Homeowners always want a simple set of directions to help them get the right plant in the right spot. Unfortunately, there are so many different variables to every single home that there is no way for me to personally help. That said…here is my foolproof method to get you on the right path to having your own successful garden.
The term organic gardening has been thrown around a lot over the last few years. Someone somewhere decided that organic is healthier and therefore more expensive because it is harder to grow food without the use of synthetic fertilizers and sprays.
The good new is that when it comes to home gardening, going organic is really pretty simple and straightforward. Organic home gardeners really take cues from nature and the world around them when it comes to caring for plants minus all the fake stuff.
For all of the new gardeners out there, I am starting 2017 back at the basics. One of the first spots that future gardeners often start with is herbs in the window sill. If you can keep these alive, you can pretty much grow anything.
Unfortunately . . . it’s not as easy as you think. Just ask my kid sister, who has successfully killed many helpless rosemary and thyme.
This trend of heirloom vegetables had gone beyond what any of us expert gardeners ever expected. So far I have received more than 15 seed catalogues from across Canada and the U.S. All of these companies specialize in rare vegetables, hard-to-find strains and unique flavours of culinary delights.
It’s amazing that so many people want to grow their own food and that they care about vintage varieties of seeds. Each year I work with a team of growers trying to guess the hot trends for the year ahead — kale for 2014, beets for 2015, radishes for 2016. So what is going to be the big trend for 2017?
My best guess . . . carrots!
I have to confess, I got caught with my proverbial gardening pants down. With all of this beautiful weather, I delayed a lot of the yard work that I should have been doing — and then everything went sideways and November actually decided to arrive.
If you are like me and didn’t get everything done, not to worry . . . this weekend is the perfect time to finish off a few of the projects.
Get the bulbs in the ground already! As long as you can dig the soil, you can plant those tulip and daffodil bulbs in it.
The snap in the air signifies more than just the arrival of winter — it means that it’s officially time to clean out the perennial beds.
This can be a challenge even for the most experienced gardener because we always forget the specific treatment for any new species or plants that we’ve added to beds. Case in point — last fall I whacked a Russian sage to the ground, treating it like a regular sage, and almost killed it in the process. Total garden fail on my part.
For the novice gardener, there are a few options.
Bag gardens have been much discussed for a few years now but are definitely trending in North America.
The theory behind them is that you slice down the centre of a bag of soil and plant your vegetables directly in the centre. Easy, right? The theory behind this type of garden sounds pretty awesome.
Put a bag wherever you want and start to grow. Will it work? Of course! Plants are very forgiving . . . even if you grow them in a bag.
The concept of the straw bale vegetable garden has erupted on the Internet over the last year, with new gardeners looking for an alternate to the back-breaking labour of tilling a bed in the yard.
The concept is very easy. Put plants in a straw bale and let them root in the natural pockets created by the dried-out grass. As the straw breaks down and decomposes, your garden is fertilized. There are definitely some big pluses with straw bale gardens.
This may sound a little crazy, but I have already ordered my vegetable seeds for next year’s garden. I will confess that I’m a fan of trying unique and exotic breeds of every day foods like tomatoes, carrots and peppers. This is why I buy my seeds now, because the exotic ones always go fast.
While most of us are putting the gardens to bed (pun intended), seed savers and breeders are putting their 2016 successes online for purchase. While you can’t ship plants with soil across the border, seeds for personal use are being shipped from every part of the world.
Some of my favourite sites for seed shopping…
There are times in life when you just need to sit back and enjoy the proverbial roses. My recent trip to Blomodin Inn in Wolfville was one of those times. Walking around their manicured gardens, with fountains and fall-flowering perennials, reminded me why gardening is such a rewarding endeavour.
I followed this up with a trip to Luckett Vineyards and realized that I needed to add a little romance back into my own outdoor spaces.
Too often as a landscape designer, I focus on the functional and esthetic aspect of the yard when sometimes I need to be adding a little infusion of romance. Here is how to do it in your own space…