“GARDENING: I think green – let’s all grow flowers, vegetables, herbs and more!*”

Vol. 2,  No.3, May 22nd, 2011

TITLE: “GARDENING:  I think green – let’s all grow flowers, vegetables, herbs and more!*”


It’s that time of the year again.  By the end of May, gardening is on the agenda of most people.  My book of the week is: “ Gardening Basics For Canadians For Dummies” [Paperback] by Liz Primeau, Canadian Gardening, Steven A. Frowine and The National Gardening Association (Paperback – Jan 25 2008) . Hence my topic of the week is is gardening. (Editor’s Note: This is the second of a series of two blog posts on the subject of spring activities.)


I love flowers – I enjoy their visual beauty along with their aromatic scents. I love visiting Ottawa, Canada  especially at the time of the tulip festival. I marvel at the perfection of a friend’s lilac tree. The colour purple is my granddaugter’s favorite. I appreciate rows of vegetable plants. I don’t have much time to make a garden or plant flowers, but I still like it.  I am a fan of lush green spaces. With my busy schedule, I just barely have time to maintain the lawn.  There is nothing as beautiful as a cultivated yard.  And I do love the smell of newly cut grass.

Growing up, my parents always reserved a strip at the end of their backyard to grow vegetables. My father had a green thumb and the passion for all things growing. Until the day he died, he loved his garden. He grew tomatoes, long string beans, eggplants, parsley, basil, etc.  My parents gave the bulk of  their harvest to their family, friends and neighbours. 

As a young married, our household had a garden. I also had the experience, as a couple going to the farm to pick rapini, a leafy green vegetable favoured by people of Italian descent. By the way, now with grandkids, I have been invited to go to a pick- your- own farm. I’ll let you know how that works out. I am really looking forward to it. 

My aunt, who lives across the street from my mother, grows a big garden every year.  She takes much pleasure in planting and growing vegetables, flowers and plants.  Her yard is very important to her.  She also gives most of her vegetables to others. 

A few years ago, I planted three red rose bushes in a line by the railing of my front stairs. Then a funny thing happened- the outward one with the best chance to get sunlight, died. The other two survived …go figure. This is how I have red roses all summer. 

S & R* QUOTE(S) OF THE WEEK*:- Phyllis McGinley
“The trouble with gardening is that it does not remain an avocation. It becomes an obsession.”
(Source: Wisdom Quotes) –http://www.wisdomquotes.com/quote/phyllis-mcginley-1.html

S & R* QUOTE(S) OF THE WEEK*:Thomas Fuller

“Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.” Gnomologia, 1732
(Source: Wisdom Quotes) – http://www.wisdomquotes.com/topics/garden/index2.html

S & R* QUOTE(S) OF THE WEEK*: Lou Erickson
“Gardening requires lots of water — most of it in the form of perspiration.”
(Source: Wisdom Quotes) – http://www.wisdomquotes.com/topics/garden/index2.html

S & R* QUOTE(S) OF THE WEEK*: Elizabeth Murray
“Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas.”
(Source: Wisdom Quotes) – http://www.wisdomquotes.com/authors/elizabeth-murray/

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTAGE #1: Garden Party?
“One day while Groucho Marx was working in his garden (dressed in well-worn gardening attire), a wealthy woman pulled up in a Cadillac and attempted to persuade the “gardener” to come and work for her. “How much does the lady of the house pay you?” she asked. “Oh, I don’t get paid in dollars,” Groucho replied, looking up. “The lady of the house just a lets me sleep with her.”
[Sources: R. Kenin and J. Wintle, eds., Dictionary of Biographical Quotation]
(Source: www.anecdotage.com) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=6034

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTAGE #2: Leacock’s Garden
“The eccentric Canadian writer Stephen Leacock, who fancied himself to be something of a gardener, was once asked whether he did the digging in his garden. “Dig it? No. I hire a man to do that. And a boy to do the planting. And a woman to do the weeding. Apart from that I do it all myself.”
[Sources: Discovery Channel]
(Source: www.anecdotage.com) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=15567

“Author Brendan Gill reports that the poet Robert Graves, a devoted gardener, has long been in the habit of naming compost heaps after friends. ‘During my visit,’ writes Gill, ‘he honoured me by naming his latest compost heap after me. A friend that Graves and I have in common – the banker-scholar Gordon Wasson – has recently been honoured in a similar fashion, I was understandably proud when, some months after my visit, I received a letter from Graves in which he mentioned that, ‘the Gordon Wasson is something of a disappointment, but the Brendan Gill is rotting nicely.'”
[Sources: The New Yorker, 1978]
(Source: www.anecdotage.com) – http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=13166

