Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!  HAPPY THREE KINGS! As we are now in 2019, new year, new beginnings, new challenges and  new opportunities.  Everyone is entitled to make their new year’s resolution for as long as they keep it in mind and make sure that they do it to the best of their ability.  When I was young [...]

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Page added on February 25, 2011

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Days are getting longer and warmer, seed catalogues are starting to arrive in the mail. Seed stands are begining to spring up, also packaged plant root and bulbs will soon be on display.
It’s a good time to start planning for spring. Seed catalogues will be introducing new and improved varieties. Be willing to experiment in your own garden. Factors to be aware of are the mature size of a plant dictates how many you can place in you garden. As a general rule to create a showy effect you need five to seven of each small plants (3-12 “) three each of medium height (13-24″) and only one of large plants (25-36″), but if you have a preference for a certian plant then you could have a larger display say of lillies, iris or lupins. Vary the size and shape of the locations where you will be positioning your plants.  Shrubs can also be introduced for fill in and varation. I always like to see a mixture of groups of plants, all types of flowers and different colours of blooms through out the seasons, and different shape, texture and colour of foilage along with some shrubs. Go for a slection that will have something flowering from spring to fall.
If you see something you like in a catalogue that is not recommended for your area don’t let that sway your desires from trying it.When expermenting with out of zone plants choose a protected location of your garden, such as a south or west facing side of your house, that is protected   from the wind. The root system on most perennials are only 2-3 inchs deep and if the top soil drys out then your plant winter kills. It is essential to water your plants well in the fall shortly before the ground freezes, leave all stems and leaves to help trap snow.  Also consider mulching the plant for extra winter protection. With the chinooks we’ve been getting it would be worth your while to dump snow on any exposed planter beds to keep moisture locked in.
Back to spring, if you intend to purchase packaged root stock, pick roots that have three or more healthy eyes or sprouts. Squeeze the root to check for inner rot (should be frim) and also watch for mold. For best quality buy roots and bulbs as early  as possible, indoor conditions in stores are not ideal, being to warm and dry. Also avoid any roots with long pale sprouts that are more then two inches. If you have purchased root stock get them out of the packages and plant into pots at a shallow depth so that they are barely covered with soil. Keep soil moist by watering from the bottom, drian off the excess water and keep potted root in front of a sunny window. When spring tempertures have warmed , gradually harden off roots before planting outside. Good healthy roots will produce flowers the same summer and are fairly inexpensive.
Buying established plants is the simplest route for best results. Most started plants have tags that state mature height and spread, colour, zone rating, sun or shade tolerance and soil requirement. Select plants that are bushy and healthy looking. A plant that looks neglected is never a good buy. You may not find at garden centers the varieties that are presented in catalogues but you will find healthy plants to enjoy.

Happy valentines day

H. W. Kriaski


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