Friday, May 27, 2011

Calgary Gardening: View my new mini-videos

This week: Pruning Topiary Style Evergreens

Note about Garden Guru Shorts: These tiny videos are a special feature compliments of the Calgary Herald. This week I show you how to trim fashionable little topiaries. A new video will accompany my articles in the Calgary Herald Gardening Section- the topics will vary as I look at everything we need to do in the home garden.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

No Guff Needs Your Help

We are just days away from picking our best guff and giving away books to the guff with the most likes.... Have you got garden guff you have been shy to share? Jump into our Facebook page: and have a look around. Planting by the moon? Putting down straw to scare off slugs? Let us know your good and bad tricks and let our fans be the judge if it is the best guff or not....

June 2 is the day to beat.

Kids & Worms in the Calgary Garden

So Every spring I need to sort things out: books are assembled for drop-off to fundraisers; the general cobwebs around the house are dusted; the garden is sorted and of course the worms are wrangled. These little guys need to be sorted and sifted and generally manhandled occasionally to separate the worm castings (ie worm poop) from the worms.
I like to sort worms before I plant my pots because it is great to get the castings and mix them with the potting soil before planting. Last year, my grand-daughter Mali came over to help. She loves finding the worms amongst the poop. Notice I am wearing gloves! It is a case of lost and found really and when we find a worm we put it in a bucket to add back into the worm bin. I know other people are able to produce perfectly dry castings but mine are always a bit wet so it takes a bit of elbow grease to sort it all out.

But what could be more fun on a rainy day in that dry spot beneath the overhead balcony?

Calgary Garden Show: all about Soils

Calgary gardeners loved our No Guff soils talk at the Calgary Horticulture Society Spring Garden Show April 2011.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Check out this video

I was so impressed with this Hellman's video I am passing it along: (enjoy)

Friday, May 20, 2011

High Fashion in the Calgary garden

High fashion. A discussion about why I will remain unfashionable in the garden this spring.

I have been at twenty different garden centers this spring signing books and talking to growers and this morning I glanced at the superstore flyer to confirm - it is universal. Everyone wants us to plant one of the fashionable new black petunias.

In Alberta black flowers + black soil = black hole.

I can't imagine why the black tulips, black pansies and now black petunias are making such inroads. Give me colour- lots of colour - to brighten my garden after a long winter. Black is just not a flower colour I endorse!

Is it just marketing? You decide with your wallets.

PS Call me on CBC radio today - Calgary and Alberta Gardening questions answered.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Live Chat Today on CBC

Okay this is new for me but join in if you happen to be at your desk today at 11:00 AM-noon. This is a chat-chat - as in typed comments and questions answered live- not the same kind of chat I will do Friday on CBC's Alberta@noon when people can phone me in what I call a "real" chat.

Check it out:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Holes new Enjoy Centre

I am so out of date with posts that I am looking at photos from April and realizing I have not mentioned Holes new Enjoy Centre yet. I was toured around by Jim Hole and the site was massive- if you are thinking of checking out picture perfect plants check out the new Hole's Enjoy Centre in St. Albert. It is just north of Edmonton but so close to the ring road I wondered why the directions took us through town and out again?

Everything is automatic - it is not like any old ma and pa operation that's for sure. Here is a picture of the automatic hanging basket operation - a site to behold.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Going Cruisin- and I don't mean for boys

Yahoo- I am taking a group of Garden Enthusiasts on a cruise - sort of- I am just there - not actually running the ship. Calgary Gardeners and everyone else across Canada enthusiastic about getting on the boat check out this link:

6 Weeks a Best Seller

No Guff Vegetable Gardening is in it's sixth week as a best seller in Calgary! We keep getting compliments and a lot of libraries have ordered it so ask at your local library or order a copy for yourself online at

Monday, May 9, 2011

Subsidize Organic Food Like Conventional

I love the newsletters I get from Cookstown Greens - an organic gardener we interviewed for No Guff Vegetable Gardening. In his recent newsletter he says:
“Why is organic food so expensive?” My answer is, “You asked the wrong question. You should have asked: Why is conventional food so cheap?” The answer is: For every dollar we spend for “cheap” food, taxes pay another two dollars. This form of “capitalism” is certainly not sustainable.

A picture of field greens here from Cookstown:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Get Your Hands Dirty

Thanks to CTV Edmonton for sending the link to this clip filmed in their studio last week when I was up in Edmonton: