Mark Cullen e-newsletter
July 2013 
 Gardening with Mark
In This Issue:
Where to Find Mark
Mark's Gardening Connections

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As many of my Facebook followers know, I visited Juno Beach this past June 6th with Hugh Beaty, a 94 year old Canadian veteran of the D Day landing. The experience is one that I wish to share with you, dear newsletter reader, even though July is hardly a month during which we traditionally honour our war dead. It is, however, the anniversary of the birth of Canada - this coming Monday to be precise.


Hugh Beaty and Mark Cullen So perhaps there is merit in taking a moment to hear the voice of a guy 'who was there'. Hugh has a remarkably clear memory of the D Day landing and of his four and a half years of soldiering in Europe during the Second World War. It seems to me that we need to listen carefully to his stories and those of others who have recollections of this past.

Quite frankly the French are doing a pretty good job of remembering the sacrifice of more than 20,000 Canadians on that day and the many more that followed during the days and weeks during the Normandy invasion. I say this based solely on the number of French men who came up to Hugh directly and shook his hand; "Thank you for my freedom!" was a common refrain. And women who threw their arms around the old soldier and used similar words, with sincere meaning.



Hugh Beaty School kids in France are required to study Operation Overlord [the Allied invasion of Normandy] and as a result they know what the Canadians did to liberate their country. Ditto Belgium and the Netherlands, according to Hugh.

On June 6th, when a ceremony took place in front of the Juno Centre on the beach there were over 1,000 people in attendance. About half of them were French people - there to pay their respects. Most of the other half was Canadian, there for the same reason. Many young families brought their kids for the experience. More than a few parents brought their youngsters directly to Hugh and other Canadian Vets to have a conversation about the war and to reflect on its meaning.

And what was the meaning of the war from the point of view of Hugh Beaty? That it causes waste in the extreme. He witnessed first hand the waste of humanity, materials, resources, brain power and creativity. The effect that this had on him was profound. At 58 years old he retired from dairy farming in Milton Ontario to go to Brazil with his wife Melba where they shared their knowledge of agriculture with subsistence farmers. 36 years later his life work continues to revolve around giving back through S.H.A.R.E Agricultural Foundation in an effort to make this world a better place.



Cliff side Don't get me wrong. Hugh is not a pacifist. But he is a believer in preventing the destruction that comes with war where the grounds of mutual understanding can be cultivated. We are, he reminds us, all people.

All of this is to say that as I swing in my hammock this July, enjoying the fruits of spring labour, I will be reflecting on the very special country that I call home. And what it took to make it that way, with a new perspective.


 Hammock Time

Relax Speaking of July in the garden, while I provide my monthly 'to do' list below, I do not want to mislead you into thinking that all you should do this summer is work. Remember the seeds that you sowed, the plants that you planted, the lawn that you fertilized and the trees that you nurtured in April, May and June? Well, you did all of those things so that you could sit under their shade or lounge bare foot on the grass and gaze at the wonder of colourful flowers in the heat of summer.

It is summer time in Canada: take time in July to contemplate the 'wonder' in wonderful.


 To Do

Prune - Only water your lawn once a week, but for 2 hours. If at all. If we enter a heat wave, forget watering altogether until August. More next month.

- Deadhead recently spent flowering perennials: peonies, lilacs, roses and others that have delivered good looking blossoms earlier on, perform better and often re-flower when they are 'deadheaded'.

- Fertilize roses, tomatoes and other heavy feeders. Use Green Earth Rose Food and Green Earth Tomato fertilizer.

- Cut down all of the spring bulb foliage. It is getting ugly now and serves no purpose at this point.

- Mulch. July is a great month to spread 6 to 8 cm of finely ground up cedar or pine mulch to reduce weeding by up to 90% and watering by up to 70%.

- Plant. Yes, you can still plant perennials and some of the large format annuals that are greenhouse grown in large pots. Consider adding some colour to your patio, deck or front door. Note that the hot summer weather demands that your container plants need more frequent watering. I only use rain water from my rain barrels for this purpose and I get terrific results.


