Your online resource for garden information, ideas and advice.
I spoke with so many people last year that had new and different garden experiences - birds they've never seen before now visit regularly - insects are eating plants they've never eaten before - and some are frustrated with plant viruses they've never had to deal with. My neighbours large, stunning, magnolia developed a nasty case of magnolia scale - after 20 years! And I had a case of cucumber mosaic. Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) is most often spread by aphids, but can be carried by wind and rain from other sources. And once it's there, it can overwinter in the soil. There's no cure - remove the damaged plants to try to minimize the spread to other cucumbers, melons and squashes. Your best bet is to purchase CMV resistant seeds. The first sign of the disease was a vine that just looks weak - and leaves with a mosaic type pattern throughout and spotted with holes. The fruit did start to grow, but quickly became distorted and discoloured. Lucky for us, we did get a good size harvest before the CMV hit, but the virus spread to neighbouring plants. This year they will be planted in different beds around the garden to hopefully avoid any disease issues.
Invite Butterflies into the Garden
Welcome butterflies into the garden with a mix of nectar producing blossoms and preferred host plants.
Plant milkweed – it’s the only host plant of the monarch butterfly larvae -and it’s easy to grow! Purchase plants from your local garden center, plant seeds indoors in early spring, or sow directly into the ground once the risk of frost is over. Milkweed are an easy-growing perennial that need little attention, but produce big results. Tall flower stems and pink or white blooms give monarchs a home for their young and provide food for all butterflies.
Not all butterflies lay eggs on the same plants that they feast on – many plants are simply host plants and are not food providers, so when planning a garden be sure to include both – you’ll attract plenty of butterflies and help keep the population strong!
The Language of Flowers...
– aka Primrose, are vibrant,
that grow 6 to 12 inches
high and are hardy from zones 3b to 7b. One of the first spring plants to give us hope that our gardens will once again flouriish, Primula polyantha enjoys light shade and is available in a wide range of stunning colours.
Primrose signifies “young love”, which when you think about it, for us gardeners it makes sense – we’re falling in love with our gardens once again
Is it poison oak or poison ivy? Find out here.
Rat's Tail Radish
Want to grow a fun, non-stop vegetable? Then plant Rat’s Tail Radish.
Unlike the traditional underground, round, red radish, rat’s tail is an edible pod that sprouts from pale pink flowers that in turn, sprout from long, flowing stems.
A non-stop summer performer, rat’s tails are easy to grow and won’t fade away in the heat like most radishes do. This is certainly not a cool-season radish – they thrive during warm summer days and prefer full sun. Similar in appearance to a long bean, (and a rat tail!), this edible pod is delicious fresh from the garden, is a great addition to stir-fry’s and is also an easy pickling vegetable.
Butterflies flock to the flowers and continued pod harvest will also continue to produce new flower growth and in turn, more radishes.
Rat’s tail is an Asian heirloom that was introduced to the U.S. in the 1860s and has been growing ever since. Plant this interesting, easy-care and colourful radish every two weeks over the season for a continued harvest.