Making a Collage for Container Garden Planning

collage or mood board of all the annuals I'm growing this year

I’ve been reading Arthur Parkinson’s book “The Flower Yard: Growing Flamboyant Flowers in Containers”. I was intrigued by his use of a collage to plan out his seasonal colour schemes. Arthur calls them ‘mood boards’. The idea is you work out your garden colours using images cut out from magazines and garden catalogues. Since I’m… Read more »

2023 Weather Recap – It Felt Cold But Was It?

average temperatures in my area by month

As gardeners, we may feel we’re in tune with the weather, but our perceptions are often skewed by impressions of events that don’t always align with meteorological conditions. I recently pulled some historical weather data for our area, thinking that 2023 was colder than usual. I was very surprised to see that overall, we experienced… Read more »

How Radiant Heat In A Greenhouse Is Different Than Force Air

FLIR image of floor with radiant heat

Radiant heating significantly changes how a greenhouse is heated, and I’ve had to relearn plant placement. With forced air fans, the floor area was cooler as the cold came up through the ground. The middle was warm since that’s where the heaters were directed. And even though heat rises, it was coldest at the top… Read more »

Planting and Sowing Calendar 2024

snapshot of excel spreadsheet with seed starting calendar

In my working life I was an accountant so it’s no surprise that I use an Excel spreadsheet to calculate when to start seeds indoors. It’s similar to many automatic seed-starting charts across the web, although I’ve customized my spreadsheet for what works in my garden. My plan allows me to work off my expected… Read more »

Germination Stations – Heat Mats and Grow Lights

grow lights hanging in the greenhouse

I spruced up my greenhouse with four spiffy new germination stations for 2024. As I have a greenhouse and am only growing for home use, I didn’t think I needed much supplemental light initially. In 2023, I skipped grow lights during seed starting, and everything grew fine, if maybe a tad slow early in the… Read more »

Perennial Seed Starting Schedule

This is my first year starting perennials from seed. I’m curating seed starting times and germination information as best I can from the different seed suppliers. All perennial seedlings do not need a lot of fertilizer, wait until 3 to 4 weeks old to fertilize and then only half strength. Transplant into 3 or 4-inch… Read more »

2024 Seed Buying List – Annuals & Vegetables

Salvia seed packages

I’ve tried keeping lists on Word, in a spreadsheet and on paper, but I am inconsistent at best. Digital copies (Word and Excel) are only convenient if I’m on my computer. Paper lists are good if I’m at my desk. So, going forward, I’m going to try curating my seed list on my blog. I… Read more »

Growing Angelonia – Give Them Room

I did not have good success growing Angelonia from seed my first year, but I will try again because, once established, Angelonia is an excellent annual for containers. I struggled with germination, although the seedlings that did germinate grew well. In the pots, Angelonia did not bloom or bulk up, but I suspect I overcrowded… Read more »

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

Makes two loaves of very decadent chocolate zucchini bread. This tastes almost like a chocolate brownie because I prefer to make mine with milk chocolate chips. This recipe freezes very well. I make 6 or more of these in a season. Wrap each loaf once cooled with tin foil. Then wrap with seran. Mark as… Read more »

Chocolate Chip Cookies – Chewy and Crunchy

After many test recipes, I think I’ve finally figured out my favourite chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, not too sweet, chocolate chip cookie. The trick is to balance the white and dark brown sugar. White sugar makes for a harder cookie crust, while dark brown sugar gives that caramel flavour and… Read more »