We like to end our year with a “Dutch Auction” or Progressive Sale. All merchandise is included – regular garden product and holiday décor! How long will you wait for your favourite item? How low will you go?
Saturday December 16 – 20% off
Sunday December 17 – 20% off
Monday December 18 – CLOSED
Tuesday December 19 – 30% off
Wednesday December 20 – 40% off
Thursday December 21 – 50% off
Friday December 22 – 50% off
Saturday December 23 – 50% off
We close for the season at 5 p.m. on December 23 and re-open on or about March 01, 2018.
Only exceptions to the sale include: gift cards, custom orders, workshops, Urn Club memberships and Customer Appreciation Cards
Who knows when Winter-y weather will hit us this year? It’s no good trying to push evergreen boughs into pots that are frozen. it’s best to prepare your pots for your winter arrangements now and start on them as soon as Remembrance Day has respectfully passed. Or, “green up” your pots in early November, waiting until after November 11 to add in the sparkly accents.
To prepare the pots, cut all remaining plant material off at soil level. Leave the roots and soil right in your pots (make sure they are pots that are “winter proof”). This will form the base to push in the evergreen boughs. Use a generous amount of at least two types of evergreen boughs at various lengths to form a pleasing base. Layer your boughs so they are full an lush; multiple layers of boughs will be better able to handle ice and snow weight and won’t “pancake” out as the winter progresses. Add height to the arrangement with red dogwood or birch branches. Accents can fill in the body and can be natural accents like dried hydrangea blooms, pinecones, sumac, sedum heads (use spray paint to bump up the colour, if you wish) or decor accents that you purchase (shiny balls, wicker shapes, bows and the like). Be creative and have fun with your choices! Take a moment and think about the style of your home and match your accents to reflect your style or your family’s personality.
Do remember that these arrangements can last throughout the entire winter so wire distinctly holiday accents to a stick that you can cut out once the festivities are over. While stars, pinecones and birch branches look winter-y, shiny red balls, gauzy bows and Santa faces look dated and out of place in February. Make your arrangements full and lush so when you cut out the seasonal accents you are not left with large gaping holes.
The Canadian outdoors is Mother Nature’s Cooler, so you do not need to water your outdoor arrangements unless we hit a really warm spell mid November and your evergreens look dry. Usually though, the moist air is more than sufficient to keep everything fresh and lovely from November to March.
Once September rolls around your patio pots and hanging baskets might be looking a little tired or you might be tired of looking at them. It’s time to renovate your pots and welcome Fall to your home and garden.
Some plants in your pots might look healthy and be suitable for the cool Autumn temperatures. Plants to consider leaving in your containers: annual grasses, bacopa, nemesia, alyssum, dusty miller, ivy, dianthus, verbena, or any plant that looks Fall-like in its colouring and looks healthy. Plants to remove, either due to a too-summery look or to their inability to handle cool temperatures: potato vine, geraniums, sun-impatiens, begonias, marigolds (one of the first plants to be taken by even a light frost) and tropical plants.
Whether you remove one plant or all of them, you will need to freshen the soil before choosing from the abundance of Fall Fill-in Plants: mums, ornamental kale and cabbage, fountain grasses, millet, pansies, asters, ornamental peppers, swiss chard and ivy. Perennials can even be added in: sedum, coral bells, rudbeckia, perennial grass, balloon-flowers, lysimachia and ajuga. To use perennials, either remove a healthy section from an existing plant in your garden (warning, there will be wilt and transplant shock) or purchase a new perennial, add it to your design and then be sure to remove it from the pot and plant in the ground just after Thanksgiving. Perennials cannot over winter when left in pots in our zone; they must be in the ground.
Fun, decorative accents can make your new Fall Arrangement unique. Add in a scarecrow, pumpkin accent or a witches broom. Colourful ornamental corn or gourds can be set beside your pots – even a straw bale! Saying good bye to Summer is hard to do, but when you have fresh Fall planters to look forward to, it lessens the blow!
The differences in varieties of garden mums are not simply the colours. Certain mums are for indoor decor while others are specifically outdoor mums. In our zone, some are perennial, but most sold in September are not. Bloom times vary. Navigating the world of mums can be complicated.
A good garden centre can navigate you through the process so you are pleased with your Fall purchases. You will find a wide selection of colourful garden mums on the outdoor benches in September: burgundy, purple, orange, golden yellow…. Most of these are sold for less than ten dollars and are not typically perennial in our zone. Occasionally people will hit the jackpot with some that do over winter, but, in our area, it usually happens only during a mild winter, in a sheltered area. Hardy perennial mums are available (generally in May and June, sold with other perennial plants) but they usually offer single daisy-like blooms in minimal colours – not the rich, deeply coloured double-type blooms most of us yearn for to put in displays of hay bales, corn stalks and pumpkins.
Indoor Mums are varieties that have large blooms, often in bi-colours or stripes. These are sold in stores, not in outdoor displays. Best on your dining room table, they can be placed outdoors in very sheltered areas, like under a porch. If you are unsure, ask the garden centre staff which mum is which. While indoor mums can be outdoors (sheltered), outdoor mums cannot remain indoors for any length of time.
Mums are bred by colour, by location needs (indoor, outdoor planters or perennial garden) and by season. Early blooming mums are available mid-August and usually finish blooming by the end of September. Mid season mums begin blooming early to mid September and finish near Hallowe’en. Late blooming mums are just cracking colour at Thanksgiving and die with the November frosts.
It’s that time of year again – Summer! And, it’s time for us to thank YOU for another fabulous year. We invite all 2017 Customer Card Holders and their guest to our Summer Garden Party on Sunday August 13. Drop in anytime between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. for light refreshments, live music and a spin of the “Wheel of Prizes”. The party is in our beautiful garden surrounding the pond – it’s always a lot of fun!
