Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Christmas Break for the Open-Line Garden Show

The Open-Line Garden Show will return to the airwaves on 105.1 Ed-FM on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 8:00 am.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Edible Front Yard -- Book Review


Each gardener has their individual style of gardening, in short we garden to the best of our abilities.  The "Edible Front Yard" by Ivette Soler gives numerous suggestions for the gardener to adapt to their own personal needs.

The idea most prevalent in the "Edible Front Yard" is the old idea of mixed edible plants and non-edibles to add colour, texture and of course functionality to the home garden.  Many plants in the "Edible Front Yard" are not hardy here or our growing season is not long enough.  Here you adapt their function in the garden with suitable plants to mimic them.  eg. growing citrus is not practical on many levels for me, so I use a hardy orange tree in my garden.  You can also winter some tropical effects so I winter a banana tree.  You can also surprise many people as I do with a hardy cactus.  My wife has never like the cactus, so it can stay.  I just have to trim it with a spade to control the size.
You should also consider local by-laws and the neighbours before you turn your front yard into edibles.  In my area the city could come in and harvest your front garden right down to the soil.  The neighbours might think I am now unemployed and desperate to have enough to eat.  This is all a good idea as long as you do not go overboard. eg: photo on pg 178.

The growing information is basic but the photographs really tell the story.  Enjoy these photographs especially the best photograph in the book on pg 152 of the lovely Lola.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sugarsnaps and Strawberries -- Book Review


Sugar Snaps and Strawberries by Andrea Bellamy is the worst named book I can remember.  With that being said, it is an excellent book for small space gardening.  It illustrates that almost any space can be a productive space.

Growing food locally has become a trend that all long term gardeners have always known, done and benefited from.  My family has never not known fresh home grown vegetables.  In our case we have reduced what we grow to our favourites, swiss chard, red onions, carrots and lots and lots of many different kinds of tomatoes.

This book recommends seed bombing.  Please be very careful as the land is private property, the police and neighbours are not that knowledgeable, but most importantly what you are seeding can be considered invasive species or not native to the local environment.

The building of raised planters is excellent.  The section on soil gives you all the good basics but I do not use food waste in my composter because it can attract animals.  The section on garden maintenance has all the basic, the vegetable section with instructions on each vegetable is good.

Buy this book if you are a beginning gardener or any gardener who needs help with difficult or unproductive spaces of any size.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Velvetleaf, Abutilon theophrasti Medic.,

Bruce & I went to garage sales on Saturday morning.  At one particular garage sale Mrs. Homeowner knew who Bruce was, asked him to identify a plant in her garden.  She was having a debate with her daughter who said it was a weed.  Mrs Homeowner was adamant it was not!!  I took photos of this plant for Bruce to identify.

Here is the photos I took:  The flower, the pod and the leaf

 Bruce identified the plant as Velvet Leaf or Abutilon theophrasti

In Ontario it is classified as a weed on the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) websiteOther names for this weed are abuliton, Butter-print, Elephant ear, Indian-mallow, Pir-marker, abutilon feuille de velours & it is of the Mallow Family (Malvaceae)

Sorry Mrs. Homeowner, your daughter is correct on this one.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tune Your Head to Ed. 105.1 ED-FM Takes Over Niagara Radio!

The Open-Line Garden Show will return to the airwaves on 105.1 Ed-FM on Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 8:00 am.

Ed Heads Unite!

Haliburton Broadcast Group Inc., owners of CKEY-FM and CFLZ-FM in Niagara today introduced Ed FM, a brand new radio station for St. Catharines, Welland, Niagara Falls and all of Southern Ontario.

Playing from a massive song list, 105.1 Ed FM will be playing all the great hits you’re familiar with PLUS a ton of tunes that you may not have heard for awhile, songs from the 80's, 90's and whatever else. You never know what you'll hear next on Ed FM.

HBG Radio's mandate is to create innovative and compelling radio with a strong focus on local information and community service.

Press Release 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Picasso Petunias in Hanging Baskets

These are Picasso Petunias planted in 12 inch plastic baskets.  They were bought from Midway Garden Center earlier in the spring.  These petunias are watered twice a day and fed regularly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants -- Book Review

Ruth Rogers Clausen's book "50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants" is simply the best book I have read on this subject.  It's obvious that she gardens in "Deer Country".  The practical points Ruth makes are clear and manageable.  Her advise on physical and chemical barriers is excellent.  She points out their limitations and strongly believes that no one way will work.  The plant material will make any deer gardener's heart pound with enthusiasm.  Each plant is covered well even if you are a beginning gardener.  There is also a list of plants that are "Deer Candy" and hence to be avoided.  Throughout the book 50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants the photography of Alan L Detrick & Linda Detrick strongly supports corresponding text and it's beauty inspires the reader to get out and garden even in Deer territory.
This is the book to have before you even step out into your garden in Deer country.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Containers - June 2011

 You can do a lot with containers!!
& they can be moved!!

Area beside the swing with the patio dining area behind

 Ball Horticultural New Improved Wave Petunias.  
We overplanted the pot but don't they look great!!

Sunflowers planted in pots
Varieties:  Van Gogh, Valentine & Music Box

 Container of Cordaline & Gerberas
PC Gigantico

 Container of Coleus - PC Gigantico
Marigolds - Ball Horticultural

Angelonia - Ball Horticultural
I love this plant in a container!

 Cordaline - PC Gigantico
Gryphon Begonia hybrida - Ball Horticultural

Collection of containers beside a sitting area.

Caught Bruce pruning something in the garden!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Vegetable Garden - June 2011

As you can tell our vegetable garden is in our patio.  
We do not have much space so we pack in the tomatoes into the area.

Tomatoes plants as of June 27, 2011.  
They are monsters & they haven't stopped growing

I want them to ripen!!

 The view of the vegetable garden from a different angle. 
When the tomatoes ripen, it will be interesting!!  I think we went overboard this year!!

 Tomatoes which need to ripen & so do the Peppers.
Cannot wait!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Small Green Roofs Low-Tech Options for Greener Living -- Book Review

If you have ever contemplated or desired your own green roof, then this book is a required read.  While this book is British, the information is excellent including checking your project out with an engineer or architect.  Don't forget Snow loading!!  The next step is to check out your local by-laws.  The last thing you want, is to find out your green roof prairie garden plants exceed the by-law heights.  I would hate to see the city workers come in and butcher your roof garden.  This was done to a Niagara-on-the-Lake home backyard garden just a few years ago, with not so much as a we are sorry or compensation for the damage to plants and hard materials.
This book gives numerous garden designs from the simple to the complex and they even know what a rain chain is.  So if you want to green roof your tool shed, child's play cottage, potting shed or your carport this book covers it.  After you have read this book, no small roof is safe from your plant's person eye.  Your bicycle shed or that ugly garden shed, consider replacing it with a more practical Green roof potting/garden/pumphouse shed.

Chicago City Hall green roof garden

Chicago City Hall green roof garden
Chicago City Hall green roof garden

Chicago City Hall green roof garden:  Rubeckia

Chicago City Hall green roof garden:  Echinacea