Category Archives: Garden Gossip

New Hours of Operation

The Greenhouse will operate now on a “call to come” basis. Essentially we are closed, so that folks looking for OTHER things (annuals, trees, veggies, tomato packs…L0L!) don’t just wander in…checking us out. Because the business is ?attached to our Farm, we appreciate privacy and the need to get other things done, too…now that the GH has slowed down. Therefore we feel it necessary to ask folks, wanting to purchase alpine flowers, fertilizer or tufa rock…to CALL AHEAD (204-268-3984) so that we can accommodate you. Please understand we will never be open on a Sunday. That’s OUR time. However we will try to have you Monday to Saturday. We can decide the time together. Also PLEASE keep your appointment. IF...
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Spring 2015 brings New Products and Ideas

Good morning everyone. So it is March! Never thought we would finally get here. Have you finally arose from your “prolonged” winter hibernation? I do it by seeding out newly acquired wee alpine varieties. I have sorted them all out into the necessary 6 groupings and finished some treatments like soaking and scarifying. The scarifying is tedious to say the least. Try holding a super tiny hard coated legume be-twix your fingers and rubbing it with rough sand paper!? I think the skin on my finger tips were more scarified than the seed! Maybe I should try planting them (my fingers) instead? You know the saying “turning black thumbs to green”…L0L! I have tried holding the seed between tweezers, but...
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Christmas Message 2014

In a Washington Metro station on a cold January morning, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station. After three minutes, a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds. Four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and without stopping, continued to walk on. After six minutes, a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again. 10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at...
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Fall update on our Alpines

What a year it has been! Like typical Manitoba weather, close your eyes for a few minutes and Bingo…its different again! Years ago…a weather system remained in place for several months or at least several weeks. This summer, it changed every couple of days and now its every day…from one extreme to another. So what is one to do? Rest one day and go like the devil was chasing you the next! I can’t complain. For the newly transplanted alpine plants, its been a blessing. I can count on rain every couple of days and sunshine in between. It doesn’t get any better than that! I received my final “load of bulbs” for the fall a couple of days ago...
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“Neck Deep” in Alpines

Finally!…I am “neck deep” in my favorite project…re-potting more Alpines! Plan to finish up by August 15th! Have had great success starting up some new varieties from seeds as well as from cuttings. Also managed to hunt down some rare extras from my main beds to share. Also…ALL of my “Hens and Chick” collection are now in larger pots. Seems there are over 170 varieties so far. (I think I need a few more…L0L!) Can’t carry a large amount of each, but will certainly have a few to spare. The added love and attention (some chilly weather…) is really bringing out their great color. Will be posting some new photos as these always speak “a thousands words”. Oh and before...
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Manitoba’s Moccasin Flowers

        One of our most interesting wild flowers is the Lady’s Slipper − a variety of the wild orchid family − which is named for its shoe-shaped blossoms. There are six distinct species of Lady’s Slippers in Manitoba, as well as a couple of recently discovered hybrids. They range from quite common varieties, to fairly rare ones, with one variety classed as endangered. Some begin blooming in late May but most flower in June or early July. The most common variety is the Yellow Lady’s Slipper, of which there are two sub-varieties – Northern Small and Large Yellow – though casual observers may not notice the difference. The size of the pouch and the stripes on it...
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A multitude of Alpine homes…part 1

“Alpine plants are plants that grow in the alpine climate, which occurs at high elevation and above the tree line. Alpine plants grow together as a plant community in alpine tundra. Alpine plants are not a single taxon. Rather, many different plant species …” (c/o Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) According to John E. Good & David Millward, authors of “Alpine Plants”, Ecology for Gardens “…species that live in these extreme conditions do so as the result of a long evolved ability to survive in places too hostile for less adapted species…in areas covering less than 3% of the world’s land surface…offering approximate 6% of the world’s flowering plants (c. 12,000 species, in 2000 genera and 100 families) Having one of...
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A Multitude of Alpine homes…part 2

4. Hillside Slope Gardens: Would it not be a gardener’s dream to inherit a piece of property that included a natural surface rock formation? As anyone who has tried it knows, man made large rock outcrops usually require horrific amounts of intense labor. So let’s just imagine that your yard has some form of slope. You would have no problem at all, transforming the area into a hillside alpine garden, providing you developed a few tiers (using natural locally collected rock) into the present system. Any area having a slope to the west, south west, south east or even north would give a comfortable growing environment for numerous alpine species. The slope would dictate the type of alpine able to...
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A Multitude of Alpine homes….part 3

7. Trough Gardens: Here is a structure that does not water horses! In the early 20th century English gardeners scrambled to salvage old stone watering troughs. These became specialized site for plants requiring extra drainage or protection from rain at certain times of the year. In recent years, gardeners have developed excellent troughs with materials that are lighter in weight than conventional water troughs. Many are finished attractively, adding a touch of class to the entrances of homes. There are 2 ways to complete a trough garden:1) Creating a miniature landscape within the confines of the chosen “portable” container OR 2) Allowing the contents of the planted (permanent) trough to complement the rest of the yard. The larger the trough,...
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Alpines for the North

(Originally posted to my Greenhouse website blog…Nov. 7th, 2011) What causes me real excitement (and diversion…) is the stamina and beauty of Alpines. They require very little care and smile sooo sweetly, whenever I have a chance to peek at them. I have quite recovered from the utter decimation of my Hens and Chick collection this past spring. How! By hunting my good friend down and ordering some more! How else? I have now about 170 in my collection, all nicely potted up, in fresh soil, with earthworm castings and compost. I have invested in a fair amount of weaponry, to defend this valuable collection. First, the pots have been placed in a new wooden frame bed with little soil...
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