Monday, July 16th, 2018

Outdoor Living: Caring for Your Hanging Baskets

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of summer, and our gardens are officially at prime lushness! If you picked up some flowering hanging baskets at the start of the season that you’re struggling to keep looking fresh and full, here are 4 quick tips for making sure that your baskets are only more beautiful as the summer stretches on.

Tip 1: Cut back leggy plants to clean up their shape and promote new growth.

As mid-summer comes around, plants in hanging baskets can start to look straggly – around here, you’ll hear our garden experts say it’s time to ‘give it a good haircut!’ Aggressively cutting back plants like verbena, petunias, and impatiens will encourage new growth, and a new set of fresh blooms will emerge within a week! Just make sure you have a good set of pruners like the Gardena Classic Secateur.

Pro tip! Cut leggy stems back by about 2/3 of their length.

 

 

Tip 2: Baskets are susceptible to wind and are quick to dry out, so water often and thoroughly. 

Plants in containers generally need to be watered more often than those planted in the ground, and this is especially true for hanging baskets. You should expect to water hanging baskets every day, or even twice a day when temperatures or winds are really high. Run water over the center of the baskets and around the edges, and water until you see a continual stream pouring out of the bottom of the pot.

Pro tip! A quick way to assess whether your basket needs watering is to reach up and lift the pot from below – if the basket feels light, it really needs water.  

 

Tip 3: Deadhead blooming plants regularly to promote new blooms, and keep plants in good health.

As flowers fade and die, simply pinch the dead blooms off where they meet the stem. Not only will your plant be healthier, but you’ll be more likely to see another bloom before the season is over!

Pro tip! If you do a quick deadhead sweep each time you water your plant, the task will be quick and easy and your plant will always look its best.

 

 

Tip 4: Nutrients will leave the potting mix quickly due to frequent watering, so replenish soil by fertilizing.

Most hanging baskets are planted with a slow-release fertilizer in the soil mix, but after weeks of frequent watering you’ll need to top it up. Around mid-summer, start to feed your plant with a liquid fertilizer like Ultra Bloom Plant Food, and continue to add this to your watering routine every two weeks or so.

Pro tip! Always feed when soil is moist, and never when plants are wilting.   

 

If you’re still struggling with a particular plant, drop by or remember that you can always email our experts with your questions! And while you’re spending so much time in your outdoor spaces, get some inspiration and tips for beautiful container arrangements right here.

Enjoy the summer!

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Our Gardens: Protecting Your Garden from Deer

While we can certainly appreciate the natural beauty of a deer stepping through a forest or quietly making its way across the prairie, deer and gardens definitely do not mix. Deer are not uncommon in Winnipeg backyards, and although deterring them from eating your plants and trees can be tricky, there are a few tips and products that will help you prevent your yard from becoming a feeding ground for our wildlife neighbours.

The only sure thing

The only sure and permanent way to keep deer out is to construct a fence, but if you’re looking to completely eliminate the chance of a deer jumping the fence, it needs to be not only sturdy but at least seven-and-a-half to eight-feet high. Obviously, this is a big investment and many of us just don’t want to go to those lengths (or should we say heights?!), particularly when a large property is involved. This is where deterrent products come in, 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 extremely adaptive. Because deer typically don’t travel far distances over their lifetimes, there’s a good chance that those you see in your yard from time to time are repeat visitors. This all means that the key to warding off deer is to vary the types of deterrents you are using, rotating them throughout the season and changing tacts often so that your neighborhood deer do not get used to the products you’re using. We recommend using Bobbex, which deters by taste, and Plantskydd, which deters by smell, 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 that deter deer and other 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!

It’s nice to know that in addition to being effective, these products are also completely safe for your family and pets, and don’t harm deer in any way either.  

Deer-resistant plants are a guideline, but not a rule

It’s true that deer tend to avoid plants that are sticky, rough, or fuzzy, and plants with spiny protection. They also dislike fragrant leaves or a pungent flavour. However, any list of “deer-resistant” plants should be taken with a grain of salt, because if hungry enough, deer will eat almost any plant. As we’ve already mentioned, they’re also very good at adapting and will overcome their preferences if it means an easy meal, particularly when nothing better is readily available. So, just because a plant wouldn’t be a deer’s first choice, doesn’t mean it won’t end up suffering the fate of their more expected targets.

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, leaving the plants deer enjoy well within. Keeping wild, grassy areas trimmed and cleaned can also prevent deer from being tempted to bed down.  

