Friday, November 25, 2011

Hort East 2011, Gardens East Magazine and a Top Ten!

Garry from Gardens East and Wayne Trail at the Gardens East booth.
This has been a bit of a crazy week.. First, I headed up to Moncton, New Brunswick on Tuesday morning for Hort East 2011, a trade show that is geared towards nursery, greenhouse, garden centre and landscape professionals. For the first time, Gardens East magazine was going to have a booth to promote their brand. Since I am one of their regular writers, they asked if I would come to lend a hand and meet some of the readers.

We also asked Wayne Trail, whose amazing garden was featured in the Sept 2011 issue of Gardens East, to join us. He is a firecracker of personality and between the three of us, we had a blast! As you can see in the top photo (at the side of the table), I did a bit of book promo too, as many nurseries and garden centres will be offering my book in the spring. I even had an advance copy to display and I was thrilled at the kind comments of those who took a peek.

With 9 issues per year at only $32, the Gardens East subscriptions sold like crazy! 
Anyhoo, unfortunately, I didn't get to stay for the full two days, as a winter storm was brewing - our first - and with 35 cm of snow in the forecast for Nova Scotia, it was time to get home.. Luckily I made it before the first flakes fell or I would have been stuck for at least an extra day or two.

We actually ended up with a thick blanket of snow - the 35 cm that was predicted - and the garden is now covered with a shimmering blanket. Yet, temperatures are heading up into the double digits by tomorrow, so I can't think this snow will hang around very long. I don't think I'll even bother shoveling the cold frames since the snow should melt in the next day or two and I know the insulating layer of snow won't hurt the cold season veggies in the structures.

Besides the early blast of winter, I had another nice surprise this week.. My seminar at the ACORN Conference on November 11th made the top 10 list of great things at the conference - Top Ten List What a nice treat!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bloom Greenhouse and Garden Center Holiday Open House

This afternoon is the Holiday Open House at Bloom Greenhouse and Garden Center on the Hammonds Plains Road.. for more info, check out their website at:  Bloom Greenhouse

There are hors d'oeuvres by The Kitchen Door and wine from Muir Winery in Wolfville, NS. The fun includes demo's on creating unforgettable holiday decor and you'll also be able to check out the huge selection of holiday ornaments, greenery and more!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A mid-autumn garden tour..

Ah.. the brisk days of  mid-November are upon us.. the leaves have finally fallen off the trees (except for the oaks) and frost is a regular garden visitor. In fact, tonight a frost seems likely and perhaps even a bit of snow. Now that the sun is setting, I thought I should 'tuck in' the garden for the night and just closed up the ends of the mini hoop tunnels and partially shut the tops of the cold frames. 

Although the days are shorter and the nights are colder, there is still a lovely bounty awaiting me each time I go up to the garden. Six different types of kale, carrots, leeks, parsnips, beets, scallions and a lovely selection of herbs and salad greens. It's been rather mild this autumn and the cold season greens, like our mustards, tatsoi, mizuna and baby kale have grown quicker and larger than I had anticipated and the mini hoop tunnels are a complete carpet of green under their protective cover. 

This morning I was interviewed by the lovely Kate Copsey, the host of America's Home Grown Veggies radio show. Our 1 hour interview will air on America's Web Radio on Saturday, Nov 26th at 10 am EST. Thanks Kate - I really enjoyed our chat!

All our various kales in a pretty (and tasty) bouquet! 

Frozen arugula bloom - so pretty!

Do you see the web attached to the frozen arugula flower?

A peek under the cover of one of our mini hoop tunnels.. a blend of hard Asian greens!

Mizuna. So lovely. This one kind of looks like a maple leaf.

Hardy greens in the unprotected garden. I just tossed a row cover over them, but they shrug off autumn weather and frosts.

Dinosaur/Lacinato/Tuscan/Black kale.. so many names, but such a lovely plant.

Dinosaur kale, meet Red Russian kale..

Feathery mizuna - great in salads, stir-fries or wrapped around sushi rolls instead of nori.

Italian parsley. I just picked a big handful to make a nice grated carrot salad for supper..  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stocking Up at Seedy Sunday!

