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.

Growing Ornamental Oregano Kirigami for Containers

Kirigami is an ornamental oregano that is borderline hardy in my zone 5 garden. I planted some in my garden in 2023, we shall see if it overwinters. Having said that, Kirigami makes a great, drought-tolerant annual in containers. Plants have light green foliage with purple bracts and pink flowers that droop over the edges… Read more »

Growing Heliotrope From Seed

Heliotrope has a lot of flower characteristics that make it a perfect annual for both containers and in the garden. It has clusters of old-fashioned purple-blue blooms, a sweet, almost vanilla-like scent, and Heliotrope is deer tolerant. FAVOURITE VARIETIES AND SOURCES There are not a lot of choices when it comes to seed propagation. For… Read more »

Growing Coleus From Seed and Cuttings

I waffle every year on whether or not I want to have any coleus in my containers. I prefer coleus when it’s smaller, so it acts as a foliage accent. Containers of huge overflowing coleus just don’t appeal to me. The problem is coleus likes to grow big. Cutting it back too often leads to… Read more »

Growing Dichondra – Hard to Germinate?

I love Silver Falls Dichondra dripping densely from my containers. Buying 40 or so plants a year is expensive, so I decided to try to germinate from seed in 2023. I tried both Silver Falls and Emerald Falls. I found germination difficult (especially Emerald Falls) and growth slow. I thought about over-wintering a mother-plant, but… Read more »

Growing Ageratum – Both Tall and Short

I grew Ageratum for the first time in 2023. Floss flower has a lovely soft purple colour that blends well with darker purples, deep and light pinks, whites, and silver foliage plants, so it was a great addition to my preferred container colour pallet. Ageratum is a long bloomer with little deadheading required. Deadheading shorter… Read more »

Coconut Zucchini Loaf

Another variation of a summer staple that uses up fresh zucchini grown in the garden. I also freeze extra loaves for the winter. This makes 2 loaves. INGREDIENTS 3 cups white flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 3 eggs 2 cups white sugar 1 cup vegetable… Read more »