THE AUTHOR: Liz Primeau

Liz Primeau was from Winnipeg, Canada. Her father had a vegetable garden. She was quoted as saying: “I quickly realized what a lot of city kids don’t, that gardens yield good things to eat.” Following the death of her father, her family moved to Paisley, Ontario. As a teenager, she became interested in flowers.  She explained that her uncle Ren, a school teacher -gardener became her mentor. He supplied her with unusual plants he’d grown from seed, and exotic mail-order bulbs like amaryllis and colchicum.  He even sent her home from weekend visits to Paisley with bushels of well-rotted manure in the trunk of the car.  “The poor kids had to hold their suitcases on their laps”, she chuckled.

She was highly visible in the neighbourhood working in her garden. In 1999, along with Kathy Atkins, she formed the Applewood Garden Club. She thinks back: “I wrote a small notice for The Apple Press asking if anyone was interested in forming a club, and 12 people responded,”  It combined community beautification projects together with educational and social activities  She explains: “I’m glad to see membership growing and more speakers at meetings” ….”And there’s nothing like a good party every now and then to keep a group together”.

She started writing magazine articles. In 1990, on the launch of Canadian Gardening magazine, she was hired as the founding editor of Canadian Gardening, the definitive magazine for Canadian gardeners. For three years, she was host of HGTV’s Canadian Gardening, She is the author of several gardening books.  A much-in-demand speaker, she frequently gives talks at horticultural society meetings and garden shows across Canada and the United States. She lives in Mississauga, Ontario.
(Fact source: Dianne Sciarra) – https://www.applewoodgardenclub.org/MM_Liz_Primeau.php

Steven A. Frowine: He is a professional horticulturist and a longtime avid gardener.


* Canadian Gardening” on HGTV channel (host of)
Some books by Liz Primeau are:

  • My Natural History, The Evolution of a Gardener
  • City Gardens
  •  Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass
  •  Favourite Plants
  • Gardening Basics For Canadians For Dummies” [Paperback] by Liz Primeau, Canadian Gardening, Steven A. Frowine and The National Gardening Association (Paperback – Jan 25 2008)

THE BOOK: “” Gardening Basics For Canadians For Dummies” [Paperback] by Liz Primeau, Canadian Gardening, Steven A. Frowine and The National Gardening Association (Paperback – Jan 25 2008)

This is a gardening manual, a gradening How-To, from A-to-Z.. It is start-up through to the tougher grows. It is really for beginners, but experts would find it a good reference book as well. It is like a garden- by- numbers. It is a great resource to create the ideal garden. It deals not only with the plants, but also the equipment. It covers flower beds, herbs, vegetables, trees, shrubs, lawns, etc. It is beautifully illustrated. It is a delightful read that will give you pleasure through the years.


Being a gardener is a state of mind and a way of life.

My personal comments

Being close to nature is a wonderful thing. There is nothing more positive than making things grow. And picking your own vegetables is great summer fun on a sunny day. The taste of freshly- picked vegetables washed in a water tub is a fine out-of-doors experience. Cooking up a batch of these juicy and/or crunchy all stars is an exquisite gourmet cooking experience. Eating the garden-to-table way is extremely rewarding.

The point

Gardening can be a great family outdoor activity. Do it and make it a favourite!


1. Recognize that there is a place for plants and a place for flowers; there is also the correct time for this.  
2. Learn about flowers, plants, trees, etc.; research thoroughly; 
3. Pick the best plants for your climate;
4. Plan your garden, part vegetables and part flowers (e.g. annuals & perennials);

5. Create unique water and container gardens;

6. Ensure that your gardening is eco-smart;
7. Prep your garden to this end, (a) Weed extensively; (b) Upturn the earth; (c) Add new black soil where needed;
8. Keep your plants healthy;
9. Troubleshoot common problems;
10. Enjoy…it takes time and hard work, but the rewards are at times breath-taking; 
11. Aspire to garden; if you make it an aim, and try it, you will like it – it will probably become a passion! 