Well, the 12th Annual ACORN Organic Conference has come and gone and I'm so pleased that they included me! There was a great turnout on Friday afternoon for my talk on Winter Greens: Sprouts, Shoots and Cold Frames and I also was able to connect with old friends and meet new ones. 

I stopped back at the conference again yesterday morning to take part in Seedy Sunday! I know it's a bit early to be buying seeds and it's certainly not like I NEED more seeds....... but, I really really wanted more! I tried to practice restraint and I know that I should take an inventory before I bought more, so I tried to focus on seeds that I haven't tried before or ones that I knew I was out of (dinosaur kale!)

Here are some photos of my new seeds! I bought from Annapolis SeedsPumpkin Moon HerbalsHope Seed and Greta's Organic Gardens. So exciting!! Winter may not be here yet, but in my head, spring is on its way!

I missed meeting Andrea Berry, the owner of Hope Seed in person, but stocked up anyway on some fine seeds - crystal apple cukes, Rossa Di Milano red onion (barrel-shaped heirloom!), etc.. 

Owen Bridge of Annapolis Seeds said he's adding 40 more heirloom tomatoes to his 2012 catalogue - I had trouble restraining myself from trying them all.. 

Note the Montreal Melon! It's an old heirloom from around 1900, but disappeared before being rediscovered!

Michelle Fike of Pumpkin Moon Herbals has such gorgeous seed packets!! I also bought a mixed runner bean packet, but gave it to my mother-in-law.. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Seedy Sunday!

Owen Bridge of Annapolis Seeds (and me!) after one of his spots on The Weekend Gardener!
It's a gorgeous autumn morning and I'm getting ready to head over to Seedy Sunday at the ACORN Conference and Trade Show.. I hear there are quite a few seed companies attending, including and Should be fun!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hort East is coming up in just over a week!

HortEast – New Unlimited Delegate Registration Option!

November 21-23, 2011 at the Moncton Coliseum Complex - now is the time to register <> !  Visit <>  for more information or see our registration form attached.

HortEast is coming up quickly - our trade show is over-sold with over 100 booths, and our registrations are coming in strong.  
We want to make this show accessible to as many industry members as possible, and are re-introducing the Unlimited Trade Show and Conference Registration Package!

For just $500 + HST for members, or $600 + HST for potential members, you can register as many staff from your company as you like for Tuesday and Wednesdays trade show and seminars.  
Please note that Monday's pre-show workshops are extra.

If you want to send staff, but do not want to pay the bill to register them for the full conference, consider signing them up to visit the trade show - use your free VIP pass that was mailed to you, or pay $10 at the door - they will also get a number of free educational demonstrations included taking place on the trade show floor on Tuesday and Wednesday:
·       Plant Layout Competitions (Tuesday/Wednesday)
·       Tree Grafting Demonstration (Tuesday)
·       Landscape Industry Certified Designer Portfolio Workshops (Tuesday/Wednesday)
·       Winter Container Gardening Demonstrations and Competition with Paul Zammit (Tuesday)
·       Live Demo of Unilock Elements from Shaw Brick (Wednesday)
·       Arborist Climbing Demonstrations (Wednesday)

We'll be doing some other fun things on the show floor including a welcome reception on Tuesday morning with special guests: the Mayor of Moncton, the Minister of Post-Secondary Education & Training, and the Director of NB Apprenticeship.  We'll also be doing our Passport program where you can visit select exhibitors, have your passport stamped, and enter to win a flat screen tv!

