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Check Out These Garden Centres For Prairie-Hardy Stock

Sue Armstrong Love Hearing From You

Do you have a story about a farm-or home-based business? How about some household management tips? Does someone in the family have a special-diet need? Share some of your recipes and some meal ideas.

Send them to FarmLife, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3H 0H1. Phone 1-800-665-0502 or email [email protected] lishing.com.Please remember we can no longer return photos or material.

— Sue

Today — an excellent source for Alberta-grown, Prairie-hardy daylilies, plus — two reliable seed suppliers and — Singing Gardener draw winners.

CANADIAN MOUNTIE AND CALGARY STAMPEDE

A tip o’ my hat to daylilies, (Hemerocallis) one of the best options for low-maintenance perennials. They’re tough, encounter very few problems and perform splendidly in any type of soil, both in full sun or partial shade.

One of the grandest groups of named Prairie-hardy daylilies is available from Parkland Perennials, Box 506, Bruderheim, Alta. T0B 0S0. Write; phone (780) 796-2382; or email [email protected]for a print catalogue, or visit www.parkland-perennials.com.

Gardeners in extreme cold -weather regions, will be glad to know that Bob Yaremko, owner of Parkland Perennials has been supplying quality plants to North American gardeners since 1992. As Bob says: “We test all material for hardiness to Zone 2 by growing it ourselves and are proud of our plant material.”

With such a vast choice, it’s hard to pick a winner. Here’s what Bob says re: “Siloam Paul Watts” daylily. “It’s about 20 inches tall, has beautiful pure-red blooms (and lots of them) but most importantly for us on the Prairies, it provides us with that late-season bloom which is rare at that time of the season. It starts blooming in August and blooms till frost.”

A couple also caught my eye. One is called Canadian Mountie. Brilliant scarlet-red flowers with a bright-gold throat are large and extremely showy. Canadian Mountie daylily grows to a nice height too at just under a metre (36 inches).

Then there’s a daylily dedicated to the greatest outdoor show on earth. Calgary Stampede puts the spotlight on gorgeous red flowers with light-cream edges on 60-cm (24-inch) plants. You’ll long remember your visit to the Calgary Stampede when you grow the champion daylily with its namesake.

Besides daylilies for spring and fall shipping, Parkland Perennials has numerous Siberian iris for spring shipment only; lilies of all stripes and colours for spring and fall shipment and an outstanding selection of herbaceous peonies and fern leaf peonies for fall shipment only.

FROM B. C. TO N. B.

First, I’ll head way out west to the lower mainland and pay a visit to West Coast Seeds, 3925-64th Street, RR #1, Delta, B. C., V4K 3N2; phone 1-888-804-8820; email [email protected]or visit www.westcoastseeds.com.

Owner Jeanette McCall provides a free print catalogue that lists over 600 vegetable, herb and flower seed varieties; certified organic, heritage and open-pollinated untreated seeds. Mark Macdonald is the marketing and information officer. Brian Campbell is the mason bees specialist.

Do you want to grow and admire tall and massive-size heads of edible sunflowers? Look no further than West Coast Seeds for names such as Giganteus, Grey Stripe Confectionary and Taiyo; a variety from Japan. Then there’s Titan; an heirloom that can reach 3.6 metres tall (12 feet) with flower heads 60 cm (24 inches) across. Another superb sunflower includes Peredovik, a black-seeded Russian cultivar used for producing sunflower oil and the very best top choice for feeding birds.

On the ornamental sunflower side are Giant Sungold, Teddy Bear and pollenless Zohar. They are perfect in borders and backgrounds for show, for feeding birds and superb for cutting material in bouquets, florists’ arrangements and farmers’ market sales.

West Coast Seeds also has an excellent and extensive inventory of tomato seeds. Among them is Sasha’s Pride, (sometimes called Sasha’s Altai) an open-pollinated Russian heirloom that I told you about last year. Here’s a brief overview of a few others. Siletz is a well-behaved, tall bush tomato that’s a guaranteed producer under adverse conditions. Big round fruits keep on producing from early on and remain seedless until end of summer.

Polish Linguisa is a low-acid heirloom red Roma dating back to the 1800s. Large, sausage-shaped fruits are more productive and much sweeter than most other Roma varieties.

Taxi is also a less-acidic tomato. Bright-yellow, sweet fruits yield heavily at the start of summer and continue production for a good month. Taxi is a highly recommended heirloom tomato for cool growing areas.

If you grow cherry tomatoes that are any sweeter or more delicious than Sungold; let me know. These amazing, juicy morsels are a genuine pleasure to pluck from trusses, with their nearly tropical fruit flavour and candy-like taste.

No salad is complete without lettuce. Gardeners will be really impressed with the vast choice of looseleaf, iceberg, butterhead, romaine and other salad greens available from West Coast Seeds. They have an impressive selection of well over two dozen in this group. One to really watch for is an Italian butterhead heirloom named Drunken Woman. Large heads with ruffled, savoyed leaves that have the appearance of wild hair may account for its name. If romaine lettuce is your forté, then big, burly, dark-green Plato, that’s slow to bolt and resistant to tip burn will do your salad proud. So much more to discover in West Coast Seeds catalogue that you can also thumb through yourself.

OVER ON THE EAST SIDE

…of the nation you’ll find Mapple Farm, at 129 Beech Hill Rd., Weldon, N. B., E4H 4N5. Owner Greg Wingate’s discipline is to “only sell what we grow ourselves.” Mapple Farm is an excellent source for certified organic planting stock ranging from Jerusalem and Chinese Artichokes to short-season sweet potato plants started from rooted cuttings or slips.

