Fall Into Colour

Fall Into Colour

The Ontario countryside in the fall is a spectacular colourful landscape that we all admire and enjoy.

Many of us make special trips to view the brilliant colours of maples, and waysides adorned with fall wildflowers.  But where is the colour in our own gardens?

In planning our gardens, we very logically begin at the beginning.  Spring flowering bulbs are followed by the early flowering shrubs, and then summer is filled with Roses, Weigela, and Mockorange among many others.

Soon our garden is fully planted and only in September do we realize we could use some colour with late flowering shrubs and those with brilliant fall foliage.

Burning Bush is the most popular shrub that is widely used for fall colour, but there are many more that can enhance your garden in the fall and extend your season of colour to the fullest.

Here is a list of trees and shrubs that we think will bring amazing colour to your garden:

Burning Bush................................................Red foliage

Butterfly Bush...............................................Purple/White/Pink blooms

Cotoneaster..................................................Red berries

Dogwood.......................................................Reds and orange foliageBlack berries. Red/Yellow Twigs

Ginkgo.............................................................Yellow foliage

Holly.................................................................Red berries

Hydrangeas...................................................Pink/White/Red blooms

Katsura............................................................Orange and Red foliage

Maple Red......................................................Red foliage

Maple Sugar..................................................Orange and Red foliage

Oak Pin............................................................Red foliage

Oak Red..........................................................Red foliage

Serviceberry...................................................Yellow and Orange foliage

Sumac.............................................................Orange/Red foliage

Viburnum.......................................................Orange/Red foliage and black berries

 

                 

Perennials for Colour

Anemone Japanese..................................Pink/White blooms

Anise Hyssop...............................................Lavender -flowering since late May and fragrant

Aster................................................................Blue blooms

Cardinal Flower...........................................Scarlet blooms

Chrysanthemums.......................................A wide variety of colourful blooms

Coneflower...................................................Purple/Yellow/White/Raspberry/Red blooms

Coral Bells....................................................Red/Pink/White- flowering since June.  Available in many foliage colours.

Coreopsis ....................................................Yellow/White -flowering since June

Gaillardia.......................................................Red/Yellow/Orange- flowering from June

Globe Thistle...............................................Blue blooms

Hibiscus (Mallow).......................................White/Red/Pink/Maroon blooms

Liatris (Gay Feather)..................................Purple/White blooms

Phlox..............................................................Purple/Pink/White- flowering since July and fragrant

Rudbeckia...................................................Yellow blooms

Sedum..........................................................Pink/Mauve blooms

Sneezeweed..............................................Bronze/Yellow/Red blooms

Yarrow...........................................................Yellow/Pink blooms

 

 

Vines with Fall Interest

Colourful vines such as Boston Ivy and Virginia Creeper (Engelmann’s Ivy) are highly colourful in fall. Virginia Creeper bears a heavy crop of black berries.

Think container fall gardening too with arrangements of ornamental cabbage and kale, along with Mums, and ornamental grasses. A fall perennial arrangement is spectacular in colour.

The plants listed will let you take advantage of the change of season and keep your garden interesting and colourful until the heavy frosts and first snow of winter.

 

 

Grow a Fence – Plant a Hedge

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Grow a Fence – Plant a Hedge

Hedges have been a part of landscapes for centuries. Whether planted for privacy screens or for ornamental value, there are lots of plants to choose from.

What is the purpose of hedging?

Hedges can be tall windbreaks of conifers striding across the skyline, the green stuff between your house and the road or a neat, step-over edging to a path. Whatever form it takes, a well-grown hedge adds cohesion to a garden and also solves design problems by providing shelter, privacy and uniformity.

The simplest hedge is a row of closely planted, dense shrubs that create a green wall either along a boundary or within a garden. However, there are many other hedges that can be grown and they can become an important part of your property.

Hedges up to 3 feet

Hedges at this height create a softer visual barrier between properties while blending in with multiple landscape schemes. These low hedges can mark the boundary of your property without losing much space or reducing light the way traditional hedging can. This low hedging can also be used as a feature within other plantings or as a feature against walls or fencing.

Consider these plants for maintaining up to a 3 foot hedge (pruning will maintain the height you want)

Deciduous Varieties

These shrubs will exfoliate their leaves in winter.

Barberry – These shrubs have unique foliage varying in different hues of burgundy and pink to green and yellow. The leaves remain through to fall and the berries persist into winter. Likes sun but can take part shade. Zone 4. A great choice, to deter animals and trespassers alike, as the branches sport thorns.

Dwarf Burning Bush – Green leaves in spring summer with a radiant red colour in fall.  Winter berries. Likes the sun and is happy down to zone 3.

Hydrangea (Bobo) - An attractive dwarf variety that provides an abundance of conical white flowers over an extended period of time. Zone 4b and will do just fine in sun or partial shade.

Hydrangea (Macrophylla variety) - These shrubs burst with blue, pink, even red large mop head flowers. Zones 4, 5.  Likes sun to part shade.

