A Splash of the Tropics in the Garden – About Overwintering Tropicals

by Laverne Dahlin, Master Gardener

I started growing canna lilies (Cannaceae), which is not a true lily, 4 years ago when a fellow gardener gave me a rhizome of a Red King Humbert canna lily. I planted the rhizome horizontally with its eyes facing up in 6 inches of potting soil in early March. The 8 inch pot was placed in a sunny location by a south window and it was watered, keeping the soil moist. In April I was pleased to see two healthy leaves poking out of the soil.

The canna was kept in a heated sunroom (minimum temperature 60 Fahrenheit or 15 Celsius) that had plenty of bright light. Cannas like 6-8 hours of sunlight. It was watered with a weak mix of all-purpose fertilizer 15-30-15 weekly. Read More

The Attraction of Peonies

by Sandy Venton, Master Gardener

I came to peonies relatively late in life. Roses and martagon lilies were my first and second passions.  The first peony I ever planted was a fern leaf peony. I had seen one in a garden on my way to elementary school. I saw it between the fence posts. I had to have it. And the year after I moved into my own house, it was the first plant I purchased.

About 10 years ago I decided that there was room for peonies in my garden. It pretty much came to fruition when I was asked to look after the Canadian Peony Society Annual Show in Winnipeg. I was hooked. Read More

Manitoba Master Gardener Association Annual Garden Tour

July 20, 2019 – MMGA Annual Garden Tour

Mark your 2019 calendar for our Annual Garden Tour with 9 unique gardens and our members at each garden to answer your gardening questions.
Plus our Plant Sale at one of the gardens!


Bus Tour of Southeastern Manitoba Gardens


Gardens of Southeastern Manitoba – Bus Tour
hosted by Manitoba Master Gardener Association
Saturday, July 6, 2019
9:00am – 6:00pm

A fabulous tour of gardens in the Steinbach and Kleefeld areas of Manitoba with stops at a local greenhouse and Mennonite Heritage Museum!

Our first destination is Kleefeld where we will visit a couple of large rural gardens full of ideas that will inspire you. Continuing on to Steinbach, we will stop at the Mennonite Heritage Museum. You have the option to purchase lunch there or bring your own. Members of the Steinbach and Area Garden Club will explain the gardens around the museum. The gardens are the club’s community project.
The tour continues with a couple more gardens in Steinbach and a chance to check out plants at Sunshine Nursery.

This is an all day tour, leaving Winnipeg at 9:00am and returning at 6:00pm. Attendees are required to meet at 8:45am (the latest) at the Southwest corner, Polo Park parking lot, Portage Avenue & St. James Street with your ticket.

Beware of Valeriana officinalis

by Elizabeth Sellors, Master Gardener

Valeriana officinalis (common names: garden heliotrope, garden valerian, common valerian, greek valerian) is classified as an alien species in North America, having been introduced from outside its normal distribution. It is a plant native to parts of Europe and Asia. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has defined alien species as those whose introduction and/or spread threatens biological diversity, and whose establishment and spread will modify ecosystems, habitats and affect native species. Invasive species grow and spread quickly because they are able to adapt to a variety of growing conditions and lack the usual predators and diseases that control a population. A native species, on the other hand, is one that occurred in the region before human settlement introduced non-natives. Local native species are referred to as “indigenous”. Read More

California Super Bloom

CAParishs Poppy

As experienced in Spring 2019 by Master Gardener Gary Krushel

California was experiencing a “super bloom” this year. What is a “super bloom”? It is a veritable explosion of wildflowers occurring at a number of locations across the state. As most of us have heard, seeds can lie dormant for years waiting for the right conditions in order to germinate. This past winter California experienced unusually wet weather. All that moisture saturated the desert landscape, and when the warmer spring temperatures arrived, the warm, moist conditions caused a significant amount of that dormant seed to germinate, resulting in a riot of colour blanketing some hillsides. This type of event typically only occurs every 10 to 20 years.

To appreciate just how extensive this bloom was there are photos on the web that were taken from space showing large swaths of colour. Read More

Is Your Cake Baked?

