Creating Pollinator-Friendly Gardens

Looking to attract more bees, butterflies, and birds to your yard? Here are a few tips for creating a pollinator-positive space: Keep in mind that you don’t want to limit the pollinator-attracting blooms to just the height of summer – think about spring through late fall. Make sure to include lots of native varieties. Often times ‘new and improved’ varieties are bred for certain attributes like colour, height, and form, and tend to be sterile. Amp up the biodiversity in your yard – bees especially like a wide range of plants to gather nectar and pollen from. Think about their shelter as well – some bees nest in rotted logs or in the ground, so if you have an area you can allow to get a bit wild, let it go! Consider purchasing a bee house, or click here to learn how to build you own! Think about adding white clover to your lawn – it’s tough, easy-growing, and wonderful for bees. We carry it in bulk at Southview, and we consistently hear only positive things about it as a grass substitute. Provide water sources as well. Birdbaths are great for birds, but consider adding shallow plates of water around for bees to drink from. Add a few rocks on the plate as a landing pad. Encourage other people in your neighbourhood to add vistas of pollinator-attracting plants!   Pollinator-Attracting Perennials Milkweed (Asclepsis) Echinacea Geranium Sedum Bee balm (Monarda) Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) Hollyhock (Alcea) Allium Russian Sage (Perovskia) Obedient Plant (Physostegia) Perennial Sage (Salvia) Aster Coreopsis Delphinium Hosta Phlox Crocus Herbs like thyme, oregano, mint and lavender Catmint (Nepeta)...
Make your own vertical edible pallet garden

Make your own vertical edible pallet garden

If you visited the greenhouse last summer you may have noticed our vertical pallet garden out in the front of the store. It was such an enjoyable project and we had so much positive feedback about it that we thought you’d like to make one of your own at home! It’s really fun to watch grow and change as the season progresses, completely customizable, and pretty simple to do yourself. Materials needed: One wood pallet – look for one that’s in good shape and has evenly-spaced slats that are wide enough to get plants in between. Hose it off. Landscape fabric – enough to cover the back and sides of the pallet twice (our pallet was about 4’x3.25’, so we used around 30sq’ total) Staple gun Light potting soil A selection of herbs, greens, edible flowers, and whatever else you desire   Step 1: Landscape Fabric Measure, cut and staple two layers of landscape fabric to the back, sides, and bottom of your pallet. Hold it taught and staple generously. Cut and staple a temporary piece for the top as well – this is to prevent the soil from falling out while you fill it and will be removed in a couple of weeks. Bring your prepared pallet to a sunny area off the ground where it can stay laying down for a couple weeks while things get rooted in.   Step 2: Soil Fill with soil. It’s best to use a light potting mix. The amount depends on the size of your pallet, but a quick volume calculation should help you out (length x width x height). According...
Top 5 Reasons to Love Succulents

Top 5 Reasons to Love Succulents

By Shannon McGloin Succulents have gained a crazy amount of popularity over the last few years, and for good reason! If you’ve refrained from believing the hype, it’s time to overcome your prejudice and hop on the succulent train! Here are my top 5 reasons to love succulents. 1. Lots of Variety!  There’s a ton of variety as far as colour, leaf shape, and plant structure go, so there’s a lot to choose from. One of the most popular succulents, Jade plants (Crassula ovata), which are often grown as houseplants, have bright green, rounded, fleshy leaves. ‘Flapjack’ Kalanchoes have huge, flat leaves, which are minty green edged with red. Sedums come in endless colours – bright yellow, blues, pinky red, shades of green, rusty brown – and so many forms. Echeveria can have purpley-pink leaves arranged in a rosette, or fuzzy, green-grey, arrow-shaped leaves. Rounded, pointy, juicy, skinny, fuzzy – these are just a few examples of the extensive variety in the wonderful world of succulents.     2. Excellent Drought Tolerance  Probably the most attractive (and most widely touted) feature of succulents is their excellent drought tolerance. Their fleshy leaves hold in most of the plant’s moisture, so their watering requirements are much more seldom than that of the majority of flowering annuals. They’re the perfect choice for a hot, sunny spot where other things may not grow, and you don’t have to worry about them if you hop over to camp for the long weekend. 3. They’re Low Maintenance In addition to being drought tolerant, most succulents are also really easy they are to take care of, making them...
The Poetics of Gardening

The Poetics of Gardening

I have in my care two linen-bound tomes on the propagations of perennials. Both books, written decades ago, contain an elegance long missing from today’s books on gardening. The publishers of these books weren’t concerned about niche marketing; thus, there is no dumbing down. Not even close. In fact, reading these books is akin to a take-home course on botany, poetry and Greek mythology. They are charming in their sagacious adages( “Nothing without labour”)and nostalgic in their references (“yester-year” anyone?)

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