Sunday, August 29, 2010

Marjorie Harris hooray!

Just listening to CBC radio. Marjorie Harris, wonderful garden guide, is being interviewed by Karen Gordon. I appreciate that right off the top she made a plea for people to water their gardens/plants properly. You need to water slowly and check the depth the water goes to - more than 8 inches down please! 12" plus. I realize she was referring to Toronto, but her comments about rainfall were true for other areas: rainfalls we've had this summer have been rain dumps that came so fast that the water had no time to percolate down, it washes into the sewer systems and doesn't reach the plants. (my suggestion is to stay political and advocate for any developments in your community to have water catchment and re-use systems, and at least 50% of their area be planted areas instead of pavement ... this is a big suggestion)

Check out her website at

I'll mention two of her books that are worth having:
Ecological Gardening - Marjorie updated this book last year. Great attitude for natural gardening. Also, so many suggestions for taking care of your garden that are not expensive and will save you money in the long run because you won't have to replace plants.

Thrifty: sensible ways to save money. I suppose, if you are really thrifty, you'll borrow it from your local library ... but I'll suggest purchasing the book and you'll still save money.

Some of Marjorie's advice from the show:
- For most serious gardening, the long weekend is the beginning of the second planting season. New plants are in the nurseries, bulbs are coming in ... and because we will still have warm days and not cold nights, we can plant and root systems will establish. She's talking about perennial plants, and to do some trimming back of their foliage so the roots will be priority. (you can still put in Chinese vegetables too - I've just transplanted in my small Chinese cabbages and pak choi for late fall harvest. Also discovered that parsnips do not transplant, sad sight)

- Harris mentions Lawrence Packer's book 'Keeping the Bees: why all bees are at risk and what we can do to save them' ... apparently Packer came into her garden and the first thing he saw wasn't the plants but the varied insects. She makes the wonderful comment: 'We have a real responsibility for planting these things'; she was referring to plants that ensure food and water sources for butterflies, but of course this refers to diverse plants that nourish bees and all the other beneficials.

David Suzuki's website has a bee/pollinator guide - very brief! - at

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