Monday, June 29th, 2020


We can certainly appreciate the natural beauty of a deer stepping through a forest or quietly making its way across the prairie. But, deer and gardens definitely do not mix. Deer are not uncommon in Winnipeg backyards. It can be tricky to keep them from eating your plants and trees. Here are a few tips and products that will help you prevent your yard from becoming a deer feeding ground.

The only sure thing

The only sure and permanent way to keep deer out is to construct a garden deer fence. To eliminate the chance of a deer jumping the fence, it needs to be sturdy and at least seven-and-a-half to eight-feet high. That’s a big investment that many of us don’t want to go to those lengths (or should we say heights?!). So let’s discuss deterrent products, which can be very effective when used properly.

Keep deer away by staying one step ahead

Deer are surprisingly undiscriminating when it comes to what they will eat, and they’re also incredibly adaptive. There’s a good chance that those you see in your yard from time to time are repeat visitors since deer don’t typically travel far. Varying the types of garden deer repellents, rotating them throughout the season and changing tacts, often are crucial to ward off deer.

We recommend using Bobbex, which deters by taste, and Plantskydd, which deters by smell. Use these products intermittently, starting in the spring.  Another variation to add to the mix is an electronic deterrent like Yard Gard, which is motion-activated to produce ultrasound waves unwelcoming to animals.

Whatever products you use, the key is to mix it up and start early in the season – remember that prevention is a lot easier than interrupting an established pattern! In addition to being useful, these products are also completely safe for your family and pets. They don’t harm deer in any way either.

Gardened stone path

Deer-resistant plants are a guideline, not a rule

Deer tend to avoid plants that are sticky, rough, fuzzy or plants with spiny protection. They also dislike fragrant leaves or a pungent flavour. However, take any list of “deer-resistant” plants with a grain of salt because deer will eat almost any plant if hungry enough. They will overcome their preferences if it means an easy meal, mainly when nothing better is readily available.

You can see a list of plants that deer are not attracted to right here. It may help to use these plants on the perimeter of your garden, creating a kind of fence around the plants that deer enjoy. Keeping wild grassy areas trimmed and cleaned can also prevent deer from being tempted to bed down.  

Staking a tree

Protecting your trees

Deer are notorious for eating cedars and evergreens in the winter when nutrients are scarce. Deer are also known to strip the leaves off of young trees in the summer months. To keep deer away from your trees, create a perimeter around them with stakes and securely wrap wire mesh (such as chicken wire) around the stakes. Be sure to make a wide enough boundary that deer can’t merely eat the foliage right through the mesh.

We know it can be frustrating, but with a little patience and persistence, your yard and garden can co-exist with the deer passing through it. If you need additional tips or resources, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us—we’re always happy to help.

Make a plan, stick with it, and watch your garden flourish!  

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020


It’s official. Flower crowns have graduated from another online #trend to classic summer fare — and we’re loving them! Whether simple and elegant or big and bold, flower crowns are a festive way to elevate any wedding, garden party, bridal shower, or summertime brunch.

Flower crowns are also super fun to make, perfect for an afternoon of playing with greenery with a few friends. Read on for our simple guide to creating your own flower crown.

What you’ll need:

  • Floral wire
  • Floral tape
  • Sturdy scissors (or floral scissors)
  • Greenery and flowers of your choice

How To:

  1. Create your base – Shape the floral wire into a circular shape, using the crown of your head as a guide (hint: add 2″ to the diameter of your head, as it’s much easier to tighten the shape afterward than it is to make it bigger). Secure the wire and wrap ends with floral tape.
  2. Add greenery – Next, put your greenery to work. Use short lengths of wire (floral tape works, too) to secure pieces of greenery all the way around the base to hide the wire. Eucalyptus, rosemary sprigs, and other sturdy greenery lend themselves well here.
  3. Embellish with flowers – Remember, the flowers will expire within a day or even shorter in hot weather, so stick with smaller blooms such as baby’s breath, or ‘tough’ blooms such as strawflowers. In terms of method, cut flower stems to about two inches so that they are all the same length and trim off any leaves. Then spiral the stem with floral wire to fasten to the base. Once again, make use of floral tape to tidy up loose ends or to attach more delicate stems.  
  4. Consider adding ribbon or lace – For a more feminine or bohemian look, add little touches of ribbon or lace.

Remember, there is no one way to create a flower crown — let your creativity flow and let your inner flowerchild have fun!

Here’s to a summer of flower and love-filled celebrations!

Words + Photos by Sarah Carson @the.botanical

Monday, June 15th, 2020


Shelmerdine Blog Image


The eyes need to eat too!

