gardening

Conference pears are ready to pick. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Storing, canning and freezing the harvest

Gardening is rather like alchemy, except we get results

  • Oct 23, 2021

 

This five-year-old apple tree takes up only two feet of bed, and its branches reach sideways about five feet on each side. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Apple varieties abundant, easy to grow

I ate some of them and turned the rest into apple juice, from which I’ll make jelly

  • Oct 16, 2021

 

Hoses rolled up and ready to be covered to protect them from the elements. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Maintaining soaker hoses with the effort

Once the autumn rains come I remove the soaker hoses from the garden

  • Oct 9, 2021

 

I’ll cover these beets with a tunnel to extend their season. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Fall is the garden’s downhill run

That brief season of sensory bliss when we can taste the literal fruits of our labour

  • Oct 2, 2021
I’ll cover these beets with a tunnel to extend their season. (Mary Lowther photo)
My strawberry bed is overgrown and needs thinning. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Some secrets of growing strawberries

What few berries we could pry from their tightly clenched beaks were delicious

  • Sep 25, 2021
My strawberry bed is overgrown and needs thinning. (Mary Lowther photo)
An insulated cold frame for winter crops with the plastic windows removed. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Cold frames extend the gardening season

A cold frame is a solid structure that can sit over crops to extend their lives

  • Sep 18, 2021
An insulated cold frame for winter crops with the plastic windows removed. (Mary Lowther photo)
Grapes developing outside my bathroom window. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Grapes: small footprint, limited maintenance

I want to take them with me, which poses a propagation problem

  • Sep 11, 2021
Grapes developing outside my bathroom window. (Mary Lowther photo)
My first jar of potato starch, made from four potatoes. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Think spring is the busiest garden season? Try August

The 80 fruit trees David bought with abandon keep sending out countless shoots that need pruning

  • Sep 4, 2021
My first jar of potato starch, made from four potatoes. (Mary Lowther photo)
Cornbread made with nixtamilized corn dough. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther Column: The wonders of corn nixtamilization

A more varied diet corrected this deficiency but nixtamalization didn’t catch on

  • Aug 28, 2021
Cornbread made with nixtamilized corn dough. (Mary Lowther photo)
Columnist Mary Lowther’s first attempt at making potato flour. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Potatoes have unfairly gotten a bad rap

It always feels like I’m digging up gold nuggets when I harvest potatoes

  • Aug 21, 2021
Columnist Mary Lowther’s first attempt at making potato flour. (Mary Lowther photo)
Garlic drying temporarily under shade from the 2021 garden. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Harvesting the garlic and thinking ahead to winter

When to start overwintering vegetables is always a gamble

  • Aug 14, 2021
Garlic drying temporarily under shade from the 2021 garden. (Mary Lowther photo)
Butchart Gardens - Handout

Creating the Japanese Garden

A place to think, meditate and be at peace

  • Aug 11, 2021
Butchart Gardens - Handout
The corn tassels are dropping pollen; cross-pollination is required to set ears. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Starting a new garden: it all begins with the soil

The land David bought six years ago was subsoil

  • Aug 7, 2021
The corn tassels are dropping pollen; cross-pollination is required to set ears. (Mary Lowther photo)
These are mason/blue orchard bee houses we inherited with our house. The one on the right probably produces more females because it’s deeper. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Tricks to attract pollinators to the garden

With 80 fruit trees the effort of attracting a few 100 bees may be daunting, but worth the attempt

  • Jul 31, 2021
These are mason/blue orchard bee houses we inherited with our house. The one on the right probably produces more females because it’s deeper. (Mary Lowther photo)
Peas drying inside where it’s a bit cooler. They will be great to eat in winter. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Moving into beans as heat wave fried peas

I sowed both pole and bush beans because bush beans produce earlier and

  • Jul 24, 2021
Peas drying inside where it’s a bit cooler. They will be great to eat in winter. (Mary Lowther photo)
The first line of defence against invaders. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Deterring all those trying to sneak in and steal the harvest

I don’t blame the varmints for wanting to share my harvest, but they seem determined to take it all

  • Jul 17, 2021
The first line of defence against invaders. (Mary Lowther photo)
Is it ready yet? Checking the garlic; the one on the right was planted three weeks after the two on the left. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Garlic a mealtime foundation

Virtually everything he makes starts with the same basic ingredients: onions, peppers and garlic

  • Jul 10, 2021
Is it ready yet? Checking the garlic; the one on the right was planted three weeks after the two on the left. (Mary Lowther photo)
David’s prototype strawberry cage to keep birds out. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Who knew gardening required construction skills?

I was unprepared for the reality of beans and peas that maliciously entangled themselves

  • Jul 3, 2021
David’s prototype strawberry cage to keep birds out. (Mary Lowther photo)
Gardener Mary Lowther plans to save a couple of these potato plants for her next experiment. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Gardens are labs in which to experiment

Experimenting goes hand in hand with gardeners

  • Jun 26, 2021
Gardener Mary Lowther plans to save a couple of these potato plants for her next experiment. (Mary Lowther photo)
Soaker hoses laid down over corn seedlings, soon to be covered with mulch, will see to the watering needs of the bed through any summer drought. (Mary Lowther photo)

Mary Lowther column: Investing in soaker hoses is money well-spent

No-till gardening has a distinct advantage during drought

  • Jun 12, 2021
Soaker hoses laid down over corn seedlings, soon to be covered with mulch, will see to the watering needs of the bed through any summer drought. (Mary Lowther photo)