Flowering Echinacea with trees in the background show good gardening to combat climate change.

7 gardening ideas for fighting climate change

As Earth Day approaches, I can’t help thinking about how many indicators of climate change can be found simply by looking out my own back door. We’ve all seen them, from plants flowering and songbirds arriving earlier than ever to wonky weather patterns. Should we start changing the way we garden? Can what we plant…

Trees that feed bees

In spring, you can’t swing a bat in a garden centre without sending a display of bee-friendly flowers flying. Everyone’s on the bee-saving bandwagon and that’s a good thing. But even though we’re heading into autumn, you can still plant for beauty and the bees. Add a nectar-producing tree to your garden. Some of the…

Plant sign

Bee positive: Making a change in the garden and at the store

As the gardening season reaches full swing, promoting awareness about our beleaguered bugs has ramped up as well. Everywhere I turn, I’m finding articles and opinion pieces on the need to add pollinator-friendly plants to our gardens. On a recent garden tour organized by the Toronto Botanical Gardens, I kept finding little plastic signs stuck into flower…

Salvia in September

This salvia is a true blue winner

I don’t normally plant annuals in my flower beds. I’d rather invest in perennials that are going to come back year after year. And I splurge on ephemeral annuals for my pots where I can spotlight them in all their delicate and exotic glory. If a plant can’t survive our Southern Ontario winters then it’s…

Impatiens on shelves

Big box plants bad for bees?

Can a bee-friendly garden actually kill bees rather than help them? An article published last June on wired.com reported that gardeners may be accidentally poisoning bees when they purchase what they think are bee-friendly flowers at big box stores in the U.S. and Canada. Several named store brands in the article were found to be selling…

Pots of herbs

Herbs for people and pollinators

While we humans are savouring the prospects of fresh herbs plucked from our own potager garden (homemade pizza with fresh basil, potato salad with chopped chives, cucumbers tossed with dill, mmmmmmm) there are plenty of friendly flying critters, from bumblebees to lacewings, butterflies to hummingbirds, probably going through their own mental list of nom-nom-noms right…

Garden on a roof

Hi-rise help for bees

Even if you live in a skyscraper, if you’ve got a balcony (or a flat roof), you can help save bees and other pollinators. The Home Garden Seed Association recently reported that flowers don’t have to be growing in ground-level beds to attract bees and butterflies. If you plant them, they will find you–just about…

Old School Gardener

Bee Positive

Cute illustration. Great (read: easy) ideas. And it helps you help bees. Love this post from fellow gardening blogger Nigel Boldero aka Old School Garden. If you’re thinking of adding a new flower bed to your garden, check out this plan. Bee Positive.

Witch hazel blooms

Hug a shrub, help a critter

I just got the cutest poster in the mail. Hand-drawn pictures of flowers, shrubs and trees illustrated “Ontario’s pollinator pals”–pollinator-friendly plants that Ontario Nature is suggesting you plant in your garden. It’s a good idea. Bees, butterflies, moths and birds help spread pollen so that more plants grow. We should help these critters by supplying…

Honeycomb

The buzz continues: More reasons to look twice at pesticides

ipolitics.ca reported that Prince Edward County, right here in Southern Ontario, has become the first municipality in the country to ban (albeit temporarily) a controversial insecticide believed to be killing bees. Let’s take a step back a minute to appreciate this. The article mentions that “Scientists estimate one-third of all plants and plant products eaten…

Bee and bug nest idea

Help for the hive-nots: a solo bee primer

You may not have heard the buzz yet but now’s the time to keep bees in mind. April’s slightly warmer weather means garden clean-up goes into high gear and that can be a big problem for bees–solitary bees, that is. First, a quick note on the difference between solitary bees and honey bees. Honey bees…