A Backyard Air Show

August 7, 2017 By Richard Burke We had a pretty-much non-stop air show in our backyard this past weekend – the hummingbirds were battling over a patch of bee balm in our backyard. They’ve been coming to the garden every year since we planted a dropmore scarlet honeysuckle vine and bee balm, probably 15 years…

A week of firsts

By Richard Burke There’s nothing like the first day of spring to spur a week of firsts – it’s almost like winter never happened. • First oil change in two years on the old truck and first ever for the new car. • First chance to prune the apple trees. • First seeds started Monday…

Hanging on in November

The recent mild, even hot November weather has given us added time to complete outdoors projects, such as painting window frames, pressure-washing the deck, garden-bed clean-up and garlic planting and winterizing the greenhouse, where a few tomatoes are still ripening on the last plant. The cane yucca and agave continue to survive outdoors, although they…

Cherry wine from the back yard

February 20, 2016 By Richard Burke I’m constantly amazed at what can come from a garden. Here, in the middle of February, the day after we sat in our little corner of the world (a protected patio which has its own micro climate) warmed by solar heat, I’m stirring the brew in my basement. It started…

Amazing plant variety at Reader Garden

By Judy Matlock During my last trip to Calgary, I stopped again at the Reader Rock Garden, which I hadn’t seen since very early Spring.  This hidden gem was bigger than I’d realized.  I never actually knew it was there until some other members of the Horticultural Society took me there in April, when only…

A passion for purple

By Richard Burke Purple is supposed to suggest royalty, or a sense of mystery connected with the supernatural, but is relatively rare in nature. It can also symbolize magic, spirituality and creativity, according to colour matters.com. Or, it’s just a pretty colour. The colour of the flowers is just one way of choosing perennials (or…