News Updates

How to Create a Festive Container
Watch my short slideshow on how to create a festive planter with clippings from your garden. Happy Gardening! Shauna  
2018 Pumpkin Contest
It was a beautiful sunny day for Our 2018 Pumpkin Weigh-In. Just have a look at what these kids grew! Huge thank you to all who came out and shared...
Our Pumpkin Contest is coming up!
Our 2018 Pumpkin Contest is coming up!   Bring 'em all ~ Big & Small! Saturday, October 13, 2018 11 am to 12 noon with prizes for...

Shauna's blog

Growing Gorgeous Roses

The first summer roses in my garden are now coming into bloom and I can hardly wait to breathe their sweet scent. The beauty of flower and fragrance has inspired many gardeners for hundreds of years. While not the easiest of plants to grow, roses reward the gardener for the effort made with luscious blooms that can take your breath away.

Some of our favourite tips for growing great roses are as follows.

When you purchase a new rose bush choose varieties carefully. Some are more fragrant, more disease resistant or have unusual colour combinations. Look for No. 1 Grade roses and pick a healthy plant that shows good vigour.

When you go home to plant your new rose, choose a sunny location (min 6 hours). Roses don't like a lot of competition so be sure the place you choose doesn't have large trees very close that are going to hog all the nutrients, water, and sunlight.

Try not to plant in the hottest time of the day and water your new rose bush in the pot before you plant it. Roses are heavy feeders so be generous with nutrients and soil amendments.

I recommend the following for planting new roses:

½ cup bone meal

½ cup alfalfa meal

½ cup fish meal

2 shovelfuls of peat moss

2 shovelfuls of manure or compost

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Getting Festive with your Garden

Everybody has that friend who rocks the Christmas décor. To be honest it sometimes leaves me sighing and exhausted just thinking about all they have done. I don’t think I’ll ever be the friend who knocks it right out of the park but I’m ok with that. In fact when it gets right down to it I get most excited about the little things that are simply done but add so much to the season.

One of my dear friend’s mother hangs her childhood skates with a few carefully chosen boughs and a bow on her front door. It is still the most nostalgic and stylish door decoration I have seen. I think I’ll ask my mom for my dad’s ice skates to do that this year. Another friend is big on trimming boughs for her mantel, real ones of course, that smell divine. I guess the point is that having a garden and being able to trim bits of holly or evergreen boughs feels like part of the richness of the season and that in itself is simply wonderful.

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How to Layer Bulbs

A great way to plant bulbs in containers is to Layer them. In addition to creating stunning combinations, layering your bulbs can also extend the length of bloom time for your container when you choose early, mid and later blooming bulbs. You'll be impressed with how much impact one container can.... well, contain :)

Bulb layering is such a simple technique, but each fall I get lots of question about how to do this, so I thought it was a great thing to tell you about this month. So get your Autumnal Garden Groove on and let's layer that container!

Supplies

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Growing Great Garlic!

Growing garlic is very satisfying. Simply to be able to harvest your garlic for cooking is such a great feeling. I've always thought it would make a great appetizer for a dinner party to oven roast a bunch of different varieties and taste test them with a baguette and a glass of wine. Then you could languish over the subtleties of flavours of Mexican Purple, Rocambole or Metechi. You may just find that you don't need to pick one favourite; that having a variety is much more fun. Garlic is very easy to grow so if you haven't tried growing garlic before, make this the year you do.

Fall is the very best time to plant garlic.  I say "very" best because you can still plant in the spring if you missed out on fall planting, but planting in autumn will give your garlic the optimal timing for growing.

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Bringing that Beachy Feeling to Your Garden

Are you feeling beachy?  Enjoying the great outdoors is one of the ways we are reminded to take care of the natural beauty that surrounds us. Whenever I get this beachy feeling, it makes me want to bring a little of the beach home to celebrate it in my garden. 
 
