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Westwood Garden Season in Review

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It’s September now & I’m thinking about the failures & successes of Westwood’s gardens this year. The first success is that there are 4 lovely ladies working the garden with me. We each took a vegetable plot & did what we wanted with it. Margret grew some tomatoes, carrots, beans, onions & herbs in her Hügelkultur garden.

Dawn grew some tomatoes in her raised box garden, some very tasty cucumber & gourds as well as very prolific edible nasturtiums against the shed. She also grew celery, tomatoes & dill in the raised bed.

Shana grew tomatoes, corn, beans, zucchini & gourds in her 3 sisters garden. One of her tomato variety produces blackish cherry-sized tomatoes that turn red when ripe & are the sweetest tomatoes I’ve ever tasted. Christine took care of the watering most weeks & helped me with the hose connections (I needed a lot of help).

I grew rhubarb, carrots, beans & beets for Edmonton’s Food Bank. I made several trips to the food bank, mostly with raspberries, rhubarb, beans & carrots but there will be a few more trips yet. Next year we will grow more vegetables as we will drastically reduce the number of walking onions that are taking over the large raised bed. We will also reduce the amount of giant hyssop, but not eliminate it as it is such a great attraction to native pollinators such as bees. Thanks to Joyce for letting me know that the hyssop is a plant native to the Edmonton area.

The flower gardens were very healthy this year. Unexpectedly, many plants grew so large I had to cut them back so they wouldn’t shade or cover other ones. As I mentioned before, I will be dividing & removing many plants to make room for native species.

I was going to get rid of the Joe-Pye weed this fall & replace it with a native one but I’ve observed that it is pretty much the only one attracting pollinators this late in the summer. In fact it is covered with butterflies & bees every time I’m at the church. I tried to get photos of them but the flowers are at the top of the tall plant & I”m short so I mostly got pics of the sky. Here is one that shows an outline of the Red Admiral Butterfly, at least. I’ll divide the plant this fall & sell or give away the remainder when the native Spotted Joe-Pye is established & flowering.

CLICK HERE for lots more reasons to put native plants in your garden.

I’m going to start dividing & removing plants starting Sunday, September 10.
I’ll probably be at the church most afternoons this week so you can contact me by email or phone home: 780-439-6484 or cell: 780-993-6484. You will need to bring your own pots, boxes or bags to take the plants away as I don’t have many. Most of the plants are fairly large (more than 8 “ pots) so keep that in mind.
I’ll sell them to Unitarians for $3 to $5 each & prices will go up after next weekend. As long as they are watered in they should overwinter very well.

Plants I’m going to divide:
  • Joe-Pye Weed
  • Some Hostas
  • Astilbes
  • Giant Hyssop
  • Silver Pulmonaria/Lungwort
  • Astrancia – Masterwort (pictured left)
  • Barrenwort/Epimedium.
  • Groundcovers – Creeping Charlie, Vinca minor – Periwinkle, Lamium,
  • Sweet Woodruff
Plants I’m removing:
  • Some Hostas
  • Musk mallow
  • Bleeding Hearts
  • Purple Delphiniums
  • Bergenia
  • Non-native anemones
  • Perennial Bachelor Buttons
  • 4 cacti
  • White Pansies
  • Colombine
  • Spotted Pulmonaria/Lungwort.
  • Daylilies
Help Wanted! Do you have corrugated cardboard?

I’ll need a lot of corrugated cardboard to use as kill mulch on the west side of the church so if you can spare any please flatten it & bring it and leave it under the east side porch. Or contact me & I’ll come & get it. It would be much appreciated.

Lindsay McWhirter: Garden Blog Author

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