Thursday, April 30th, 2020

PURPLE PLANTS – FROM GARDEN TO TABLE

When colour giant Pantone declares its annual Color of the Year, everyone from fashion leaders to interior designers take notice, and before long we start to see the colour all around us. We were overjoyed and very much on board when Ultra Violet got top honours for 2018, because purple just happens to be one of our favourite colours in the garden!

It’s no secret that colours have serious power – take a look at how the beautiful blooms you choose can affect things like mood and energy here – but our love for purple goes beyond the aesthetic. Fruits and vegetables of this hue have been linked to many health benefits that prevent disease and enhance our wellness.

Studies indicate that antioxidants produced by purple power foods can:  

  • reduce the risk of high blood pressure
  • lower cholesterol
  • help prevent obesity and diabetes
  • assist in lowering the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological diseases
  • reduce inflammation and therefore chronic disease
  • aid cognitive functions
  • help prevent urinary tract infections, fight ulcers, and reduce liver damage and diseases which affect cell development

So with all of that in mind, here are a few of our favourite ways to put some purple on our plates!

 

Purple Ruffles Basil

Why we love it: The large purple leaves of this basil plant have both a strong fragrance and flavour.

How to serve: We recommend using this basil to create colourful and flavourful herb vinegars.

Cosmic Purple Carrots

Why we love it: Who says you can’t mess with an old favourite? These beautiful carrots will not only make your side dishes more lovely, the flesh is also particularly sweet.

How to serve: Try it cooked in a side dish, or add some colour and variety to snack time and enjoy raw.

Red Ball Brussel Sprouts

Why we love it: These little beauties are sweeter than your average brussel sprout, and pack an even heavier nutritional punch.

How to serve: Pull the leaves apart for a lovely salad, serve whole drizzled with a creamy hollandaise sauce, or go with a classic roasted method to get these on your table.

Pomegranate Crunch Romaine Lettuce

Why we love it: Is the name enough reason? Think of this lettuce as a cross between romaine and butterhead varieties.

How to serve: The salad possibilities are endless!

Honeyberry or Haskap

Why we love it: The first reason to love this berry is its sheer hardiness; this plant was made for the Canadian prairies, just like us. The second reason is that nutritional studies show the haskap to have antioxidant levels similar to or perhaps even greater than blueberries! The plant attracts butterflies to your yard, and the berries are delicious.

How to serve: Eat fresh, or make preserves.

Ruby Mizuna Mustard

Why we love it: It looks pretty and tastes great, but a major reason to love this plant is how easy and versatile it is to grow. Expect great results in cooler soil and winter harvests, in outdoor containers, or right in your kitchen.

How to serve: This plant makes for tasty microgreens or delicious and nutritious salads.  

Frontenac Grape

Why we love it: This grape is perfect for making wine… need we say more? Aside from its edible properties, it also makes a great landscaping component for hedges and screening.

How to serve: Try your hand at making juice or wine!

Long Purple Eggplant

Why we love it: The eggplant is such a beautiful purple that “eggplant” has become a colour in its own right. This particular variety is productive and hardy.

How to serve: Try in a stir-fry, or roasted in the oven.

Purple Peacock Pole Beans

Why we love it: These beans are a triple threat! They flower and produce quickly, provide an extremely prolific yield – as long as you pick them, they’ll keep coming in – and they retain flavour extremely well after being picked. Basically there are no reasons NOT to love them.

How to serve: Any way you enjoy green beans will translate – we like these lightly steamed!

Saskatoon

Why we love it: Ah, the saskatoon, that uniquely prairie berry. Like its cousin the haskap, this plant is hardy and versatile, and the berries are lovely but also delicious.

How to serve: If you’ve never had saskatoon pie, you’re not really living. Okay, that might be a little dramatic, but it really is a must-try!

Northcountry blueberry

Why we love it: This beautiful plant produces clusters of lovely little blueberries that are sweet and juicy. So long as you get the soil and drainage formula right, you can expect a bumper crop from this plant.

How to serve: Really, you can enjoy these in almost any way. Sprinkle them fresh on cereal, salads, or ice cream, mix up blueberry pancakes, bake in pies or crisps, make jellies, jams, and preserves… the list is endless!

Some cultures consider purple to be the colour of royalty, and it’s not hard to see why! Add this shade to your garden and your table, and you’ll feel like you’re eating like a king.

Long live purple!

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

COMPOSING DESIGNER CONTAINERS

Nothing adds beauty and curb appeal to a home or business like beautifully designed planters. Plants and flowers add so much life, texture, and colour to walkways and outdoor areas, not to mention the huge variety of gorgeous containers that are stunning in their own right! Our design team can create planters that will completely transform your space through our Container Design and Installation Service, or if you looking to take a DIY approach, we have beautiful containers, gorgeous plants, and everything else you need to create a stunning arrangement. Whether you’re want to amp up your home’s first impression or transform your patio into an tranquil oasis, here are our designers’ top tips on creating a perfectly composed container.

Step 1. Decide on a look you love

Think about the colours, textures, and fragrances you’re drawn to. Do you like a monochromatic, modern look? Or do you prefer an energetic mix of bright colors, or sweet pastels? There are no limits and no wrong answers here – it’s all about what you like!

You’ll want to know the size and shape of your container and its general placement before you move on to choosing your plants, so start by selecting a container (or containers) that compliment the aesthetics of your home or business, and then start picking out your plants.

