In rural communities, windbreaks are a common scene and for good reason. They slow the wind down or prevent prevailing winter winds from hitting your house directly saving valuable heating dollars. In the summer they slow or prevent soil erosion. In the heat of the summer deciduous windbreaks help to cool winds before they reach your house. Some windbreaks provide a habitat for small birds

Merry Christmas

Happy Gardening!Garden Gnome©2006-2008

Real Verses Artificial Christmas Trees

It's that time of year for the most popular holiday icon to make its presence. A decorated Christmas tree is a must have for many. In years past that meant going out and cutting your own tree. In recent times it means pulling the artificial tree from the closet and setting it up. Either way the Christmas tree is a seasonal tradition. There are definite reasons for choosing a real Christmas

Carbon Neutral for a Day

You cannot imagine how surprised I was to see this certificate saying I was carbon neutral for a day! Our carbon footprint is something that we have been actively reducing for quite some time. We do this by growing as much as we can organically and reducing our consumption in all areas of our lives. With each house we have learned more so we have been able to fine tune to a higher level and

In Remembrance

I come from a strong military family with ancestors that were instrumental in shaping the history of Canada. I grew up surrounded by relatives who had fought for this country. Some of them made the ultimate sacrifice and while they are no longer here they live forever in our memories. If this video does not bring tears to your eyes, nothing will. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th

Update 3

Sorry it has taken me a bit longer than anticipated for updating. I really wanted to update the background to the new style that I like but at the same time I wanted to keep the ivy graphic. Most of the updating is finished and I'm happy with the results. Over the next few days you may notice a few minor changes but nothing really disruptive. I'm considering eliminating both the "digg" and "

More Updating

I'm working on finishing up the blog changes today so don't worry if you see a few strange things going on.Happy Gardening!Garden Gnome©2006-2008


Blog Update: Starting tomorrow morning I will be updating this blog somewhat. You may see some weird things going on as I test things out. Most of the changes will involve the sidebar and header. I'm still debating other changes like the background. Please don't worry though as these changes will not affect the posts or archives. So please bare with me for the next couple of days. I

Over-wintering Plants

Our ADFF was October 12th this year meaning on that date there was a 50/50 chance of a damaging or hard frost. Unfortunately it came earlier than predicted spelling disaster to local tomato farmers. There were hundreds of thousands of dollars lost due to the early frost. Our property is water front so tends to be a bit protected from frost longer into the season still it is time to bring in
Happy Thanksgiving-----Happy Gardening!Garden Gnome©2006-2008

Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

This is the fifth home we have owned and while each house/property presented unique challenges this property has presented the problem of over growth. The landscaping is mature as far as trees, bushes and shrubs. There really is too much! Compounding the problem are several perimeter, pocket garden beds planted willy nilly with everything imaginable. Despite moving here the end of June 2007

Vinca major (Bigleaf Periwinkle)

One of our smaller garden beds has a pretty green and white creeping vine that has little purplish blue flowers in the early spring to mid-summer. It was quite apparent that the vine was of the spreading nature. It had filled the garden bed and was heading down the divider between our driveway and our neighbours. Our driveway is paved but his is gravel so the vine had no problem spreading and

This Lawn is Your Lawn

I'm of the mindset that every household should have a vegetable garden. This is not a new idea as Victory Gardens were encouraged as a way to save energy and keep people fed during World War I and World War II. Twenty million of these gardens existed producing 40% of the vegetable produce consumed nationally in the United States. Planting a vegetable garden was seen as a national duty.I hope

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged! DG from Food and Garden Dailies tagged me today. Hmm, this is my second tag so hopefully I play the game correctly :)Here are the rules: 1. Link the person who tagged you.2. Mention the rules on your blog.3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know that


Bindweed(Convolvulus arvensis)Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) is a member of the morning glory family. It is a very invasive, spreading weed that can be introduced to the garden through soil and roots. Quite frankly I think bindweed is rather pretty with its small trumpet shaped white flowers with faint pink stripes. It covers wires and chain link fencing nicely but it is still considered a


Common Garden Petunia(Petunia x hybrida)Very few gardeners are unaware of the common garden petunia (petunia x hybrida) with their beautiful showy, cascading trumpet shaped flowers. These plants are members of the family Solanaceae (nightshade plant) that originated in South America and are thought to be a hybridization between P. axillaris and P. integrifolia. There is a wide variety of

Carrot Evolution

cartoon courtesy of Nearing Zero.Happy Gardening!Garden Gnome©2006-2008

Euonymus Bush

Euonymous(Euonymous fortunei)July 15, 2008Euonymous bushes (Euonymous fortunei) are a common feature in many gardens here in Ontario. The two varieties I'm aware of are yellow and white edged both with bright green centres. These really are easy to grow shrubs with few problems. I had a small one at our previous house with the only problem being plagued by aphids but it was planted beside a

White Nancy Lamiums

White Nancy Lamiums(Lamium maculatum)June 26, 2008Moving into a home with mature landscaping has meant discovering a lot of new to me plants. We moved in late June so that meant we had no idea what spring plants there were. Part of the fun has been identifying the various plants as they emerged to decide if they were friend or foe. This means that I have had a wonderful opportunity to expand my

