Category Archives: Health

The Peterborough Garden Show

By Mary-Jane Pilgrim, Master Gardener

It’s coming in 25 days.  It can’t come soon enough.  In our city, “The Garden Show” is a true sign of spring.  It’s an occasion that brings together speakers, workshop leaders, vendors, horticultural society members, master gardeners, exhibitors and many others for one reason:  “For the Love of Gardening”.PGS-logo-small

This year marks the 19th fantastic show: 
April 26 – 28, 2019 (Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 10am-5pm & Sunday 10am-4pm).

And there’s great news ! The show has MOVED – to Fleming College’s brand new Trades and Technology Centre on Brealey Drive with lots of FREE parking and a $10, one-price ticket so you can enjoy the show all weekend.

The Peterborough and Area Master Gardeners will have a booth at the show, and will be happy to answer any gardening questions that you may have. Watch for our red aprons!

The theme “Coming Up Roses” is reflected in several of the amazing speakers along with educational and fun workshops and demos.

This award-winning show was honoured in 2017 with both a “Canada 150 Garden Experience”, and “Garden Event of the Year” by the Canadian Garden Council, so come and see what all the fuss is about.

You will find many of your old favourite vendors along with some new ones.

…and don’t forget the popular “Little Green Thumbs” Children’s Garden that is always teaming with liveliness and action! There are learning activities, face painting, crafts and even a take-home project. Their theme this year is “Miniature Gardens for Elves and Fairies”.

All the show profits go back into our community to fund scholarships for post-secondary students studying in horticulture-related fields,various local projects & Community Gardens.  Since 2002, the show has put over $200,000 back into our community.

Please save the date, visit and and learn why “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” in 2019.

Learn more about the incredible speakers, workshops, bus trips, places to stay and tickets here: peterboroughgardenshow.com.

 

Caring for Your Houseplants in Winter

By Chris Freeburn, Master Gardener

For avid gardeners, winter months are a resting period with little to do but read about gardening and plan for spring. But we also need to take more care with our houseplants during this time as conditions in our homes have changed from months where windows are open and furnaces are not running.

To give your plants the best chance to stay happy and healthy, remember these four important factors.

Water

Most plants do drink less in the winter months so you can let them dry out between watering. However, plants like asparagus fern, anthurium, dracaena and ferns will still want to be kept moist. Check the soil an inch down or feel how heavy the pot is to be sure you are giving those plants enough water. Always fill your watering can and let it sit for a few hours before using. This allows the water to come to room temperature and also gives time for any chlorine or other chemicals to dissipate. Plants like jade, sansevieria, succulents and cactus will still want to be dry through the resting period.dscn6541

Temperature

Palm, croton, dieffenbachia and most tropicals prefer it warmer while ivies, wandering jew, cyclamen and jasmine like it cooler. So if you have your cyclamen in the same room as your fireplace, it might not be happy. Watch for drafts of cool air from open doors or from hot air blowing from furnaces. Many plants will suffer from this.

Light

Give your plants as much light as you can. That south window that burns everything in summer will give just enough light in the early months of the year. You may need to move some of the plants you keep in other areas to a brighter window. Plants like ferns, figs or philodendrons may want to be in that brighter spot. But be aware of how cool it is. You may have to move your plant back away from the glass

Humidity

dscn6545 (1)Most homes in winter are too dry for most houseplants and this is why we see them suffer by dropping leaves. To increase humidity, you can mist the plant, give it a shower (at room temperature – this also will dust for you!), or set in a saucer with rocks (elevate so the pot and roots are not constantly wet). Placing plants in kitchens or bathrooms where there tends to be more humidity is another idea. Plants that like it humid include ferns, palms, dieffenbachia and dracaena.

Fertilizing in the winter months when plants often rest is not recommended, however if your plant is actively growing with new sprouts, use a weak solution of water soluble fertilizer (20-20-20) once or twice a month.

It is also very important to have a good look at your houseplants on a regular basis. Besides removing spent leaves or flowers, watch for chewed leaves, spidery webs, or wet patches on leaves which can indicate pests. If you spot something, isolate the plant to avoid the pest migrating to the rest of your collection. Pick off the infested leaves, give the plant a good shower or gently wash the leaves with water or safers soap and get a good insecticide. Take your sick plant to the bath tub for a good spray. Remember to spray the soil as well as the plant as many pests lay their eggs in the soil. You can also use plant pest strips. These work very well for fungus gnats and other flying pests.

With a little attention and care over these stressful months, you can keep you houseplants happy and healthy and ready for the next season.

Forest Bathing

By Suzanne Seryck, Master Gardener

As gardeners we spend a lot of time in our gardens; some might even say a little too much. There is always something to do. This time of the year when we’re not harvesting our vegetables, we are weeding, maybe still deadheading, amending the soil or mulching ready for next year, some more weeding, planting (fall is a great time to plant trees, shrubs, perennials or spring bulbs), over-seeding the lawn and of course, more weeding. What we tend not to do, and I’m speaking very much for myself here, is to slow down or even stop for a few hours to enjoy our gardens, someone else’s garden or maybe just take a walk.

There is a new gardening trend in North America called ‘Forest Bathing’. Forest bathing  or Shinrin-yoku was first developed in Japan in the late 1980’s and means to bathe in the forest atmosphere or to take the forest in through our senses. By being outside in a natural environment, you are letting in the sights, sounds and smells of nature which help calm, rejuvenate and restore. The intention of forest bathing is to slow down, taking the time to unwind and become immersed and connected to the natural environment.away-3024773_640

I know that on many mornings, when I take a cup of tea and venture into my garden early, I am always filled with a sense of peace and wonder, and immediately take a few deep breaths and feel at ease ready to take on the day. So it comes as no surprise to me to learn that over the past several decades scientific studies have discovered numerous health benefits associated with being in both wild and natural areas.  Researchers have found that many trees give off organic compounds that may be beneficial to people. Studies comparing the effects of walking in the city to those of walking in the forest have found that for those walking in forest environments, there was a significant reduction in both blood pressure and stress hormones (http://www.natureandforesttherapy.org/the-science.html). Other health benefits include, improved mood, increased ability to focus, accelerated recovery from surgery or illness, an increase in energy levels, improved sleep and a boosted immune system with an increase in the Natural Killer (NK) cells.

Living in the City of Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough we are lucky enough to have an abundance of trails,  parks and forests, all of which will be at their best in the new few weeks. After writing this article, I will be finding my inner peace in my local conservation area and I hope you will too.

For more information: http://www.shinrin-yoku.org/shinrin-yoku.html