so the tomatoes are “artificially gassed with ethylene during or just after the transport in special ripening rooms.” This makes them look red and ripe. Going back to the ‘successful’ tomato requirements, nowhere on the list were the words nutritional content or flavour. What does that mean for the nutritional content of a tomato today? It has plummeted since our parents’ and grandparents’ generations. As Pawlick writes, according to statistics released by USDA publications, “100g of today’s average red, ripe whole tomato contains 22.7% less protein than a tomato would have if purchased by American shoppers in the year President JFK was murdered in Dallas.” The same goes for vitamin content; Vitamin A content is down 30.7% and Vitamin C content down 16.9%. Calcium levels are 61.5% less since 1963. Interestingly, fat content is up 65% and sodium chloride (table salt) content is up a whopping 200%! Tomatoes are not the only produce item where the nutritional content has altered drastically over recent decades. Potatoes have actually lost almost all of their Vitamin A content, and their riboflavin and thiamine contents have decreased too. Spinach loses 50-90% of its Vitamin C content within 24 hours after it is picked. Fresh peas lose 50% of their nutrients after a week

Tameyour Garden from harvest. In fact, most vegetables and fruits lose a substantial amount of their nutritional value when they travel for days or are not consumed within a day. So what can you do? The obvious option is to grow your own. If you grow veggies at home, you can carry them to the kitchen, wash them and eat them. There really is no reason not to grow your own fruit and vegetables. Not enough space you say – you can grow almost anything in a container. Tomatoes, all types of salads, herbs, cucumbers, strawberries to name just a few. Heck, you can even grow potatoes in a bag or in used tires. For truly great tips on small space vegetable gardening buy a copy of Square Foot Gardening. Too short a season you say, then use Remay – the white cloth that extends your growing season by 3 weeks in spring and the fall. Regardless of your gardening experience all it takes is enough sunshine and rain (or watering), proper soil conditions, some good fertilizer, a little know how and lots of trial-and-error experimentation. When you slice a ripe cucumber from your garden it smells like a cucumber. It's crisp, extremely juicy and tasty. When you bite into your own tomato, it is naturally red, juicy and full of flavor. Life gets no better than when you pick and pop a strawberry. It is extremely satisfying, very good exercise and now you know that it is also much better for your health.

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ealthy Starts Here! By Jami Kloet

Mairlyn Smith believes that a little humour can’t hurt on the path to health


airlyn Smith is on a mission. With her new book Healthy Starts Here! scheduled to hit bookstores in April, the foodie and funny lady says she is determined to take the fear out of healthy living.

kick-start a healthy lifestyle. From there, all you have to do is make those foods taste fantastic and as easy to prepare as possible.

“People are intimidated,” she explains. “Most people believe that healthy eating is bland, it tastes terrible, and it’s a throw back to the hippy days when people were eating granola.” (Not that Smith has anything against granola.) With a degree in Home Economics and a background with the Second City Comedy Troupe, Smith says it’s her goal to debunk those myths and take the “scary” out of living a healthy lifestyle. And a little humour never hurts, either. Her message is as strong as it is simple. “It’s just about getting back to basics,” she explains, comparing healthy eating to the way one’s grandmother might cook (think lots of fruits and veggies and ingredients that you can get at the grocery store). “A regular grocery store!” insists Smith, who says that if you shop the perimeter of your local grocery store – produce, bakery, dairy, fish and meat – you will find everything you need to 20 a



And that’s where Smith and her new book step in. Brimming with recipes that feature ingredients that are accessible to all Canadians and loaded with information on everything from nutrition information to food storage, Smith says she wrote her latest book in an effort to help people jump on the health train. As a regular guest on TV shows such as CityTV’s Cityline, Smith says she loves having a platform where she’s able to demystify the whole world of healthy eating. As a lifelong advocate of living healthy, Smith says she’s often met with a common misconception that she herself should be gaunt and militant about her diet. Definitely not the case, she laughs. “I’m a mom,” she says, jokingly. “But inside I’m a goddess. I’ve been eating like this since my 20s. I’m not crazy. I don’t do crazy things. I’m not a treehugging hippy.”