 More To Do

Sow carrots - Sow a late vegetable crop: carrots, radishes, Swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, arugula and beets for September/October harvest.

- Stake your tomatoes: use a spiral Mark's Choice stake [item# 5010-410] and double your crop by getting it off the ground.

- Apply Bordo mixture to all tomatoes every 2 weeks all summer to prevent early and late blight.

- Support tall growing perennials and hydrangeas, before a heavy rain fall pulls them down. Check out Mark's Choice plant supports. Don't leave this job too late!

- Harvest raspberries and other fruit bearing plants as the fruit becomes ripe to encourage more fruit production and to avoid rot.

- Spray apples, peaches, pears, plums and other fruit bearing crops. I use Green Earth Insecticidal Soap combined with Garden Sulphur.


 Get Involved
 Learn lots and meet great people!

Harvest Ontario - Check out the publication Harvest Ontario for Pick-Your-Own vegetable and fruit sources in Ontario. Available free at Home Hardware.

- Look over the extensive list of garden events in July below. Hopefully there is a special, horticultural event in your community!

- Get involved in your Communities in Blooms committee. They are looking for volunteers! My sister Sue would love to hear from you if you live in Whitby, Ontario. Click here for details.

And finally, have fun. Last July was the warmest month of the year and for Central Canada, the driest also. Take it easy! Relax! Enjoy what you have created in partnership with Mother Nature. And keep an eye out for the returning hummingbirds! They will begin flying south any time now!

Keep your knees dirty,

Mark Cullen
Merchant of Beauty

p.s.: The Mark's Choice Clear Flow Hose.<br> A special word about the nationally advertised Mark's Choice 'Clear Flow Hose' that has been featured on TV for a few weeks now. There were a limited number of hoses that were made defective in manufacturing when the hose material was overheated and it fused together, forming a seal through which water could not flow sufficiently. The result was a few burst hoses!

I want you to know that we have taken care of this issue and every hose is now tested as it comes off the line to make sure that it functions completely trouble free.

If you happened to purchase one of the few Clear Flow hoses that has this problem please return it to your Home Hardware dealer for a new hose. Hang on to your receipt and let me know personally if you bought one of these hoses. I will send you a signed copy of one of my gardening books, with thanks for your business and for your confidence in Mark's Choice products.

Clear Flow is an amazing product: created by a Canadian inventor, made here in Canada [Barrie, Ontario] using medical grade materials. I am proud to have my name on this product and apologize if you happened to purchase one of the defective hoses.


 Mark's Choice Product of the Month
 Clear Flow Hose

Clear flow hose The Clear-Flow Hose is extraordinary - indoors and outdoors, in cold and in heat, in the barn and the workshop!

Ultra light.
Durable and flexible.

I stake my reputation on your satisfaction with this hose!

Home Hardware Item #
25' #5038-329
50' #5038-330
75' #5038-331
100' #5038-332


 From the Garden Shed
 My Weekly Blog Post

Blog Every Wednesday I post a new entry in my blog, From the Garden Shed.

In case you missed them, check out my postings from June:

June 5 - Low maintenance gardening tips

June 12 - Year of the cicada

June 19 - Giant Hogweed

June 26 - The importance of frogs


 Stay in Touch with Mark this Month

Mark * Weekly Canada AM segment, Wednesdays at 8:40am (EST). You can also watch the segments online

* Follow my daily Tweets on Twitter (@MarkCullen4)

* As mentioned above, I post a weekly blog entry every Wednesday

* Facebook. I post links to all of my media work on my Facebook page. I also post a weekly photo album to let you see what's happening 'Around the Acres'.


 Featured Plant of the Month
 Dicentra spectabilis 'Valentine'

Valentine 'Valentine' old fashioned bleeding heart brings an updated colour palette to an old favourite - a red bleeding heart. Much like the species, this cultivar also grows quickly to form a robust clump of foliage topped with arching flower stems in late spring.

However, the stems on Valentine are deeper red and the large, puffy heart-shaped flowers are bright red with a white tip. Like the species, this plant likes a shady spot and goes dormant in mid to late summer. Grows 75cm (30") tall and wide.
Hardy to zone 4.

