Lo­cal dirt

Alberta Gardener Magazine - - Contents -

Each year the Na­tional Gar­den Bureau se­lects one an­nual, one peren­nial, one bulb and one ed­i­ble plant as their crop of the year. Each se­lec­tion is made by con­sid­er­ing the plant’s pop­u­lar­ity, ease of grow­ing, adapt­abil­ity, ge­netic di­ver­sity and ver­sa­til­ity. Here are this year’s picks.

Bulb of the year: Daf­fodil

Daf­fodils are a cheery spring-bloom­ing, self­prop­a­gat­ing peren­nial that orig­i­nated in Europe. Their genus name is Nar­cis­sus. Daf­fodils are favoured by gardeners for more than their beauty, they are poi­sonous and there­fore left alone by for­ag­ing wildlife

An­nual of the year: Pansy

Pan­sies are a friendly-faced flower but un­til the 19th cen­tury most peo­ple con­sid­ered them a weed. Today, they are a pop­u­lar gar­den beauty avail­able in sev­eral colours. Pan­sies are ed­i­ble and of­ten used by chefs in sal­ads, desserts and as a gar­nish.

Peren­nial of the year: Rose

Roses first ap­peared around 35 mil­lion years ago. They are a part of the Rosaceae fam­ily, which is com­posed of some 2,500 species in more than 90 gen­era that in­cludes ap­ples, al­monds, cher­ries, pears, rasp­ber­ries and straw­ber­ries as well as or­na­men­tals like the rose.

Ed­i­ble of the year: Bras­sica

Bras­sica veg­eta­bles, in­clud­ing bok choy, cab­bage, cau­li­flower, col­lards, broc­coli, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, rutaba­gas and turnips are pop­u­lar around the world today and have been a ma­jor food source for as long as any­one can re­mem­ber.

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