Jocelyne Sewell is thrilled to have enjoyed some late-winter blooms in her North Okanagan garden.

Jocelyne Sewell is thrilled to have enjoyed some late-winter blooms in her North Okanagan garden.

Flowers enjoy a late bloom

Gardeners are looking ahead to spring: see sales and what to plant

We have already turned the page on a new year and January is almost gone. Seven weeks have gone by since my last column, and I am wishing you all a year filled with peace, happiness and health.

On Dec. 5, I cut a big bouquet of flowers before the big killing frost. As days went by, I removed some of the spent flowers. The dahlia blooms lasted almost one week. I had a bunch of snapdragons and the last of them went in the compost Jan. 3. This was the first year ever that I had fresh flowers from my garden at the same time as the Christmas tree.

I had so many plants in pots that I decided to put them in the shed and keep a little heat in there so the soil would not freeze. After about one week in there, I could see the numbers adding up on the smart meter and decided to move everything back in the house, taking over Tom’s shop once again. This was done just before our first day of snow and the very cold weather settling in. I removed the canna lilies and dahlias from pots and dried them for a week or so and then packed them in wood shavings and shredded leaves.

By the first week of December I had moved all my water containers in the house and I am still using this water for all the many, many plants that are overwintering in the basement. I thought that as you get older you get wiser, but I don’t think this applies to me. I know that I have to cut down somewhere (maybe housework) but it is so hard to say no to a plant. On the other hand, it purifies the air we breathe everyday.

The dates have been set already and the Shuswap Seed Sale in Enderby on March 4 will be again this year at the Splatsin Community Centre. The Vernon Seedy Saturday will be at the Vernon Recreation Centre on March 18. More to come at a later date.

Last year I had a lot of seedlings on the windowsill but with the very cold weather and all the snow we have, I am taking my time to start some. This week, however, I am working on my seeds and their germination rate so it won’t be long before I get the fluorescent lights going again in the basement for another season of growing our own food. I still have 20 tomatoes, “Long Keeper,” in the basement and they are still good.

I was reading a few hints recently in an old magazine. One of them was to put plastic knives, forks or spoons in the garden and somehow it prevents the cats from digging in your plants. I have the white plastic knives and I might try it this summer. It might deter the quails, too.

Another one was to cushion your knees by sewing pockets on the knees of your gardening pants. Then slip a piece of foam rubber inside each. I have been doing that for years. Something that works well are old shoulder pads to fill the knee pockets.

For more information: call 250-558-4556 or email

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