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Cybernaut

Green thumbing it

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Technically the first day of spring was March 21, but take a look at weather reports across the country and it’s safe to say that the season is already a month late. If and when the cloud cover does break in Whistler, it will be time to take care of a little yard work.

The easiest thing to do would be to hire a professional landscaper to take care of your lawns and gardens, but some people prefer to get their hands and rest of their bodies dirty and do it themselves – damn the neck pains, back spasms, cuts and scrapes.

As always, the Web can help you do things right.

The first place to stop is the Resort Municipality of Whistler offices on Blackcomb Way, where the parks department has a stack of landscaping documents that will ensure that you aren’t using banned pesticides or attracting bears to your neighbourhood. The documents can also help you decide what kinds of plants grow best in our unique mountain environment.

The next site to visit is Garden.org, the home of the U.S.-based National Gardening Association. All off the content is free, and the information is comprehensive. You can find out how to grow almost any plant the natural way, how to group different species of plants for their mutual benefit, and how to take care of backyard pests without chemicals pesticides.

Check the main page for a special section on Mountains and Plants that has information of special interest to Whistler green thumbs, plus references to a number of interesting books.

Like comedy, the secret to a successful garden is timing. GardenWise B.C. (www.gardenwise.bc.ca), a Web site by the B.C. Landscape and Nursery Association has a garden calendar for B.C. residents, suggesting when the best time is to plant and maintain certain species.

The site also has resources to help gardeners select plants, find nurseries, and, if all else fails, hook up with a local landscaper.

In case you’re new to town, or your short-term memory has been wiped out by television, beer and aluminum cookware, Whistler is attempting to adopt socially, economically and environmentally sustainable principles for everything we do – and that includes gardening. To see what environmentally-friendly, sustainable gardening looks like, visit Bountiful Gardens at www.bountifulgardens.org, and www.markw.com/environm.htm.

PS3 gearing up

Last year the home video game market generated more sales revenue than Hollywood, which is saying something when you consider that Hollywood had a pretty good year. In the U.S. alone, video game sales were about $10.3 billion in 2002, up from $9.4 billion the year before (Trendsetters.com) When you factor in the huge markets of Europe and Asia, we’re talking about a hundred billion a year industry.

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