Changing faces

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During my 26 years as garden writer at The Vancouver Sun, I changed my logo quite a few times and also went through a number of different looks. Here's a fun look over my many changing faces over the years. swhysall@hotmail.com  

A little shocker for some summer fun

What’s the quirkiest plant on the shelves this spring? It could well be the “electric daisy” (Acmella oleracea), possibly the hottest novelty plant of 2017 that also is known as the toothache plant. This also goes by the botanical name Spilanthes acmella. It has glossy green  leaves and golden, bud-like flowers with a dark red eye. In Brazil, where it is an...

Two perfect plants for Canada’s 150th

Want to do a special planting for Canada Day this year? Here are a couple of plants that are being marketed this spring specifically to appeal to those gardeners who want to show their patriotism when it comes to celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1. Dahlia 'Canadian Celebration' is a striking white dahlia with red stripes that is expected to...

Upcoming England-Wales-Ireland Tour

Next month, I will be leading two back-to-back garden tours to England, North Wales, Ireland and then to the Chelsea Flower Show in London. Each day of these tours I will be posting stories and photographs here. You can follow along with us as we move. And you will get to see and hear about some of the fabulous gardens...

Time to love those cherry blossoms

It's time to stop and notice the cherry blossoms. That's the message the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is trying to get across this month. The month-long festival started March 30 and run to the end of April. It's a wonderful opportunity for all of us to pause and take notice of the glorious cherry blossoms blooming all over the Lower...

10 favourite shrubs

Buddleia davidii ‘Black Knight’ (butterfly bush) Walk into any garden and most of the plants you see come from other parts of the world. Buddleia, the butterfly bush, originates from the Sichuan and Hubei areas of China. It gets its name because it has the uncanny knack of attracting butterflies. ‘Black Knight’ is one of the most beautiful and reliable...

My garden tours are a big hit

Over the past eight years, I have led 20 garden tours around the world. My first tour was a cruise around Italy and to Croatia, starting in Rome and visiting Florence and Sicily and Venice and seeing some spectacular gardens on the way - Villa d'Este outside Rome, Boboli garden in Florence, Villa Cimbrone in Ravello and the botanical...

Golden memories of great Welsh garden Powis Castle

In May, I will be taking a group to North Wales to see some of the loveliest gardens there. One of them is Powis Castle garden, just outside Welshpool. I have been there twice before. The first time, I walked down the terraces from the house (castle) with its red brick walls and to the Orangery where I saw a magnificent...

Hedges damaged by heavy snows get the chop

We knew this would be the outcome. The heavy snow of winter crushed many plants, especially hedges throughout Metro Vancouver. We could see the damage right away. The snow came so fast overnight and was so wet and heavy by morning that there was little gardeners could do to save their treasured plants. Now, in spring, we see the results....

Chelsea Flower Show 2017

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Chelsea Flower Show, the classiest garden show in the world, will be held this year from May 23-27 on the famous Chelsea Hospital site next to the River Thames in London. You can find out all about it and how to get tickets at the Royal Horticultural Society site.

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