Calgary Herald

Get your garden in style

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If you want your garden to be in style just like your wardrobe, here are some thoughts on the latest trends from John Duncan, greenhouse manager at greengate garden centre.

Vegetable gardening is a major trend that is increasing in popularity every year. “People want to know where their food is coming from,” Duncan observes.

New this year, many people are choosing to grow veggies in containers – for instance herbs, lettuce, kale, arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peas and beans.

Growing vegetables in containers is convenient and easy, especially for people without a lot of space.

“Not everyone has a big yard. Not everyone has a yard,” Duncan explains. “As long as you have full sun, you can grow most vegetables in a pot. I grow all my tomatoes in a big black pot, because it warms them up faster — even though I have a vegetable garden.”

Duncan will even move his tomatoes throughout the day to follow the sun, to ensure his plants receive as much sunlight as possible.

Container ponds are another new and growing trend. A container filled with water, which may or may not include a fountain, can be used to grow water-loving plants such as water lilies or rushes. “You can have your own little water garden on the patio,” Duncan says.

And, there are many new plant varieties out this season. Some of the most exciting new plants, according to Duncan, are:

Three different types of black petunias: Black Velvet, which is solid black; Phantom, which is black with yellow stripes; and Pinstripe, which is purple black with white stripes. “They perform really well.”

Itoh peonies are very popular, and there are more and more varieties every year. “Itoh peonies are a cross between a hardy garden peony, which is super hardy, with a tree peony, which has great big flowers,” Duncan says, explaining that Itoh peonies allow for a much hardier plant with huge blooms. Bleeding Heart Valentine is a Bleeding Heart with scarlet red flowers instead of the standard pink;

Magic Star, a new double Oriental lily, is a beautiful pink and white striped doubleflow­ered lily.

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