Mairlyn Smith is the only professional home economist and food writer in Canada that is also an alumnus of the Second City Comedy Troupe making her a popular TV and media food personality. Her ability to mix learning with laughter is her forte. Mairlyn has been seen on every morning show across Canada and is a regular on Breakfast TV in Toronto as well as the popular and award winning CityLine.

Smith says that it really comes down to how you feel about yourself, not necessarily how you look.

From there, she suggests picking another vegetable to incorporate into your diet, such as a dark, leafy green. “Let’s have a salad with dinner every night,” she says, explaining how these simple steps can take people from three servings of fruits and vegetable daily to the 10 servings by the end of the year, if they stick with it. After that, it’s time to make the switch from white to brown, or rather, from refined to non-refined carbohydrates. “That’s a massive change,” she says. “People have less belly fat, less chance of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.” The key to making these changes is to keep it as simple as possible, says Smith. “You can‘t do it overnight and I don’t want you to rush into it,” she says.

“When you eat healthy, you’re rewarded with great energy,” she says. “If you’ve never experienced how good you can feel, it’s foreign. With bad eating, you don’t get instant results. It takes 20 to 30 years. People get complacent as opposed to being proactive.” So where does the journey to healthy eating start? “The biggest thing is to start off small,” says Smith, otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It takes a lifetime to develop any habit, she explains. “To think that you’re going to change in a week is too short.” Smith likes to keep things simple. In the first step to health, she recommends eating an apple every day for the next two weeks. “An apple a day will keep the doctor away,” she says. “And it might even keep the cardiologist away, too.”

Another major factor in the path to healthy eating is eliminating access to junk food. Smith encourages people to just stop buying it altogether. “If you have crap in your house you will eat it,” she says. By eliminating junk from your cupboards, and only giving yourself fruits and vegetables as options, that’s what you’ll eat. “What you see, you eat,” says Smith. “So if you just see healthier things in your house, you’ll eat those, too.” Perhaps the most important tip Smith has to offer is to keep a sense of humour with you at all times. Living healthy isn’t something to be fearful of. “Nutrition is intimidating and it’s not very funny,” she says. “If you’re laughing when you’re learning, you remember it better.”



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Save a Spot for Herbs! Garden Sage W

By John Vanderwees Vanderwees Home and Garden Thunder Bay, ON

hether you have a lot of space or just a little, you can easily grow a variety of herbs for their beauty, fragrance, and usefulness in the kitchen. Most herbs, with the exceptions of mint and lavender, are treated as annual plants in most of Canada. Here are some ideas to get you started

Nothing says home cooking like a lovely sage dressing. Garden sage thrives in a sunny spot, and its leaves retain their flavour once dried. Although not truly perennial in our climate, a sage plant may live for 3-4 years in a sheltered location. Spearmint


Basil and Oregano

These two herbs are essential to Italian cooking, and are easy to grow in your summer garden. You will find that using the fresh herbs as opposed to dried packaged herbs gives your sauces a more luxurious flavour. Basil is the essential ingredient in Italian pesto, which is easy to make at home. Or, try Thai basil for its unique “mint-licorice” flavour.


The soft, delicate leaves of dill are used in pickling and for aromatic dips. Eastern cultures also use the seeds as a spice. Culinary uses aside, dill is a beautiful plant in the garden. Plants will grow up to 5 feet high, topped with beautiful yellow flowers by August. If you are growing dill for its foliage, clip the flowers before they mature, as the leaves will toughen as the flowers dry. 22 a





You can enjoy mint straight from your garden. Decorate tall glasses of iced tea or lemonade with springs of fresh mint, or just nibble on it to enjoy its cooling flavour. Peppermint and spearmint are perennial herbs and very easy to establish in your garden – in fact, they spread easily, so be careful where you plant them! You can enjoy a supply for years to come.

Lavender Cookies



A true kitchen garden herb, parsley will thrive in the ground, or year-round in a deep pot on a bright indoor windowsill. You can choose from curled parsley or flat, “Italian” parsley – both have the same flavour. In the garden, parsley is an ideal companion plant for tomatoes, as its scent confuses tomato-damaging insects.


