A Gardener’s Diary: Garden continues blooming

Jocelyne Sewell still finds plenty to do in her garden, though it's already mid-October

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend. Sometimes we are so caught up in our daily lives that we don’t take time to appreciate our family and friends. We are so lucky to live in this part of the world.

When you look at the news, it seems that there is nothing going right. When it is not nature fighting us, it is humanity fighting each other. I am thankful for my patient husband who has to share the table and the house with so many plants. I am thankful for my health so I can work in the garden to grow a lot of our food and beautiful flowers. I am thankful for my family and although some of us live thousands of miles away from each other, we still keep in touch. Our reunion last summer was such a pleasure. I am thankful for all my friends, close and far away. Thank you, God, for giving me life and the ability to enjoy it, and parents that instilled in me the beauty of nature and beautiful sunsets.

On the first day of each month, I usually go in the garden and take a count of what is blooming. On Oct. 1, I had 47 plants in bloom. Amongst them was a small columbine and spring-blooming anemones. Many times, if you don’t let some of them go to seed, they will bloom again later on in the season. My kale plants overwintered and produce seeds during the summer. I cut the tops but left the plants in the ground. Somehow they started to grow again along the stems and I am now harvesting tasty young leaves. My arugula and lettuce have reseeded and should last until a good frost. Some of the roofs got white a few times already but nothing has been killed in the garden so far.

I am trying to keep the shredding up to date. It works really well with the old lawnmower. I even managed to shred the corn stalks by cutting them in shorter pieces and piling them with other plants. Two of my compost bins are already full and as soon as I clear the finished compost from the big one, I can use that space for all the rest of it.

Building from the success of “Grow Me Instead,” the Plant Wise Pilot Program under the Invasive Plant Council of British Columbia, combines industry initiatives with consumer purchasing tools and resources that support the horticulture industry’s transition to becoming invasive-free, and to build consumer demand for non-invasive plants. You can check their web site www.invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca

The pilot program was active this summer in Kelowna and Fraser Valley areas. Employing the principles of community based social marketing, this pilot program encourages the purchase of non-invasive plants by gardeners at the point of sale. Seasonal staff are meeting with industry retailers, and engaging with consumers at farmers markets and community events to encourage the purchase of non-invasive plants and assist gardeners in making responsible plant choices.

On the weekend of Sept. 21, one of the program liaisons was at the Lumby Market. I hate to admit that I have some of the invasive species in my own garden. I will be removing them as I go but some of the plant retailers are still selling some of the ones on the invasive list. I will be writing about it more in the future columns and the ones you can replace them with.

For more information: 250-558-4556.

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