A Gardener’s Diary: A time to peruse the seed catalogues

As you read this, there are only 12 days left before the first day of winter, and the days will be getting longer. Not that we will see a difference for some time, but for me it is always a happy thought.

Some of my geraniums are still blooming and my huge rosemary plant is covered with little blue flowers. I brought in a few herbs late in the season and they are still doing well. In one of the baskets with the basil is a little marigold with two flowers still looking good. In the other pot are some bidens starting to fade. No bug problems so far.

I keep an eye on the dahlia tubers stored in the basement. Because this year I packed them in damp shredded leaves, I want to make sure they don’t start to get mouldy. So far so good.

Nothing to do outside, so it is time to look at seed catalogues and magazines accumulated over the years for rainy days. This is a time of rainy days. I found an article about gardening time zones in B.C. Not all have the same information. On one site it shows the Okanagan Valley as a zone 4/5. Some of the areas around Cherryville can be almost a zone 3 and others in the Valley could be a zone 6b.

The gardening hardiness zone is divided into nine zones for Canada. The coldest zone is rated 0 on the scale and the warmest is 8. These zones also are divided into two parts with a and b, and b being warmer than a. Depending on your location, you can have different zones in your own garden. The hardiness zones are not the same for Canada and the U.S. A plant rated 5b might be different in both countries.

There is a map on the government site for the year 2000 which differs from the one of 1967. The latest one was created using the same variables and more recent 30-year normal climate data (1961-90).

If you Google gardening climate zones in B.C., you can find many sites. Some of the following links from Canadian Gardening will take you there:

Agriculture Canada Hardiness Zone Map

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Environment Canada’s Frost Dates Chart

This will give you time to study your zone for the next gardening season

My next column will be Jan. 7. I wish a very peaceful and thankful Christmas to everyone. In this season of joy, don’t forget the less fortunate. As in other years, St. James School will be the site of a “Together for Christmas” dinner for everyone wishing to take part in this community event.

On this special day of Christmas, may the light of baby Jesus shine in your heart and every day of your life.

For more information: 250-558-4556.

Jocelyne Sewell is an organic gardening enthusiast in the North Okanagan and member of Okanagan Gardens & Roses Club. Her column appears every other Wednesday.