Growing Delphiniums from seed

Larkspur (Delphinium elatum)

When starting delphinium seed: freeze the seeds  for 2-3 days in the freezer and then scatter then in a 5 inch pot with damp promix.  

Keep them at 15 degrees C and cover them.  Do not let them dry out.   The cool temperatures start the germination process.  They do not like bottom heat.

  In about 21-30 days sprouts appear, transfer these to 4 inch pots until the leaves grow to the size of a looney.   When the roots appear at the bottom of the pot its time to harden plants outdoors on a deck.  Plants may be planted in the garden while temperatures are still cool.  

  The Ontario Delphinium Club is inviting growers to offer garden space to secure seed production locally for the future as seeds from England may decline.  Web site: www.ondelphiniums.com   Email:  info@ondelphiniums.com     

Thanks to Marie Pearson for this post. 

Riverwood Conservancy’s new “Pine Sanctuary” Artwork

Pining for a sanctuary from busy city life?
Try Riverwood Conservancy

New sculpture design unveiled.

“A sparkling new piece of public art will be erected on Burnhamthorpe Rd. W. at the entrance to The Riverwood Conservancy this spring.

Artist Marc Fornes will create an “otherworldly” green, blue and yellow pine tree from aluminum sheets that will appear to shift shapes in varying seasons and weather, depending on your vantage point.

His artist’s statement proclaims that the 25-ft. high work , called Pine Sanctuary, will be “a contemporary update in the natural landscape that forms an iconic and playful signal – creating a unique identity for Riverwood.”… read more  from John Steward/Mississauga News
http://www.mississauga.com/blogs/post/7196580-pining-for-a-sanctuary-from-busy-city-life-try-riverwood/

MMG Advice Clinic March 25th @ Port Credit Seed Library Reopening

Borrow. Grow. Return.
The Port Credit Seed Lending Library is:

  • A collection of edible, decorative and herb seed varieties that are both organic and non-GMO.
  • You may borrow these seeds to grow plants at home.
  • When the growing season is over, harvest your seeds and return a portion of them back to the Seed Library.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

  1. Choose your seeds.
  2. Fill out the provided checkout form and give it to staff (this helps us keep track of the seeds and see what needs to be replenished.)
  3. Enjoy! It’s that easy. Now you just take them home to plant in your yard or container garden.Bring your questions and/or photos of your garden to the MMG Advice Clinic onsite March 25th.
    http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/residents/portcreditlibrary

You can VOTE for Canada’s National Flower

Did you know that there is no official national flower for Canada? And after 150 years, don’t you think it’s time we had one?

The Master Gardeners of Ontario do and you can help us make the final choice of the three candidates.

Vote in our national online survey before midnight June 30, 2017 and learn the outcome on Canada Day.

For more details and the link to the survey, click here.

To just go right ahead and vote, click here.

Thanks to Toronto Master Gardeners for this post.

Master gardeners teach the basics at Riverwood

It starts April’s Fool Day but it’s no joke: newbie gardeners have a rare opportunity to learn from the masters through a new course offered at Riverwood Conservancy.The Mississauga Master Gardeners and Riverwood are combining forces to offer a six-week program titled Home Gardening: the Basics.Members of MMG will offer their expertise on the building blocks that make a garden grow but aren’t always so obvious to those picking up the trowel for the first time.Soil, composting, organic gardening, seeds, vegetables, pruning, tools, pest control and attracting bees and butterflies are among the subjects surveyed.The course is offered Saturdays from 10-11:30 a.m. starting April 1 at Riverwood. The cost is $80 for Riverwood members and $100 otherwise.To register call 905-279-5878 or e-mail info@riverwoodconservancy.org. This is the first time the master gardeners have developed a course for Riverwood. If all goes well, it could be the start of many collaborations to come.

Source: Master gardeners teach the basics at Riverwood  Mississauga News

How to Make Air Plants Thrive – Laidback Gardener

Air plants or, more correctly, tillandsias (Tillandsia spp.) are currently very popular. They are called “air plants” because in nature they live suspended on branches or even electric wires, without soil, apparently living only on air. They are indeed very attractive plants and seem to do well at first when you bring them home, but rarely survive a year in the average home. Your air plant was in fact slowly dying from the minute you brought it…”
To read the full article, follow the link below

Source: How to Make Air Plants Thrive – Laidback Gardener

Plant of the week: Porcelain Vine

porcelain-vine-mp-1                            Porcelain vine from Marie’s November garden

What is it? The best thing about variegated porcelain vine (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata var. maximowiczii ‘Elegans’, if you relish a tongue-twister) is its startling berries. Borne in abundance in autumn, they remind me of those tiny speckled Easter eggs, in every shade from palest green and turquoise through to shell pink and amethyst. The height and spread is 3m x 1.5m but I’ve heard of specimens topping 5m each way.

Plant it with? Avoid mixing it with other variegated leaves. It’ll look good twined in with another green-leaved flowering climber. Try the annual cup and saucer vine (Cobaea scandens), or for a perennial, plant with Clematis ‘Warszawska Nike’or ‘Étoile Violette’, both with deep purple flowers.

And where? Think like a clematis. Roots in shade, foliage in the sun. For the best-looking fruit, provide a warm, sheltered spot with poor soil, and restrict the roots by planting it into the ground inside a large pot.

Any drawbacks? It is hardy but it will die back in winter and start back to life in spring. The green flowers produced in July and August don’t amount to much.

What else does it do? Use the beautiful leaves and berries in autumn flower arrangements.

Info courtesy of  Jane Perrone, The Guardian