Renovation & Design

Gardening is on the horizon

Mustard is loaded with flower power

Photos by Laurie Mustard / Winnipeg Free Press

Bosch Greenhouses on Highway 1 just west of the Perimeter is already in full bloom.

These gorgeous geraniums are ready to plant — soon.

Is there no such thing as a Colorado High, because we certainly need one?

As I stared out my window at the ever deepening snow this week, I decided that we all need a reason to believe that summer is actually coming, evidence based proof that we have reason to hope.

And I found it.

I called my good friends at Bosch Greenhouses on Highway 1 just west of the Perimeter, and asked if I could come for a see, sniff, and stroll through the beautiful plants and flowers they are readying for planting season.

“Come on down,” they said, “we’ll put the coffee on.”

I did, they did, and it was like walking into instant summer. Endless green, and beautiful flowers everywhere.

Suddenly, the theme music for the visit popped to mind, that soothing Seals and Crofts song Summer Breeze, with that beautiful signature line “summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.” Jasmine, by the way, meaning “flagrant flower.” Perfect.

Hope lives! With a good melt and some warm temperatures we may still be on track to commence garden season on schedule, approximately May long weekend. We just have to believe, which in truth will make no difference whatsoever, but it’s a lot cheaper than hanging out at the bar for a month.

To pass along this feel good flower power vibe to you I took a few pics of what’s blooming already. So nice to see real live plants and blooming flowers again. Charlene and hubby Greg tell me they’d like to open as per usual around “May Long”, “however,” says Greg, “that’s if we can clear enough snow by then to have room for parking.”

I so wish he was kidding.

Nevertheless, since today’s column is meant to give us hope and lift our spirits a bit, I put the word out to a few friends that if they have a gardening question they’d like to pass along to Char, I’d be happy to include it.

I had no idea that gardening is in fact rocket science, as exhibited in this question from Marlene Tottle.

Marlene: “Why didn’t my Passiflora bloom in my garden and when I brought it in for the winter, still no blooms, but some of the new vines came up variegated…”


Charlene: “I don’t know about the variegation on the leaves but most of the reasons a passion vine won’t bloom are environmental. Not enough sun, six to eight hours a day (almost impossible inside in Manitoba winters) or too much nitrogen in a fertilizer. They don’t require much fertilizer at all but if it has had too much, adding some bone meal to the pot or garden area will help…and for the last reason it depends on the species but it may be that it needs the maturity to develop the robust root system it needs to fruit. My best guess would be a combination of lack of sun and possibly too much or the wrong fertilizer.”

It’s like they’re speaking in tongues.

My gardening skills stop at, “What’ya think? More water? Less water? Keep the dog away from it?”

Another query that came in was about growing milkweed to attract and feed Monarch butterflies, a very worthwhile conversation to have, but there just isn’t enough room to go into it here today. Soon.

Another slightly distressed gardener was concerned about cats peeing and pooping in their garden, and the harm they might be causing.

In my humble opinion, no harm whatsoever, just look on it as free fertilizer, and who doesn’t need to save a buck these days. Seriously, gardening season is just around the corner. Believe. Thanks to the Bosch’s, Charlene and Greg, son Clint and Greg’s mom Ruth for the hospitality, and the coffee.

I’ll be back.

Comments and column ideas welcome!


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