Burnett: Blooms starting to appear in Central Okanagan gardens

The saucer magnolias are now just showing colour and the fabulous star magnolias are in full bloom, albeit a bit late but signaling spring has finally arrived.

Let’s hope the nights don’t get too frosty as they did a year ago in April, freezing the magnolia blossoms and causing them to turn brown.

Oh well such is gardening.

Just how late are we anyway? You might be surprised we are not as late as it seems for some things but quite late for others.

Looking back to my blooming times recorded the past few years the saucer magnolias are about a week off.

In 2007 they were in full bloom by the 17th of April and this year they are just showing colour.

The forsythia is now in full bloom but in 2007 they were in full bloom March 30.

The star magnolias also were in full bloom at least three weeks prior compared to this year.

I can tell you this, however; when the weather warms up next week which they are promising us, we will have a blast of colour we rarely see.

Everything will burst at once including lilacs, horse chestnuts, kerria, snowball, bridal wreath spirea and hundreds of other species. Let the show begin!

I get several questions on what to do with the lawn at this time of year. Do I power rake? Do I aerate? Do I top dress?

The answer is yes and you can add over-seeding to that as well.

Growing good turf is all about supplying adequate air to the roots as it is when growing any plant.

Turf, after all, is just a whole lot of plants growing close together. Power raking, which is scratching up the dead grass so it can be raked out and aerating which is removing plugs of soil to allow air in and relieve compaction, can be done first.

The next step is a top dressing of Natures Gold fertilizer compost followed by an over-seeding of a good quality Okanagan mixture.

There are some good drought tolerant mixes out there now that most garden centres handle.

Now, if you don’t wish to apply the Natures Gold top dress yourself you can get a hold of John Kilsby at LawnFX, 250-215-7210 or

He will come by with his machine and get the perfect amount on evenly every time to produce the best lawn you have had.


Mark your calendar for May 14 when the Fintry Spring Plant Festival takes place at the Fintry Manor House.

This will be a fabulous event for gardeners and non-gardeners alike with over 20 exhibitors including growers, garden clubs, societies and more.

This is all to support the Friends of the Fintry who are enabling the restoration and preservation of this wonderful part of our history.

I will get into more detail next week.

The Don Burnett Garden Show is on AM 1150 Saturday at 8 a.m.


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