"I would like to know if there is an evergreen ivy. I wanted it in a pot on my deck to offer privacy."
All Helga, via email ivies are evergreen. Ivy provides quick, dense cover, but plain green kinds and ones with large leaves get out of control quickly, and need frequent cutting. Small-leaved ivies are easier to maintain, but they do grow more slowly.
Ivy also has a reputation as an invasive plant.
"Two-thirds of my front lawn and part of the boulevard have been hit with the chafer beetle. Spring is coming and I will want to reseed, but I don't know what to do with the part that has not been affected. Should I dig up the rest of my lawn?
Or just re-seed what has been infected. The raccoons that were digging up my lawn have seemed to stop going any further."
Some people give up their grass lawn completely, and either put in a patio or reseed with chafer-resistant plants like Dutch white clover (tri-folium repens), leptinella squalida 'Brass Buttons,' or for sunny, well-drained areas, Wooly Thyme.
If you want to continue with grass, dig up and re-seed the whole lawn, because the part that appears to be unaffected is bound to have some chafer larvae in it.
No matter what you do with your lawn, it's likely to get re-infested after the chafer beetles mate in late June and begin laying eggs in early July.
Because they can fly, infestations can move in from other chafer-infested lawns or boulevards in your neighbourhood.
Between mid-July and month-end, the newly hatched chafer larvae will be close to the surface of your lawn. This is the time to apply the predatory nematode, Heterohabdilis bacteriophora. It has to be done before the larvae move deeper into the soil.
You can order the nematode from garden centres. They are tiny, living creatures and need to be watered soon after being brought home. Instructions come with each nematode kit. It is very important the nematode mixture contacts bare earth, enabling them to move quickly down to the chafer larvae.
"If mason bees come out so early, what do they feed on? There is not too much out in my garden in February, and I don't see how I could support them." James Rowley, via email
Mason bees and flowers are temperature sensitive. Flowers open when the temperature is right for them to open, and that temperature is also at right to prompt mason bees to hatch, so when they emerge, the flowers are waiting for them.
In mid-February in coastal B.C. and the Fraser Valley, witch-hazel is in full bloom, as are hardy cyclamen, winter jasmine, winter heather, and snowdrops.
Other spring flowers quickly follow.
But even if you don't have any in your garden, mason bees travel, and are likely to find early flowers in neighbours' gardens.
Anne Marrison is happy to answer garden questions. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org