I enjoy making my garden productive as well as attractive, whether it’s growing a few fresh vegetables and herbs for the table, or ensuring there are enough seedheads and berries remaining on the perennials and shrubs over winter to feed the birds. For me, a productive garden also means abundant flowers and leafy branches to gather for the house. I love bringing the outdoors in, and I’m already missing the dahlias, zinnias and roses from summer. Just a stem or two of anything flowering in a simple vase pleases me.
To fill this floral gap, I started amaryllis, hyacinths and paperwhites in soil or pebbles a few weeks ago. I had hoped for a few blooms over the holidays, but given the slow progress of most of them, I may have a floriferous January instead.
Jodi DeLong of Halifax writes about her techniques for forcing bulbs in “Forcing bulbs and dreaming of spring.”
Landscape Ontario has a good tip sheet on forcing bulbs, too.
Empress of Dirt covers almost everything you need to know about bulb forcing in “How to grow flowering bulbs indoors (& force blooms).”
For those of you who love poinsettias (not everyone does, you know), “Caring for poinsettias” offers tips to keep these seasonal plants happy.
Winter inspiration on Instagram
For those of you who visit social media sites such as Instagram, I include this list of accounts I check in on, especially in winter when I miss walking into the garden to mingle with the plants and putter about. There is an ever-increasing amount of sponsored content that I need to scroll through, but I often find inspiration for new plants, designs or techniques, or simply relish the beauty of a remarkable plant photo. Following the accounts of gardening destinations you might want to visit someday can be helpful, too.
A few Canadian (including former Garden Making contributors), U.S. and British accounts, in no particular order:
And, of course, there’s @gardenmaking, although it’s not as active as it once was when the magazine was still publishing.
Garden news and views
- Colleen Zacharias writes about a permaculture design that includes walkable ditches to conserve water in “Pathways to goodness” in the Winnipeg Free Press.
- “In the garden: no bedtime stories in this garden” in the Waterloo Region Record, by David Hobson.
- More information on the technique of washing soil from roots before planting by Garden Professors: “Why root washing is important — an illustrated cautionary tale.”
- More on the ongoing conversation that sometimes pits non-native plants against native plants: “If my gardens were all-native, they’d be missing these favourites,” by Susan Harris at Garden Rant. The 23 comments that follow her “rant” are interesting, too.
Winners of garden journals
Our draw for two copies of the 2022 Toronto & Golden Horseshoe Gardener’s Journal closed Nov. 22 with 554 entries. We’ve randomly selected the two winners: Carole E. of Bowmanville, Ontario, and Susan K. of Brossard, Quebec.
A closing note
This is the last newsletter from me for 2021. Thank you for your comments and enthusiasm over this past season. I hope your winter is filled with exciting plans for next year’s garden, as well as pleasant memories of what you accomplished this year. I agree with the sentiment of Lauren Springer, U.S. horticulturist, designer and writer, who said, “Let your garden celebrate who you are and where you are.”