Sweet Million Tomatoes (Container Gardening)

Sweet Million Tomatoes(Lycopersicon esculentum)July 16, 2008If you have been following this blog you will know we moved last year and still do not have the vegetable and herb beds in. They are in progress but we were delayed by the spring weather conditions. We plan on having them ready for fall gardening and to allow the perennial herbs to root well before the cold weather. I'll talk more on

Food For Thought

Cartoon courtesy of Nearing Zero.Happy Gardening!Garden Gnome©2006-2008

Bearded Iris

Bearded IrisIris germanicaJune 2, 2008Iris is the genus (recall the nomenclature post earlier) of 200 to 300 flowering plants. They are herbaceous perennials that grow from rhizomes or in drier climates bulbs. The have long, erect flowering stems that in our zone bloom from late May to early June. Despite being an herb they are mainly grown as an ornamental plant in the garden. The flowers

Peonies (Paeonia)

When the peonies bloom it pours. That has been so true this year with a cold and very wet spring. We had two lovely peony bushes at my childhood home. I loved the beautiful showy flowers so when we bought out first house I really wanted to plant peonies. What stopped me was remembering the ants that liked to gather on the peony buds. An old wives tale says that peonies need ants for the

Something to Ponder

Happy Gardening!Garden Gnome©2007


Happy Gardening!Garden Gnome©2007


Common Lilac(Syringa vulgaris)May 11, 2006Lilacs especially the deep pinky, purplish ones are one of my favourite flowering bushes. As a child I used to climb one of our lilac trees and sit in a cradle formed through pruning. Hidden from view and cooled by the dark leaves I spent many a summer afternoon reading. With the exception of our first house there has been at least one lilac bush in

Nomenclature (aka naming)

If you have been following this blog you will already have noticed that I try to include the Latin (scientific) names of plants, pests and other critters in my garden. The main reason for this is to avoid confusion from using common names. Common names tend to be region specific and sometimes as with Irish moss the name refers to two unrelated plants where Sangia subulata is an herbal ground


Daffodilsgenus NarcissusApril 28, 2008Who can resist the cheery bright yellow of daffodils blooming in early spring? These beautiful flowers have graced gardens for centuries. Botanically, daffodils (common name) are are in the family Amaryllidaceae, genus Narcissus. All members of genus Nacissus have a central trumpet (corona) surrounded by a ring of 6 floral leaves (perianth) that forms a

On Vacation

Dear Readers, when we go on vacation you are used to seeing the "'puter on vacation" image. This time I decided to do two things differently. Thanks to Blogger's new scheduling option, I've worked quite hard to give you a few scheduled posts for reading during my absence. That means I created these posts before leaving but have each scheduled to go online on different dates. By the time you read

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Gardening!Garden Gnome©2007

Ontario Lawn Pesticide Ban

Female Mallard(Anas platyrhynchos)This adult female Mallard has been frequenting our backyard likely in search of a suitable nesting site. While she seems be enjoying her stroll through the lawn and I love her visits, I cannot say the same thing about grass. Sorry folks but I am a grass hater in the form of a pristine, green, outdoor growing, carpet. I can say that even though we laid sod last

Irish Moss

Irish Moss(Sangia subulata)I planted Irish moss in a small border bed bordering the garage. The bed is about five feet long, about two feet wide and is tucked between the garage and sidewalk. Like the other border beds here there is a deep layer of gravel for drainage in this bed. Here the Irish moss will be able to spread freely to fill the bed yet be contained from spreading elsewhere. What

Spring Days in the Garden

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. The reality is the gardens in our new home are proving difficult at best. I'm dealing with horrible soil that is mostly clay mixed with a lot of stone and rock along with inclimate weather. The gardens are at the point where I look at them then get frustrated because I simply don't know where to start. The problem is we really are still in the tearing out

Earth Day

CrocusApril 14, 2008How did you spend Earth Day? I found it difficult to say I'm going to give up using this or not going to do that for the day. The reason being is we try to celebrate Earth Day every day so some things folks get excited about doing for Earth Day have been a norm for us every day for years. I spent a good portion of the day cleaning out the side yard gardens, most of it
Happy Gardening!Garden Gnome©2007
Garden Gnome© 2007

Garden Visitor

BuggsMarch 10, 2008Mr Buggs is a rather persistent visitor to my new gardens and visited often last year. He tucks up under the bushes and the lilac tree to watch what is going on in the house. I can tell he is already smacking his lips in anticipation while watching me pour through the seed catalogues. Last year's visits were not so much of a problem as we moved too late for a vegetable

Back Home

Palms Cypress House, Key WestJanuary 16, 2007We arrived back safe and sound 5 am Thursday morning from our much needed vacation to the sunny south. We stayed at the historical Cypress House bed & breakfast in Key West, Florida for a few days then in a condo in Hallandale, Florida. The gardens at Cypress House were filled with lush tropical vegetation and talk palm trees. Wood decking formed
January 14 - 24, 2007Happy Gardening!Garden Gnome©2007

Happy New Year

Happy Gardening!Garden Gnome©2006-2008
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