Friday, July 27, 2012

Pick Prairie Hardy Fruits... or plant them now.

Today's Calgary Herald featured my column Berry Picking Fun. Here is the illustration featured in it by Mariko McCrae (Feedlot Studios).

If you missed the column you can read it in the Herald online:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hardy Fruits Conference the Best!

Dr Bob Bors chats up Haskaps
Carmine Jewel Cherries almost ripe

I am just flying home from Saskatoon. Not an unusual location and certainly not exotic but - seriously- this was one great conference. I met so many farmers - new and old. I had some laughs - Becky, a small market gardener, told me she was looking for "Prince Farming"; Deanna told me she had already found him and he is both handsome and handy!

The talks about new crops were riveting (in a geeky horticulture kind of way) and the tours were wonderful. I learned about spacing of new crops and we met folks growing an entire tree nursery of 65,000 trees on 2.5 acres in town. There are just so many people to mention and thank but first comes Dr. Bob Bors, head of the fruit breeding program at the University of Saskatchewan. This coming friday I will speak more about the NAFEX conference on CBC radio during my regular phone in on July 27th and have also written a column about garden fruits for the Calgary Herald. Above are a couple of pictures of the state of things in the field of horticulture.   More to come.
Debbie from Alaska is shown here looking at the new wonder fruit Haskap.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Successful GardenCoaching

"Last summer you kindly visited my home and gave me some suggestions about redoing parts of the yard.  Your ideas were quite compelling as I tried making changes one step at a time." said Elaine by email. My motto with garden consulting  is : I help those who help themselves! I rarely hear back after my two to four hour consultation- people just go about their merry way building their own beautiful gardens one step at a time. In fact when I do hear back it is often because the gardener has moved to a new home and wants to start all over again.

 "What started out as a few modifications developed into a lovely re-landscaping.  The cardboard to kill the grass worked well so that this summer I have entirely new flower beds.  The cosy nook at the north end of the deck became a stone patio.  Ironically we had just finished laying the stones when the neighbour decided to remove the fir trees that were shading the area.  No problem because the trees has long since passed their best before date.  Now there is a patio which gets morning sun. "

 Elaine shared the photos shown here. She did all the work herself- I just supplied the ideas and inspiration!