English Lavender

The soothing scent of lavender is reputed to help insomnia and headaches, but did you know you can put lavender in cookies? Lavender in sugar cookies or shortbreads was popular in Victorian times, and is making a comeback. Grow a beautiful lavender plant in your garden for a handy supply. These herbs and many more are available at our store. Please visit us and talk to our experts to learn more about available herbs for this coming spring.



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Textures, Form and Colour

Exterior Design

By Ken Beattie Canada's Favourite Gardner Winnipeg, MB

The framework of a landscape requires a minimum of three areas of concentration: texture, form and colour. Often novice and experienced gardeners alike concentrate on one or the other often producing results that are somewhat lack-lustre.


Form is the building block of a good landscape. It is the walls, floors and ceiling of your garden. The analogy relating the landscape to your home is not new by any stretch of the imagination, and it is very effective. Every landscape or garden should have walls of some sort to delineate the space. Often we rely on fences, other buildings such as a free standing garage or perhaps the neighbour’s house. In many instances one can 24 a



view the entire landscape, backyard or garden from one vantage point in the yard. In my view, this is one of the most common faults of the Canadian landscape but thankfully is easily corrected. Once again consider the “room” analogy and attempt to break up the lines of sight by developing smaller, interesting “rooms” or focal points within your design. Consider clusters of evergreen shrubs, deciduous trees with strong form and/or interesting bark (to punctuate the design) as well as informal hedging when making your choice of an effective wall for your garden. Winter interest is often overlooked in the design process. Considering that most of our gardens are in winter months for the greater portion of the year, make it interesting. Breaking the monotony of a rectangular yard with structural additions such as pools, pergolas, gazebos and the like also encourages a destination within the landscape adding interest and an opportunity to micro-design each area depending on the mood or ambience you wish to achieve.


Texture is most likely the component that is overlooked in the design process. I am often challenged by others who prefer constant colour in the landscape. You see, I am a bit of a “texture freak” when it comes to gardening. Textures in foliage such as with Rheum, Peltiphyllum or Rogersia offer coarseness in the landscape where Alchemilla is more intimate with foliage that beads water which reflects sunlight. The feathery texture of Genista or the bristles of Larix offer sound in the garden as well as soft textures. More obvious texture examples are with Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick, contorted willow, and many of the maples such as Acer pennsylvanicum with striped bark. Grasses are still playing a major role in the Canadian landscape. Easily grown and maintained, this category of perennial offers endless texture possibilities. Japanese water grass Hakonechloa macra

'Aureola' is not only one of my favourites but my dog’s as well. This delightful grass emulates water to my mind as it gently flows over rocks or cascades out of containers. This grass is even touted as being “deer proof.” Combining this wonderful grass with the coarser foliage of Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ makes for a stunning combination, in particular when the Brunnera is in full bloom. The contrast of dark blue flowers against the variegated foliage and the accent of yellow stripes is a classic texture/colour combination.


Colour in your garden is as personal as the paint you choose for your home. Ideally, the garden or landscape should have some interesting colour throughout the season. An orchestration of colour is often the term used. Early spring can be a classic riot of colour with bulbs of all sizes, shapes and colours. The fact that the trees have no foliage in the early spring means that even the shadiest of gardens is basking in full sun for a period. Anything goes with colour at this time of the year as most of us are so tired of seeing white or dull, dirty, monotonous scenes. Some can actually plan their spring show by organizing bulbs according to their blooming season, stretching the spring out a little longer. It’s too late for this season, but take note for next fall. Bulbs actually have bloom categories from very early to late season. Themed colours are very popular with a tendency for the blues and pinks to rank the highest. I personally have difficulty with oranges in the garden, but over time have learned how to use this hue to punctuate the surroundings. Two of my favourites to use are the Heucheras and Tiarellas as both perform well in my shadier spots and heavy soil. There are at least a trillion variations I am sure, so there is bound to be a variety that is perfect for your garden. HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE


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Spring’s Pretty Things By Jami Kloet