Protecting your trees

Deer are notorious for eating cedars and evergreens in the winter, when nutrients are scarce, or stripping the leaves off of young trees that you are trying to get established in the summer months. To protect your trees, create a perimeter around them with stakes and securely wrap wire mesh (such as chicken wire) around the stakes. Be sure to create a wide enough perimeter that deer can’t simply 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 5th, 2018

Inspiration: Hydrangea Heaven

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!

 

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Our Gardens: The Dirt on Dirt

Healthy plants start with healthy soil! But with everything from bison manure to sea soil on our shelves, knowing what to grab, what to mix, and what does what can be a bit of a head scratcher. So in the interests of this whole issue becoming a lot clearer than mud, let’s get you the dirt on all the different kinds of dirt.

The dirt: Red River Basin Clay

What it does: Honestly… not a whole lot!
We love our hometown as much as anyone, but the soil around Winnipeg is notoriously tough on gardeners, due to the very high clay content. It is difficult to dig into, and low in nutrients.

How to use it: Break up the clay and add organic material
To see success in your garden, you’ll need to give your natural soil a little helping hand by both breaking up the clay and adding nutrients. In other words – read on!

 

The dirt: Claybuster

What it does: Loosens tight clay, to let air and water penetrate the soil

How to use it: Turn over clumps of soil in the fall, for great results come spring
While it can be used at any time, our preference is to apply claybuster in the fall. Spread generously, then work into your garden using a spade to lift large clumps of soil. Come spring, those clumps will melt like butter! Repeat yearly.

 

The dirt: Peat Moss

What it does: Loosens clay soil and improves texture; retains moisture and improves drainage
Peat moss has always been many a gardener’s favorite soil amendment, and will greatly improve our high clay content soil.

How to use it: Using liberal amounts, mix thoroughly with your existing soil

The dirt: Coir

What it does: Decomposes slowly while conditioning soil, improving moisture flow, and retaining water
Harvested from coconut husks, coir is naturally disease and weed free and 100% natural and renewable, making it an eco-friendly way to improve your soil. Coir will help your plants develop stronger root systems and improve soil’s nutrient and moisture retention – it holds up to 10 times its volume in water!  

How to use it: Mix with any soil (it’s especially great for sandy soil), or use it to line hanging baskets


The dirt: Compost

What it does: Improves soil texture, and adds a TON of nutrients
Compost trumps most other soil amendments due to the sheer amount of nutrients it contains. Compost can include everything from decomposed egg shells and banana peels to leaves and grass clippings – anything organic that has sufficiently broken down to look like rich, dark soil.

How to use it: Mix generous amounts of compost into soil

 

The dirt: Manure

What it does: Improves soil structure, and increases organic nutrient value
Similar to compost, manure will give your plants the food they need to grow and thrive. There is little difference between sheep, steer, and mushroom manure.

How to use it: Mix with soil in a ratio of up to 50/50
Bagged manure is odour-free and highly concentrated – a win-win!

 

The dirt: Bone Meal

What it does: Builds soil fertility over time, with a slow and steady release  
Bone meal contains lots of phosphorous for bigger, bolder blooms and stronger roots. It releases slowly and steadily, keeping your plants healthy and strong over time.

How to use it: Mix with any soils, but especially for use with roses, bulbs, and blooming plants

 

The dirt: Blood Meal

What it does: Gives anemic plants an organic boost; repels mice and other rodents  
High in nitrogen and fast-acting, blood meal is a perfect compliment to bone meal, which is why they are often mixed together in the same package.  

How to use it: Use together with bone meal

 

The dirt: Worm Castings

What it does: Cycles nutrients, consumes pathogens, and stabilizes soil  
This stuff is 100% organic black gold! It’s also worm poop, which has an amazing diversity of plant-beneficial biology. Along with cycling nutrients, worm castings will actually destroy pathogens, and even create stable soil aggregates – the perfect triple-threat for the healthiest of plants.

How to use it: Work into your garden for healthy, stable soil

The dirt: Wood or bark mulch

What it does: Breaks down over time to add organic matter; retains moisture, insulates, and keeps weeds at bay
Good gardeners know that mulch is the ticket to healthy soil and strong plant growth. Like the forest floor, organic mulches break down over time, contributing to soil health. Over the shorter-term, it retains moisture and reduces temperature fluctuations during the growing season, and insulates soil to minimize injury over the winter.

How to use it: Top up once a year to refresh appearance, maintaining a depth of 2 to 3 inches

Once your soil is up to snuff, you can be confident that the time and energy you put into planting and tending to your garden will be well worth it. If you’ve got a large project on your hands this year, remember that we deliver bulk loads of topsoil, compost, peat moss, sand, and other commodities to help make the process a little easier. Just a quick phone call to 204-895-7203 is all it takes, and we’ll deliver your order to your property in 2 days.

