1370 Wain Road, N. Saanich, BC     250-656-0384 Quality Plants & Knowledgeable Staff

Seven Ways To Grow More Food In Less Space

Posted by admin in Edible Gardening

By Faye Having a small garden is no reason not to have generous harvests of your favourite fresh vegetables, all year long.  There are many ways to boost production, and get the most out of whatever little plot of land you may have, even if it’s just a few pots on the patio! The one

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Start Now To Foil Next Season’s Pests

Posted by admin in Maintenance, Pests/Diseases, Winter

There is much we can do between now and spring to eliminate or lessen the damage from insects and disease. We in southern BC are very fortunate to have food-growing expert, author and entymologist Linda Gilkeson, PhD in our midst. She has generously provided the information for this article.(www.lindgilkeson.ca) TO DO NOW: Mulch, mulch, mulch!

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Winter Pruning of Climbing Roses

Posted by admin in Maintenance, Winter

Winter is the best time to prune modern repeat climbers as all the old leaves need to be picked off anyway, so may as well prune at the same time. (Once blooming old roses and ramblers are best when pruned in the summer after flowering) The key to climbers is to train the canes as

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Swiss Chard Stem Hummus

Posted by admin in Recipes

So much of the Swiss Chard is in the stem, so it makes sense to use it all. 1 pound chard stems, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups) salt to taste 2-4 garlic cloves (to taste), peeled and green shoots removed ½ cup sesame tahini, stirred if the oil has separated ¼ – ½ cup freshly

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Colcannon

Posted by admin in Recipes

2 pounds russet potatoes 5 cups (or more!) chopped kale 1 or 2 leeks (need to plant in February), cleaned and chopped 1 cup milk 3 TB unsalted butter ¼ tsp nutmeg coarse salt 1 TB unsalted butter   Boil and mash potatoes. Combine kale, leek, milk, 2 TB butter, and nutmeg; season with salt.

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Sunomono Salad (Japanese Cucumber Salad)

Posted by admin in Recipes

1 long English cucumber, preferably just picked, and young and tender without large seeds. Alternatively, use 4 smaller Japanese cucumbers. 6 TB rice wine vinegar 2 TB mirin (sweet rice wine vinegar) 1 TB sugar ½ tsp Kosher salt 1/8 tsp dried chili flakes   Mix the rice wine vinegar, mirin, sugar, salt and chili

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Stuffed Tomatoes – Using Striped Cavern Heirlooms

Posted by admin in Recipes

These tomatoes are particularly suited to stuffing; they are large, hollow, and contain few seeds or pulp, with firm ‘walls’. 6 Italian sausages, meat taken out of the casings 1 cup cooked rice, or quinoa, bulgur, or any grain of choice 3 green onions, chopped 1 cup grated zucchini lots of garlic and fresh basil,

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Roasted Beets With Sauce

Posted by admin in Recipes

To roast beets, wash, then rub with olive oil, add just a small splash of water, then wrap tightly in foil. I usually wrap 2-3 together. Put on baking tray in oven at 375 for about an hour, depending on size and freshness of beets. When time is up I just leave sitting (out of

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Cherry Tomatoes With Pasta and Fresh Basil

Posted by admin in Recipes

  1 ½ – 2 pounds fresh, ripe cherry tomatoes, halved (can squeeze out some of the juice if they are watery) 4 garlic cloves, minced ½ cup fresh French bread crumbs ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano salt and pepper to taste ¼ cup olive oil penne pasta, or fusilli, or farfallini etc ½

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Broccolini With Lemon and Garlic

Posted by admin in Recipes

Approximately 375 g broccolini 2 TB XV olive oil 2 cloves garlic, sliced ¼ tsp salt 1 tsp grated lemon rind 1 TB lemon juice Trim tough ends from broccolini. In large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Saute garlic and salt lightly, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add broccolini, ¼ cup water, and lemon

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The Magical Bean

Posted by admin in Edible Gardening

By Faye For the snap and crunch of a perfect green bean, nothing comes close to the bean you grow yourself. Those hollow, stringy supermarket beans should be banned! Beans are one of the easiest vegetables to grow; the perfect crop for a beginner. They even make their own fertilizer! Beans are legumes, and all

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Sharpen Your Shovels, it’s Time to Transplant!

Posted by admin in Conifers, Maintenance, Shrubs, Trees

By Brian Russell Established woody plants (trees, shrubs and conifers) are best moved when they are fully dormant. In our climate, this means November, December, January or early February. In theory you can move just about anything if you have enough determination and manpower (or womanpower!) The tree in these photos is an Acer palmatum

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Caring for Ornamental Grasses

Posted by admin in Grasses, Maintenance

By Laurie   Caring for Ornamental Grasses Customers at the nursery are often asking about how to care for ornamental grasses. It can get confusing. Grasses don’t ask for much in terms of maintenance, but most do require cutting back and some need periodic division. This article summarizes when and how to do both. A

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Microgreens are the New Kale

Posted by admin in Edible Gardening

By Faye For the past couple of years, we’ve been inundated with the wonders of kale as the latest superfood.  Recently however, while putting out trays of winter veggie starts, I have heard whispered confessions, “Actually, I don’t really like kale. “ Enter a new way to grow and eat the very freshest produce possible

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Summer Veggies In Review 2014

Posted by admin in Edible Gardening

By Faye As the summer vegetable garden becomes a warm and happy memory, and the winter one settles in with hope and promise, it’s time to take a look back at how it all worked. Planning for next year has to start now, as we see what did well, what didn’t, and how can we

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Garlic – The Great Traveler

Posted by admin in Edible Gardening

The history of garlic can almost be described as the history of human migration.  Garlic is native to Central Asia, specifically the Caucasus region between the Black and the Caspian Seas, and over many millennia it has been carried to almost all corners of the world. Garlic flavours many of the world’s cuisines. It is

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A Fresh Approach To Planting Bulbs

Posted by admin in Design, Flowers

When I first saw photos of Dutch garden designer Jacqueline van der Kloet bulb gardens, I was struck not only by how beautiful they were, but also by how well they would work in our relaxed West Coast gardens.  She leans towards soft colours punctuated with splashes of bright ones and plants in a loose

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A Fondness for Ferns

Posted by admin in Design, Perennials

By Laurie Ferns are emotive plants that can conjure up visions of other places and times. Ferns give a garden a sense of permanence, timelessness, of always having been there; which is no wonder, as they have been around for over 300 million years! Ferns don’t seduce us with flowers, but instead offer exquisite fiddleheads

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Add A Touch Of Japan To Your Garden

Posted by admin in Design

By Faye I’m sitting in the Narita airport, having spent some time here in Tokyo visiting my son and his family. Before me sits my traditional parting meal at the airport: Onigiri, which are delicious balls of rice with assorted fillings, wrapped in Nori (seaweed). Beverage of choice is Asahi beer, just the thing to

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Specialty Plants

Posted by admin in Containers, Perennials

Are you a plant collector? Do you seek out rare and unusual specimens? Plants are like people, there are some rare gems among the crowd, and they are worth the effort to find. We have often been considered a source of unique items, making it worth the drive to North Saanich to find us. We

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