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Marjorie Harris: You don't mention what kind of light you have but see above. You could probably bring herbs such as rosemary, lavender and sage indoors in the winter but the vegetables are annuals. Put large containers on dollies so that it's easy to move them indoors. What kind of light you have will dictate the kinds of plants you can grow. Don't try sun plants in the shade and vice versa. It's a waste of time and money.

Mary Trott from Williams Lake, BC Canada writes: Dark-reddish spots are appearing on the underside of leaves of lamb's quarters and Swiss Chard in my garden. I have some chard sheltered under spun polyester, and it does not show this appearance. I presume it is some sort of disease, and am curious to know what it is. I live on a 15-acre lot about 16 km south of Williams Lake.

Marjorie Harris: I don't know enough about vegetable diseases but this sound like it might be an air-borne rust if the chard under polyester is not affected. Don't water from above. Mulch deeply and harvest regularly.

Ardith Lyon from Mississauga Canada writes: I have peonies which get a white dust after blooming. These are at least 18 yrs. and I have split them on numerous occasions. What is causing this? Thank you Ardith Lyon

Marjorie Harris: The white dust is probably mildew or a form of fungal disease. It's been very wet and the dampness lingers on. Don't ever water from above. Use an organic fungicide and make sure there is good air circulation around the plant.

Fredy P from Moffat Canada writes: Marjorie We live in Milton, Ontario and planted a rose of sharron two summers ago. It has yet to flower, any thoughts? FredP

Marjorie Harris: This is one of those reluctant plants: reluctant to flower and then once it does, it will be reluctant to die. You'll have to be patient. I've waited five years for a R of S to come into bloom. Then it grew so big and floriferous I wanted it to just go away. Hope you've got it in a spot that can take a large plant.

Diane Nayda from North York, ON Canada writes: How do I stop feral cats from defecating in my garden? I've tried moth balls, garlic, rose bush canes, chicken wire buried under mulch, and Critter Ridder...nothing is working. Hope you have the answer to a most troubling problem. Many thanks, Diane Nayda

Marjorie Harris: In the areas where they like to do their business spray a tsp of Lysol in a pint of water. Once you've got rid of THEIR smells, get your own in. Spray with lavender; plant Berberis thunbergii. This is a thorny shrub and they hate it. In fact planting lavender and anything else that's highly scented might help.

Barbara Gregory from Toronto Canada writes: My Purple Smoke bush doesn't smoke! It is fairly young, about three years old. It bears lots of flowers which open, but doesn't produce the long purple threads that I envy on other Smoke bushes. It is otherwise a lovely and healthy shrub, but I am very disappointed. Was I sold a dud? Is there any remedy?

Marjorie Harris: To produce smoke Cotinus needs to have at least six hours of sun a day. It also has to be a very mature plant to do so. If you have it in a protected spot you might be getting the smoke in a few years. Gardening is about being patient. It's a lovely tree so worth the wait.

M. O. from Canada writes: Hello Marjorie. I have been fighting a losing battle with crabgrass which extends along a strip of my front lawn. Last fall, I pulled it all out by hand. This spring I tried corn gluten, and the crabgrass seems to have benefited greatly -- it is now twice as plentiful. Any suggestions?

Marjorie Harris: Cover the crab grass with about 10 layers of dampened newspapers. Then top it off with a thick layer of manure and compost. This will eventually break down but you can also plant into this and eventually you'll be squeezing out the crab grass.

Rasha Mourtada, Globe Life web editor: Thanks to Marjorie for coming online today. To our readers, we're sorry we didn't get to all of your questions. Please look out for future discussions with Marjorie Harris.

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