Flowers

Adventure Awaits

Recently I visited Kluane National Park. After a few hours of driving and only a hike through the forest, I was in my element—a world of rock and grand vistas. My friend and I were on Sheep Mountain, a very popular trail, and I can see why it is popular. We came within 100 metres …

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Hiking the Same Ol’ Trail

I never understood how people love to go camping at the same spot year after year, or walk the same trail over and over, canoe the same river, or go to the same mall. I realize now that we all have different goals. I myself have a strong desire to explore. And finally, I am …

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Fireweed Jelly

Fireweed Jelly Yield: approximately 15 x 125 ml jars Ingredients: 8 cups fireweed blossoms (no stems or leaves) ¼ cup lemon juice 4 ½ cups water 2 packages powdered pectin 5 cups sugar Method: Collect the fireweed blossoms. Avoid the green stems and leaves. I harvest the blooming stalks while my patient wife picks and …

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Wildflowers on the Mountaintop

Breaking out of sheer rock, on the barren ground, or beside a mountain stream, hundreds of different kinds of wildflowers grow in the Yukon mountains. Some bloom as early as the snow melts in April, some continue blooming well into September. The seven alpine flowers described below all grow on mountaintops close to Whitehorse.

Here’s Your New Home, Bees

We saw the queen recently. She wasn’t wearing a crown. She was sporting a big blue dot on her thorax though. The Cheshire Beekeepers’ Association, founded in 1899, has great information about queen marking on its website. The queen is much easier to locate in the hive when marked. Queen records are easily kept. Most …

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The Strange Story of Mary Hanulik Garden

Dawson City blooms in the summer. It’s a process that begins in some local commercial greenhouses and explodes after the horticultural booths at the Gold Show during Victoria Day Weekend in May. It then continues unabated as part of the Farmers’ Market during the summer, and employs several landscaping and gardening firms during the same …

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Coffee and Flowers

Deep in the Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua grows a tobacco that has an elegant yet bold taste. Combine the tobacco from the Jalapa region with other tobaccos from different areas of Nicaragua and you get a lovely cigar called Casa Magna Colorado. Created by Manuel Quesada Jr., whose family been making cigars for a century, …

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Tonic or toxin?

Ah, arnica. Renowned for its power to soothe sore muscles, sprains and bruises, and a common gateway drug into the wonderful world of the do-it-yourself apothecary. Most often it is in the form of arnica oil, where the bright yellow flower heads are wilted and then used to infuse oil that can be used in …

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Death by Camas

Yes, a new form of torture has been developed, involving an unrelenting repetition of a single passage from the Myth of Sisyphus – what? C-A-M-A-S? So, not Albert? Oh…sorry about that. Let’s begin again. I love the flowers of death-camas. I love their Dr. Seussian protuberances, like false noses in bizarre and marvelous shapes. This …

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A Proper Teatime

I was visiting a friend down on Lewes Lake last week and was delighted at the profusion of blue and pink lining his driveway. Wild roses and lungwort — which he told me deserved to be called bluebells, their prettier name — were both in full bloom. The bluebell is an interesting flower in that …

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In Bloom for Christmas

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens / Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens / Brown paper packages tied up with strings / These are a few of my favorite things.” So goes the delightful Christmas song. For Whitehorse florist, Crystal Rose, Christmas is more chaos than delight. The P.E.I. native opened her shop, …

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An Odd Taste in Lawn Decorations

The Klondike is known for permafrost-distorted buildings. The twisted shapes of older structures inspired the artistic career of Jim Robb — as a young artist he visited Dawson and was gob smacked by what he saw. He turned his amazement into a style and has worked with it ever since, to the delight of us all.There …

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Hardy Choice for Low-Maintenance Indoor Gardens

When you are looking for a tough indoor plant, sanseveria trifasciata (or more commonly called snake plant) is a hardy choice. These sturdy plants are also a good pick for new indoor gardeners who are looking for plants with minimal maintenance. The sanseveria thrives in low light conditions and is an excellent choice for low-maintenance …

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Help Your Plants Find the Light

Light is the main requirement for your seedlings once they have emerged from the soil whether they are flowers, vegetables or herbs. Having a sunny south bay window may not be enough intense light to prevent the seedlings from growing tall and spindly. Although it is too early to plant in your greenhouse, unless you …