In addition to the trade show and demonstrations, the following conference seminars will be available to delegates on Tuesday November 22nd and Wednesday November 23rd:
·       "Maximizing the value of every minute in your day - Improved Time Management", "Improved Communications for Increased Profitability" and "Strategic Planning for the Green Industry" seminars with Daniel Tremblay (LMI Canada, Moncton NB)
·       "Plants that Like It Hot: Both Tender Treasures and Hardy Garden Perennials" seminar with Paul Zammit (Toronto Botanical Garden, Toronto ON)
·       "Water features: Design & Construction Fundamentals" and "What it takes to win a National Award" seminars with Randy Tumber (Tumber & Associates, Orangeville ON)
·       "Food gardening - where it's going and its huge potential" and "Value Adding" seminars with Brian Minter (Minter Gardens, Chilliwack BC)
·       "Sustainable Environmental Practices - for landscape, construction, horticulture and agriculture" seminar with Rod Fry (Envirem Organics Inc., Fredericton NB)
·       "New Air spade tree transplanting technology" seminar with Stan Kochanoff (Environova Planning Group Inc., Falmouth NS)
·       "Is My Phone Smarter than Your Phone?" and "New Media Strategies for the Green Industry" seminars with Bill Hardy (Northwest Landscape & Stone Supply, Burnaby BC)
·       "The Intrapreneur Advantage - Developing Employees Who Think and Work Like Entrepreneurs" and "Less Waste, More Profit." seminars with Mike Lysecki (Landscape Management Network, Markham ON)

A number of half day pre-show workshops are also being offered on Monday November 21st:
·       "Beyond the Visual: Thoughtful Project Design" with Randy Tumber (Tumber & Associates, Orangeville ON) - Landscape Designer Workshop
·       "Toxicology, Agronomy, and Mineral vs. Organic Soils" with Glen Sampson (Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Truro NS) - Landscape Maintenance Workshop
·       "Planning and Planting for all Seasons of Interest" with Paul Zammit (Toronto Botanical Garden, Toronto ON) - Retail Garden Centre / Greenhouse Grower Workshop
·       "Building Naturalistic Landscapes & Water Features That Will Impact Your Clients Lives" with Randy Tumber (Tumber & Associates, Orangeville ON) –Landscape Construction Workshop
·       "Maintaining Turf Without the Use of Pesticides - Issues and Challenges, and New Products Available for Pest Control" with Glen Sampson (Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Truro NS) - Landscape Maintenance Workshop
·       "The changing relevancy of our industry to today's demographics" with Brian Minter (Minter Gardens, Chilliwack BC) - Retail Garden Centre / Greenhouse Grower Workshop

By taking part in certain demonstrations, workshops and seminars you will be entitled to Continuing Education Credits through the Atlantic Region Certification Committee (ARCC), Plant Health Atlantic (PHA), and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).  Exam opportunities will also be available on Monday November 21st through the ARCC, PHA and ISA.

Lots of networking opportunities will also take place over the course of the three days including a Welcome Reception on Monday November 21st at the Crowne Plaza Hotel from 8-10pm, an Opening Ceremony on Tuesday November 22nd at the Moncton Coliseum Complex at 10am, and our always popular Kitchen Party on Tuesday November 22nd from 7-10pm at The Old Cosmo - all free to attend with your registration!

Don't forget to register your staff for this years event, to take part in demonstrations, workshops, exam opportunities, and networking - this is a great chance to get inspired and to reward them with a fun and informative couple of days after a year of hard work!

HortEast is Atlantic Canada’s trade show and conference for members of the landscape, nursery, greenhouse grower, and retail garden centre industry. The 2011 trade show dates are November 22nd and 23rd, with pre-show events on November 21st, 2011.

For More Information:

Rebecca Doutre, CAE
 - HortEast Trade Show Manager 

7856 Fifth Line South | Milton, ON L9T 2X8

Phone: 1.866.383.4711 / 1.647.724.8532
Fax: 1.866.833.8603 
/ 1.905.875.1840
Email: <>  | Website: <>
Click here <>  to visit HortEast on Facebook!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Peter Schneider's Top Roses!

I just had a great comment/question from Amanda, who was listening to a segment of The Weekend Gardener way back on July 31st. The segment featured garden writer, Peter Schneider, who is the author of the gorgeous book, Right Rose, Right Place. He is also the editor of the combined rose list. Amanda recalled that Peter listed off a few of his favourite roses, but like me, couldn't remember which ones they were! Well, I e-mailed Peter and he responded almost instantly with a top ten list! I thought I should share it with everyone (Thanks Peter - we'll do another segment this coming season on the show!).. I'm hoping to add some roses this coming year to the garden so I'm very glad Amanda asked her question - thanks!!