Step 2. Choose your “thrillers”

Think of these plants as the star of your show – you want to choose your thriller first, then plan the rest of the cast around it. Thrillers have attention-getting characteristics like bright or dramatic flowers, interesting foliage, or an unusual form. You also want your thrillers to be the tallest plant in your arrangement, so keep that in mind when casting your starring role.

Some of our favourite thrillers: Dracaena Spikes, Canna Lily, Banana Plant, King Tut Grass, Prince Tut Grass, Purple Millet, Cordyline, Dahlia

Step 3. Choose your “fillers”

Filler plants do just what the name suggests: they nestle around your thriller to fill out your container, without competing for attention. The best fillers are generally mounded plants of a medium height – the ideal height will depend on how tall your thriller is – and they should contrast and compliment your thriller plant in colour and texture, for a combination that’s both interesting and beautiful.

Some of our favourite fillers: Lantana, Coleus, Geranium, Sun-Patiens, Heuchera, Celosia, Strawflower, Osteospermum

Step 4. Choose your “spillers”

Last but certainly not least are the spillers. These trailing plants that spill over the sides of your container might just be our favourite parts of a container arrangement; they add a lushness and beauty to any planter display that really take the composition to the next level. And there are so many beautiful options to choose from!

Some of our favourite spillers: Silver Falls Dichondra, Bacopa, Millionbells, Sweet Potato Vine, Lobelia, Creeping Charlie, Trailing Verbena, Vinca, Doreanthus Mezoo, Lysimachia Goldilocks  

Step 5. Put it all together!

Once you have your plants picked out and your container ready, it’s time to build your composition! We like to set the plants into the container and move them around until we come up with the perfect arrangement, before planting them into the soil.

Start by placing your thriller, and be sure to consider how your container will be viewed when you decide on where this plant goes. If your container sits in a location where it will be viewed from all four sides, you’ll likely want to place your thriller in the centre, but if your container will only be seen from one side, it’s likely ideal to set your thriller in the back. Once you’ve got this down, start arranging your fillers around the thriller, and set your spillers in place as well. You want your container to feel full and lush, but don’t forget to leave a little room for your plants to grow!

Now that you’re inspired, drop by and gather up the containers, plants and supplies you need. You can find more inspiration by ordering a free copy of Proven Winners Gardener’s Idea Book here, or explore Container Garden Recipe Ideas here.

Time to start dreaming!

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

EARLY SPRING PLANTER

Don’t let the early spring showers and sunbeams fool you — those long-awaited frost-free days of summer are still a good few weeks away. But for those of us that can’t wait to fill our planters with something pretty in the meantime, this is the perfect project for beautifying your containers.  For early spring, the key is using plants that are cold-tolerant. Here, we used pansies, which are one of the only plants which are hardy enough to handle varied springtime conditions, along with pussywillow branches which. Pussywillows are easy to find along ditches and at the edge of the woods – get out your pruners and snip some free branches!

Let’s start planting!

You may already know that the ‘tried and true’ composition for a show-stopping planter design includes a thriller, a filler and a spiller.

  • The thriller being the attention-grabber, and visual anchor for the pot — the large pussy willow branches in this case.
  • The filler is a mid-height component that fills out the design — our shorter pussy willows twigs play this role nicely.
  • And, finally, and the spiller effectively spills down and trails over the pot’s edge — that’s where the pansies come in. And while these varieties of pansies won’t truly spill out of the planter, the pop of colour near the bottom provides an element of contrast.

With these three components working together, you have a cohesive design that is pleasing to the eye. The result is a fresh and joyful spring planter that will withstand whatever weather spring throws at us — perfect for spring! Our pansies are available for online purchase right now!

Words + photos by Sarah Carson @the.botanical

 

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

THE POWER OF FLOWERS

By the time winter starts to recede, most of us are longing for a little colour in our surroundings! While spring is taking its time this year, our greenhouses are filled with rows and rows of bright, happy flowers to bring into your home like hydrangeas, orchids, azaleas, jasmine, chrysanthemums, and bromeliads that will help you make it through these last days of white and brown before the outdoors comes to life.  

Colourful flowers aren’t just a way to surround yourself with a little beauty and brighten up your space – different colours can have very real effects on your mood and energy, too!

Pink tends to feel caring, joyful, and nurturing. Choosing red blooms can create a feeling of excitement and energy, and is even thought to have a positive effect on the immune system!

Orange and yellow are generally found to create feelings like optimism and happiness. These colours are also often associated with food, which means they might be the perfect choice for your kitchen or dining room.

While we love a brightly coloured bloom, we always have a soft spot for white flowers too. White makes your room feel clean, calm, and open, with a classic and timeless beauty.

And don’t forget about all that greenery that comes with your flowers! Green is one of the colours we love most, and it brings with it feelings of tranquility, health, and harmony. If you’re looking to create a calming or peaceful environment, green is the perfect colour to get you there.

See what colours are blooming in-store right now by browsing our Full Flower gallery!

Enjoy your blooms!

Hours of Inspiration

Monday-Friday / 10am-5pm
Saturday / 9am-5pm
Sunday / 12pm-5pm

Curbside Pickup Hours
Tuesday-Saturday / 10am-4:30pm

Shelmerdine Garden Centre Ltd.

7800 Roblin Boulevard
Headingley, MB R4H 1B6

Phone: 204.895.7203
Fax: 204.895.4372
Send Us An Email!

Back to Top