This year the musicians, Lee and Bob, have a “Canadiana set” which is sure to please and get you up dancing on the grass! Jessy from “Rising Flours” is making us a spectacular cake and sandwiches are being catered by “That’s a Wrap!” catering. There is even a rumour that “Tiny Tim”, the local dwarf donkey will be making an appearance!
Follow the signs for additional parking in the rear of the property and if you’re coming to spend a long time (please do!), bring a lawn chair for yourself as our seating is always limited. See you there!
When folks have been in to the store and greenhouse these past two months, the talk is usually of weather. We are either happy it’s warm, unhappy it’s cold or disappointed it’s raining. The conversation turns, usually, to the Summer of 2016 and it’s crazy hot temperatures and lack of rain. Almost everyone wishes vehemently that the weather we experienced last year not happen again this year.
Although, in that conversation, at least one proud plant moment emerges. Phones with saved photographs are whipped out and pictures of an amazing deck box or hanging basket are shared. We often hear, “Last year my flowers were amazing, despite the weather…”
How could this be? It was an unprecedented summer of temperatures above 40 degree humidity for weeks on end and a record-setting seventy-eight days without significant rainfall. People were buying in water and wells were running dry. We were trying to grow Ontario plants in Floridian weather; there is a reason you don’t see begonias and geraniums growing in Florida in the summer – they just can’t do it.
So, how did we do it? How did our patio planters thrive while we were all puddles of perspiration sequestered in our air conditioned homes? It is our conclusion that the lack of rain forced us to WATER each and every day, without fail, and that was the key!
In summers-gone-by we have felt that because it rained a bit or was overcast and cool that we didn’t need to water our containers and planters. A rain storm of a couple of hours surely watered my planters, right? Wrong! Unless it rains steadily the whole day, your planter is still in need of water; a light to moderate summer rain usually just bounces off the dense foliage and never reaches the roots of the plants.
So, with no rain last summer, we had to water our plants daily, sometimes even twice daily. It didn’t rain, so we couldn’t use that as the excuse to not do it. And see what thorough, daily watering can do?
It is the simplest but seemingly most difficult thing to do: be consistent with watering plants contained in pots. Best practice is to water in the morning so the plants are hydrated and stress-free during the hottest part of the day, but in modern times when lives are so busy, watering whenever we can is the best we can do. If that means at the end of the day, with a glass of wine in hand, then it is.
Fertilizer can be as simple as a powder or liquid additive to water that is watered in weekly, or twice-monthly at the least. Fertilizer is usually the difference between “wow” and “WOW!!”
Many lessons can be learned from 2016: watering daily is needed, plant choices can make or break a planter (the sun was harsh, did you have the right plant in the right place?) and tropical plants, such as hibiscus and mandevillia, thrived in the heat. Talk to a professional at a good Garden Centre to learn more. Cheers to a more temperate, but sunshine-filled Summer of 2017!
On a busy day, a staff member at a garden centre can answer hundreds of questions. At times, your head can spin from trying to picture the space the person is asking about (“I have a porch that faces northeast, with a big overhang, what hanging basket is best?”) or identify the plant the person is requesting (“I saw a green and yellow plant in my neighbour’s garden; it is about this tall…”).
When armed with questions for your local garden centre, try to have as much information as possible to help the staff member answer your queries and meet your needs. Can you bring a photo or your digital camera with a picture of the space or plant you desire? This is always very helpful! Although you are bringing this information with you, please do not have expectations that one staff person at any garden centre can spend a long period of time providing an in depth consultation with you, unless you have arranged something prior to your arrival. This is the “busy season”; consultations are usually conducted in April, prior to the “craziness” of May and June.
As for the information you can provide, do you know the exposure of the location you wish to put the plant? Is it a hot, sunny space? Is it really windy or very shady? Do you have water restrictions? Is the soil of average quality or do you think it needs amending? How much commitment can you make to these planters or garden plants? Are you looking for something too fussy for your no-maintenance sensibilities? It is best to be honest with yourself about what you are looking for, especially concerning your ability to care for the plants and your budget.
If you are looking for a specific plant someone else has, can you bring a leaf from that plant? How about doing some research ahead of time and bringing a list of perennials you are interested in along with ones you have tried in the past that you either like or dislike? If you bring some identifying feature (photo, leaf, name) of a container planting that you love or plant you are coveting, that information will guide a savvy staff person to help you make choices that will not only satisfy you, but thrill you.
It’s time to move on to the next season for your decorative outdoor pots. If you missed the briefly warm mid-March window of opportunity to remove your evergreen boughs, you will need to either cut the boughs to the frozen soil level and remove the cut stems under the soil at a later date or pour boiling water to ease the stems out of the soil. If possible, moving the containers into a garage (near an interior wall where it is warmer) or into the house will speed up the thawing process.
If you can thaw the soil, the only décor you can safely add in early April is a collection of twigs and sticks. Consider using curly willow, the red dogwood and/or birch from your winter arrangements and fluffy, Spring-like pussy willows. The soil top can be covered with fresh looking woodland moss. A good garden centre will be stocked in all this product. This can be very effective and the only option during the inconsistent early April temperatures.
Once the deep freeze has passed and night time temps flutter around zero or minus one, the moss can be parted and pre sprouted bulbs can be added to the base of the sticks. Favourites include tulips, hyacinths and daffodils. When it looks like the night time temps will be above zero, cold tolerant annuals such as pansies, primula, campanula, English daisies, ranunculus, dusty miller, and alyssum can all be added to the planters.
If a random freezing night occurs and you are unable to bring in the planter, it can be saved by placing a light bed sheet over the arrangement and letting it return to a normal temperature the next morning without exposing it to sunlight (until it has thawed) and without touching the leaves.