Brian Minter

It's time to plant winter vegetables.

Time to plant winter vegetables

August is a very important transitional time in our vegetable gardens. Some vegetables are still maturing, but many others have finished completely, leaving gaps here and there that could still produce a few crops.

It's time to plant winter vegetables.
Planting perennials in your garden

Plant perennials for late summer colour

When late summer arrives, far too many landscapes look a bit tired, tatty and worn out. This is especially true when the summer has been long and hot. By adding some very special late blooming perennials, you can make an enormous difference to the whole look and feel of your late summer garden.

Planting perennials in your garden
Hydrangeas

New heights for hydrangeas

Hydrangeas, next to roses, are perhaps the most common deciduous flowering shrub in West Coast gardens. The ‘macrophylla’ or ‘garden hydrangea’ was introduced to England in 1736, and since then, a whole series of beautiful plants have been developed for the home garden.

Hydrangeas
Canna’s like Pink Sunburst can add a splash of colour well into the fall.

Canna lilies add drama to your garden

In the heat of summer (should we be so lucky), we normally would be looking to add a little extra punch to our gardens, and there is one family of plants that has so much to offer but really doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Canna’s like Pink Sunburst can add a splash of colour well into the fall.
Rudbeckia Goldsturm

Late summer colour

By adding some very special late summer blooming perennials, you can make an enormous difference to the whole look and feel of your garden.

Rudbeckia Goldsturm
No garden should be without a few cosmos.

Never too late for colour

If you’re a little late with the colour in your garden this year, consider yourself lucky. The cool wet weather has really held things back and caused more than the usual number of insect and disease problems, but there is still plenty of time for a splendid garden.

No garden should be without a few cosmos.
Outdoor rooms extend your living space.

Magic of outdoor rooms

Extend your living space with an outdoor room. Master gardener Brian Minter tells you how.

Outdoor rooms extend your living space.
Red Obelisk

Vertical solutions to tight spaces

Smaller spaces, both for living and gardening, are today’s reality.  Unfortunately many…

Red Obelisk
There’s been a recent shift in demand

A rose by any name still needs care

Roses are now bursting out with buds already showing and even some colour. However, I am absolutely amazed to hear of aphid problems already on roses and would highly recommend simply washing them off with a gentle flow of water.

There’s been a recent shift in demand
Flowering trees that attract birds or butterflies to the yard are wonderful

Make Mother’s Day extra special

Mother’s Day is almost here, and many of us are still looking for some inspiration. Well, let me make a few suggestions.

Flowering trees that attract birds or butterflies to the yard are wonderful
Wisteria can provide the perfect cover.

Beautiful fencing with vines

Looking for a simple but fast cover-up to screen an old fence or wall, an unsightly building or a nosy neighbour? Why not make good use of some interesting and attractive vines.

Wisteria can provide the perfect cover.
Rhododendrons are easy to grow

Getting the most out of rhododendrons

When we think of rhododendrons, we usually conjure up images of lush foliaged varieties smothered in huge trusses of blossoms. According to the respected Oregon rhododendron authority, Ted Van Veen, over 800 species and over 10,000 named varieties grow within 800 miles of the North Pole and as far south as the sand dunes of Florida.

Rhododendrons are easy to grow
Garden peas are one of the most widely grown and most healthy of all garden vegetables. They are rich in nutrients

Roots for the lowly pea run deep

We take many things for granted today, often not fully appreciating the…

Garden peas are one of the most widely grown and most healthy of all garden vegetables. They are rich in nutrients
What are the best cool-loving plants for a great display?  By far and away

Colour can warm up a cool, dark spring

I’ve never seen a year that has stayed so cold and wet…

What are the best cool-loving plants for a great display?  By far and away

How to minimize moss

Moss… moss… and more moss! It is in lawns everywhere this year, spreading vigorously and choking out those poor lawn grasses. In spite of all the lime and moss control applied, it seems to get worse.

Plan now for strawberries.

Time to think strawberries

It’s hard to imagine a June garden without the mouth-watering flavour of…

Plan now for strawberries.

Weathering a late winter cold spell

The last thing gardeners on the West Coast need now is a…

A little work now will mean fresh asparagus for years to come.

Investing in asparagus

Asparagus is one of our oldest perennial vegetables. The generic word is…

A little work now will mean fresh asparagus for years to come.
Flowers for Valentine's Day.

Flowers from the heart

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you really want to…

Flowers for Valentine's Day.
Careful pruning can preserve the buds.

Pruning to preserve the buds

It’s high time to be out there with pruning shears in hand, cleaning up our trees and shrubs, but we also must be a little cautious with some of our plants to make sure we don’t prune off this year’s flowers and fruits.

Careful pruning can preserve the buds.