On the seed side, Mapple Farm provides home growers with something distinctive. Gardeners up in Canada’s high north and other short-season regions are able to grow and ripen Latah tomatoes on the vine before frost. It’s the “earliest of the reds” and an exceptional find… a winner for Yellowknife and the N. W. T.

Mystery Keeper is for those who want a good and popular storage tomato. Fruits harvested in late September needn’t be coddled in any way, yet are able to last through to the following Easter. That is, if you have any left (so grow enough). No wrapping, no cold room storage nor special lighting necessary either. Mystery Keeper’s outside skin may be olive, orange or pink, but once cut open, ripe red flesh is revealed.

For dessert, top off your meal with slices of Blacktail Mountain watermelon. A rare find indeed. It’s among the earliest, most cool-tolerant watermelons in existence. A nice size too at 23 cm (nine inches) across. As an added bonus, red-fleshed, Blacktail Mountain has ability to hold in good condition for several weeks. For a complete listing, you can email Greg at [email protected]or write for a copy of Mapple Farm’s 2010 seed and planting stock brochure.

SINGING GARDENER 2010 DRAW WINNERS

Congratulations to all winners. To redeem your certificate toward catalogue merchandise of your choice; or receive seed potatoes or Bluebell grape plant, you must mail the certificate or voucher to the address stated.

EARLY’S GIFT CERTIFICATE AND CATALOGUE

Tania Vanstone, Miami, Man.; Mrs. Mary Gabriel, Edmonton, Alta.; Mrs. R. Lee, Troy, Ont.; Richard Powell, Tisdale, Sask.

MCFAYDEN GIFT CERTIFICATE, CATALOGUE AND TOMATO SEEDS

Annette Zak, Fir Mountain, Sask.; Mrs. Charlotte Butz, Dewberry, A lta.; T. Forsyth, Biggar, Sask.; Sherry Woywada, Strathclair, Man.; Cheryl Schleger, Prince Albert, Sask.; Karen Serviss, Melfort, Sask.; Beth McKeown, Duncan, B. C.; A. Balogh, Pritchard, B. C.; Bonnie St. John, Brock, Sask.; Teresa Pochapsky, Olds, Alta.

T&T SEEDS GIFT CERTIFICATE AND CATALOGUE

Joanne Swenson, Moose Jaw, Sask.; Heather Haugen, Sedgewick, Alta.; Mrs. Kathryn Schafer, Medicine Hat, Alta.; Diana Block, Dundurn, Sask.

EAGLE CREEK SEED POTATOES VOUCHER AND SEED POTATO CATALOGUE

Debbie Fox-Kingdon, Tantallon, Sask.; Noreen Gillis, Baldur, Man.; Lainie Anderson, Benito, Man.; Beth Bromm, Tisdale, Sask.; Gail Blaney, Wolseley, Sask.; Shawna Danchek, Drumheller, Alta.; Joyce Robinson, Erickson, Man.; MC Scott Farms Ltd., The Pas, Man.; Mr. & Mrs. Ben Reuvekamp, St. Alphonse, Man.; Nelda Bennett, Baldonnel, B. C.; Richard Powell, Tisdale, Sask.; Ruth Ridsdale, Dorintosh, Sask.; Marg Fraser, Melita, Man.; Barbara Drewry, Arborg, Man.; Karen Kosa, Sexsmith, Alta.; Ozzie & Jennie Labutis, Westerose, Alta.; Margaret Rothwell, Sidney, Man.; Allison Magee, Clive, Alta.; Eleanor Buchanan, Crystal City, Man.; D. B. Kenney, Calgary, Alta.; Trudy Wiebe, Altona, Man.

CORN HILL NURSERY VOUCHER FOR BLUEBELL GRAPE AND CATALOGUE

Mrs. K. Alarie, Dauphin, Man.; Ray Schneider, Vulcan, Alta.; Cora Greer, Kenaston, Sask.; Katie Clarke, Guelph, Ont.

TOMATO SEEDS

Linda Duclos, Admiral, Sask.; Mrs. Ken Sutherland, Plunkett, Sask.; Marie Tetreault, Leoville, Sask.; Bernie Lefko, Beausejour, Man.; Ms. Ruby Swartz, Alberta Beach, Alta.; Ivy Mohn, Byemoor, Alta.; Jean Turko, Alonsa, Man.; Carolynn Wallin, Margo, Sask.; Irene Buehler, Lajord, Sask.; Yvonne Reid, Rivercourse, Alta.

Thank you all Grainews readers for your phenomenal response. Many thanks to Early’s of Saskatoon, McFayden at Brandon, T&T Seeds of Winnipeg, Eagle Creek Seed Potatoes, Bowden, Alta., and Corn Hill Nursery, Corn Hill, N. B., for providing the prizes.

This is Ted Meseyton the Singing Gardener and Grow-It Poet from Portage la Prairie, Man. May each day bring you blessings and the meadowlarks still sing. May sunshine, breeze and gentle rain, bring forth good growth this spring. May refreshing air bestow new life, as you till the field of sod. A guardian angel walk beside you and be touched by the hand of God. My email address is [email protected]

About the author

Columnist

Ted Meseyton

This is Ted Meseyton the Singing Gardener and Grow-It Poet from Portage la Prairie, Man. I salute all gardeners and farmers who help make our world a little safer and more ecologically balanced, and who toil to provide health-giving produce to others who cannot produce their own. It takes all sorts to make a world. One half of the world doesn’t know how the other half lives. The best physicians are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet and Dr. Merryman.

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