Black gold. That is what gardeners call the dark, rich stuff that comes out of the compost bin once it has done its job. Partners who share a garden (and compost bin) have been known to do battle over who lays claim to this rich earth. Composting has been going on for eons in some

A Rose Between Many Thorns

Roses are high maintenance.  I love the perfume and the flower itself but can’t quite see myself having a typical rose garden.  I’ve tried one or two in the past but have never spent the time needed to make them really successful.  They like to be pampered and I’m not one for coddling.  There is

Fall Cover Crops

Leave a patch of ground bare and Mother Nature will soon fill it with something and, more often than not, with something you don’t want (like what’s in the picture). Take vegetable gardens for example.  As we harvest the last of the beans we rip out the plants, maybe rake the soil out nice and

My Love Hate Relationship with Ornamental Grasses

Every late summer, fall and winter I love ornamental grasses in the garden.  They stand tall (or short depending on the type), they bring life and movement, waving in the breeze, and they glisten and sparkle in the sun or frost.   Every spring I hate ornamental grasses in the garden, at least the warm season

It’s Not Quite Spring Yet

Some days the winter wind is a-blowin’ and the ground is frozen.  Other days there’s a thick layer of fog weighing down your spirit.  Or it’s raining.  But on those sunny, mild West Coast winter days you want to get out in the garden and DO something!  Resist.  It’s not quite spring yet. On days

My Roots

This is where I got my love of gardening from…my parents.  They are both in their mid eighties and still gardening strong.  Here is a glimpse into their gardens, Mom’s English garden and Dad’s edibles (the key to a long marriage is having your own space to garden). Warning:  this is not a ‘perfect’ garden

Fish Observatory

If you’ve stopped by Cultivate this summer you may have noticed that the fish in our pond had an upgrade on their accommodations.   They now have a glass observatory that they can swim up into and have a good look around at their digs…and at you, too! Quite a few customers have taken pictures and

Watering Woes

“How often should I be watering my garden/plant/tree/container?”  The answer to this is “I don’t know.”  Now that probably isn’t the answer you want to hear and really I’d rather sound smart and knowledgeable and whip off a great reply but to be honest there are so many variables in these situations that there really

What do those numbers mean?

N-P-K, that mysterious formula.  What does it all mean?  Trust me; you’re not the only one who gets confused by those numbers on fertilizer bottles.  In fact, I’d say you’re in the majority so don’t be shy when you’re looking for the right food for your plant as it’s important to get the proper fertilizer

Fairies Bring Good Luck

It is said that if you plant a miniature garden for fairies that something magical happens.  Years drop away, stress leaves you and you are transported into the world of make believe.  Nothing brings out the inner child in us more than when we plant a fairy garden. When I was growing up some of

Paper Mulch, an Alternative to Landscape Fabric

Spring is here and with it comes projects in the garden.  Whether by choice or by the appearance of a list taped to your coffee mug one morning there’s always something that has to be done in the garden.  This time of year is a great time to tackle projects because it’s not too hot

Then and Now. Garden Lore and Musty Books

Gardening is both ever evolving and stuck in time.  It’s full of new technology and old wives tales.  Some practices that were used a hundred years ago still hold true today while new technology tempts us at every turn to make the job easier, lighter or faster.  We’ve planted by the moon, by day length,

The Dirt on Dirt

The industry joke about dirt is that if it’s in a bag and sold in a garden centre it’s called ‘soil’.   Perceived value, I guess.  Who wants to pay money for dirt? Today the ‘dirt’ we sell is actually more than just dirt; it’s rich in organic matter, has peat moss or composted manure mixed

Why We Should Lime

Here on the wet West Coast we get rain.  I’m sure you know that already but how does a lot of rain make our gardens different from those in Kamloops,Vernon or in other parts of the country?  Besides helping the plants and grass grow lush and green, lots of rain has a tendency to make

Fall Leaves (don’t throw them away!)

Nothing announces a change in the season more than falling leaves. Who doesn’t have a memory of jumping in a freshly raked pile or kicking up big maple leaves on a trail through the forest, collecting the biggest leaf you can find and pressing it in a book? While fall can bring back childhood memories

Sea Soil (and why it’s so great)

If anyone has ever talked to me at the garden centre about soil, mulch or what to use when planting trees and shrubs then they know about my love affair with Sea Soil.  I am a HUGE fan of Sea Soil, I use it in my garden, I recommend it for just about all plantings,

Summer Planting

I had so many things to write about this week but one question keeps popping up at the garden centre that I figured I’d answer it here.  Yes, you CAN plant in the summer!   Sure, there are a couple of caveats to that statement but generally, yes, you can and why not?  The weather is