Rain Drops & Petals


A few rainy day scenes captured around Port Moody last week. The city was saturated in rain drops & flower petals. Spring is here!

Watremark_DSC_3608Watremark_DSC_3615Watremark_DSC_3582Watremark_DSC_3642Watremark_DSC_3675Watremark_port moody flowers


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The Chafer Challenge: Got Lawn?



There’s been an undeniable ugliness creeping through the Tri Cities this spring. Lawns across Coquitlam & Port Coquitlam have been pulled, dug, rolled, and thrown about. It is awful, and a tell tale sign of a European Chafer Beetle infestation.

How did they get here?

Although not Native to the area, the European Chafer Beetle has been in the lower mainland for over a decade. First spotted in New Westminister, then Vancouver & parts of Burnaby. They showed up in our neighborhoods late last summer having hitched a ride in a large movement of soil. Possibly brought in on one of the many large trucks of soil used though out the terraforming projects surrounding the Port Mann bridge/ Trans Canada Highway expansion. Chaffer Beetles love to travel covertly. Once they’re in an area they spread and take over lawns.

The Damage Done

I know what you’re thinking. What kind of beetle causes damage like that? I mean common, it must have radioactive super powers or something, right?  No, something a little more basic is at play. Simple animal instinct. The Chaffer Beetle eats on the roots of your grass, causing the grass to feel spongy from the chafer’s tunneling below. This damage to the turf is increased due to rodents, skunks, raccoons & birds literally diggin in for a feast. Despite the damage, your helpful forrest friends are protecting the lawn by trying to stamp out an invasive species.

Go team crows!

Do not remove your soil. I repeat, DO NOT remove your soil.

You will only aid in the transfer of this pest into other areas. Grubs are inclined to feed on turf with weak short root system. So grow a healthy and vigorous lawn by starting a spring & fall maintenance routine. Along with regular aeration, dethatching & fertilizing you should keep your grass long. Set the lawnmower to one of the highest settings.  This will keep you grass green and lush. It is also recommended that whenever possible you grasscycle, leaving the clippings on the lawn. This will overseed your lawn while maintaining top turf health.

Chafer calendar

Chafer’s complete their life cycle in a year which leads to rapid population explosions. They key to controlling them is maintaining quality soil and turf conditions while understanding their lifecycle. Spring may be the time for lawn care, but summer is the time to stamp out the next generation of Chafers. This is when the pupa turn into a beetle & takes flight. They return in the 2-3 week of July to lay eggs under the turf. In this time further action may be required.

The Fix 

The best solution & prevention against European Chafer Beetles is good lawn health. In extreme cases or near high traffic areas replacement of turf with other ground covers or landscaping materials may be a better solution. Saving you time & grief. If Chafer problems persist in your lawn with more than 5-10 grubs found per square foot, then chafer control may be necessary

  • In late June nematodes (Heterorhabditis bacteriophora) can be purchased from your local independent nursery, this way you’ll have them ready for use in July.
  • In the 3rd week of July prep your lawn by watering it well. This is best to do the night before you apply the nematodes.
  • Apply nematodes on your lawn at a rate of 70,000 per square foot, or 750,000 per square metre. (Approximately 100 million nematodes should cover a 33 × 45 foot lawn.)
  • Keep the soil moist for a week after applying the nematodes to ensure the best results.

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

Good news! Fellow Master Gardeners report that while New Westminister lawns were the first to fall to the Chafer, after years of careful care and maintenance their lawns are now returning to their former glory. So hold hope, your lawns glory days may still be ahead.

More Chafer Tips:

The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association

The Ministry of Agriculture

City of Coquitlam

The City of Vancouver

Steve Whysall’s column in the Vancouver Sun


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Eagle Spotting along the Pitt


Watremark_DSC_3070I took a walk along the Pitt River the other day with my camera. The skies were dark and brooding, which sounded just about perfect. I could do without the frequent bursts of rain, but nothing beats a moody skyline with gorgeous views like this.Watremark_DSC_3072Watremark_DSC_3017Watremark_DSC_3076Watremark_DSC_3037Watremark_DSC_3158Watremark_DSC_3213Watremark_DSC_3097Just as I decided it was too wet to play, a visitor arrived. When I turned the corner and poked my lens up I realized, indeed there was more than one Bald Eagle just hanging above my head. There was a pair. I followed them as they danced through the trees. Here’s a few captures from my misadventures.