While you’ve got growing on the brain, check out our top 5 tips for growing herbs in containers!

Happy planting!

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Grow: Our Top Five Tips for Growing Herbs in Containers

Fresh basil on homemade pizza, fresh oregano in a pasta sauce, fresh thyme on roasted chicken – when it comes to cooking, fresh herbs are the secret to taking your dish from good to mouthwatering! Luckily, herbs are also one of the easiest things to grow and will thrive in containers, which means that you can blow your dinner guests, or just your family, away with homegrown scents and flavours that totally transform your cooking.

Here are our experts’ five essential tips to growing a vibrant and lush potted herb garden:

1. Grow organic

You may be surprised to learn what a difference this makes, but herbs grown in organic soil and with organic fertilizer have much better flavour and potency. We recommend using a quality organic soil like this one to get the best results. Don’t forget that regular feeding is an important step in caring for any plants, and it’s best to go organic here as well when it comes to growing herbs. During the growing season, feed your herbs with a slow-release organic fertilizer, or a half-strength solution of organic liquid fertilizer such as Sea Magic every three to four weeks.

2. Provide good drainage

Herbs thrive on good drainage, so before you do anything else, make sure that your pot has sufficient drainage holes. Elevating pots on pottery feet, bricks, stones, or even another pot turned upside-down can also help to improve drainage. And it’s not just your container or your pot placement that matters – well-draining soil is KEY! To help you on this front, we’ve created a lightweight and porous ‘Magic Mix’ that is perfect for herbs. The mix combines lava rock with organic soil for optimum drainage. You’ll want to be sure to grab some Magic Mix when you’re picking out your herbs to make sure you get the most out of your herb garden!

3. Plant with the herb varieties’ needs in mind

Chives are perennial and overwinter very well, so they are a great option for planting directly into the ground. Mint is an aggressive plant that will take over an entire area or container, so you’ll want to give it its very own pot. Watering needs will vary according to the variety of herb as well as the pot size and type, where you place the container, and the time of year, so be sure to consider all of these factors when planting.

4. Know when to water, and when to wait

Mediterranean and other drought-tolerant herbs such as rosemary, lavender, thyme, and oregano like soil that is on the dryer side, so let the potting soil dry slightly between waterings. For moisture lovers like basil and chives, keep the mix slightly moist – about as damp as a wrung-out sponge – at all times.

The best way to tell when it’s time to water is to let your finger be your guide. If the soil feels dry 1 to 2 inches below the surface, then it’s probably time to water. Be sure to do so thoroughly until you see water flowing freely from the pot’s drainage holes.

5. Pinch and harvest!

Remember that the more you pinch off and use your herbs, the more they’ll be encouraged to leaf out and produce. The result will be a bushier and more productive plant, so don’t be shy – snip those flavourful sprigs and flowering stems and get cooking! If you really want to get the most out of your herb garden, place your pots in close proximity to your kitchen; you really will use them more often. A wall planter like this one below can be hung in a sunny spot right in your kitchen!

Now that you’re prepped and ready to grow, get started by scrolling through this lovely list of fresh herbs that are popping up weekly in our nursery. Then, browse this helpful collection of specific tips for your favourites. You can make your selections with total abandon, or have fun with a theme like Mexican or Italian – it’s all up to you.

Now… what’s for dinner?!  

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

Grow: Purple is the perfect colour, 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!

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

How-to: Composing Beautiful Outdoor Planters

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 the beautiful containers, gorgeous plants, and everything else you need to create a stunning arrangement. Whether you 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!

Truckload Sale! Save 50% off a huge selection of outdoor pots!

Now that you’re inspired, make sure you drop by this week to take advantage of our truckload sale! Our beautiful selection of glazed ceramic containers is 50% off! We also have several free container gardening classes happening this week – see what’s available here. 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!

Monday, April 9th, 2018

At Home: 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!

Monday, March 26th, 2018

HOW TO: GARDENING WITH KIDS

If you stop to think about it, gardening might actually be the ideal activity for little ones. Most kids love to dig in dirt and splash in puddles, and are inherently curious about bugs, worms, butterflies, and bees. Taking advantage of this to get them involved in the garden has SO many benefits: they’ll be more connected to and aware of where their food comes from, they’ll learn important lessons about science, and conservation, and they’ll build a genuine and lifelong love of nature. Sure, you might end up doing a few extra loads of laundry, but that’s a small price to pay! A recent article from our friend Bernie Whetter, owner of The Green Spot Home & Garden in Brandon, got us thinking about kids and gardening, and now we’re sharing a few tips for getting your kids or grandkids interested in helping around the garden.  

