Gardener writes what she knows

Barb Rayment signs books at Quesnel's Richbar Nursery and Caryall Books.

Barbara Rayment was signing books at Richbar Nursery and Caryall Books

Author and master gardener, Barbara Rayment was at Richbar Nursery Saturday to sign copies of her new book, The Northern Gardener: Perennials that Survive and Thrive.

“It was great to have Barbara here at Richbar,” says horticulturalist Jean Atkinson.

“We enjoyed her visit and we think the book is great.”

The Northern Gardener identifies the plants growing in the zones typically classified as 2 to 4.

Rayment has experimented extensively with perennials and has learned that the trick to their success is location, location, location. Barbara, who ran Birch Creek Nursery in Prince George for many years, now connects with gardeners via her blog:

The book is peppered with great tips on watering, soil, beneficial insects and more. The Northern Gardener is beautifully illustrated with colour photographs taken by Prince George photographer Darwin Paton.

Barbara says she loves figuring out how best to grow a plant so it survives and thrives in her own garden.

She has tried and tested more than 3,900 varieties and has first-hand insights into the winning formula.

Even if you believe you’re unable to grow anything, The Northern Gardener offers the perfect solutions for stubborn soil conditions or what may appear to be barren soil.

“A challenge is nice, but there is a limit to how much time and money I am willing to put into any one plant. I want to grow everything that will grow here in my zone-3 property,” Barbara said.

“But not to fight with any of them.”

More books may be in the works, says Barbara. She has collected at least as much information on northern shrubs as she has on perennials. She is also interested in the plants that make teas and tisanes and is intrigued by the history of these  plants and their usages.

“One of the things I love about gardening is that it is so complex and ultimately uncontrollable; any one simple alteration can affect two or ten elements and the whole garden can change in ways we haven’t expected,” Barbara said in her book.

“It’s always a mystery – and a joy – if we let it be.”

Barbara is also the author of  From The Ground Up: A Horticultural Guide For Northern Gardeners, a 400 page reference book which was compiled from information collected from gardeners all over north-central B.C. Her books are available via her blog, and at the local bookstore.

-submitted by Susan Smith

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