Gardening season heating up

Learning to grow the Davidia involucrata ‘Sonoma’ tree

Do you need a good cry in the spring, perhaps have allergies and are short of hankies? Go to Cottonwood Ave. and Eagle St. in Harrison and see all the “hankie” blossoms on a tree that one could ever imagine. This beautiful Davidia involucrata ‘Sonoma’ tree is draped in early spring with 7 inch long white bracts that surround a ball of tiny dark red flowers. Understandably, the common names of ‘dove tree’ and ‘handkerchief tree’ are well suited for this tree that will grow 15 ft. (4.57 m.) in zones 6-8. If grown from seed, it will take approximately 8-10 years to blossom.

Bedding plants are being sold now and it is so temping to set them out because we have had some warm days. The May Long Weekend is traditionally the time to plant them, or when night temperatures are above 10*C. Real heat loving plants like tomatoes, cukes and peppers should wait to be planted out in late May or early June. Prune rhodos, azaleas and camellias after blooming and fertilize to help ‘bud-set’ for next year. Aphids are getting an early start this year on roses. Hose them off with a strong spray of water. Army cutworms are chewing our clematis off, up 5 feet high at night. Yes, these cutworms climb! They lay on top of the soil near their victim or under nearby foliage during the day waiting for me to destroy them.

 

Questions and Answers

We are planning to move to the Agassiz-Harrison area and I’m wondering if our pots of fatsia japonica will survive there.

Fatsia japonica, also known as Japanese aralia, has dark green deeply lobed leaves, produces white flowers in the fall and can be grown in hardiness zone 7-11. Since you have been growing them in pots for some time you already know that they thrive in compost-rich, slightly acidic soil that should be kept moist at all times. Renewal pruning should be done either by cutting the plant to the ground before new growth begins in the spring or removing one-third of the oldest stems each year for three years. If the pots are placed in a protected area out of the wind and in the shade, the plants should thrive in this area.

I see the word ‘herbaceous’ in garden articles. What does it mean?

Herbaceous plants are plants with non-woody stems. Their above-ground growth largely or totally dies back in winter, but may have underground plant parts that survive.

We recently purchased a home that has an over-grown garden. How do I go about making it tidy without spending a ton of money?

First remove the weeds, tidy the lawn and try to identify the plants that are there. Often a neighbour will know the names or take cuttings to a greenhouse for identification. Waiting until a plant flowers will often help in making the decision about keeping or discarding. If it is a flowering plant it should be pruned after flowering. How hard it can be pruned depends on the plant. Some plants such as heathers and other evergreens will not recover new growth and should be removed. Bare spaces can be filled with perennials and annuals grown from seed until you have had time to assess the garden and the growing conditions of that area.

Gardening questions can be answered by sending them to news@ahobserver.com

Just Posted

(Adam Louis/Observer)
PHOTOS: Students leap into action in track events at Kent Elementary

At Kent Elementary, when the sun’s outside, the fun’s outside. The intermediate… Continue reading

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

One person was transported to hospital with minor injuries following a two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road June 10. (Adam Louis/Observer)
One hurt following two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road

Agassiz Fire Department, B.C. Ambulance Service attended with RCMP

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read