Growing Salvia From Seed

small 4 week old salvia seedlings

There are over 1,000 species of salvia – some annual and some perennial. I started my salvia journey with Salvia Caradonna – an herbaceous perennial with strong vertical purple stems that carry deep violet-blue flowers in early summer and again in late summer if you deadhead. Eventually, I branched out into other perennial varieties, all… Read more »

Growing Gomphrena For Borders and Containers

I grew Gomphrena (globe amaranth) for the first time in 2023 and tested them out both in the landscape (Circle Garden) and in containers. They performed very well, with little pest damage and required little care, although Gomphrena is slow to get going and doesn’t really fill out until mid-summer. The plants in the Circle… Read more »

Growing Dusty Miller – 3 Varieties For Containers

Like almost everyone else on the planet, Dusty Miller, or Senecio cineraria, is my favourite annual silver foliage for containers and garden edges. While buying a small flat is relatively cost-effective, they are easy to grow from seed or cuttings. I grow three varieties now from seed or cuttings.

I Got A Robotic Lawn Mower And Love It!

I live on around 2.5 acres. While I’ve added a LOT of garden beds, I still have a little under one acre of lawn to cut. My boys have now grown and moved out, and since I don’t like cutting the lawn, I hired a lawn care company over the past few years. My lawn… Read more »

Growing Cosmos – Still Finding My Favourite

I love the delicate blooms of cosmos, but honestly, there are too many to choose from! I grow cosmos mostly in the Circle Garden, with a few more near the vegetable gardens for the pollinators. This is my personal garden growing guide. I use it to track seed sources, when to start seeds and if… Read more »

Finally! The Greenhouse Patio and Beds Are In

greenhouse patio in buff brown flagstone

I installed my Hartley greenhouse in November 2021 but had to wait until the summer of 2023 to complete the landscaping around the greenhouse. Part of this was taking the time to think through what I wanted, part was finding someone to build what I wanted to achieve. One of my challenges was to marry… Read more »

Installing Hydronic Radiant Flooring: Greenhouse Heating Update

flir heat map greenhouse

Having lived with my Hartley greenhouse through two winters in Southern Ontario I’ve gained a little experience with how my electric heaters work in extreme cold. Two 17,000 BTU electric fan heaters set at 15C can keep the greenhouse at 10C inside when the temperature drops to -6C. Once we reach -12C the greenhouse temperature… Read more »

Alternanthera Purple Prince For Container Pots

alternanthera starts from cuttings

I’m always looking for new annuals to use in pots and containers that are deer-tolerant. I decided to try Alternanthera and what a beautiful foliage plant. Alternanthera grows quite large although you could clip it as it branches easily. The foliage of Purple Prince is brown-red and best of all showed no signs of pest… Read more »

Growing Zinnia – I Need to Edit Myself!

They say zinnias don’t transplant well, but I still prefer to start mine indoors to control placement and colour in the garden. Having said that, I’m still playing with how many weeks before frost so the new starts are not too leggy and stressed when planted out after risk of frost has passed. My other… Read more »

Growing Alyssum – Some Varieties Need Less Shearing

alyssum crystal lavender in container

My first try with Alyssum was a McKenzie Seeds package picked up on a whim at a big box store – Carpet of Snow. I quickly fell in love, except Carpet of Snow is leggy, so needs frequent shearing if grown in a container. I’ve since switched to shorter varieties which will bloom longer without shearing or cutting back.