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Creating a Native Plant Garden

Every spring equinox, around March 24, the flowering currant in my garden opens its bright crimson flowers. It’s a welcome...

Deer-Resistant Roses

Apart from their flowers, fragrance and dependability, moss roses have another characteristic that should endear them to gardeners in deer country. The moss that makes them so attractive to us contains aromatic oils that deer don’t like. If you...

Moss Roses

Sometimes, in gardening as in other subjects, going forward involves looking back to what an earlier generation embraced and then discarded for the next novelty. This is particularly true of roses and, as our 21st-century aversion to pesticides and high...

Getting to Know the Natives

Swallowed up by two-room cabin fever during an unexpected rainstorm at a Vancouver Island cottage last summer, my salvation was a rickety but well-stocked bookshelf. Choosing Native Plants in the Coastal Garden, by Victoria residents April Pettinger and Brenda Costanzo,

Clematis Classics

The genus Clematis comprises some 200 species ranging in origin from all over the globe, and encompasses sprawling climbers, evergreens and even woody-based perennials. Mention the word “clematis” to any bunch of gardeners and eyes begin to light...

Great Northern Tomatoes

Louise Jacobs has been gardening for 24 years in a zone 2, 60-day growing season in Quick, B.C., a small northern community situated between Houston and Smithers. Over the years, she has discovered a few tricks for making the most...

Pieris Japonica

Unfurling like red flags, the new leaves of many evergreen shrubs herald the arrival of spring. This burst of colour – think of Fraser’s photinia or Pieris japonica cultivars – adds a splash to the garden, but more importantly to...


  And so it was with me when, some years ago, I set five excellent young Cotoneaster microphyllus on the western-facing slope of a grassy bank.

Elysium Garden

By mid June the apple-bough fence is almost covered by roses - 'Henry Kelsey' and 'Harrison's Yellow' flourish. Now a favourite haunt of both locals and visitors to the area, Elysium Garden and Nursery opened in spring 1999 with the...


As gardeners prepare for the season ahead, this is the time of year when many organizations unveil their annual selections, and the National Garden Bureau (NGB) is celebrating 2004 as Year of the Dianthus. Dianthus is in the family Caryophyllaceaea;...

Garden Makeover: Adding a Welcoming Entrance

Olde and her colleagues took on the challenge of redesigning this disappointing entranceway into a beacon of welcome where guests are easily guided to the front door. "An entry with a wide, winding pathway of pavers does wonders for warming...

Growing Tomatoes in Northern Latitudes

Louise Jacobs has been gardening for 24 years in a zone 2, 60-day growing season in Quick, B.C., a small...

Patio Makeover

It took 12 years and a strict budget, but a West Vancouver couple now enjoys the rewards of their revitalized home and garden—especially their beautifully transformed deck.

Patio makeover

Debbie and Leen Hoogendyk moved into their ranch-style home in West Vancouver in 1989. Leen, whose middle name might well...

Anatomy of a Hanging Basket

The following is a breakdown of the flowers that Claude used in his basket: 1. Verbena Tukana 'Salmon' 2. Begonia 'Maribel' (pink shades) 3. Dichondra 'Silver Falls' 4. Sanvitalia 'Little Sun' 5. Brachyscome 'Amethyst'...

Leaf miners

Leaf miners overwinter in soil as grubs and emerge as flies during the growing season. There are multi-generations every year. To control them, try the following: Plant beets and Swiss chard in a new location, practising smart crop rotation. Cover...

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