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Pollination: Let the Bees Do It

With the days getting longer and nights warmer, the plants in your greenhouse should be thriving. Your greenhouse plants, tomatoes, cucumbers or squash, may start to send out their first flush of flowers. If you’ve bought plants locally, you may have bought plants with flowers or even little tomatoes already on the vine. If this …

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Fresh Ideas for Container Gardens

With less and less time to maintain gardens, containers are becoming more and more popular as an alternative to mass gardening. Not everyone has time for full-fledged gardens, which is why container gardening just hits the spot. Any container that can hold soil can become a planter, as long as it has adequate drainage. When …

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Plants Helping Plants

One of the more interesting characteristics of plants is that plants are affected chemically by the aroma from leaves, roots and by soil micro-organisms. Knowing which plants like each other and which don’t, and planting these together, is what is known as companion planting. Companion planting is the planting of different crops in close proximity …

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Successful Perennial Gardening, All-Summer-Long

Perennial gardening has long been a favoured pastime for Yukon gardeners. Now is the perfect time to take a good look at the perennials in your garden, decide which perennials to plant where, shuffle existing plants around your garden and fill in empty spaces with new favourite varieties. Perennial gardens can look stunning, from early …

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The Plant of the King’s Fragrance

Not everyone grows the standard tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers in the greenhouse … There are gardeners who love to grow exotic flowers, and orchids are one of many plants that fall into this category. Your greenhouse is an ideal place to grow orchids because of the special conditions of temperature, humidity and light that can …

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They’re Not Just Pretty (They taste great, too!)

One of the delights of owning a hobby greenhouse is that that there are many varieties of plants that can be grown in its warm, humid climate. Often we tend to think of growing mostly tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and that certainly was the case when we grew vegetables commercially. There are greenhouses that are dedicated …

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Following a Festive Tradition

One of my favourite traditions of the holiday season is planting containers of amaryllis bulbs. The amaryllis is a beautiful and fascinating bulb. Among the easiest of bulbs to grow indoors, the amaryllis is enjoyed for the incredible trumpet-shaped flowers in an array of festive colours. The amaryllis flower grows on tall stems surrounded by …

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Christmas Cacti

As we approach the festive holiday season, the Christmas cacti comes into full bloom, illuminating holiday dècor with its exotic and abundant blossoms. This full-spectrum flowering plant often blooms just twice per year (most commonly prior to Easter and then again at Christmas), making this prodigious blooming plant symbolic of the nearing of Christmas. With …

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The Sacred Flower of Christmas

The revered holiday poinsettia is among the most-beautiful and significant flowering plants of the holiday season. Also known as the Christmas star or Christmas Flower, the poinsettia has history rich with tradition and meaning. One of my favourite Christmas stories tells of the humble beginnings of the Mexican poinsettia flower. The story tells of a …

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Getting Ready for Fall Gardening

Now is the perfect time of year to finish up summer landscape projects, prepare garden beds for the winter as well as plan for next year’s garden. For a harvest of hues, choose a variety of plants for late-season colour. With a little planning you can have rich autumn colour, bright foliage along with attractive …

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The Tulip’s Rich History

Can you imagine selling your house, your car or your recreational cabin for a rare type of tulip? No? Neither can I. However, in around 1634, people in Holland did just that. Tulipmania had hit Europe, first in France between 1610 and 1620, then in Holland in 1634. Tulips came quite late to the Western …

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Next Year’s Garden Season Begins Now

Although this year’s gardening season is winding down, next year’s season is just beginning. I heard quite a few years ago, that someone was experimenting with planting crops such as carrots and beets in the fall with the expectation that they would be much further ahead in harvesting than spring-planted carrots. I was too busy …

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The Garden That Love Made

Have you seen the flowerbeds outside the Subaru/Kia dealership? They are, in a word, immaculate. Nestled together in concrete planters, the Geraniums, Petunias and Marigolds burst forth in almost psychedelic technicolour. It all leaves one to ruminate about the tender loving care that has been invested in the garden. The gardener’s name is Joginder Grewal …

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Flowers, the Language of Love

The language of flowers, often referred to as floriography, was commonly used as a form of communication in the Victorian era. 

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