Source: Garden Inspiration magazine 2013 

 Submit Your Local Event Listings

Events Do you have a 'gardening' event you would like to promote? I would be happy to include your event listing in my monthly E-newsletter. Deadline for submitting event info is the 15th of the month prior to newsletter publication.
Send you info to [email protected] with the subject line 'Newsletter Event listing'. Along with a brief description of the event, please include a website for further information.


 Events in British Columbia

Sunken Garden Summer at Butchart Gardens

Start your day at the Sunken Garden. "You see a spectacular view of the Sunken Garden from the lookout. Deep expansive walls cradle beds of annuals, flowering trees, and unique shrubs. A central rock mound, the graceful Ross Fountain, and plantings in the Bog Garden all add to the unique nature of this unforgettable garden." -

More info 

 Events in Alberta

ARLS Alberta Regional Lily Society
28th Annual Lily Show

Date: July 20 and 21
Location: Central Lions Seniors Centre Gym
Time: Saturday 1-5pm. Sunday noon-3pm

All lily growers of all ages are encouraged to enter stems in the Horticulture Section. All interested in flower arranding are encouraged to enter the Design Section.
More info

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Alberta Regional Lily Society
18th Annual Martagon Show
Date: July 6 and 7
Location: Devonian Botanic Gardens, Parkland County/Hwy. 60
Viewing hours: Saturday 1pm - 5pm. Sunday 10am - 5pm

All martagon lily growers are encouraged to enter stems.
More info


 Events in Manitoba

Beausejour Daylily Gardens Best of July Garden Tour & Concert

Date: July 19
Location: Beausejour Daylily Gardens. 1st Street North, Beausejour, Manitoba

Starts at the Beausejour Daylily Gardens for a guided tour, followed by a stop at St. Mary Church for a guided tour, concert, and lite lunch.
Cost $25 per person, advance booking only.

More info 

 Events in Ontario
 July 1-7, 2013

Orangeville Hort Society Orangeville & District Horticultural Society
Evening Garden Tour and Tea

The Hidden Gems of Zina Street
Date: Thursday, July 4, 2013
Time: 5-9pm
Tickets available at Dufferin Garden Centre, Orangeville Flowers, Booklore or at the gardens on the day.
More info

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The Backyard Glam Tour
15 Backyards, Two Regions, One Passport

Dates: July 5th to 7th
VIP access to 15 stunning backyards in Southern Georgian Bay and Southern Grey County featuring the top local Landscape Artists.

Featured Backyard Glam Tour Speaker - Denis Flanagan
More info

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Niagara-on-the-Lake Garden Tour

Date: Saturday, July 6, 2013
Time: 10am - 4pm

Hidden garden treasures await - behind some garden gates. Come an experience 10 peaceful and unique gardens of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Tickets: $10 per person
More info

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Delphinium Festival

Date: July 6 and 7
Time: 9am - 5pm each day
Location: Plant Paradise Country Gardens, 16258 Humber Station Road, Caledon Ontario

Guest Speakers. Two days of horticultural delights, including a guided talk, tours of the botanical gardens, workshops/seminars, plants sales, food, Art in the Garden show & salw, jazz concert, raffle and more.
More info

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Horizons of Friendship 16th Annual Charitable Event
Homes, Gardens & Music Tour. Cobourg & Grafton

Date: Sunday, July 7
Time: 12:30-5:00pm
Tickets $30
More info

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The Guildwood Village Community Association
11th Annual A Day in the Gardens of Guildwood

Date: Sunday, July 7, 2013
Time: 1-5pm

Twelve private gardens will be on display. Self-guided tour maps are $5 each.
More info

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Aurora Garden and Horticultural Society
Garden Aurora - Annual Tour

Date: Sunday, July 7
Time: noon - 4:30pm

The owners of these 7 private paradises will be in attendance to answer questions. This is a self-guided tour, rain or shine. Tickets are $10.
More info

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Kincardine Horticulture Society
Through the Garden Gate - Kincardine