Potentilla – A wide variety of shrubs with pink, white or yellow blooms that continue from June until frost. Hardy to zone 2b, and likes sun to part shade.

Privet- Privet is a fast growing shrub that tolerates a wide range of conditions. Vigorous grower that rebounds quickly after heavy pruning. It has panicles of fragrant white flowers in spring with berries persisting into winter. Grows well in sun to part shade hardy to zone 3.

Roses – Most any shrub rose makes for a most colourful hedge. With many varieties and growing heights to choose from, one can have a vibrant colour hedge. Needs full sun tolerant to zone 4b.

Spirea – A most versatile choice for deciduous hedging as there are numerous varieties suitable for different heights of hedging. Foliage ranges from dark to lime green with different assorted colours of flowers. Some varieties blooming from July to frost. Hardy to zone 3b and likes full sun.

Weigela – ‘Fine Wine’ or ‘Spilled Wine’ make a perfect low mounding hedge with rich burgundy foliage and pink trumpet shaped flowers in spring that attract hummingbirds. Matures to 3 feet high, likes full sun and is hardy to zone 4a.

Evergreens and Broadleaf Evergreens suitable for up to a 3 foot high hedge: (Pruning will maintain the height you want)

Dense Yew –Glossy green foliage with an upright habit makes this a good choice for hedging. Easy to control the habit of this shrub with pruning. It does well in sun and full shade with a height of 3-6 feet and a 6 foot spread at maturity. Under ideal conditions this shrub can live up to 50 years.

Boxwood – (Broadleaf) Boxwood has fine, deep green leaves and makes the perfect low growing hedge plant for edging a pathway or formal garden. Its low, dense foliage lends itself to shearing and creating a variety of looks for your garden design.   ‘Green Mountain’, ‘Green Gem’ and ‘Green Velvet’ are all suitable for a low hedge throughout the entire season.

Euonymus – (Broadleaf) ‘Emerald n’ Gold’ is a dwarf variety with foliage all year round. Featuring stunning yellow variegated evergreen leaves that turn shades of pink in fall through winter. Other euonymus choices include Sarcoxie an all green variety, and Emerald Gaiety variety sporting white and green foliage.

Hedges 3-6 feet

Medium or low hedges are grown between two and five feet tall. They are used to define space and direct traffic, but do not completely shield one location from another. View them like a fence low enough so that you can still talk to the neighbors.

Hedge your beds and hide away.  Hedges at this height are used more for privacy or establishing different areas within a landscape by creating a colourful boundary.

Deciduous Varieties

These shrubs exfoliate their leaves during winter. (Pruning will maintain the height you want)

Dogwood‘Red Osier’ features green leaves on red stems. The stems are stunning in the winter.  Hardy to zone 2, and likes sun to part shade.

Hydrangea - (zone 3 for sun to part shade) There are more varieties to choose from when considering this range of height.

·       ‘Annabelle’ grows to a height of approximately 4 feet. A hardy, showy shrub which features enormous ball-shaped white flower heads in mid- summer, lasting for a long time.

·       ‘Little Lime’ offers bold conical chartreuse flowers with creamy white overtones at the ends of the branches from mid-summer to late fall.

·       ‘Bloomstruck’ features showy balls of violet flowers with blue overtones at the ends of the branches from early summer to early fall.(zone 4)

Dwarf Korea Lilac – This dense shrub grows to 4 -5 feet tall at maturity.  It is smothered in fragrant tiny purple flowers emerging in spring. Prefers sun and is hardy to zone 3.

Ninebark (Little Devil)A compact upright shrub with showy burgundy leaves. It has clusters of white flowers in early summer. The leaves turn purple in the fall with little red capsules. Zone 2 sun to part shade.  ‘Nugget’ Variety features bright green leaves and reaches 6 feet.

Forsythia – Sporting bright yellow flowers in spring, this shrub will feature a 6 foot hedge.  It continues to become a dense green hedge in summer through to fall.  Would like sun, and is a zone 4a. Deer don’t care for this plant.

Alpine Currant - An excellent medium-sized hedge or screening plant, densely branched with leaves to the ground, takes pruning extremely well, tough and adaptable; small yellow flowers in spring, good fall colour.  Performs well in sun or shade.

Evergreens and Broadleaf Evergreens suitable for a 3 -6 foot high hedge:

(Pruning will maintain the height you want)

Mugo Pine - A compact 4 foot evergreen garden shrub with short, bluish-green dense needles that hold well throughout the season. Hardy to zone 3, it likes full sun to partial shade.

Yew – ‘Fairview’ variety matures to 5 – 6 feet and takes pruning very well. A distinctive and versatile evergreen shrub with striking dark green dense foliage. Likes sun to full shade and is hardy to zone 4a.

Cypress – ‘Sungold’ or ‘Lemonthread’  False cypress is a cultivar of threadleaffalse cypress with fine, almost string-like golden foliage all season long, giving an extremely fine texture, ideal for color and texture detail in the garden. Sungold False cypress has attractive gold foliage. The threadlike leaves are highly ornamental and turn yellow in fall.  Zone 4 and likes sun to partial shade.

