Container in fall with soil

Life after dead potted plants

Now that the temperatures are finally dipping below zero celsius here in Southern Ontario, my container plantings are beginning to bite the dust. And so the big fall clean-up begins. But this time around, I’m going to be smarter about it. Having spent this year studying organic horticulture techniques, I’ve found that there are easy ways to…

Hostas in fall

Preempting the slug fest

Looking like a small sea of green waves caught mid-curl, my hostas have brought a soothing kind of coolness to the garden all summer long. But, now that we’re edging closer to November, that coolness has turned stone cold ugly. In another week or two, they’ll be flat on the ground and rapidly turning into…

Back away from the coneflowers

You see them there, looking vaguely sinister in near-black silhouette, projecting explosions of spikiness. So it’s totally understandable that you might want to wade into your garden bed, armed with a sturdy pair of pruners, and give your coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) the big snip. Hey, you’re making the garden tidier and, let’s face it, friendlier…

Snake in garden

Getting squirrelly? Go snakey.

What’s likely to happen after you’ve put in all that effort to plant your fall tulips? Get a beautiful patch of blooms next spring? Nope. If you live in Southern Ontario, the chances of them making it through the first 48 hours in the ground without squirrels getting to them is pretty slim. I’ve had…

Yellow daffodils

8 ways you’ll know it’s bulb time

When’s a good time to plant flower bulbs in the fall for a good show come next spring? Heaps of bagged bulbs are appearing everywhere from garden nurseries to grocery stores so you’d figure that now, now, now is the best time. But there isn’t actually that much of a rush here in Southern Ontario.…

Cabbage in flower bed

Brassica rising

As much as I loathe seeing Halloween candy already lining grocery store shelves, I love the flip-side to putting autumn in overdrive–finding cool weather plants that take over garden beds and containers with all the subtly of a Mac truck. Great big orange domes of neatly clipped chrysanthemums lining a front walkway. Constellations of purple…

Lilies

The scent of a lily

Roses always get the credit for having fabulous fragrances. You can’t deny that perfumers have been laughing all the way to the bank on the popularity of their scent. Even when Coco wanted to reinvent women’s perfume, she still held on to a sumptuous rose note in Chanel No. 5. But yesterday morning, the heat…