Cobi Ladner offers a bright outlook for the spring season Colour has always been on Cobi Ladner’s design radar. Even though the magazine editor turned home designer has always shunned trends, she’s always been a huge proponent of colour. So it comes as no surprise that when the Pantone Color Institute, renowned throughout the design industry as the provider of professional color standards, declared “Tangerine Tango” (Pantone 17-1463) as the colour of the year for 2012, Ladner jokingly issued a tongue-in-cheek, “I told you so.” All kidding aside, Ladner admits that she’s excited to see bright colours making a comeback, especially during a time when her namesake brand, cobistyle, a collection of home and lifestyle products, is riding into its second year of market success. “I’m happy to be in the marketplace as it’s happening,” she admits. “I definitely think that bold colour is here and it’s here to stay for a long time.” As for the orange invasion in particular, Ladner says she’s loving it. “It’s a very livable colour,” she says. “If you like it, it can be toned up or down.” Another colour that Ladner is currently coveting for spring is lime green. A common hue in her own line of products, Ladner admits that even she was surprised at the versatility that came with this citrusy shade. “It’s really easy to use,” she says, explaining that the color pairs 26 a



with everything from earthy tones to sunny yellows and oranges. “It’s almost a neutral,” says Ladner. “I can’t think of a colour that it doesn’t look good with.” In other fresh design news, Ladner says that geometric patterns are still “really happening” for spring, especially in the form of pillows, textiles and rugs. “There’s something really fresh about geometrics,” she explains, noting that the focus has shifted from multicolour designs to simple dual tones (think a single hue mixed against white or black). Though simple in theory, Ladner says the impact of incorporating a geometric print into a dull room can be quite strong. “If you imagine a room that’s neutral and soft, it suddenly looks newer and looks fresher,” she says. Another easy (and affordable) way to incorporate colour or pattern into a room is through the use of decorative throw blankets, says Ladner. “It’s a great way to get colour into a room,” she says. “Colours you wouldn’t put in anything else, a throw is a great way to go.” When the talk turns to textiles, Ladner is excited to dish on a new product that she recently added to the cobistyle brand – a new line of table linens that actually double as stylish scarves. “Table scarves,” as Ladner calls them are a beautiful, bright collection of luxurious table runners that can actually be worn as a fashionable neck scarf. “We found that when we were looking at textiles that make scarves, they also make table linens,” explains Ladner. “And a lot of them were really cute.” Ladner says the product looks great as a decorative table runner, but is easily wearable as a scarf, similar in style to wearing a pretty pashmina and then throwing it over a chair for decorative purposes, she explains. “I think it’s a really cute idea,” admits Ladner. “It’s a great gift and fun for spring.” Also new to the cobistyle brand this season is the launch of a lighting line. Available at retailers in May, the fashionable line of fixtures is a true testament to Ladner’s personal style, with each unique piece bursting with colour and global inspiration – very chic, and very Cobi, indeed.

MULCH that makes gardening easy

Topsoil, triple mix or composted mulch? Which soil amendment does the most for the garden – and benefits the gardener, too?

You can spend your time on a non-stop regimen of weeding, improving the soil & feeding your plants, or you can do all of this – and still have time to enjoy your garden – with a single seasonal application of the right kind of mulch - Nincompoop!


aerate the soil, easing the annual backbreaking task of tilling the garden. As architects of nutrient-rich earth, worms produce castings high in nitrogen, reducing the need to apply additional fertilizers. From the ground up, worms transform Nincompoop Mulch into rich, premium compost that helps maintain good soil structure – breaking up heavy clay and improving the tilth of sandy soils – as well as adding more than enough nutrition for the entire growing season. In addition to feeding the soil, Nincompoop Mulch retains three times its weight in moisture, reducing the need for watering, even during droughts. Applied about eight centimetres (3”) deep, it creates a barrier to prevent evaporation from the surface of the soil and insulates roots from the hot sun or cold winters. Nincompoop also absorbs rainwater, slowly releasing moisture into the soil and delivering it to plant roots as it’s needed. Nutrient rich, weed-free, organic and sustainable, Nincompoop Mulch offers easy, one-step gardening for busy homeowners. Nincompoop Farms also offers: ‘Blended Earth & Compost’ - their version of triple mix, ‘Lawn Top Dressing & Compost’, and ‘100% Pure Premium Compost’, all of which are enhanced with Nincompoop Mulch!