Juniper Gold cone is a nice golden evergreen to use for a hedge. Many other varieties in hues of green, blue, and yellow are also available. These plants like sun and are hardy to zone 5.

Holly – (Broadleaf) The attractive, evergreen foliage and brilliant red berries of the Holly plants make striking hedges that provide constant cover throughout the year. Growing to a height of 5-6 feet, they like part shade sites.  The variety ‘Blue Prince/Princess’ has both male and female plants needed to cross pollinate. Plant in acidic soil for best results.  Zone 5.

Hedges 6-10 feet

Hedges at this height make a superb privacy screen.

Deciduous Varieties

These shrubs and trees will exfoliate leaves during winter. (Pruning will maintain the height you want)

Lilac - looks delicate, but they can be an excellent wind and sound barrier. Their lovely, fragrant spring blooms and dense foliage make them an excellent choice for an informal hedge.

Viburnum ‘Nannyberry’ is native to Ontario and blooms creamy flowers in spring. This shrub can be maintained at any height and matures over 8 feet high. Purple leaves feature berries in the fall for birds. Full sun to partial shade.

Burning Bush – This non dwarf variety can reach up to 8 feet at maturity with a show of crimson fall colour. Can take part shade and it hardy to zone 3.

Limelight Hydrangea - features enormous, dense upright panicles of flower heads that start out a soft lime green, fading over the summer to white and finally brown in fall, one of the hardier selections to zone 3a. Takes sun to shade. Planted about 4-5 feet apart these shrubs create a beautiful hedge from spring through to winter.

Rose of Sharon – With blooms from bottom to top of this shrub, a colourful hedge is a sure bet with varieties ranging from blue to white to pink and everything in between. It prefers sun, and is hardy to zone 5a. A later bloomer in summer.

Japanese Variegated Willow – ‘Flamingo’ or Hakura Nishiki’ varieties feature a yellow- green leaf with a pink tinge on the tops in spring.  It likes the sun to part shade and is hardy to zone 5.

Evergreens and Broadleaf Evergreens suitable for a 6 - 10 foot high hedge:

(Pruning will maintain the height you want)

White Cedar – A native to Ontario, this evergreen is by far the most popular hedging plant.  Cedar hedges can be maintained at any height desired. Likes sun, and is hardy to zone 2.

De Groot Spire Cedar Typically grown as a hedge.  A very dense shrub with attractive dark green wrinkled foliage and a narrow growth habit. Hardy to zone 3.  Sun to part shade.

Juniper – Consider ‘Mountbatten’ or ‘Wichita’ for year round screening. Prefers sun, hardy to zone 3.

Tall Hedges

For large scale screening where space is not an issue, consider the following choices:

Poplar

English or Crimson Spire Oak

Columnar Beech

Armstrong Maple

Multi-stemmed Serviceberry

Hornbeam

Blue Spruce, White Spruce, Norway Spruce

White Pine

Hemlock

Fir

Cedar

Don’t forget ornamental grasses

There are many varieties of ornamental grasses to choose from. Several of these grasses grow to be up to 12 feet in height, making them perfect for privacy. Grasses are excellent noise barriers as well and have attractive blooms that persist well into the winter months for aesthetic appeal. In the breeze, grasses add movement and sound to the garden.

Consider a Hedgerow

A hedgerow is a mix of deciduous and evergreens of various sizes that, combined, will contribute texture, shape, contrast and colour to the overall garden scheme. It will provide food, protection from predators, nesting sites and shelter from the elements for birds, bees, frogs and other creatures.

The plants should be placed 3 or 4 feet apart. The idea is to have them grow into each other, branches intermingling. The beauty of hedgerows is that they merge with additional plantings in garden beds; with no clear line between what is the hedge and what is the border.

Unify the diversity through a color scheme or repetition that ties everything together.

Traditionally, hedgerows include such things as Rose Rugosa, Mock orange, Little Lime Hydrangea,  Weigela, Spirea, Barberry and many more.

Whether used as a decorative feature, a privacy screen or to help define areas of the garden, hedges add a touch of formality to your outdoor space.

There is no end to the possibilities a hedge can provide. Go ahead, experiment. Plant a hedge, or two or three.

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Gardening at your home away from home

Gardening at your home away from home

The natural beauty and plant life found in Canada’s cottage country is enough to inspire any gardener.  A garden and a little landscaping can go a long in way in beautifying your home away from home’s exterior.

Gardening is a much simpler affair at the cottage. You want to keep your property as natural as possible to preserve the nature around you. 

Go casual - The cottage garden is much more informal so relax with your layout. If you don't want to spend your vacation watering and weeding, try to choose plants with requirements that closely match the conditions of your site. Go native—plants that are indigenous are more likely to survive without too much handholding. Drought resistant plants make an excellent choice, especially if you are at your retreat only on weekends. Plants to consider include Eastern White Cedar, White Pine, Gray Dogwood, Florida Dogwood, Sugar Maple, Downy Serviceberry, White Birch, Anemone Canadensis, and Engelmann’s Ivy to name a few.