MMGA Presents
Thomas Hobbs – ‘Is Your Cake Baked’
Saturday, May 4, 2019 – 1pm
Canadian Mennonite University Auditorium
North Campus – 500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Wpg., MB

Thomas Hobbs is an internationally known impresario of garden and floral design. He runs Southlands Nursery in Vancouver, Canada, and his private garden has been featured in many prominent magazines, including Horticulture, House Beautiful, Garden Making, Better Homes and Gardens, and Garden Design. Tom has a weekly television show in Canada in which he offers gardening tips and encourages gardeners to tap into their creativity for design projects. He has been featured on Martha Stewart Living television and magazine and the exceptional television show ‘Recreating Eden’ dedicated an entire episode to Thomas Hobbs’ life with plants. He travels across North America giving popular lectures on inspirational garden design.

Thomas Hobbs was born in Winnipeg obsessed with plants and had his first greenhouse at age six. He emphasizes the importance of design as a means to connect with the earth. His first book was the acclaimed bestseller Shocking Beauty, and The Jewel Box Garden is his equally stunning sequel.

Tickets: Members – $10.00 Non-members – $20.00

We are thrilled to have permission through Merit Jensen Carr of Merit Motion Pictures and MGIT Elise Swerhone who is the director and writer of the Episode to share the link to Recreating Eden – Season 2, Episode 7- A Charmed Life – Thomas Hobbs. https://vimeo.com/314350220
More of Recreating Eden can be found at the series website http://www.recreatingeden.com/

Thank you to Mere Hotel, Winnipeg, for sponsoring Thomas Hobbs’ hotel accommodation!

Thank you for Donations from:

Red Valley Plant Market – Vic Lesser, Red River Soils – Lacoste Garden Centre – Huna Natural Apothecary – Bobbex Canada – Watson Designs & Landscaping – B&D Spice Mixers – Kaz Sawicz – Jensen Nursery and Garden Centre – Schreimer’s Greenhouses & Garden Centre – Front Door Stories – Sunshine Nursery & Greenhouse – Shelmerdine Garden – Centre – The Prairie Garden – Lee Valley Tools – Vandermeer Greenhouses- Lenora Kehler – Canadian Tire, Fermor – Avenue, Winnipeg- McKenzie Seeds – Dirt ‘N’ Grow Evolve Organics

Clematis in My Garden

Clematis Parmiat Serdtsa

by Sandra Venton, Master Gardener

Clematis and I have had a long and storied history. My first clematis was Clematis ‘Rosy O’Grady’ (Group 1), a hybrid of Clematis macropetala and Clematis alpina. It was huge, luxurious, hardy to the n’th degree, and never needed to be cut back. It was a lovely pink colour and grew on a trellis against our neighbour’s garage. I planted it in the 1960’s and it was still there when the house was sold in the 1980’s. ‘Rosy O’Grady’ was hybridized by Frank L. Skinner, and as far as I know, it is still available at some nurseries. Read More

Growing Tomatoes – Part 2 of 2, from Transplants to Harvest

Lenore Linton, Master Gardener

Part 2 of 2
Each fall before the garden is dug, an inch of our home compost is spread over the garden. The garden is dug by hand and left in lumps that are broken down by winter frosts. By spring the clods of soil have broken down and the garden needs only a light raking to smooth the surface before planting, and our heavy Red River soil is made soft and friable. When choosing where in the garden to place 13 tomato plants I am mindful of their need for a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight each day, as well as the need to avoid planting where tomatoes were planted last season. As sunlight is most important I often plant where tomatoes were grown the year before. Read More

Using Native Plants in our own Backyard

Using Native Plants in Our Own Backyard
Saturday, March 16/19 – 1:30 – 3:30pm
Canadian Mennonite University,
South Campus
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB

Hosted by Manitoba Master Gardener Association

John P. Morgan – President, Prairie Habitats Inc., will present about why we should consider using native Manitoba plants in our familiar, but often fairly sterile, urban and rural landscapes. Some of the plant’s unique history, importance, folklore, benefits and aesthetics will be examined. Patterning our approach to land use after the ecology of the natural systems that evolved over millennia has economic, social and environmental effects. Integrating native wildflowers, grasses and shrubs successfully into modern landscapes takes knowledge, passion and time. The results, however, can lead us to a better appreciation and stewardship of those same natural processes that sustain our species.

Members: Free Non-members: $5.00
No registration required.

This event is an educational opportunity for Master Gardeners.