Your online resource for garden information, ideas and advice.

Winter in the Garden!
Just because the cold weather and snow has arrived, doesn't mean you can't continue to enjoy the garden. You just do it from a different point of view.
 
- Take a good look at your garden from the inside. Do you like the design, does it need new paths, are the plantings well spaced or crowded, does it need hardscaping like trellis' or garden decor or benches. Viewing it from this angle might start you on the path to new developments come spring. 
 
- Is there winter interest? If not, what changes could be made next season to offer more? Evergreens? Shrubs with coloured stems or berries? Perennials with interesting stalks and flower heads?
 
- Feed the birds and enjoy that view all winter long. 
 
- Start the plan for next year. Review last year's notes and consider what changes you want to make, what new vegetables or annuals you want to try. The seed catalogues start arriving late-December. It's never too early! 
 
- And even though we are not all winter fans, enjoy the season and look for the beauty it brings. Keep in mind, the days start to get longer on December 21!
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 




           Pixie Cantaloupe

This compact, palm-sized hybrid
melonweighs in at roughly 1.5-2 pounds
and thefruit is deliciously sweet
and juicy. Witha small seed cavity
and plenty of bright orange fruit,
it’s the perfect size for ahot afternoon
snack. And it’s just fun
to grow – even if it does look a little
bizzare when mature.

We were honoured to be part of a documentary on urban agriculture, created by film maker Phil McLeod. Here's the garden - from  Spring to Fall...

Is it poison oak or poison ivy? Find out here.

To Rake or Not to Rake!
 
Like it or not, it’s that time of year again. Falling leaves – or those pesky leaves that seem to blow onto your lawn from every other tree in the neighbourhood. But what happens if you just leave them alone?
 
You can – for a while, but a heavy layer of maple, oak or other large leaves won’t keep your lawn healthy over the winter and will end up creating more work, and expense, when spring arrives.
  
Here’s the risk – a heavy layer of leaves, particularly left under an even heavier layer of snow will start to smother the lawn. It can’t breathe and therefore creates the perfect environment for diseases like snow mold and brown spot to develop – not to mention the pests that might decide to move in as well. The weight might also prevent new grass from sprouting in the spring.  That leaf-layer presents a barrier to water, nutrients and air that the root system needs to survive. 
 
 But that doesn’t mean every single leaf needs to be removed – here’s a few ideas to reduce the risk and make good use of the nutrients that leaves can offer, when used correctly.
  
Run the lawn mower over them. Your lawn will love  you for it. Those finely shredded leaves will fall between the blades, adding both a fertilizer and mulch to the yard – which in turn helps reduce the number of weeds in the spring and provide healthy lawn growth.
  
Shred some for the garden beds. They’ll break down over the winter and will reduce the amount of time and money spent in adding nutrients before planting season starts again. 
 
And don’t forget your compost pile, it would welcome a good helping of shredded leaves. 
  
And if shredding isn’t your thing, then get out the rake, enjoy the warm autumn sun and bag them up in paper leaf bags (vs. plastic) so they can be taken to (or picked up – depending where you live) the local composting station…and who knows, when you go pick up compost in the spring…you might just be getting your own nicely-composted yard waste back! 

 

   Ornamental Eggplant
   (pumpkin on a stick) 
 
A truly fascinating plant. 
 
Bushy tall, 5' stems that develop large, prickly leaves (just like a "regular" eggplant). An abundance of small white and purple flowers appear over the summer that grow into  small ribbed "pumpkins" - these tiny gems start out green in early August and as fall approaches turn a vibrant orange.  Stems can be cut and used as fall decorations, or leave the plant where it is for fun colour and plenty of interesting comments until the frost hits. 
 
Grows great in containers or in the garden and is best started indoors in early April.