Containers are your friends – Create a variety of styles, colours and sizes of different containers to decorate your deck, entrances, or even the dock. Play around and get creative, the possibilities are endless. Consider the Weekender Planter. It is a planter with a water reservoir for when you are not there.

Build up the shoreline - Most cottage waterfronts have been stripped of the native shrubs, trees, grasses and other plants that act as a buffer and stop erosion. Replanting these native species is one of the best things you can do for your lake.  Most of these plants are low maintenance so once planted you can sit back and enjoy the view.

 

You don’t have to leave the pleasures of gardening behind when you venture out of the city.  Bring along your passion for plants to your getaway spot! 

Vertical Gardening

Vertical Gardening

Grow Up!

Vertical gardens are one of the hottest new garden trends and yet, it's one of the oldest (have you ever grown a vine on a fence or trellis?). A vertical garden is a wonderful addition to most landscapes.

Vertical garden elements can draw attention to an area or disguise an unattractive view. In a vertical garden, use structures or columnar trees to create vertical gardening rooms or define hidden spaces ready for discovery. Trellises, attached to the ground or in large containers, allow you to grow vines, flowers, and vegetables vertically.

Chores like weeding, watering and fertilizing, are reduced considerably as vertical gardens use much less space than traditional gardens.

Plants to consider when creating vertical gardens include:

Perennial Choices: Clematis, Honeysuckle, Roses, Trumpet vine, Dutchman’s pipe, Bittersweet, Silverlace and Hydrangea

Annual Choices: Black-eyed Susan, Morning Glory, Nasturtium and Mandevilla

Shade Choices: Kiwi, Chocolate vine (Akebia), Dutchman's pipe and climbing hydrangea

Edible Choices: Kiwi, grapes, hops, and edible flowers such as vining nasturtiums, and vegetables such as peas, squash, tomatoes, and pole beans.

 

Get your Support

Fences, arbors, trellises, obelisks, and other types of structures make it easy to grow plants in vertical gardens. If you have an existing structure such as a shed or garage, add a trellis in front of one of the walls so vertical garden plants have a structure to support their stems..  

 

Climbing plants are extremely versatile and particularly valuable in confined areas where they enable gardeners to make the best use of all available space.

 

Get creative with climbing plants and add heights to your summer!

The Evergreen Advantage

The Evergreen Advantage

It’s hard to imagine a winter without beautiful evergreen conifer trees providing us with constant protection, beauty and gifts to see us through the cold months ahead.

Since evergreens continue to produce throughout the year, they are largely responsible for supporting wildlife during the winter.  Berries, nuts and cones are essential to wildlife, while birds can be sheltered within the foliage.

Backdrop – You can create a beautiful backdrop you can enjoy all year round. By choosing different varieties you can vary the shades of green to create a very pleasing display.  Dark green varieties will accentuate bright colours and will enhance your fall coloured shrubs or trees.

Borders – Outline your beds and paths with dwarf versions that will accentuate these key areas of landscape design all year round.

Groundcover– Low lying species of spreading evergreen can create a beautiful carpet of green when needed.

Hide areas of your home – Have some unsightly areas around your home you would rather not see all the time? Evergreens are a great way to hide your homes foundation, water faucets, water meters and any other area you may not like.

Reduce Energy Cost- Keep cold winter winds from pulling all the heat from your home with a windbreak. Plant evergreen trees on the north or east side of your home and watch your savings grow.

Privacy –One of the most common ways to use evergreens is as a screen in the landscape.

Living Fencing with Evergreen Hedges

Create private outdoor living spaces, buffer noise, or block wind with an evergreen hedge. These top plant picks to make your choice easy.

Cedars are the number one choice for an evergreen hedge.  They are virtually disease and pest resistant and make a great screen, windbreak, muffle sound or to create privacy.

Boxwood sets the standard for formal clipped hedges. Its ability to withstand frequent shearing and shaping into perfect geometric forms makes this evergreen a popular border plant. You can also let it grow tall to provide a screen.

Yews are adaptable to sun or shade, yew is a versatile evergreen with few pest problems as long as it has good soil drainage. Many varieties are available, with mounded to upright growth from 5 to 10 feet tall.  It withstands shearing, making it popular for formal hedges.  

Spruce can grow up to 60 feet, making a solid hedge for privacy and wind break.

Add A Little Watermusic to your Yard

Add A Little Watermusic to your Yard

Consider the benefits of installing a fountain to enhance your living space –

Fountains are easy to maintain, require a smaller footprint than other water features, and are less of a financial and time commitment than a pond. 

Fountains are available in a multitude of sizes allowing them to be installed in almost any size space you wish. The only limitation is you must have electricity available. Fountains attract birds to your yard and are less maintenance than a bird bath as the water in motion.

