Now is a good time to revisit the concept of Victory Gardens, the vegetable plots planted in Canada during the Second World War to provide fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as demonstrate patriotism and solidarity. We could do with some solidarity.
Thank goodness for spring. Daily walks through our garden reveal new flowers, new buds, new growth. It’s too early to clear away protective mulches and start digging in most parts of Canada, but it’s the perfect time to relish nature’s beauty as it unfolds.
Even experienced gardeners may hesitate before picking up secateurs to prune their hydrangeas. Some types are pruned now, some later, some rarely — which is which?
Snowdrops are rather demure and unassuming flowers — simple white, downward-facing blooms on short stems. No fragrance, no vivid colours, no dramatic foliage. However, they’re always greeted with fanfare when they appear in our gardens in late winter, simply because they’re usually the first flowers we have.
In Beckie Fox’s weekly garden newsletter, she highlights Seedy Saturdays as a fun family outing experience. Also: This is the time of year when certain willows are harvested for branches to be used to weave baskets, fences, hedges, screens or “live” willow structures.
A potted miniature rose with red-and-white striped flowers is in a sunny spot in the house, and the buds are opening slowly, which means we should have a few weeks of colour before moving it to a less conspicuous spot to rest until it’s warm enough to place outdoors. Miniature roses are sturdier than they look, and make wonderful container plants.
Cut branches of forsythia or crabapple in a tall vase says spring is near. It’s not difficult to take a few branches from spring-flowering trees or shrubs, bring them indoors and wait for the buds to unfold.
Over the years, I’ve overwintered rosemary indoors with about a 75 per cent success rate. My track record improved once I learned that this herb doesn’t like to dry out when grown indoors, which seems counter-intuitive given that Salvia rosmarinus is native to dry, rocky areas in the Mediterranean.
The only things that keep my spirits up during the long drag of January and February are the plant and seed catalogues arriving via the post or found online. I fold down corners of print seed catalogues, make lists from online catalogues, and generally sit back and dream. Lists of seeds and bulbs expand, shrink and shift.
If you’re keen to start gardening, but your soil is too cold and damp for digging, consider potting up a spring container instead. Depending on the weather, a few spring containers planted with beautiful, cold-tolerant plants now will give you several weeks of colour.
Although Beckie ordered a dozen dahlia tubers in January — the earlier you order, the better the selection — she’s thinking of choosing a few more. A fresh start for this year affords the chance to grow new-to-her varieties.
Children’s gardening books are usually written by adults, but that’s not the case with Gardening with Emma, written by Emma Biggs, a 13-year-old gardener in Toronto.
Confronted by empty yards front and back? Here’s your detailed guide to creating your dream garden from scratch.
A touch of formality is not out of place in most gardens. Trimmed cones and spheres of foliage — classic topiary — are especially suited to containers.
When shopping for container plants, it helps to have a list of favourites that you can always count on. Here are Beckie Fox’s suggestions.
The most effective means of obscuring an an unattractive view is to plant tall, narrow or coniferous trees — often called columnar or fastigiate trees.
Here are 8 basic steps to follow to successfully plant a tree in your garden.
In Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, known for its national historical significance, a planning application could have an adverse impact on the landscape.
When I bring my rosemary plants into the house for the winter, they get a powdery mildew that kills new growth. How do I treat this?
What are suitable plants for a windy north facing fifth floor balcony in Toronto (zone 6)? I am looking for plants that can withstand the wind, and can do reasonably well without much direct sunlight.