Plants to Celebrate Spring’s Return

Late winter into early spring is when we crave fresh growth, a bit of color…some sign that spring is really returning!! Swelling buds on Pussy Willow and dainty Snowdrop blooms – which might be overlooked or scoffed at if amongst the lushness of summer plant life – bring excitement, praise and hope! These are soon followed by bolder displays, as the likes of Forsythia, Tulips, Magnolias and more burst into bloom and cement our certainty of spring’s return! Continue reading “Plants to Celebrate Spring’s Return”

Beneficial Mulches Assist with Chemical-Free Garden Health

Benefits of Mulching

Long before modern day use as a purely decorative element, mulch had an established history of benefitting plants, soil and gardeners. This is still its highest calling. A good layer of beneficial mulch can reduce stress on plants by regulating soil temperatures and reducing moisture loss and competition from weeds. In the veggie garden it also helps keep leafy veggies from getting splashed with dirt each
time it rains. Beneficial mulches do their final good deed when they break-down and enrich the soil as they age. All of these benefits mean the gardener gets healthy soil and plants with less time spent on watering, weeding, fertilizing…and washing grit out of salad greens! Not applying chemical fertilizers and reducing watering also means fewer chemicals in the environment and more green in the wallet. Continue reading “Beneficial Mulches Assist with Chemical-Free Garden Health”

Helpful Garden Reference Links

Landscape Calculator for mulch, stones, plants, etc. created by professional landscape contractors.

Pest I.D. for Vegetables. Clear Insect photos, descriptions, damage details and management suggestions.

Plants best suited for Pollinators in your region. Zip code search tool courtesy of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. Leads to full guidebooks for specific regions. Pollinators list on page 16 of each guidebook.

Native Plant Guidance search features for finding plants native to an area, nurseries selling them and organizations offering information about or assistance with natives.

Toxic and non-toxic plants for pets. Courtesy of ASPCA. Plant photos and descriptions with exposure/ingestion symptoms listed. Searchable by toxic, non-toxic and specific pet; cat, dog, horse.

USDA hardiness zones explained

USDA Hardiness Zone Map Clickable to general regions of country.

Canadian Hardiness Info  Provides current hardiness information for all of Canada. Also compares to USDA zone mapping and collects fresh data to update zone information accurately.

Tree InformationTrees Are Good” provides detailed information on selection, planting and care of trees.

Perennials – A Garden Investment

Perennials come back year after year and give an excellent return on a gardener’s investment of time, energy and money. Perennials can provide a beautifully shifting display of texture and color throughout the seasons, without the removing and replacing of plants that would be needed to bring a fresh look to annual plantings. Most can be divided, after 3-5 growing seasons, providing additional plants to expand the landscape or share with other gardeners. Compared to Annuals, time and money demands for feeding and watering are also much less and the tasks of transporting, planting, removing and disposing of them every season are unnecessary.