Standalone fountains are gaining popularity due to their ease of set-up and maintenance. All you need to do is add water, plug it in and enjoy!

From natural stone DIY fountain kits starting under $100.00 to more elaborate features such as textured basalt sets of columns, you can choose what will bring the best experience to your personal living space. Add a little water music to your yard.

The Dirt on Bare Root …

The Dirt on Bare Root …

Bare root trees and shrubs are dug while dormant and stored without any soil around their roots. We heel the trees and shrubs into soil while they are still dormant; there is just a small window of opportunity to purchase them.

Select your tree and we will prepare it for travel.

Please keep the roots moist in the plastic bag until you are ready to plant, usually ideal within 24 hours.

Prepare your planting hole by digging a little wider than the span of your roots.

The tree will require bone meal to stimulate the root growth, Myke to help the roots assimilate moisture and nutrients from the earth, and composted manure as an organic fertilizer. The trees may need to be staked, and remember to mulch, to ensure moisture retention and keep the weeds away.

Bare root nursery stock is sold at a discounted price, 30% off.

Treescaping your home

Treescaping your home

Before you decide where your trees should go, you should first identify areas of the yard where you need to accomplish a certain goal.

In the woods, nature chooses random places for trees.  In a yard, a more methodical approach is required. The placement of trees determines, how well, different sizes, shapes, and colors harmonize with one another and flatter your home.

Consider:

Shelter – plant shade trees to cool your home and conserve energy.  Properly placed trees can reduce home energy consumption up to 15% by providing shade for roofs, walls and windows. Shade trees include: Maples, Oak , Lindens,  Honey Locust, and Tulip Trees to name just a few.

Adding value to your home – trees strengthen the maturity and marketability of your home.  Correct placement of trees allows you to celebrate your home’s architecture. They provide the ultimate "curb appeal" by impressing buyers before they even walk into your home. Consider Autumn Blaze/ Fantasy Maple, Honey Locust, Beech, Serviceberry …

Screening and Privacy – Plant trees to screen undesirable views and to provide a privacy buffer.  White cedar is known for its year round screening.  Fast growing, and easily pruned to the height and width you require.  Others to consider are Hornbeam, Yews, Spruce…

Accent - An accent tree can contribute a lot to a garden's design. Trees with attractive flowers and berries can become a focal point during their blooming season. Ornamental trees can include Japanese Maple, Stewartia, Hydrangea Standard, Flowering Dogwood, Crabapple

Forest Bathing for Healthy Living

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Forest Bathing for Healthy Living

Forest Bathing is Today Where Yoga was 30 Years Ago

 

Just be with trees. No hiking, no counting steps on a Fitbit. You can sit or meander, but the point is to relax rather than accomplish anything.

Data from field experiments conducted in 24 forests across Japan found that subjects who participated in forest bathing had lower blood pressure, heart rate, and concentrations of salivary cortisol — a stress hormone.  This practice also improves mood, accelerates recovery from surgery or illness, improves sleep and increases the ability to focus.

 

This is due to various essential oils, generally called phytoncide, found in wood, plants, and some fruit and vegetables, which trees emit to protect themselves from germs and insects. Forest air doesn’t just feel fresher and better—inhaling phytoncide seems to actually improve immune system function.

We are fortunate here in Northumberland to have easy access to the Ganaraska and Northumberland forests. Try some forest bathing at these wellness hotspots.

Northumberland Forest

www.grca.on.ca

Peter's Woods

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Garden Seeds and Grass Seed

Garden Seeds and Grass Seed

Seeds are the basis for all plant life on earth. For millennia, mankind has worked to continually improve the seeds we use to grow crops that feed and nourish our communities and improve our lives.

Food security begins in your backyard. When you choose to grow from seed, you know that your food has not been genetically modified or engineered. You can also believe that your harvest has not been grown with chemicals.

Flowers from Seed ??

Very often we think only of growing vegetables from seed, but flower seeds are just as easy to start and you'll have a greater choice of variety and color, if you are willing to start your own.

Now is a good time for sowing grass seed.

With seed, one has a larger selection of species available. Different mixes are available for sun or shade, disease resistance and soil type.  Turf develops in the environment in which it will live, and the cost compared to sod is much lower.

Winter Gardening

Winter Gardening

Winter Gardening

When you choose a tree, shrub, or perennial for your garden, you want to pick one that offers more than one season of interest. It is always worth bearing in mind what it will look like in the middle of winter.

Here are a few suggestions of shrubs and trees that you will be able to admire on cold days from the warmth of your home:

Burning Bush is famous for its exuberant red colour from late August through fall.  Its red berries attract birds and brighten the winter landscape.

 

Hydrangeas may not bloom in winter, but their big, gorgeous bunches of flowers can be left on all winter like outdoor dried flower bouquets.   

Yucca of all things, this desert plant is one of the best for providing interest in the depth of winter.  Not only is it evergreen, but its spiky blue-grey leaves are tall enough to convey their dramatic character through all but the deepest snowfall.

