Take a tour of local gardens

Take a tour of local gardens

The People Place Garden Tour invites you to explore North Okanagan gardens at your own pace

  • Jun. 7, 2017 3:30 a.m.

Just a reminder to pick up your tickets for the People Place Garden Tour, taking place this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets available at Blue Mountain Nursery in Armstrong, Briteland, Coldstream Willows Nursery, Swan Lake Nurseryland and the People Place.

Before I put something in the trash, I make sure that there is no other way to use it. This week we had to replace the outside umbrella which after 10 years of use started to show signs of wear. Now what do you do with the frame? I have a dead apple tree in the yard which I kept for a clematis support. The tree stands in a bed full of tulips which by now have gone to sleep. Last year I planted pole beans and ran strings from tomato cages to the branches and it looked like a big spider web. I managed to lift the umbrella frame enough and open it so it stands on top of the dead tree. I planted pole beans again which later will climb high enough to reach the arms and this will make it easy to pick. I will interplant some lettuce which doesn’t mind some shade in the hot summer days.

Last fall I decided to mulch with some shredded plants before composting them. Some of the seeds managed to sprout very well with all the rain this spring and I have been pulling more plants this year to make room for the ones I really want there. This time, all the shredding is being composted before using it as a mulch. I get enough grass clippings so far which works very well.

Sometime in early March, I had some potatoes starting to germinate in the bag. I planted some pieces in six-inch pots and they started growing in the house. Later on I had to transplant them in bigger pots as it was too early yet to put them outside so they went in the greenhouse. Finally I put them out and they are ready to bloom. They are in a big tub which happened to be a rescued rain barrel. It had cracked in the winter because someone left water in it. Tom laid it on its side and with a cut on both sides, I have now a big tub which is like a mini raised bed.

Found great information at www.potatogoodness.com/potato-fun-facts-history/

The potato is the world’s fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat and maize. The Inca Indians in Peru were the first to cultivate potatoes around 8,000 BC to 5,000 BC. In 1536 Spanish conquistadors conquered Peru, discovered the flavours of the potato, and carried them to Europe. Sir Walter Raleigh introduced potatoes to Ireland in 1589, and it took nearly four decades for the potato to spread to the rest of Europe.

In the 1840s a major outbreak of potato blight, a plant disease, swept through Europe, wiping out the potato crop in many countries. The Irish working class lived largely on potatoes and when the blight reached Ireland, their main staple food disappeared. This famine left many poverty-stricken families with no choice but to struggle to survive or emigrate. Over the course of the famine, almost one million people died from starvation or disease. Another one million people left Ireland, mostly for Canada and the United States.