Spring at Paradise
Yes friends, it has been a while! What a great winter we had here in the Comox Valley, at least compared to the winter before. Our plants suffered very little damage, and our weeds all thrived so make sure to get on that weeding task as soon as possible.
Garden Centre News
Our container from Bali arrived late March. Filled with all sorts of new garden pieces we work hard to keep our business unique and independent. As most of you know we travel to Bali our selves and work with a Balinese company that connects us to all of our suppliers. They probably have guessed that our agenda at this point is to ensure that the craftspeople in Bali are provided with safe and clean work conditions, that women are treated equally and that there are no children or adolescents working on our products. Everything that we import is hand made and increasingly we are able to bring in items that are mostly of recycled product. Not quite fair trade but much better than the options that we have been given within our local supply chain.
Our annual ‘Ugly Plant’ sale starts up this week and will last until we are cleaned out. Ugly plants to us are items that are pruned weird, need more root space, have decided not to bloom…you get the idea. Feedback every year is that our ugly plants turn into beauties in gardens so well worth the 50% off regular pricing! This year we are including some metal and chipped pieces of art work that need to move into gardens as well. Note that there are many beauties in the sale so come early to avoid disappointment.
Plant pick of the Month:
This year April is Magnolia. The Magnolia family comes in a rainbow of white, pink, yellow, purple, and our recent additions of red to black. The deciduous Magnolias are all getting ready to perform hard for us this month and are a welcome addition to the Forsythias and Camelias in a garden. Magnolias with the names Betty, Alex, Susan are all little beauties that don’t take up much space.
Notes for cultivation is to keep them out of a South facing location as a warm January day can create a freezing opportunity for the sensitive buds. Lastly, avoid planting Magnolias (or any flowering tree for that matter) during its flowering phase. If you plant it you are asking it to work on rooting, this will confuse a flowering tree, and they can sometimes be set back considerably enough to die.
Rhododendrons. Rhodos come in many sizes, colours and tolerances. Criticized for their shorter bloom cycle, Rhodos are a great addition of evergreen architecture to a balanced all season garden. With good planning, you could have Rhodos bloom ten months of the year but the challenge is finding the right varieties. Within the Horticulture industry it is my observation that we do a terrible job of labeling Rhodos. The tags are often incorrect and the colours easily washed out or completely different from the true flower colour. For this reason my big tip of the month is to buy Rhodos for 1. Their leaf quality and or 2. Only in bloom. This might mean popping in and checking on colours over a series of visits. Make sure that you are getting that right fuchsia or orange or lemon colour that you love.
Our u-pick rhubarb is only week’s away! Call for availability. $3/LB
Our team of horticulturalists are here working every day 9 – 5.
We look forward to seeing you!
Recipe of the Month
- 2 large stalks rhubarb, sliced 1/2″ thick (about 2 cups)
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 8 Tablespoons frozen unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup cup granulated sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips or chunks
- Heat oven to 400°F and move rack to lower middle position. Toss sliced rhubarb with 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Spread evenly over a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool. (Keep oven on to cook the scones)
- Grate the frozen butter using the large holes of a box grater. Transfer butter to a plate and place in the freezer to keep cold.
- Whisk together all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.
- Whisk together yogurt, egg and vanilla in a medium bowl.
- Stir grated butter into flour mixture until well incorporated. Stir in the yogurt mixture with a spoon or spatula. When most of the flour has been incorporated, transfer to a clean countertop and gently knead until no floury bits are left. Form into a 6×4″ rectangle and place in the freezer on a plate for 10 minutes, until slightly chilled.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured countertop, and lightly dust the top with flour. Roll into a 12″ square. Spread the roasted rhubarb and white chocolate evenly over the dough. Using a dough scraper to help remove the dough from the counter, roll the dough into a log (as if you were making cinnamon buns). Press the log into a 4×12″ rectangle and cut into 8 triangles (cut in half, then cut each half in half to form squares, then cut each square in half on the diagonal to form triangles).
- Place the triangles on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, and sprinkle lightly with sugar (use about 1 teaspoon total). Bake for 15-17 minutes, until golden brown on top.
Recipe and image sourced from omesticdreamboat.com