Monthly Archives

July 2015

Nature Pill?

By | Arborist Insights, Landscaping | No Comments

We know conclusively that we can derive health benefits from spending time in nature, or even just by looking at nature. The Japanese have their own research called shinrin-yoku or forest bathing. Read more on this here:

Now some researchers are working on the big remaining questions: What dose of nature exposure is needed to achieve maximum mental and physical health benefits? (How long and how frequently?) Perhaps one day we will get nature pills. Read more here:

This all means that having beautiful, healthy landscaping around your house or business can be good for your health!

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Meet My Hero….

By | Arborist Insights, Education, Resources | One Comment

Linda_Chalker-Scott-recentDr. Linda Chalker-Scott is my hero. She is an associate professor and extension urban horticulturist at Washington State University.

In her books The Informed gardener and The informed gardener blooms again she uses science to examine common garden and landscape myths. Warning: she explodes many common myths.

Sustainable Landscape and Gardens
is more of a technical manual which can be ordered directly from Linda. Her latest book How plants work is a fantastic book for gardeners everywhere and green professionals. I finished the book while travelling in Japan in late May and my review will appear in a future blog.
Linda also writes in popular magazines and has published extensively in scientific literature. We have already seen reference to her technical paper on mulches in an earlier blog.

So why a hero?

  1. She is a Ph.D. and gardener who uses sound science
  2. She translates hard science into understandable and thus usable information for all gardeners and green professionals, and, this is important
  3. She is “local”

If you are a gardener or green professional, you will love her work. If you read it and study it, it will make you a better professional or gardener. Google her today and thank me later. I hope to meet her at a future seminar…..

Linda-Chalker-Scott-books 9781604693386s

Hunting for japonicas in Western Japan

By | Arborist Insights, Education, Landscaping, Resources | No Comments

I always wanted to do this: travel to Japan, explore on a bike and catalogue as many japonica/japonicum plants as possible. The list below is from my visit this past May to Niigata City, Niigata prefecture, Japan. It’s situated on the Japan Sea in what is known as the snow country.

Cammelia Japonica
Camellia japonica

Tilia japonica

Aucuba japonica
Aucuba japonica

Please run through the list and see how many you know. BC residents should get a high score.

  1. Spirea japonica
  2. Fatsia japonica
  3. Styrax japonica
  4. Aucuba japonica
  5. Pieris japonica
  6. Camellia japonica
  7. Callicarpa japonica
  8. Cercidiphyllum japonicum
  9. Hamamelis japonica
  10. Tilia japonica
  11. Alnus japonica
  12. Gleditsia japonica
  13. Carpinus japonica
  14. Hypericum japonicum
  15. Ligustrum japonicum
  16. Eurya japonica

Can-West Horticulture Expo 2015

By | Company News, Education, Events, Landscaping | No Comments


This show is a must-see for all local green professionals. Walking through the trade show is always interesting. Sometimes there are plant identification quizzes and when you feel like taking a break, head for the beer garden.

There are always plenty of interesting seminars and most are good for education credits, if you are ISA and Landscape Industry Certified. If you are not certified, why not?

My favorite is the all-day Urban Forestry Symposium. The speakers are tree experts with Ph.D.s and the fee includes lunch. So not only do you get to learn new things about trees, you also get a chance to network and meet new green professionals. Priceless.

Most landscape companies have free or discounted tickets. Ask your employer to cover your time so you can attend some courses. I feel it’s time well-spent.

See you there!

  • New Location
  • Expanded Show
  • Stellar Education Program

Registration is now open!

Adding Summer Colour

By | Arborist Insights, Landscaping, Resources, Seasonal, Tips | No Comments

Adding summer color to your garden can be quite easy. Look what happens when you use a simple two plant combination. Blue Salvias work great with Impatients. You can pick your favorite colors and have some fun arranging them. The taller Salvias go in the back. Make sure everything is well-watered. Next season change things up with a different combination or add other plants.

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