Take a bite…wasn’t that really good…Oh shucks, you took too big a bite!*

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:  richmediasound.com
The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*”program.
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Schedule 1
For today, my word/phrase(s) are: “gardening”; perennials.

“Gardening is the practice of growing plants. Ornamental plants are normally grown for their flowers, foliage, overall appearance, or for their dyes. Useful plants are grown for consumption (vegetables, fruits, herbs, and leaf vegetables) or for medicinal use. A gardener is someone who practices gardening.””
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gardening


“A perennial plant or simply perennial (Latin per, “through”, annus, “year”) is a plant that lives for more than two years.[1] The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. When used by gardeners or horticulturalists, perennial applies specifically to winter hardy herbaceous plants. Scientifically, woody plants like shrubs and trees are also perennial in their habit.

Perennials, especially small flowering plants, grow and bloom over the spring and summer and then die back every autumn and winter, then return in the spring from their root-stock rather than seeding themselves as an annual plant does. These are known as herbaceous perennials. However, depending on the rigors of local climate, a plant that is a perennial in its native habitat, or in a milder garden, may be treated by a gardener as an annual and planted out every year, from seed, from cuttings or from divisions.

The symbol for a perennial plant, based on Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, is , which is also the astronomical symbol for the planet Jupiter.[2]”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perennial_plant

Schedule 2

STUDY/STATISTICS: Facts for features – CB07-FF.03-January 4, 2007
Percentage of women who participated in gardening at least once in the past 12 months, compared with 37 percent of men. Women were also much more likely than men to have done charity work (32 percent versus 26 percent), attended arts and crafts fairs (39 percent versus 27 percent) and read literature (55 percent versus 38 percent).”
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau) – http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb07-ff03.html

Schedule 3
S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: Gardening “ make it a family adventure!
“Summer is all about spending time outdoors and enjoying the warm weather. Gardening is a great way for families to spend time together away from television and video games, while learning about nature and getting in some great exercise. The President’s Choice brand’s garden guru Peter Cantley, “president, Floral and Garden at Loblaw Companies Limited, has more than 45 years of experience. Want to help get kids excited about gardening? Follow Peter’s simple tips for parents and soon your kids will have green thumbs of their own! Kids love getting dirty “ so let them! Weeding and planting is an easy activity to get kids started. Kids can join parents in the garden by digging in the soil with a small spade and finding roots and worms. Engage little ones in the responsibility. If your child is old enough, ask them to help water the lawn or plants. If your child is really taking an interest in helping out, why not give them their own section of the garden? Watching plants grow from seeds into flowers or vegetables is not only fun for kids, but a great learning
opportunity. To mark their special spot, have them make signs identifying each type of produce in their garden.Share your love of gardening with others! If the family is headed over to visit friends for Sunday night barbecue, pick some fresh tomatoes from your garden and bring them over as a thoughtful hostess gift the kids can be proud to give.Remember to have fun. Canadians only have the summer heat for a short time so make the most of it and start planting!For more tips on planning a garden and President’s Choice garden products visit pc.ca.”

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: Follow the 4Rs to a Healthy Lawn
”Despite a slow start to the season, warmer temperatures and sunnier days mean one thing: the green of spring is not far away. And when it comes to lawns, a little care now will go a long way to ensuring plant health in the dog days of summer that lie ahead. The Urban Fertilizer Council suggests following the 4Rs to ensure your lawn is getting the nutrients it  needs to stay healthy from season to season:
Right Source: buy a fertilizer recommended for your lawn or garden
Right Rate: know the size of your lawn and only buy what you need. Apply at the application rate as recommended on the label, using a good quality fertilizer spreader
Right Time: apply fertilizer in the correct season. Spring and fall are the best times to fertilize. Don’t apply if heavy rain is expected, or on frozen ground;
Right Place: fertilizer can’t do its job if it’s not on your lawn or garden. Sweep on to the lawn any fertilizer that might land on hard surfaces such as sidewalks and driveways’
Don’t apply fertilizer near ponds, streams, rivers or lakes, or use a low phosphorus or phosphorus “free fertilizer on established lawns. New lawns (under two years old) will benefit greatly from a lawn fertilizer with phosphorus. Ideally, take a soil sample to determine if your lawn needs phosphorous, and if it does “ apply with care by following the 4Rs.
More fertilizer tips and best practices can be found online at www.GreenerWorld.ca (launching May 2011).

*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 at 9:30 pm and is filed under Activities, Hobbies, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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