Rake leaves off the lawn and use them as mulch to protect plants from winter damage.  |  Albert Parsons photo

Cosy blanket keeps plants happy

Making sure the plants in our gardens come through the winter without damage requires careful planning. Hopefully the first necessary action — choosing plants that are suited to your growing zone — took place months ago. If you have a lot of zone 3 and 4 plants in your garden and you live in zone […] Read more

Choosing tree suitable for climate key to success

Trees are one of nature’s great wonders. They are magnificent things that boost our emotional health and provide other tangible benefits, such as supplying wildlife habitat and protection from wind and soil erosion. Trees can reduce heating and cooling costs by shading a home or deflecting cold winter winds. They can also clean the air […] Read more

Vertical elements add visual appeal

Spikes and spires of hardy perennials add a structural aspect to the landscape. These plants are must-haves for any perennial border because they can be used as specimen plants, add a vertical dimension to a flower border and put on a good display of bloom behind shorter plants in the border. Hostas produce lovely spikes […] Read more

Dress yard with this, that and those other things

The possibilities are endless when it comes to adding art to the landscape. The only limit is the imagination of the gardener. Decades ago, a garden was almost totally devoted to plants but nowadays it may include outdoor living areas, sculptures, decor built around a theme or plain whimsy, and a myriad of choices of […] Read more

Dress trellis or fence with a profusion of Clematis blooms

Perennial vines add charm and beauty to the landscape, are great at camouflaging fences and old buildings and create stunning vertical accents. Some of the best perennial vines are the many varieties of clematis that are hardy on the Prairies. Some retail outlets sell clematis that are not hardy in zones 2 and 3, so […] Read more

Plan where, what, when

The first two weeks in May are the optimum time to sow most vegetables because the soil has warmed up, moisture levels are good, days are longer and the sun’s rays are warmer. There are several things to keep in mind. Take inventory of the conditions you have to work with and examine the garden’s […] Read more

Forsythia flowers provide spring colour

Prairie gardeners eagerly anticipate the first blooms in their outdoor gardens after having them covered in snow for months. The forsythia shrub is one of the first plants to provide such colour. In late April or early May, depending on the spring, bright yellow, bell-shaped flowers appear on the shrub’s branches. The entire shrub appears […] Read more

Mulch, styrofoam protect plants from winter kill, disease

October is here so it’s time to put the garden to bed for the long winter ahead. Besides last minute watering, weeding and cleanup and storing tools and accessories, attention must be given to adequately protect plants so that they come through the winter well. It is a good idea to protect both hardy plants […] Read more

For a hardy perennial that produces the purest of white bloom over a long period of time in the late summer, consider David, the 2002 perennial plant of the year.  |  Albert Parsons photo

Phlox delivers long-lasting, fragrant autumn blooms

New plant introductions always cause a stir in the gardening community. David, a perennial phlox panticulata that was introduced about 15 years ago, has lived up to the hype. Perennial phlox is a dependable and versatile plant that is a long bloomer, hardy, long-lived, low maintenance and self-supporting. It is a mainstay of the late […] Read more

Excite with exotic lilies

Lilies are a fixture in prairie gardens but common species have steadily been replaced by more exotic varieties. The first to arrive was the asiatic lily, followed by martagon. The oriental lily, the queen of the lilies, became available but the results were disappointing because the plants were not hardy and succumbed to the harsh […] Read more