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Burke Mountain: Views from the Top




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Spring has Finally Arrived: Get Happy!


It’s officially spring!

Whether you’ve realized it or not, your garden is already growing. The weather may still be cold and the winds unforgiving, but those strong spring performers are breaking ground and bursting out with renewed vigor. Now is the time to give them a leg up on the season with a top dressing of manure or seasoil. Helping fortify strong spring growth & long lasting blooms.

White tulips perfectly contrasting black mondo grass at the NWFGS.

White tulips perfectly contrasting black mondo grass at the NWFGS.

Get inspired.

Need a garden makeover this year? Well get some garden shoes on and start walking. Take a tour of your favorite public garden to get yourself in the mood for spring. Then pull out the magazines (Don’t forget Pintrest!) and make sure to take advantage of the plethora of garden workshops and shows blooming across the lower mainland. Find what speaks to you in the garden. Allow yourself to try something new this year. Like a hot new plant, or a fab new colour scheme.

Colour Inspiration, bursting from this NWFGS spring display.

Colour Inspiration, bursting from this NWFGS spring display.

What’s Growing in the Hood?

  • The Port Coquitlam Spring Garden Show on March 29, 2014. Tickets are currently on sale at 2 for $50. The show is stacked with speakers like: Gary Lewis, Egan Davis, James Bobick, Amanda Jarrett & Shirley Keski-Hynnlia.
  • Lanscape Principals at Amsterdam Greenhouses in Pitt Meadows on March 22nd is a FREE seminar where you can get first hand knowledge about how to manage your landscape. This is a great workshop for those who are planning a garden make over or are starting from scratch.
  • Vancouver Orchid Society Show and Sale is back in the Floral Hall & Cedar Room at VanDusen Gardens in Vancouver on Saturday March 22nd: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday March 23rd: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Entry is $7 per person or $6 for students and seniors.

Get Happy

With all that said and done, make sure to get out there and enjoy spring!


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A Lawn in Bloom




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5 Reason’s to Believe in the Power of Spring


Spring is on its way in Port Coquitlam. You may have to look past the irratic bouts of snow to see the signs, but they are there. It’s on the way & there’s nothing winter can do to stop it. Just take a peek around the city & you’ll see:

1) Snowdrops are scattered across heritage lawns & gardens across the city. They are in full glory right now & worth closer inspection.


2) The kids are alright. Back out on the streets playing kickball & all sorts of other fun games, kids are taking over the neighbourhoods once again. (Be safe on the roads y’all)


3) The heavenly scented viburnums are in bloom. Causing the need for a mid morning walk. Breathe in, breathe out….

Watremark_DSC_06663) The Birds are back. Visiting our gardens & feeders, even on the coldest days. The last few weeks have seen an influx in the local bird population. They know the truth, spring is just around the corner.


5) Crocus’ are popping up in all sorts of unexpected places. Not even the snow can stop these brave sirens of spring.


Help usher in spring at the Port Coquitlam Spring Garden Show on Saturday, March 29th at the Outlet at Leigh Square. This is a full day event hosting expert speakers, venders, displays & a garden tour. Tickets are available for pre purchase online at PocoHeritage.org for $50 each, or $60 at the door. I’ll be at the Master Gardeners booth, so make sure to stop by & say hi!




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The Silver Skies of Mount Baker


There is nothing finer than coming out of the fog, high above a city still blanketed in morning snow with my camera in hand. This serendipitous moment found me pulled into a deep snow bank in the residential neighborhood at the top of Chilko in Coquitlam. Snapping away I tried to capture the moment before the fog lifted. The sky was swimming in blues, silver & gold. It was simply stunning, and cause for a detour. Don’t you think?





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Truth: It’s hard to work when the Olympics are on


Watremark_DSC_0104February has kept us busy. Getting ready for the growing season takes a lot of planning. Much of this has been helped by the fabulously inspirational gardens at the NWFGS & the BC Home & Garden Show. I’d love to share with you all of the wonderful things that have been inspiring me, but I can’t right now. Woman’s Olympic Hockey is on. Gold medal game, and the Canadian ladies have been challenging back at their American rivals. It’s been tense, we’re all in knots. Works become… distracted.

I promise more pictures from the shows next week. There will be a flurry of spring saturated images & creative ideas for your garden this year. But it will have to wait until after Hockey….

Go Canada Go!


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Wordless Wednesday: An idyllic spring dream (NWFGS)




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