Boxwood is a deciduous evergreen that has the ability to be shaped or hedged which catches the snow and provide special form and structure.

Red Osier Dogwood may be what you’re looking for! A beautiful sight of red branches emerging from the snow.  

Often these branches can be clipped and used in your holiday decorations and displays.

 

 

On the waterfront

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On the waterfront

Whether you have a balcony, a small urban space or a sprawling country property, incorporating a water feature takes very little effort and brings a sense of serenity to a garden.  The natural sound of water is mesmerizing, and the movement and reflectivity are enchanting.  It is a well-known stress reliever and its relaxing effect can transport you to a different place. Feel the cares of the world slip from your shoulders as you experience your personal vacation every day of the week!

 

Aquatic plants are truly the “emerald” jewels of the gardening world.  Add natural beauty to your water garden with the top-performing varieties. Water plants succeed under the most trying conditions, as they are not affected by severe heat or drought.  At Baltimore Valley, we have Marginal Plants, Floating Plants, Submerged Plants and Oxygenating Plants.

Our floating water hyacinths

 

See wildlife up close!  Water is the number one requirement for attracting and keeping wildlife in the garden.  Adding a pond or water garden to your yard not only adds beauty to your yard, but it also supports the indigenous wildlife in your neighborhood. Ponds attract and create a haven for beautiful fish, dragonflies, frogs and birds.

 

Educate our children.  Maintaining a backyard pond is one of the best ways to educate children and get them interested in biology, sustainability and habits.  It can also help them understand the responsibility we all have for caring for our environment, which can ignite their interest in creating a better future for our planet.

 

So, what kind of water garden would you like!

 

Consider a decorative water feature which includes beautiful container water gardens, refreshing fountains, bubbling urns, and patio ponds.

Or, an ecosystem pond that is designed to be low maintenance, allowing you more time to relax and enjoy your beautiful water feature with friends and family.

What about a pondless waterfall, a simple re-circulating waterfall or stream without the presence of a pond in your garden.

 

Invite the idea of a water garden into your mind and your own backyard. Get ready to perch in your favourite chair and close your eyes, listening to the sound of the water and the smell of the plants.

It is possible to create a low-maintenance, watery paradise in your backyard. Baltimore Valley is proud to provide you with all of the elements you need to plan and create a water feature for your outdoor space. 

Let us show you how

 

Retail Distributer of AquaScape

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Waste Not, Water Not

Waste Not, Water Not

Water is a precious resource and the cost is rising all the time.  We can all tread a little lighter on the planet by taking a few moments to re-evaluate our watering habits to eliminate inefficient practices that waste water … and reap the benefits at the same time!

 

Here are some tips to make sure your plants are getting adequate water:

 

1.  Mulch, Mulch, Mulch Up to 70% of water can evaporate from the soil on a hot day if you don’t have mulch as a protective layer on top.  Mulch is one of the best moisture holding strategies you can employ.  It prevents evaporation from the soil surface and helps suppress water-thieving weeds from growing.  Apply mulch onto moist soil and water in well.  At Baltimore Valley we have various mulches to choose from.

 

2.  Build a berm.  Trees and shrubs need extra water during their first couple of years to help roots take hold. An efficient way to keep roots moist is to mound several inches of soil and mulch into a donut-shaped berm. This creates a water basin from which the roots are watered.

 

2.  Water in the morning.  Morning is the best time to water because of less wind and heat.  Watering in the evening can invite fungus to grow on your plants.

 

3.  Keep leaves dry.  Wet leaves become diseased leaves.  Wet leaves at night can result in leaf mold diseases. Leaves made wet in the sun develop slight burn marks.  Try and focus on the root zone by aiming your water source in the basin of the berm, as it’s the roots that need water, not the leaves.

 

5.  Don’t over waterWaterlogging suppresses the breathing air of the roots out of the soil and the root cells drown without oxygen.

 

6.  Best tip for watering baskets?  Roots of your flowers have little room to spread and grow in a container so they need plenty of water.  Lift, or “bump” the basket from underneath and feel the weight, as it will indicate whether it needs water or not.  Over time, you will get to know how heavy a pot should feel if the soil inside the pot is thoroughly moistened. Mulching the surface of hanging baskets and containers is beneficial as it traps moisture.

 

7.  Save your plant’s water needs by deadheading.  Removing spent blooms before they have a chance to set seed saves energy for your plants: They don't need to put extra energy (which they need water for) into producing seeds.

 

Knowing how to water your garden effectively is a critical component in helping your garden thrive. Baltimore Valley is here to answer your gardening questions.

Order and Harmony

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Order and Harmony

Create your own French Parterre.

 

A parterre is a site made up of planting beds separated by walkways and edged with small shrubbery that is kept well-trimmed.

Traditionally, the patterns are defined by dwarf hedges which became all the rage in Elizabethan knot gardens, intricate affairs that the French adopted, simplified, and called parterres. One of the earliest and most famous examples is at the Palace of Versailles, a living embroidery of swirling miniature hedges.


