I am absolutely thrilled to be one of the people who is finding something new in their garden. Well, it’s not new, it’s just newly arrived, it’s another European bug that is making it’s way into our gardens and I’m really not thrilled. Acrolepiopsis assectella Zeller, is the lovely “Leek Moth.” The moth is fairly attractive but the larva is a borer that is attacking my Garlic. It enters just about the curly part of the scape and proceeds to tunnel down the scape turning it into sawdust. Luckily its damage is easy to spot and cutting off the damaged scape is a simple but efficient control. It does however reduce the number of scapes that I can harvest for my stir fries. How did it find its way into my garlic??? Haven’t seen any damage on my small Leek plants as yet but will be keeping an eye out for them.

My years of pruning and fussing over my home made Rose Tree have really paid off this year. A nice tight head with a couple of dozen bright red blooms all opening at the same time have made it a feature of the garden. The hardy Morden Rose that I used to create this tree has always had somewhat chlorotic leaves no matter where or in what form I have had it growing. It seems to thrive anyway so I have quit worrying about it.

Wandered into a nursery the other day. Was just supposed to be driving a friend who wasn’t sure of the way. I wasn’t going to buy anything because I really have very little room, but! The new, white / light pink, Million Kisses Elegance Begonia was calling my name. It is another variety of Begonia boliviensis, whose Bonfire variety has been lighting up my garage wall for a few years and this should make a wonderful contrasting addition. When I got home there seemed to be another Itoh Peony that must have dropped into my truck by accident. Where am I going to put it? Kopper Kettle has a semi double copper and white variegated bloom that should be delightful.

The garden looked wonderful last Saturday and I was tired and sore from three long days of planting, weeding and fussing. The Artists in The Garden tour brought about 375 people through the garden. The artists were in the backyard and the guitar - flute duet were playing on the front porch, the sun shone and it was a very successful day. I would have liked a tape recorder with about 7 buttons on it so that I could just play the answers to the same seven questions that were asked all day. The Bonfire Begonias, what were they? That ferny stuff, which led to an explanation of Asparagus cultivation. The Harlequin Maple in the front yard, what was it? Great fun talking to all of the interested gardeners and garden appreciators that wandered through. The patio table was set and many asked how to get the wine glasses filled and I suggested an hour of weeding, done before the wine was poured, might be the correct price. No takers!

I’m always amazed at the tenacity of plants. The little brick wall in front of the garage has had a variety of weeds trying to grow in the cracks between the bricks. For a couple of years a seedling of Stachys has been struggling there. I pulled it out this year and was amazed at the large dense root growth that had squeezed in between the bricks.

The Tomatoes have been in the ground for a couple of weeks now and suddenly I am behind on the pruning and training. I’m always amazed how quickly they grow, after a short settling in period. They need to have the side shoots removed and the leaders twisted around the support ropes. The sixteen plants take about a half an hour, each week, to keep them growing up the ropes to produce huge quantities of fruit in a very limited space.

Time to answer a few questions and then get back into the garden. If you have a gardening question just ‘reply’ to this newsletter and send me your query. I try to answer most of the questions and the ones that I answer here are those that I think will have the widest interest. You can also find the latest garden updates on the front page of gardening-enjoyed .

Carol Asks? I so enjoyed your presentation at Canada Blooms and have started my tomatoes vertically. Question.........at what point should I stop cutting off the side stems and let them "fill out" again. I have them on ropes with garden tape growing up.

Ken Answers! Never, is the short answer. I continue to prune mine all season so that they stay as one long vine growing up the rope. By late summer we often have Tomatoes eight feet off the ground.

Kay Asks? Hi Ken,I really enjoy your newsletter. I have noticed on the peonies some black on some of the leaves. I just thought it was due to the wet weather. Maybe you can tell me if I am right or is it a grub of some sort.

Ken Answers! Relax. It is very unlikely that it is any sort of insect. It’s just a physiological reaction to its growing conditions. You can do very little about it and it will not cause any lasting damage. Gotta love Peonies for the lack of problems and longevity.

111 Trent St. W.
Whitby ON