GFM Network News


English primulas produce vibrantly
coloured blooms.

Primulas provide pots of colour

Only suitable for indoors in our climate, they will provide a breath of spring

I recently came upon a lovely display of primulas for sale. There were red and orange ones, bright-golden ones, several shades of pink and even one with white blooms. I chose the pot with the dark-purple blooms with the buds just opening, rather than one with mature blooms. When buying any flowering plant, choose one

Blooms of dragon wing begonias add colour to the indoor winter garden.

Adding colour indoors with dragon wing begonias

Once these plants start to bloom they will continue right into spring


I am currently enjoying a great display of begonia blooms in my sunroom and this will continue right into spring. They do not begin their winter indoors by producing any colour however, as I usually just bring in cuttings or small offshoots from the parent plants, and these take time to develop attractive foliage or


One of my tuberous begonias last summer — covered with bloom.

Getting tuberous begonias off to a good start

If the bulbs are potted in March you should have plenty of blooms in June

We learn from our mistakes — sometimes! Last year I grew a couple of tuberous begonias after not having grown them for a number of years. I don’t like plants that demand a lot of care and tuberous begonias, although not terribly difficult to grow, do demand consistent attention and care. However, I was given

Stewart Akerley and his current LTG Garden at La Verendrye School in Portage la Prairie.

Keep CALM and garden on

This elementary school teacher takes joy in teaching his students about food production

From the moment you step into his classroom, Stewart Akerley’s unbridled energy, passion and enthusiasm for teaching is evident. My husband and I first met this Portage la Prairie School Division elementary teacher when we volunteered for Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM) in March 2015. This was also Akerley’s first year of participating in Agriculture

Dill (left) must be succession planted throughout the winter, a tall container of mint (centre), and a pot of chives (right), ragged because of constant use.

Have a supply of herbs to use all winter

Frozen ones are good to use in cooked dishes but have some growing in pots too

We are still in the depths of winter even though the days are getting longer, so although cutting herbs from outdoor plants is out of the question, it is relatively easy to have a few herbs on hand indoors. All it takes is a bit of planning in the fall and/or a bit of preserving


Succulent cuttings and slips are planted close together in shallow trays.

Gardening projects to help get you through the winter

Here’s some things to keep you busy as you wait for spring to get outside to garden

You may think that you do not have the required space to enjoy indoor gardening but look around. Is there space in a spare bedroom for a light garden or at least room to put a table in front of a south- or west-facing window? Are there a few unoccupied windowsills? Is there space in

Fishhooks Plant is an attractive trailing succulent.

Getting to know the Senecio plant family

It’s a large one with approximately 100 succulent types in the genus

Sometimes I come across an unfamiliar plant and become so intrigued by it that I go home and research it. This happened last fall when I saw a display of Fishhooks Plant in a local garden centre. Fishhooks Plant is its common name; its botanical name is Senecio radicans. It belongs to a huge plant

The main attraction of the zebra plant is its foliage.

Tired of winter? Looking for a challenging gardening project?

Try growing a zebra plant — not the easiest to care for but well worth the effort

Like many gardeners I heave a sigh of relief when February arrives, knowing that we are past the midway mark through winter. At this point we are also pretty tired of the season and looking for something to perk us up as we wait for spring. For some that may mean a warm holiday get-away,


Big Betony, an AAS winner, is a hardy, dependable perennial for a Prairie garden.

Dreaming of gardens to come

Now is a good time to plan and dream about the 2019 garden

At this time of year we begin to dream about the summer gardens, and as seed catalogues arrive in the mail, we study them, looking with interest at the new varieties. Many horticultural organizations publish annual plant pick lists, the Perennial Plant Association being one of them. For 2019 it has chosen a perennial commonly

These small offshoots of G. maculata have been detached from the parent plant and planted into a container for future use.

Looking for a low-maintenance indoor plant?

Succulents have the ability to hold large amounts of water in their tissues

Several of my gardening friends are very knowledgeable about plant classification and their Latin names and can identify the family name. This doesn’t interest me much but I do use this information quite frequently such as when researching a plant such as a succulent. Succulent is a term applied to plants which have the ability