A few years ago my brother and his wife were landscaping their new home. The yard had an irrigation system through most of the front and back yard but not within a narrow side strip of space alongside their driveway measuring about 6' by 15'. They asked me for my ideas for a low maintenance garden bed; then they told me that one idea they had come up with was a rock and driftwood garden with ornamental grasses. I thought that they already had the best idea possible so we set to work making plant choices and layout. 
 
We came up with a mixture of three types of ornamental grass, berried plants for fall and winter interest and a few other complimentary flowering perennials and shrubs. Working in multiples of threes and fives; the colour scheme was blond and blue grasses, rosy-pink berries and flowers with driftwood and round rocks to create a perfect low maintenance beachy garden. Read More

Growing Great Raspberries

In the Spring of 2012, Nigel and I put in a raspberry patch. We built three raised beds about 3 feet wide by 8 feet long. It was funny at the time because we had worked all day on our little project and round about 4 in the afternoon I went to get us a little refreshment.  When I came back across the lawn I looked out to the 3 beds and suddenly realised that they looked, more than a little, like 3 graves. It was also Easter Weekend.

We had a good laugh over this and chuckled that perhaps we should have taken a step back somewhere in the building process to look at the complete picture. Never mind they look great now and the raised beds are working really well.

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Micro Irrigation for Your Hanging Baskets & Containers

Even the most beautiful of hanging baskets only stay that way with regular watering and one of the easiest ways to provide this is with a micro irrigation system such as a Raindrip Container Kit.  Most of our customers are a bit nervous about doing it themselves but soon find that it is such an easy system to install they wonder why they didn't do it summers ago.  I understand their feelings completely as I am fully aware that this kind of installation felt outside of my skill set but I too was impressed with just how simple it was.

The kit can be installed with or without a timer but if you like to be away in the summer a timer is much more reliable than the kid next door.  Let's face it, the kid doesn't garden and doesn't really know a flower from a weed (and also does not reading gardening columns so will not have hurt feelings).

One of the best things about the Container Kit is that it gives you everything you need to get started but you can also add to it later.  This means you don't need to get overwhelmed in the details.  When I first got started with my system, I began with a very simple drip system for a few hanging baskets.     

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Peonies

Peonies bloom from late Spring to early Summer.  They come in an extensive range of colours including many pink shades as well as red, fuchsia, peachy-pink, yellow and white.  They also differ in form; from fully double bomb types to the delicately simple singles and many unique forms in between; such as Peony 'Sorbet' which looks like a delicious scoop of sorbet ice cream on saucer-shaped petals. The lacy foliage of peonies is also quite lovely, enhancing the garden throughout the summer, and finally turning shimmery plum shades in the fall.  Peonies are extremely winter-hardy and deer resistant.

There are three main groups of peonies:-

Garden Peonies (Paeonia lactiflora) these are your granny's mind-blowing, beautiful peonies that grow between two and three feet tall and die back to the ground each fall. Granny would be impressed to see the range of colours and forms available today. All gorgeous! Garden Peonies also make excellent cut flowers so be sure to have a few extra to cut and bring indoors.

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Fairy Gardens

Try your hand at a fairy or gnome garden. Use any container you like, some tiny plants, a few stones and a couple of decorations. The children who visit your garden will love you for it!

for the kid in your life or the kid in you... 

use a pot, a dish, a stump or an unused corner of the garden...

use some small leave plants, some stones and a few decorations...

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Top 5 Christmas Gifts for Gardeners

I remember about a bunch of years ago my sister, Alana, was in town for the weekend and visiting me for the day. We had decided to spend our time together planting daffodil and tulip bulbs into containers and in the garden as well as some paperwhites and an amaryllis for indoor Christmas blooms. We were just getting started when she remarked that she loved gardening with me because I had "all the good tools". Gloves that kept her finger nails clean, a shiny stainless steel trowel that didn't bend and pruners that were of excellent quality and were a pleasure to use.

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