You too can create your own Parterre…or just a single French style bed.

 

You don’t need to have a huge yard the size of the one at Versailles Palace to create this look. The same balance and eye appeal are easy to achieve, by creating an interesting geometric design and making the most of the space you have to work with.

Design the planting beds.  French style is a study in geometry. Decide on the shapes you want for the planting beds, and then make sure they’re clearly defined.

Make a hedge border. Making a hedge border is like making a frame for a garden.  Excellent choices for hedging are boxwood, euonymus, clipped cedars and yews, or the aromatic foliage of lavender. A living masterpiece is enhanced when surrounded by an elegant border.  Boxwood and emerald cedars are now on sale!

Fill the garden bed.  Inside the border garden, you can use flowering shrubs, annuals, perennials, herbs, bulbs and even vegetables if you want. Use a decorative focus element in your garden for the final touch.   Statues, urns, planters, and water features are all elements of French garden design.

By incorporating old-world features and luxuriant plant growth, you can adapt any landscape into a French vision.

Whatever your vision, we can help you reach your dream garden.

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Plant these herbs to keep insects at bay

There’s no better way to ruin a beautiful summer night outdoors eating delicious food than being barraged by insects. Add these herbs to your garden for their insect repelling qualities, and other medicinal and culinary powers. 

 

Peppermint – repels ants, white cabbage moth, aphids and flea beetle.

 

Garlic – discourages aphids, fleas, Japanese beetles and spider mites.

Perennial Chives – keeps aphids and spider mites away.

 

Basil – repels flies and mosquitoes.

 

Borage – keeps the tomato hornworm away.

 

Rosemary & Sage – repel cabbage moth, bean beetles and carrot flies.

 

Annual Marigolds – keeps away Mexican bean beetle, squash bug, thrips, tomato hornworm.

 

Nasturtium – an annual trailing vine that repels Colorado potato bug, squash bug and white fly. Nasturtium is also an edible plant who’s flowers and leaves are beautiful additions to salads, pastas, and stir fry’s.

 

Artemisia – a perennial that keeps slugs away that are devastating to foliage.

 

Radish – can be planted to keep away the cucumber beetle, squash bug and stink bug.

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Tree’s for Bee’s

    Pollinators play an essential role in maintaining healthy ecosystems.  They provide the service of pollinating our crops and plants, which in turn increases crop yield and biodiversity in the natural environment.  They are responsible for pollinating over 30% of the foods we eat.

 

We all have childhood memories of the first time we noticed honey bees.  Perhaps it was seeing them working a patch of white clover on a warm spring day. Maybe, it was on those first dandelions of early spring. Possibly, that first memory was of an apple tree in full bloom and the buzz of hundreds of bees working the flowers.  The truth is, large mature trees are an important food source for our bees. 

You don’t need a meadow full of flowers to help the honeybee; planting one or two of the top pollen and nectar-bearing trees also benefits this little insect. 

The next time you choose a tree to plant in your yard, at a school, or in a park, consider planting a native flowering tree that bees will love to visit.

 

Here are the top 7 trees for bees in Ontario:

 

1. Serviceberry is one of the first trees to bloom in the spring. Bees love the serviceberry’s white flowers, while birds love its berries.

 

2. Catalpa blooms in late spring and early summer covering itself in large nectar filled blooms. This striking majestic tree is a real show stopper.

 

3. Basswood, or linden, is a favorite of beekeepers, because its nectar is irresistible to honey bees. Observe a basswood in bloom, and you’ll see bumblebees, sweat bees, and even nectar-loving flies and wasps visiting its flowers. Linden, also known as Basswood, flowers heavily in late June and early July sending bees into a nectar gathering frenzy. This is a large tree with tremendous numbers of flowers.

 

4. Redbud boasts unusual magenta blooms that arise from buds along twigs, branches, and even the trunk.  Its flowers attract bees in early to mid-spring. 

 

5. Crabapple tree, how can you go wrong? Crabapples bloom in white, pink, or red, and attract all kinds of interesting pollinators, like orchard mason bees. 

 

6. Locust has value to foraging bees. A hardy choice for tough environments, like urban areas. Honey bees love it, as do many native pollen bees. Late spring bloomer.

 

 

7. Tulip Tree, offers springtime nectar to all kinds of pollinators.

 

Honeybees are tremendous foragers. They do their best work with concentrated food sources and trees provide such a source. An acre of trees can produce many pounds of honey and hives filled with healthy happy bees. 

Here at Baltimore Valley, we are happy to offer our customers the trees, shrubs and plants you need to get your garden buzzing. 

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Heavenly Hydrangeas: a gardeners go-to

    One group of plants that has a near universal appeal among gardeners is the Hydrangea.  A symbol of summer, hydrangeas burst into bloom around July, making them a classic choice for foundations, flowering hedges, cut flower arrangements and billowy borders. But why stop there! Hydrangeas come in so many forms, heights and flower shapes that they’re one of the most useful plants with which to design all around the garden.  