springtime, and the bags of soils and mulches stacked up on neighbourhood driveways tell the tale of homeowners eager to improve their gardens. Typically, the choices of mulch and soil amendments include topsoil, triple mix and an array of wood-based mulches. ‘Topsoil’ is the uppermost layer of soil, and may be composed of heavy clay or sandy soil; neither makes ideal garden loam. In addition, topsoil may contain weed seeds. Because topsoil is also an ingredient of ‘triple mix,’ together with peat moss and compost, triple mix can be as problematic as topsoil. And while wood-based mulches may help suppress weeds, moderate soil temperatures and retain soil moisture, unless you buy from a reliable source, some may contain recycled materials that may be harmful to you, your pets and your plants. Nincompoop mulch is wood-free so it’s a natural for termite zones. It’s an organic mulch made from farm byproducts, such as horse and poultry Available in 2 ft.3/56L bags and bulk at manure, that is sterilized and combined The Green Spot with straw to form a fine-textured, Home & Garden Centre sanitized, nutrient-rich mulch that breaks 1329 Rosser Ave. Brandon, Manitoba. down naturally, working with worms (204)727-5884 and micro-organisms in your garden to and other selected Nurseries & Garden improve and enrich the soil. And as any Centres in Ontario, Manitoba & Quebec. good gardener knows, the best way to For additional information or to find a dealer near you call 1-877-POOP-411 or go to: feed your plants is to feed the earth. Worms especially thrive on Also available at: Home Hardware Stores in Ontario. Nincompoop Mulch. As they pull the The rest of Canada by ‘Special Order’. mulch down into the soil their tunnels help Works like Mulch...Feeds like Compost! © Copyright 2012 - ‘Nincompoop’ is a Registered TradeMark of Nincompoop Farms Incorporated



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Food and Drink Herb Appeal Food and Drink with Herb Appeal By Mark DeWolf

Mark DeWolf is a wine, food and entertainment editor, a sommelier instructor with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers and owner of By the Glass; a tour company specializing in food and wine adventures to exotic locales such as Argentina, South Africa, Italy and France.

Herbs and microgreens are the latest culinary fad but they have long been my inspiration for spring menus on this and the other side of the Atlantic. Store purchased herbs will do in a pinch but when they are so easy to grow, all year round, why would you sacrifice the flavour?

Herbal Remedies

While wine enthusiasts often focus on the fruit scents of many wines, a number of grape varieties and regions deliver herbaceous and vegetal aromas and flavours thanks to a naturally occurring group of compounds called pyrazines. These herb accented wines often make versatile food pairings as their savoury character is a natural partner to many classic dishes.



Food Pairing

Aniseed A variety of Italian Hearty pasta dishes red wines such as Sangiovese

If you are apartment bound or the weather isn’t cooperating, then consider a windowsill as a makeshift herb garden. You just need some cell paks, plastic trays, seeds, some potting soil, water and a little patience. Your local gardening store expert will be able to give you all the details to successfully start growing fresh herbs. After a few weeks you will want to transfer the herbs to small decorative pots; et voilà you have fresh herbs to incorporate into your culinary repertoire. A quick tip is to consider using the potted herbs as fragrant alternative to flowers as a centerpiece to a dinner party. Guests can rip off their favourite herb to add extra flavour to their meal.


Many slightly unripe Sauvignon Blanc

Pesto pasta


South Australian Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon

Minted lamb burgers

Pesto Perfection:

Basil Pesto

The word pesto originates from the Italian pestare, meaning to crush. The sauce likely originates in the Northern Italian province of Liguria, although earlier variations may have been made in North Africa. It is traditionally made by crushing basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and Parmigiano-Reggiano (aka Parmesan). Traditionalists would argue pesto needs to be made with a pestle and mortar but I’d suggest a food processor is an excellent alternative. 28 a



Mint Napa Valley Cabernet Herb crusted beef Sauvignon Peppermint Australian Shiraz

Herb crusted rack of lamb

Tomato Leaf

Beef with chimichurri sauce

Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon

I usually make a big batch of pesto as it is so versatile in the kitchen. You can use it to rub over chicken for a flavourful roast or toss it with spaghetti for a quick but delicious dinner. Don’t forget the wine. A pesto pasta is a great pairing to a fresh Sauvignon Blanc such as Mondavi Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc which is available at most liquor stores across the country.


