WHAT'S IN BLOOM
NOW or REAL SOON- August 2013
Beebalm is a must-have in any garden due to its great appeal
to butterflies, bees and hummingbirds and its fragrant leaves
of bergamot that are used often to flavour teas.
A perennial with beautiful, showy flowers atop glossy, fernlike
foliage. Astilbe may look delicat,e but they are tough. They
are easy to grow and will live a long time in your garden.
This, the queen of the Daisies, is called Coneflower for
its dome-shaped center. The striking, colorful, and fragrant
flowers continue to bloom from June into the fall.
Garden phlox is an easy to grow perennial, great for garden
color, with clusters of fragrant, showy, five-petaled flowers,
BUGS 'N' THINGS
The best defence against
bugs and disease is healthy plants. That starts with a good
volume of organic topsoil. Proper sunshine and drainage are
key. Exposure and hardiness of the plant for that zone are
important too. Adequate moisture and nutrients complete the
picture. With healthy plants, the occurences of damage are
less frequent, and usually minor enough you don't have to
Warning: Borers are common in Flowering
Crab, Fruit Apple Trees, Mountain Ash, and Peking Cotoneaster.
They can kill. Look for weak growth and holes near the ground
in the trunks...
Borers are beetles that lay eggs in tree trunks. The larvae bore their way around under the bark, eating bark and wood tissue until they mature and leave via a round, pencil-sized hole. Several larvae feeding on one small tree may kill it during one or two seasons. Symptoms are first noticed as reduced vigour of the tree. The exit holes with 'sawdust' in them are a sure sign. In our area, borers attack flowering crabs, peking cotoneaster, and mountain ash. Look for the holes within 6" of the ground. Rotenone dusted onto the trunk bases is one organic control. Or spraying Safer's Trounce into the holes may kill them. Poking a wire up the holes may work. Trees can recover from moderate damage ok.
Gardening Tip #1
The Dwarf Alberta Spruce came through the winter of
2007 with fair browning . The brown is from dehydration
that happens in cold winters when the root system is
in solid frozen ground, and can't keep the foliage supplied
with moisture. Although the foliage is dormant, it still
releases a small amount of moisture every day, and in
sunny windy weather, that adds up.The good news is that
during June's flush of new growth, the brown will get
replaced by new green needles in most cases.
Gardening Tip #2
This beautiful chiffon yellow lily finally produced
its first flower in my pond this summer, after being
planted for over a year, maybe two (I can't remember!)
My point is, you have to be patient with lilies, like
many other plants, to wait for them to establish a fair
sized root system and bulk before they can attempt to
make flowers. I strongly suggest permanently planting
water lilies onto the rubber liner on the bottom, then
covering the root mass with beach stone. The roots will
then creep over the liner under the stones, getting
nourishment from the sediment.
||Gardening Tip #3
If the deer grazing your tulips becomes unbearable, don't
forget the other main bulb that they don't even touch-
Daffodils. These cheery yellow flowers also multiply and
last for years, which tulips generally don't do. If you
really want to have tulips in the deer zone, try mixing
them in with daffodils. That makes it a little less desirable
for the deer. Blood meal sprinkled on the ground around
them helps too. Plantskydd is the new product you spray
on with the strong smell of blood to keep deer away. Use
it weekly in heavy deer areas.
||Gardening Tip #4
Remember to plant natural groupings of perennials, rather
than just singles of everything. The group looks more
relaxed, and shows up from a distance. If groups of 3,
4, 5, or more are generally used, instead of a hodgepodge
of mixed singles, the bed will have a calmer, more appealing
look. It also makes life a little easier for the gardener.
It's easy to make these groupings or 'drifts' of perennials
this time of year when you are dividing large clumps anyway.
||Gardening Tip #5
Don't use inflexible materials to tie around tree trunks
and branches, as when the trunks thicken as they grow,
they will cut off their own circulation, and eventually
die above the tie!
||Gardening Tip #6
This little guy showed up in the small pond outside my
back door in early Oct., maybe looking for a place to
spend the winter. He could do worse, as I keep it gently
heated so it doesn't ice over for the gold fish. A pond
can be kept open if during construction you place a gutter
heater cable under the rubber liner, keeping the thermostat
above the pond out in the open. Make sure the cable doesnt
cross itself. I have had luck with 400 watt models on