Here's a list of ten of Peter's favorite roses, all of which are described fully in Right Rose, Right Place:

  •  Baby Love, yellow miniature
  •  Baronne Prevost, pink hybrid perpetual (old garden rose)
  •  Distant Drums, mauve/tan shrub
  •  Elina, yellow hybrid tea
  •  James Mason, red modern gallica
  •  Jeannie Lajoie, pink climbing miniature
  •  Marijke Koopman, pink hybrid tea
  •  Stadt den Helder, red floribunda
  •  Stanwell Perpetual, white hybrid spinosissima  (old garden rose)
  •  William Baffin, pink kordesii (climber)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My book has arrived!!!!!!

It's a gorgeous day and although I should be outside getting some garden work done, I've been preparing for Friday's seminar at the ACORN Conference on Winter Greens: Sprouts, Shoots and Cold Frames. When the courier truck pulled up, I figured it was another box of book brochures for me to display at the conference.. but, I was wrong!! It was the delivery of my first copies of The Year Round Vegetable Gardener from Storey Publishing!! It's been exactly 2 years (almost to the day) since I got my book contract and here they are!! Take a peek!! I feel like a proud parent! Just a few more weeks and they will be in stores across North America. I can't wait to share it with everyone!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The ACORN Organic Conference and Trade Show

This Friday is Nov 11th, which is a very special day for Canadians and every year, for as long as I remember, we have attended a Remembrance Day ceremony to honour those who have served. Yet, this year, it seems even more important to me. Way back in April, we spent a few weeks exploring France and Belgium and as we enjoyed the typical tourist spots, as well as some that were pretty off-the-beaten-path, we were also following the footsteps of my great-uncle who gave his life in World War I at the tender age of 20. We visited Vimy Ridge, a number of Canadian graveyards, the Juno Beach Centre, Menin Gate and many more of the sites that were involved in both WWI and WWII. It was truly sobering and the courage of these soldiers was and still is extremely inspiring.

The Juno Beach Centre

Vimy Ridge

Now, on a more light-hearted note, after this Friday's ceremony, I will be heading to Dartmouth to speak at the 12th Annual ACORN Organic Conference and Trade Show. My topic, which is near and dear to my heart, is 'Winter Greens - Sprouts, Shoots and Cold Frames'. I'll be speaking at 3:15 and you can click here - ACORN Organic Trade Show to get more information on the event. Hope to see you there!

I'm off to the garden to raise the ends of the mini hoop tunnels and pop the sashes of the cold frames completely open. It's going to be a gorgeous November day and if I don't vent the structures, the veggies will cook! :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Check out my 1st Guest Blogging Efforts!

I'm thrilled to share my first guest blogging efforts with you.. the lovely Jennifer, of Three Dogs in a Garden - had kindly offered me a guest blogging spot on her popular Canadian garden blog. (how many times can I use the word blog in a post??!) Anyhoo, she has just posted my efforts and I think she did a fantastic job - thanks so much Jennifer!! You can take a visual stroll through my winter cold frames at the above blog address. Hope you enjoy it!

Now, the plan is to get Jennifer to do a guest post on this blog! Fingers crossed.. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Frost, take 2!

Years ago, before I used to garden year round, I loathed frost. It signaled an end to the growing season and I had to retreat indoors to wait impatiently for months and months until spring finally arrived. Now, I love frost and whenever we have a frosty morning - like today - I hurry up to the garden with my camera before the sun can melt the ice crystals away.. Here are a few shots from this morning.. 

Opps! Did I leave these outside again!

A new mustard that I'm trying - so far, very very hardy!

Kale - look at the frozen ice droplets in the middle of the leaf.. Isn't it gorgeous!!

Pak choi.. another salad crop that becomes sweeter with a touch of frost.

My favourite kale - I've been adding it to my soups, stir-fries and wraps.. so good!

Parsley lasts the winter when tucked in a cold frame. 

My last zinnia.. it was a bit sheltered, but now I think it's toast!

A quick mini hoop tunnel to protect against frost. Look at the thick layer on the grass!


I know.. too many kale photos.. but it's just so lovely!

Kale, mini hoop tunnels and cold frames (tucked WAY in the background)