I think we can all agree that 2020 has started off with a lot of uncertainty. While we face these challenges together, we’re also presented with an opportunity to find joy in our yards and gardens and finally get through those honey-do lists.
New in Edibles
Vegetables are still trending, and growing your own has never been easier. Even if you live in an apartment, you can still try the “100-km Diet” and enjoy the freshest possible vegetables without having to venture to the grocery store. We will be growing a lot of the varieties we grew last year for containers, like Snackabelle Red Pepper, Chili Pie Pepper, Sweet and Neat Tomatoes and Patio Snacker cukes.
We are also growing a newer pepper called King of the North, a short-season variety that matures in 70 days. It’s a green pepper/red pepper with a slightly thicker wall. The plant is good and sturdy; a perfect option for gardeners living further up the North Thompson.
Eggplants are still a craze as well, and we have some new varieties such as Fairy Tale. It’s a great variety for containers that bears purple and white-striped fruit measuring 18-24 inches long. It ripens about 2 weeks earlier than other eggplant varieties. We are growing another eggplant as well, a Burpee exclusive called Early Midnight. As the name suggests, it is a very early medium-sized dark purple fruit that reaches about 6 inches in diameter.
This year, we are returning back to the days of the great pumpkin contest, but with a slight twist. To make sure yards of all sizes can participate, we’re doing a tomato contest! Steakhouse tomato plants will be available on April 17th for you to pick up. We’ll be looking for the largest size, best colour, and overall best-looking fruit, just to name a few of the contest categories!
A Truckload of Tropicals
As most of you saw from our Instagram page, my daughter Ivy and I recently travelled to Florida and toured many greenhouses looking at indoor plants and citrus trees. We will be bringing in a number of truckloads full of houseplants and will be carrying lots of interesting new plants for your collection. We even found a supplier of edible mulberries! Some of the more unique items will be mangos, papayas, and something called “miracle fruit” that is supposed to ease whatever ails you.
I even found some avocados, but be warned, you will need a true green thumb to actually get an avocado from the plant in the next 8 years!
Changes to the Store Layout
Many of us don’t like change, and I confess—the older I get, the less I like it as well. However, we have made some large changes to the layout of the store. The biggest is the location of the information desk. This desk is now located in the greenhouse at the entrance to the nursery. When you walk in, just head straight ahead through the Fashion department toward the greenhouse and you will see it.
We have also moved the hot tubs and tropicals; we flipped each location to the opposite ends of the store. This has made more space for tropicals and gives the hot tubs a better location near the information desk. All hardgoods, fertilizers and pest controls are now also in the greenhouse near the information booth and all the giftware has moved inside next to the florist department.
We will also be dedicating an entire area to Proven Winners perennials and shrubs, which will be straight out the back of the buildings, just past the annuals and perennials. We will also have one of the largest displays of Proven Winners plants in the interior, almost all of which we grow locally right here in Kamloops.
I think we’re all eager and excited for the coming spring to arrive, which I hope will bring some relief in this unprecedented time. I invite you to get in touch and share your thoughts on our recent changes.