Date: Sunday, July 7, 2013
Time: noon - 4:30pm

Tickets available at Quinns' Flowers & Jerome Flowers in Kincardine. Tour local gardens. Refreshments at Kincardine Curling Club.
More info


 Events in Ontario
 July 8-15

LEAF Pizza in the Pits Tree Tour

Date: Friday, July 12
Time: 5:30-6:30pm
Cost: $5 suggested donation
Location: Christie Pits. 750 Bloor Street West, Toronto

LEAF is hosting a fun, educational tour of the Christie Pits neighbourhood. Learn about the ecology of the area and how to identify different types of trees. The tour ends at the second Homegrown Pizza in the Pits night at the wood-burning oven in Christie Pits.
More info

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Grace United Church Garden Tour
Gardens for Grace

Date: Saturday, July 13
Time: 10am - 4pm
Price: $20 and includes draw ticket
Complimentary refreshments served throughout the day.
Tickets available at Grace United Church. 581 Howden Avenue Peterborough, Ontario
More info

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Ontario Delphinium Club Celebrates 25 Years
Field Day Meeting & Barbecue

Date: July 13, 2013
Time: 11am

Join us for a beautiful day at the Orr's country garden in Schomberg.
More info

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Bobcaygeon Horticultural Society
17th Annual Garden Tour and Tea

Date: July 13, 2013
Time: 10am - 4pm

Garden tour includes a plant sale, musical entertainment, refreshments and an afternoon tea featuring special treats provided by village eateries.
Cost: $15 tour pass, includes afternoon tea. Children under 16 are free.
More info

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Library Garden Tour
Midland, Penetanguishene and Tay and Tiny Townships

Date: Saturday, July 13

This is one of the longest-lived and largest, charity-based garden tours in the province and all monies raised go directly to supporting local libraries.
More info

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Nobleton-King City Horticultural Society
Annual Garden Tour

Date: July 14, 2013
Time: 10am - 4pm

A mix of 7 lovely gardens nestled in the rolling countryside of King Township.
Tickets: $10 per visitor
More info

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Applewood Garden Club
'Great Neighbourhood Gardens'

Date: July 14, 2013

The Applewood Garden Club invites you to tour 'Great Neighbourhood Gardens' in beautiful Applewood Acres, Mississauga. Special feature will be the garden of well known author, Liz Primeau.
Tickets: $12. Includes entry in prize draw and the garden tea room.
More info

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Carpenter Hospice Garden Tour

Date: July 14, 2013
Time: 10am - 5pm

A Burlington garden tour will be held in support of the Carpenter Hospice. Rain or shine.
Ten beautiful gardens between the Roseland area and downtown core will be showcased.
Tickets: $20
More info

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St. Mary's Horticultural Society
Annual Garden Tour

Date: July 14
Time: 1-5pm

Featuring interesting town and country gardens. Maps will be sold day of tour in front of Town Hall, Queen and Church St., from 1-3pm
$10 per person
More info


 Events in Ontario
 July 16-30

Oakville Canopy Club Oakville Canopy Club Bike Ride

Date: July 26
Celebrate all the benefits and wonderful ways in which trees enhance the quality and beauty of our urban environment and our bike rides. The Oakville Canopy Club Bike Ride is part of Tour des Trees Eh!, a one-day 150lm recreational bike ride from Toronto to Niagara Fall, hosted by the Canadian TREE Fund. More info

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Canadian TREE Fund
Tour des Trees Eh! 2013

Date: July 26
Tour des Trees Eh, is a one day recreational bike ride, hosted by the Canadian TREE Fund, with the intention of celebrating all the benefits and wonderful ways trees enhance the quality and beauty of our urban environment and to raise awareness to all the challenges arborists face while attempting to provide urban trees with the care and culture they need.

Registration, sponsorship & volunteer opportunities, and other important details can be easily found on the Canadian TREE Fund website.


 Events in Nova Scotia

Annapolis Royal Annapolis Royal House & Garden Tour

Date: July 6
Time: 10am-4pm

Join us in historic Annapolis Royal as the community showcases some of its unique gardens and houses in a special Annapolis Royal House & Garden Tour.
More info