 

Make sure they have some ownership

Something Bernie mentioned in his article that we really appreciated was ensuring that children have a sense of ownership around the garden. They’ll be a lot more invested if they feel like the garden is theirs, too. Don’t dictate every part the experience; loosen up and let kids truly be involved. It will be more fun for you this way too, we promise!

When it’s time to start planning, do some research together and let your child choose several plants or vegetables that he or she wants to grow. You might even consider giving them their very own section of the garden to plant whatever they want. Talking about the different kinds of plants, touring through the seed store, and letting kids make choices, followed by involving them in the day-to-day gardening chores, will get them excited and keep them interested.

Embrace beneficial bugs

We’ll say it again – kids love bugs! Gardening just happens to be the perfect opportunity to indulge that attraction, while teaching them about the importance and usefulness of these tiny garden friends. Incorporate flowers and plants that attract bees with this pollinating bulb kit, and put a ladybug house or butterfly house in your garden. Your child will be out there constantly, peeking at the tiny residents.

Make it fun

Play is obviously a huge part of being a kid, and the way to get kids to stick with anything is to make it fun! We loved Bernie’s suggestion of having your child make hand-drawn signs for each plant variety in the garden, and that’s just one way to involve kids. Install a rain gauge so he or she will want to run out and check it after a downpour. Make a game out of regularly checking on the progress of your plants, and get excited when you see them grow and change. Pick up some kid-sized tools in bright colours and fun gardening gloves to make it easy and appealing to dig in the dirt and help you with your regular garden tasks. Pair watering the garden with running through the sprinkler or a fun water fight with the hose! The possibilities are endless – just think like a kid.  

Not only will you have fun spending time with your little one outdoors, but the teachable moments it will create are so wonderful. Before you know it, your family will be enjoying fresh veggies right from your own garden – and that will be so much more exciting for little ones if they helped! Ready to start planning? Try these 6 edgy veggies to shake up your garden, and your dinner table.

Have fun, little sprouts!

Monday, March 12th, 2018

HOW-TO: MAKE AN EASTER EGG TREE

Every holiday comes with its cherished family traditions, and Easter certainly has its share. There’s the excitement of hunting around the house or yard for chocolate treats and the anticipation of sitting down together for a beautiful meal, but decorating eggs is the quintessential Easter activity we look forward to most each year. One of our favourite ways to make the egg decorating experience even more special is the German tradition of hanging Easter eggs on a branch, tree, or bush, creating a cheerful display of bright colours that is exactly what we need to get us through the last few weeks till spring. Consider how much your kids love decorating the Christmas tree, and you’ll get a great idea of the hit this project will likely be! You just might find yourself with a new family tradition that you’ll all look forward to each spring.

It’s super simple to create an Easter Egg Tree – here’s how:

Choose your tree or branch
If the weather outdoors is still more wintery than not, trim your tree indoors by choosing a nice branch with lots of forks on which to hang eggs. If Mother Nature is cooperating and you want to take the fun outdoors, choose a bush or tree in your yard to decorate.

Blow out your eggs
This part is really fun for kids, so we highly recommend letting them help! Just poke small holes in either end of the egg, use a toothpick or straightened paper clip to break the yolk, then blow out the yolk and whites. If you happen to break an egg or two, don’t sweat it – set them aside and make these sweet eggshell succulent gardens later!

To save your eggs after the season is past, place them back in the egg carton for safekeeping. It can be a lot of fun to look back on past decorating efforts as children grow, or even reuse them to fill the same tree or bush in your yard more and more each year!   

Get creative!
Get out your colours, and let the kids go for it! If you have young children and want to forgo the traditional but messy dyes and paints, try this spinning EggMazing egg decorator to make beautiful designs using markers. Watch our video to see the decorator in action.

Trim your tree
Use the holes you created when blowing out the eggs to run a string or ribbon through the egg. Your kids will have so much fun stringing the eggs up on your branch or tree like ornaments, and running to look at the finished product again and again.

If you create an Easter Egg Tree or decorate eggs this year, we’d love to see them! Tag us on Instagram or Facebook to share your photo. And now that you know how you’ll be keeping the kids busy, check out this post for inspiration on creating an elegant Easter table setting.

Happy Easter!

Hours of Inspiration

MONDAY – SATURDAY / 9AM – 5PM

THURSDAY / 9AM – 8PM

CLOSED SUNDAY

Shelmerdine Garden Centre Ltd.

7800 Roblin Boulevard
Headingley, MB R4H 1B6

Phone: 204.895.7203
Fax: 204.895.4372
Email: [email protected]