Ingredients: 4 cups loosely packed basil leaves 2 cloves garlic, minced ½ cup extra virgin olive oil ½ cup lightly toasted pine nuts 1 ½ cups Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan) Salt to taste Directions: 1. Place the basil, garlic, olive oil and pine nuts in a food processor; blend briefly. 2. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan) and blend again.

Sage and Walnut Pesto

I love this richer, more savoury pesto with full flavoured dishes. Add it to your stuffing for turkey dinner, rub it over pork loin for a delicious roast dinner or add it to a simple butter sauce or cream as topping for ravioli. As for the wine pairing try matching it with a savoury California Pinot Noir such as those emerging from that state’s coolest growing regions. Directions: 1. Place the parsley, sage, garlic, olive oil and walnuts in a food processor; blend briefly. 2. Add the ParmigianoReggiano (Parmesan) and blend again. HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE


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Announcing On

The Green Spot Cottage Country May 18, 2012, The Green Spot Cottage Country will open its doors for business servicing the resort areas of Riding Mountain National Park including the town site of Wasagaming, the village of Onanole, the RM of Park, and surrounding communities. Located at 10 Victor Avenue, it is at the heart of the Clear Lake Resort district. The Green Spot Cottage Country will provide services parallel to its home location, The Green Spot Home & Garden, 1329 Rosser Avenue East in Brandon. The shop will have a cottage theme offering garden and gift ware, home décor, patio furnishings, entertainment accoutrements, and a Christmas collection. A selection of potted trees and shrubs suitable for the park area, annuals, perennials, and finished planters and baskets will be available for those who enjoy gardening at the cottage. Excitement unfolds right next door as the dining area for The Foxtail Café begins construction. With inspiration taken from the “cook-shacks” in the seasonal campground, the rustic design offers a relaxed setting where patrons will

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enjoy gastronomic delights. Featured in the center of the structure is a large wood oven which will bake the house specialty - gourmet wood-fired pizza. The Foxtail Café is scheduled to open late in 2012. The versatile space between The Green Spot Cottage Country and The Foxtail Café will allow for open air markets and evening concerts or it might be the spot to soak up some daytime sun or enjoy the comfort of an evening campfire. If your weekends, holidays, or day trips take you to areas in and around Riding Mountain National Park, stop in at The Green Spot Cottage Country, 10 Victor Avenue, off Hwy #10, south of the Park entrance and north of Onanole - just a stones throw across the highway from Sportsman’s park. We look forward to enjoying the summer with you in Cottage Country.

Landscape Considerations What ever your reason, contemplating a landscape transformation necessitates some careful considerations. • How much maintenance am I comfortable with? Every plant requires some care but there’s a wide range. Low maintenance landscapes conserve and reduce inputs and give you more time to enjoy your space. • How do I know what plants to select? Choose plants with the hardiness zone rating of your area and their sun/shade requirements. Some plants attract specific friends such as birds, bees, butterflies, and cats. Choose your friends! Remember to space the plants with their full mature size in mind. * DIY or hire a landscape contractor? How much work do I want to do, how much time do I have, what tools are required, do I have the financial resources. And remember, a contractor’s work is under warranty!

If you hire a contractor, here are some tips: - Ask for references and pictures or addresses of jobs they have completed - Take pictures of your yard and any features/plants you would like incorporated into your project. - Ask for a quote. This is the time to make changes to the plan - Once the project begins, stay out of their way. Interruptions and changes may jeopardize your quote. - Consult frequently with the site manager for progress reports

If you choose to DIY, advance planning can mitigate many headaches. - Make a scale drawing and mark the size and location of each feature and plant (at maturity) - Take inventory of your tools and check availability of additional tools - Lay out the design on the ground with a garden hose and adjust before you cut - Don’t skimp on medium – either sand for packing or compost for soil quality - Use landscape fabric under hard surfaces or course nuggets and rock - Drain water away from foundations and patio areas Beautiful yards are a work in progress. You may never be done! HOME & GARDEN MAGAZINE


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Home & Garden GreenSpot Spring 2012  

Home & Garden GreenSpot Spring 2012