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Condo Smarts: Create a safety plan for your strata meetings

Condo Smarts: Create a safety plan for your strata meetings

Dear Tony: Our strata council has planned to use our local church hall for our annual general meeting.
Helen Chesnut’s Garden Notes: Taking stock of plants after hot, dry summer

Helen Chesnut’s Garden Notes: Taking stock of plants after hot, dry summer

On the day last month when temperatures began to moderate, I felt as though I’d been suddenly released from a sauna set on high heat.
Helen Chesnut's Garden Notes: Removing cedar hedge will make gardening easier

Helen Chesnut's Garden Notes: Removing cedar hedge will make gardening easier

Dear Helen: We would like to remove a cedar hedge planted against a 2.4-metre high fence along the west side of our property. The cedar roots have spread into the rest of the garden. The site has morning to mid-afternoon sun.
Tony Gioventu: Dealing with mask mandates in a strata

Tony Gioventu: Dealing with mask mandates in a strata

Dear Tony: Under the recent provincial order, all public indoor spaces require masks. We have several residents who insist this includes our common areas of our apartment condo here in Nanaimo.
Helen Chesnut's Garden Notes: Squash from 'volunteer' plant can be toxic

Helen Chesnut's Garden Notes: Squash from 'volunteer' plant can be toxic

Dear Helen: I have just come across information indicating that squashes grown on “volunteer” plants can be toxic. Why would they be, and could squashes grown from seeds I’d saved and planted also be toxic? C.L.
Helen Chesnut’s Garden Notes: Petunias prove resilient amid summer heat wave

Helen Chesnut’s Garden Notes: Petunias prove resilient amid summer heat wave

With the general shutdown early last spring, my hairdresser and her partner remained at home and created a food garden, complete with chickens.
Condo Smarts: Election-sign rule does not apply to individual strata lots

Condo Smarts: Election-sign rule does not apply to individual strata lots

Dear Tony: Our strata council has sent a notice out to owners advising we are limited to only one small elections window sign shown from our strata lots and no signs on common property.
House Beautiful: Show-jumping champ traded horses for lambs

House Beautiful: Show-jumping champ traded horses for lambs

Long-time Islanders will remember Bo Mearns as the greatest horsewoman this region ever produced — a Hall of Fame champion known as the equestrian queen of Canada in the 1970s and 1980s.
Helen Chesnut’s Garden Notes: First step to drought-resistant garden is winter soil cover

Helen Chesnut’s Garden Notes: First step to drought-resistant garden is winter soil cover

Dear Helen: I fear more hot, dry summers lie ahead. Are there ways for home gardeners to mitigate the effects of these challenging conditions? I’m not ready to give up on growing favourite flowers, fruits and vegetables. P.H.
Helen Chesnut’s Garden Notes: Abundant harvest stirs memories of life on a Greek isle

Helen Chesnut’s Garden Notes: Abundant harvest stirs memories of life on a Greek isle

It feels like a Mediterranean summer, probably because the garden’s abundance, and the heat, remind me of living on the south coast of France and on a Greek island.