Fill up your garden!

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I’m sure you’ve heard about the mass bee deaths and now the fate of the monarch butterflies is raising red flags. What is a homeowner to do? Plant bee and butterfly friendly gardens! If you don’t think that your little garden can help the pollinators and other ecologically important bugs, you’re wrong. At the local bee meetings I attend we are hearing that urban bee keeping may be key in keeping sustainable bee populations, and urban bees need urban gardens. The Grow a Dream plant sale is happening tomorrow at the Concession Street Festival. From 11:00am until 6:00pm come and stop by our tent and we’ll help you fill up your garden. You can feel good about helping the bees and butterflies, and you can also feel good about helping out the Juravinski Cancer Centre. Win-win! See you tomorrow.

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The kindness of strangers is a recipe for new friendships

Joan has been out and about collecting perennials from generous gardeners, and we’ve both been helping neighbours with their gardening and being rewarded with perennials for the plant sale. Joan has even been out helping people she happens to meet with their gardening. She has been on the receiving end of: “If you do my gardening, you can take what you want.” So she does, but only takes some, not too much, so that gardens remain pretty and full.

And then there are those that reply to her Kijiji ad which asks for perennial donations. Jane is one such person. She has written a beautiful post about Joan and Grow a Dream on her website. You can read the article by clicking here. Jane is also a Hamiltonian with an Etsy Shop featuring upcycled jewelry. I always love finding new Canadian shop owners on Etsy, don’t you?

Thanks to everyone who donated perennials to the Grow a Dream fundraiser! We have a whole host of plants just waiting for a new garden; maybe yours? We couldn’t do this without your support. Thank you!!! Hopefully we’ll meet some new friends and reconnect with old ones at the Festival this SATURDAY!

My kid ate grass seed and edible groundcovers…

We’ve been working on fixing up our lawn which took quite a hit over the long, frigid winter. I’d prefer no grass, but with a puppy and an active, outdoor loving child, we find grass works best for us. My husband laid some new soil in the many bare patches and spread out some seed. Our daughter helped with the seed. We recently did an experiment where we grew bean seeds in different mediums (coffee grinds, soil, and vermicompost). You can see where this is going right? So, she ate some grass seed to see if it would sprout in her tummy so that she can poop out a lawn. Yep, I’m a proud mama! (Don’t worry; we had a talk about the dangers of eating things that we find outside).

And so, while we wait for our grass seed to grow and excrete… here is an awesome slideshow that highlights groundcovers that you may actually want to eat.

Do you have a fairy garden?

Now that the weather is warming up a tich we have been spending a lot more time outside. We’ve been slowly cleaning up the gardens and all the branches and twigs from the December ice storm, but we’ve also been adding a little bit of colour by way of a fairy garden.

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After many summers of having my flowers picked, garden stones unturned, sticks planted, and my bird bath home to many witches brew by a gaggle of girls, this year I decided to give them their own dedicated space, and a portable one at that.

Grampa found an old wheelbarrow, cleaned it up and painted it. We drilled a few holes in the bottom for drainage and filled the bottom with styrofoam “popcorn” to keep it light so it can easily be moved around the yard. We added some soil and then got to work decorating. I purchased a few birdhouses at the dollar store and cut out the doors. We painted them with outdoor paint in vibrant colours and added them to the wheelbarrow garden. The paths are made with shells and glow in the dark stones and we added a bird bath made from shells. We just need to add some flowers (as soon as it warms up).

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Need help finding shrubs that grow in the shade.

I have a lot of shade in my garden due to a giant, old birch tree. We thought maybe we’d have to take down the birch after the December ice storm, but it seems okay. The neighbour’s tree did more damage to the birch than the ice. I have one spot behind the birch that gets zero sun. There used to be some old shrubs that grew along the fence, but since our other neighbour half built a fence in front of the existing fence, I can no longer see into their yard (sigh of relief). And so, last weekend I dug out the old mangled shrubs. Now I have to decide what to plant there. I’d love a lush patch of various hostas, but then there is puppy. So shrubs it it. Any suggestions?

 

Muffin tins + Planting Seeds

I’ve been saving all my muffin tins. There seems to come to a point when they no longer look like you should be making food in them. I usually use them as paint trays for crafting, but now I have another incredible use for them. Thanks to Cathy at Tar2trees who pointed out that you can use muffin trays to as a template for planting seeds. Genius!

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Gardening DIY (until it warms up enough outside)

The sun is shining, the air temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius, and I just want to take my shovel to the dirt and my rake to the lawn. But… it is too early. So instead, I’m going to get my gardening on indoors. I’m going to do some seed starting on the cheap, and a few other fun gardening projects from around the web:

That should keep me busy for a while, no?