 

The 5 most common

Varieties are:

 

1. Hydrangea arborescens like the famous Annabelle - Annabelle is a hardy stunning white hydrangea; often producing heads over 10” in diameter.

 

2. Hydrangea macrophylla, such as the Forever series - This series of Hydrangea is sure to enthuse those who appreciate rich floral displays.  These varieties offer new forms of outstanding double flowers, large rounded and prolific.

 

3. Hydrangea quercifolia, an oakleaf variety such as Ruby Slippers.  A profusion of exceptionally large, white blooms in summer quickly age to deep pink. 

Robust blooms remain upright even after heavy rains.

 

4. Hydrangea paniculata, such as Limelight offer huge, football-shaped flowers that open in an elegant celadon green that looks fresh and clean in summer’s heat. The blooms age to an array of pink, red, and burgundy. Hydrangea petiolaris, a Cadillac of vines, feature large, fragrant clusters of white flowers that bloom in late spring and summer against a backdrop of dark green, heart-shaped foliage.

 

Hydrangeas are not only easy to grow but are also quite hardy and resistant to most pests and diseases, making it even easier to care for them.  

At Baltimore Valley we are pleased to offer over 25 varieties of Hydrangeas.  With so many to choose from, you’re certain to find one that’s right for you!

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4 reasons why you should buy your trees "bare" root

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4 reasons why you should buy your trees "bare" root

Every Year, at the beginning of the season, all Bareroot trees are 30% off!

 

Planting Bare Root trees is a fun and economical way to have lush green trees on your property without the higher cost of buying trees that we’ve potted. 

 

4 Reasons to buy “Bare Root”

 

1. Affordability - Bare Root trees are less expensive to buy.  The cost savings occurs because you’re skipping the labor required for potting and maintaining a containerized tree.

 

2. Better establishment -Bare Root trees have up to 200% more mass root than a container tree.  This is because when the bare root plants are harvested, the machinery digs a much larger root system than the tree spade used for container digging.

 

3. Exact planting depth - There is no chance of planting the tree too deep as the root flare of bare root trees is obvious and the proper planting depth is easy to determine.

 

4. Better performance – Bare Root trees frequently take off more quickly than containerized ones because roots aren’t transitioning from container soil to local soil. Bare root trees are planted during dormancy, which gives them weeks of root growth that spring-planted container trees lack.

 

Once you get comfortable with bare-root planting, you won’t miss lugging around that heavy root-ball!

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5 Reasons why vegetable gardening is amazing

Plant It, Grow it, Eat It!

Those who have tasted a summer tomato sun-sweetened on the vine or a crisp cucumber plucked from under the leaves that nourished it know the intense flavor of fresh-picked produce is unrivaled by anything found in a supermarket

Here are some reasons to inspire and encourage you to try your hand at growing your own food.

1. Health

You know exactly what you are eating! You are reducing the risk of eating vegetables that contain harmful chemicals. Eating vegetables from your own garden are higher in nutrients than the ones that have traveled several thousands miles to get to your grocery store.Their vitamin content will be a their highest levels as you bite into them straight from the garden.

2. Taste

Homegrown fruits and vegetables simply taste better than produce that’s been allowed to ripen in trucks during transport and sit on store shelves before you’re ready to eat it.

3. Savings

Your grocery bill will shrink as you begin to stock your pantry with fresh produce from your backyard

4. Education

Children learn where vegetables come from, how they grow and what they look like. Growing vegetables with your children is likely to encourage them to eat more vegetables. They learn how to prepare vegetables for eating from scratch.

5. Personal satisfaction

When it comes to self-sufficiency, there is nothing more elemental than being able to feed oneself and there is nothing more local than food grown in your own backyard.

Nothing can give you a better sense of accomplishment than growing your own vegetables. To know that you have placed a seed or a plant in the soil, and cared for it throughout its growth, can be a very gratifying experience.

At Baltimore Valley we take pride in the selection and quality of vegetables we offer to our customers. We do our very best to keep a constant supply of vegetable plants in stock, including a wide variety of seed potatoes. Let us help you discover the fun and satisfaction of growing your own food. 

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4 ways annuals can make your garden great this year

 

Annuals are all-stars in the garden! They use their limited time wisely by filling it with vigorous growth and outstanding blooms. They are incredibly versatile plants, suitable for containers, window boxes, climbing on a structure, and in flowerbeds.

Consider the following when planting annuals in your garden:

 

1. Annuals show themselves best when planted in groups, so try to plant a minimum of 3 plants together so that each group overlaps with the one beside it creating a unified flow.

2. Use annuals to fill in sparse spots for a lush mature look when perennials are not yet in bloom or shrubs are just filling in.

3. Annuals are an important source of food for bees and butterflies.

4. Use annuals for fresh or dried flower arrangements.

 

At Baltimore Valley, we have an extraordinary selection of annuals to choose from, including planted hanging baskets of various sizes, planted containers and window boxes. We have experienced staff that can help you with starting your new plant palette this year.

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