In 2009, Prince Charles warned that we had just 96 months to save the planet. That deadline run

By —— Bio and Archives--June 1, 2017

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Back in 2009, Prince Charles warned that we had just 96 months to save the planet. That deadline runs out this summer. If he’s right, there won’t be anything left of Britain for Trump to visit. We’ll all have either fried, or washed away in a giant tsunami Everybody back to the Ark! Or so suggests Richard Littlejohn in The Daily |Mail.

Diversion No. 1
The most popular varieties of tea—including black tea, green tea, Oolong tea, white tea, and chai—all come from the leaves of the evergreen shrub Camellia sinensis, otherwise known as the tea tree. Despite tea’s cultural and economic significance, relatively is known about the shrub behind the tea leaves. However, the first draft of the tea tree genome published in the journal Molecular Plant may help explain why tea leaves are so rich in antioxidants and caffeine.

June is bursting out all over, to recall a Rogers and Hammerstein line. And for gardeners that means garden now, relax later. Catch weeds while they’re young and easy to control. Water if an early drought arrives (stop laughing Kamloops, Omtario and Quebec). Remove spent blooms daily (known as dead-heading’). Keep insecticidal soap spray or other ‘natural’ pesticide at hand. Liquid fertilize tomato plants every other week; on alternate weeks, a teaspoon of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to each plant. Fertilize container plantings monthly and watch over them in hot, windy weather. Hanging baskets are especially liable to desiccation.

Diversion No. 2
Gus the Asparagus Man travels the U.K. to promote the British Asparagus Festival. But lately he has gotten a little more publicity than usual. He participated in the Worcester Cathedral’s St. George’s Day procession in full costume to mark the start of the British Asparagus Festival, drawing the ire of several Christian groups (CBC News)

Happy Birthday to celebrity gardeners: U.S. actress Maria Menounos (born 8 June 1978) ranked one of the top green celebs in 2011 with two organic gardens in her backyard; Brit Elizabeth Hurley (10 June 1965) born in Basingstoke UK and now resides on a 400-acre organic farm in Barnsley while Aussie Nicole Kidman (20 June 1967) finds time for one of her favourite hobbies cultivating her organic garden

Diversion No. 3
Hemp seeds are to be legalized as food, reported The New Zealand Herald. Kiwis will soon be able to eat a type of cannabis after it was approved by food safety officials and, presumably, sing like canaries.

Whoever selected the first Saturday in May for World Naked Gardening Day was obviously not from more the northern climes. Brave Brits posed nude for the bizarre annual craze: think twice before you pop your head over your neighbour’s fence for a quick chat—you might see more than you bargained for, suggested The Daily Express. Canadians greeted the 13th annual cheeky event with less enthusiasm with temperatures in the mid-single digits and much of the country suited only for water gardening.

Continued below...

Diversion No. 4
A University of Guelph professor who penned a book on the history of illegal drugs in Canada says after a nearly a century of marijuana prohibition, no one is really sure why it was made illegal in the first place. [CBC News].

June 10 is Gin Day: “I’ve just invented a cotton gin,” Eli Whitney declared proudly as he emerged from his workshop. “Big deal,” his wife grumbled. “Who needs a fluffy Martini?” More interesting days this month include Insect Repellent Awareness Day on the 3rd June. You may hardly need Gardening Exercise Day, on 6th June. And, just in case you haven’t been made aware of it while out there, June is both Pest Control Month and National Ragweed Month. As W. C. Fields once observed, “If ants are so busy, why do they attend so many picnics?” If all this builds up an appetite 2nd of the month is both Fish and Chip Day and Doughnut Day, 16th Fresh Veggies Day, 22nd Onion Rings Day and, finally, Pineapple Day on 27th.

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Wes Porter -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Wes Porter is a horticultural consultant and writer based in Toronto. Wes has over 40 years of experience in both temperate and tropical horticulture from three continents.

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