With #toast enjoying its time in the limelight, an easy, impressive summer brunch has never been easier to create.  Simply arm yourself with a hearty, crusty bread and inventive toppings and you’re on your way to an impressive and fun meal.   As with all things in life if you’re really hoping to step it up a notch, bring fresh flowers into the mix. Flowers make any occasion colourful, fresh, and undeniably festive.

What kind of flowers, you ask? That’s up to you, just be sure they’re an edible variety. Here we used peonies and marigolds, but wild rose, chive blossoms, nasturtiums or pansies would be other great options.  To make this toast into a meal, we used use ricotta cheese, flower-infused honey and blueberries for a sweet treat. The culinary combinations are endless!

The loveliest part? Any leftover ingredients can be used to decorate the table.

Words + Photos by Sarah Carson @the.botanical


Friday, June 5th, 2020


The single most popular flowering shrub in our region has to be the head-turning hydrangea, with its gorgeous large blooms. Its popularity is no surprise, since there are so many reasons to love this stunning shrub. Reasons like:

  • Colourful, vibrant blossoms all season long
  • Perfect for cut flower arrangements indoors
  • Thrives in our climate, and overwinters extremely well

Chances are good that you already have a hydrangea or two in your garden, but with so many lovely varieties to choose from, there’s every reason to try something new! The hardest part will be deciding which option to add to your yard, so to get you inspired, we’ve asked John, our Nursery Manager, to share his five favourite hydrangea varieties for 2018. Here are John’s top picks:

Invincibelle Limetta  

“This is a new dwarf variety that tops out at 2-3 feet in height and diameter, and features enormous lime green flower heads in mid-summer.”


Invincibelle Mini Mauvette

“One of my favourites, this dwarf hydrangea shows off deep pink-mauve flower heads in summer.”


Invincibelle Wee White

“This dwarf, rounded selection tops off at 2-3 feet in size, and features pretty white flower heads in summer.”


Invincibelle Ruby Smooth

“The Invincibelle Ruby features enormous ruby-red and silver-pink flower heads in mid-summer, which last for a very long time.”


Incrediball Blush Smooth

“This variety produces huge flower clusters on sturdy stems, and blooms from mid- to late-summer.”


Come by our nursery to snap up your favourite, and while you’re here, don’t hesitate to ask John or any of our helpful staff for tips and recommendations about whatever you’re growing this summer. And if you’re still stuck on which hydrangea variety to choose, check out some fun facts about colour when it comes to the power of flowers.

Always in bloom… we’ll see you soon!


Monday, June 1st, 2020


A soft, inviting lawn is one of our favourite parts of summer – great for kids, fun for your dog, and a perfect place to lay down a blanket and have a picnic or just read a book. Plus, a well-kept lawn really ratchets up the curb appeal of your home! With that in mind, here are a few of our professional mowing dos and don’ts, to help you achieve the lawn of your dreams.

Blades and bags:

  • Do: Have your lawn mower blades sharpened before the mowing season begins and check them once a month. Sharp blades make a clean cut, while dull blades make ragged cuts that don’t heal well.
  • Don’t: Use a bag to collect grass clippings. The clippings actually feed and fertilize your lawn as they break down.

Lawn length:

  • Do: Cut your lawn “high.” Grass should be trimmed only to about three inches. That little bit of length helps limit weed growth, reduces the need for watering, and promotes strong root structure.
  • Don’t: Buzz-cut an overgrown lawn to “get back on schedule.” Instead, cut the grass back in increments, never by more than a third of its current length.

The right time to mow:

  • Do: Take any chemical, weather, or moisture changes into consideration before deciding to mow, rather than following a strict schedule.
  • Don’t: Cut your lawn obsessively. Like any plant, grass needs time to recover after being cut. Plus, excessive use will only wear out your mower.
  • Don’t: Mow your lawn when it’s wet. This causes damage to both your mower blades and your grass.

Extra nutrients make extra green and healthy grass:

  • Do: Try an iron supplement! Get the greenest lawn on the block by applying this Iron Chelate.   
  • Don’t: Bag your leaves in fall. Mowing or mulching leaves into your grass will provide your lawn with a good source of nitrogen, encouraging healthy growth come spring.  

These really simple adjustments to your mowing habits can make such a big difference that’s it’s worth it think twice before you fire up the mower! Plus, a well-kept lawn will be a less-enticing place for deer to bed down, and that means less risk of your trees and garden being eaten – see more here.

And of course, there’s that fresh-cut grass smell – enjoy!  

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
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