How to Kill a Plant

The quickest way to kill a plant…let me count the ways. You spend a few hours, happily wandering around the garden centre, oohing and ahhing over all the pretty plants, jumping back and forth between choosing a broadleaved evergreen Escallonia or a deciduous Spiraea.  Finally, your choice made, you nestle your newly purchased treasure in

Deer, oh Deer

  “What don’t the deer eat?” It’s still the number one question we get asked at the garden centre and we still can’t give you a definite answer. Whether you think deer are beautiful and have every right to eat, too, or you think they’re a nuisance, you probably don’t appreciate spending a lot of

Spotty Leaves

This is the time of year customers arrive at the garden centre with their little bags of plant problems, one of which is spots on leaves.  Usually spots are caused by fungi with really long names that are difficult to remember, and by bacteria, viruses and even insects.  Sometimes it’s easy to tell what the

Spruce Mites

Has your lovely Fat Albert turned ugly?  Is your Dwarf Alberta Spruce going brown and losing needles?  Is your Colorado Blue looking speckled?  It could be that you have spruce spider mites. Spruce spider mites are cool weather mites and love our climate.  They’re native to North America and usually feast on spruce trees but

Dormant Oil

January.  The month of wishful thinking for those of us in the garden centre industry.  Christmas is over and now we just want to get on with spring.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature might still have some winter in store for us and that means we can only dream of warmer seasons. Wait a minute, we live

Those Rotten Tomatoes

Your tomatoes are planted and now you just need some warm days to get the ball rolling and the tomatoes growing, right?  Sure, that certainly helps but another thing you need to consider before the hot temperatures set in is to make sure you’re protected against Blossom End Rot. If you’re one of many who

Tigers & Bears in the Garden

I have tigers and bears in my garden but it’s nothing to be alarmed about.  These ones are small and fuzzy, move slow and can be easily squished under a shoe if you’re not looking.  I’m talking about caterpillars and my kids always want to keep them as pets while the knee-jerk reaction in me

Deer Resistant Choices for the Garden

Oh…deer.  Deer here, deer there, deer everywhere.  We moved in on their territory and now we want to kick them out.  Sounds like the makings of a movie but in real life this is a ‘battle’ some gardeners are facing.  Whether you love deer or not, they are here and they will be in your


Besides bringing showers, April is typically the month that brings customers to the store in search of a solution for getting rid of grubs, mostly in the lawn.  Grubs can be cutworms that chew through the roots and stems of your perennials, leatherjackets which are the larvae of the European Crane Fly (those stupid looking

Bullies in the Garden, Invasive Plants You Don’t Want

No one likes to be bullied.  In the schoolyard, at the work place or anywhere else.  Even in the plant world there are bullies.  They’re quiet, they’re stealth and sometimes they’re even beautiful but they are bullies just the same.  I’m talking about invasive plants.  From the popular English Ivy (Hedera helix) to dainty looking

Ooey-gooey Pear Slug

So, there I am, wandering about my garden, wondering what I’m going to start the fall season off with in the way of an article.  It’s a little early for bulbs, too late for annuals, perennials have had their time in the sun, grass is brown and I just don’t like chrysanthemums much.  I stop

Cool, Wet Weather Brings a Host of Problems

I’m sure the talk over the garden fence these days is about the dismal weather we’ve been having.  While perennials and shrubs love the cool, damp forecast so do Botrytis, Black Spot, Shot Hole, Powdery Mildew and a long list of other garden related diseases that we’re just starting to hear about it at the