News Updates

Pumpkin Contest ~ Sat, Oct 14th/17 11am...
Campbell River Garden Centre23rd Annual Great Pumpkin Contest October 14th, 2017 1st place Adult Joe Hanrahan 521 lbs2nd Place...
Online Bulb Shopping Begins Sept 15th/...
Once again we have a wonderful selection of bulbs available for fall planting. Lots of new items and lots of specials. If you can't make it into our...
Summer Watering - Water carefully...
Baby, it's hot out there! Watering early in the morning helps plants handle the hot afternoons. Potted plants may require two waterings a day if...

D.I.Y. Tips

Fantastic Fairy Gardens

 
I've got to admit, I wasn't an early believer in the fairy garden trend, but it is winning me over. In the last couple of years, I've grown to see the value of this whimsy. Watching parents and children or often grandparents and grandkids speak of creating a tiny magical space is pretty fantastic. And this isn't a trend limited to kids; I believe that the miniature garden may be the new Zen Garden where grown-ups create and unwind and reconnect with their playful side. 
 
A little while ago on the TV news, a White Rock Garden was highlighted for showing a tree in a boulevard with a fairy door, stone path and miniature garden planted at its base. This planting might very well have made the homeowner happy, but the real treat here is that it seemed to be mostly for passersby to enjoy! The news went on to say that local elementary school teachers were taking their classes on field trips just to walk by and enjoy thinking about the fairies and gnomes that live there. Anything that gets kids using their imagination gets my vote!
 
Inspiration is the key to getting started. What would make you or a visitor to your garden smile? It might be a door in a tree or fence panel or like one of our staff members it was a few miniature chairs that she placed in a circle in a wide bowl-shaped pot filled with bark mulch. Then she added some tiny sticks to replicate a campfire in miniature. Read More

Micro Irrigation for Your Hanging Baskets & Containers

Even the most beautiful of hanging baskets only stay that way with regular watering and one of the easiest ways to provide this is with a micro irrigation system such as a Raindrip Container Kit.  Most of our customers are a bit nervous about doing it themselves but soon find that it is such an easy system to install they wonder why they didn't do it summers ago.  I understand their feelings completely as I am fully aware that this kind of installation felt outside of my skill set but I too was impressed with just how simple it was.

The kit can be installed with or without a timer but if you like to be away in the summer a timer is much more reliable than the kid next door.  Let's face it, the kid doesn't garden and doesn't really know a flower from a weed (and also does not reading gardening columns so will not have hurt feelings).

One of the best things about the Container Kit is that it gives you everything you need to get started but you can also add to it later.  This means you don't need to get overwhelmed in the details.  When I first got started with my system, I began with a very simple drip system for a few hanging baskets.     

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How to Make Beautiful Moss Baskets

How to Make a Beautiful Moss Basket

Materials

14-inch wire basket frame wire hanger (hook or eye) Sunshine or MySoil potting soil 1/2 bag or moss 2 tbsp fish meal 2 tbsp 14-14-14 Osmocote slow release fertiliser

Plants for a Sunny basket

1 Geranium (Zonal) for the top 3 Proven Winner trailers for the top 3 fillers for the top 24 plants (trailers & fillers) for the sides (We can show you what we use)

Plants for a Shady Basket

1 Tuberous Begonia for the top 3 Proven Winner trailers for the top 3 fillers for the top 24 plants (trailers & fillers) for the sides (We can show you what we use)

Method

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Welcome to a Brand New Year in the Garden!

As the beginning of a new year unfolds it is a great time to both reflect on last year and make plans for the New Year.  Sure there is plenty to do in the garden, to get ready and cleaned up for Spring, but spending some time reflecting and planning is also very important and quite satisfying and it may save you time in the long run.

My favourite way to start is to bundle up, grab an empty notebook and your favourite warm drink and wander through your yard.  Try to look at your garden with fresh eyes.  You might need to walk down the street and then approach your yard to try to see it "fresh". Don't overwhelm yourself.  You might only look at one part of your garden today so start by picking one that is the most important to you.

Most gardeners know which areas need some work but here are some areas you might think about:-

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Raindrip hanging basket watering system

A couple of summers ago I vowed that I was done dragging hoses around my deck before or after a long day at work. My planters on my deck are large whiskey barrels and only need watering about every third day but I always have two hanging baskets that need watering daily and while it's really hot sometimes twice a day.

I could handle watering the barrels with the hose every third day but doing the baskets everyday was getting tiresome. I started with the Hanging Basket/Container Drip Kit and decided to put up a very simple drip system for the two baskets.

I gathered the tools required, the Drip Kit, a small hammer, a pair of scissors, a cup of hot water (to soften the tubing) and began the job. Fifteen minutes later I was done and I could not believe I had waited that long to do it.

The Raindrip system is really slick. The last summer I added my deck planters to the system and at the moment I am adding the three tomatoes that I grow in five gallon pots.

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Nigel's Fruit Tree Pruning Tips

Training of a fruit tree begins in the early years, and the aim is to develop a well balanced framework of branches that are capable of supporting the fruit crop. This permanent framework provides the reference points for pruning a mature tree.

Early pruning should only be enough to establish this desired framework; heavy pruning on a young tree can delay fruiting. I find open centre pruning is the most common and the most beneficial to use on fruit trees. This is the style of pruning I will explain today.

Open style pruning produces a bowl or vase shaped tree with no main central branch but instead many of the major limbs, or scaffold branches, angle outwards from the main trunk. These branches usually start at about 2 to 3 feet above the ground and should spiral around the tree with about 6 inches between each of the branches. Being able to identify the difference between new and old growth and what is a fruiting spur and a fruiting bud is important when pruning.

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Planting Fruit Trees

  
Many a gardener wishes they had fruit trees old enough to bear fruit in their yard. A house can be built within a year but a garden must grow and mature trees whether ornamental or fruit yielding; these are a treasure.
 
Planting trees takes vision, patience, and planning and in the not too distant future, you will reap the rewards of your efforts!
 

Fruit trees grow best in full sun locations where the ground drains well. Most home gardeners will want to plant semi-dwarf fruit trees, these being about a third smaller than their standard counterparts. As semi-dwarf trees are smaller they will easier to pick the fruit from and easier to prune.

Some of the best types of trees to grow in our area are apple, pear, cherry and plum. Once you have decided on the type of tree, you need to decide how many trees you have room for. If you only want one tree, be sure to get a self-fertile tree. Otherwise, your tree will not reliably set fruit. Pollination can be complicated so be sure to take the time to discuss pollination when you purchase your trees. We will help you with that.

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