Friday, March 30, 2012

Seeds are Sprouting!

Spring is well underway now and things are beginning to green up in my basement as well! All my seedlings are growing like crazy.. impressive, considering many have just been planted in the past week. Even the basil germinated in just 4 days and now I have a whole flat of basil babies (four varieties), a sure sign of summer!

Tonight, I'll be at the Home Show at 7 pm speaking on Amazing Edibles and I will also be speaking a handful of times on Sat and Sunday.. scroll down to my older posts to check out my weekend schedule. Hope to see you at some of these events!

Things are a-growing!

Check out my heirloom tomatoes.. Way too many varieties!

Two grow lights, side by side.. 5 flats of seedlings all together. More
to be planted on the lower level of this homemade light stand. 

Look at all those labels.. Hope they don't get knocked
off like last year.. made ID very difficult until some varieties
bore their fruits!

Onions! The heirloom variety Rossa Di Milano

Dwarf Chinese cabbage.. Not sure who loves them more - me
or the slugs!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My latest blog post for Proven Winners is out!

This 3-foot tall gnome has nothing to do with
this post, but I loved him! Resisted the
urge to spend $60 on him this week though.. 
Hot off the (virtual) presses, here is the link to my latest blog post for Proven Winners! Click here to read about my love affair with Empress Wu and why size matters! (Sorry boys)

It's been a few months since I began blogging for Proven Winners and I must say that I'm having a blast with it! My fellow PW garden bloggers - from various parts of North America - are all avid, experienced gardeners who both inspire me and make me laugh.

You can also find me (and my fellow bloggers) on Pinterest if you click here! I have a board on my page with some gorgeous Proven Winners images..  I must admit that I'm new to Pinterest, but have started loading up some of my garden photos, travel garden images and more.. It's an amazing way to share photos/ideas/garden plans/etc and I can easily lose an hour just flipping thorough the various boards of fellow gardeners!

Ok, off to make some deadlines.. or at least attempt to make deadlines, wish me luck! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Here comes the Home Show

Spring is here - spring spinach!
It's almost Home Show weekend.. a sure sign of spring in my books! For the past number of years, I've spent the weekend offering a handful of 1/2 hour seminars at the Home Show on various gardening-related topics. This year, it's all about the veggies! 

Here's my weekend schedule:
  • Friday, March 30 at 7 pm - Home Show speaking on Amazing Edibles: Easy and Fun Ways to Grow Your Own
  • Saturday, March 31st at 11 am - Home Show speaking on Year Round Veggie Gardening: From Cold Frames to Cloches!
  • Saturday, March 31st from 1 to 2 pm, 2 to 3 pm and 3 to 4 pm - Spring Garden Road Library speaking on Cultivated Edibles: Fun and easy ways to grow edibles (pallet gardens, vertical gardens, bagged gardens, best veggies, etc.) 
  • Sunday, April 1st at 10 am - Home Show speaking on Amazing Edibles: Easy and Fun Ways to Grow Your Own
  • Sunday, April 1st at noon - Home Show speaking on Year Round Veggie Gardening: From Cold Frames to Cloches!
For more info on my Saturday Library chat, click here!

Fore more info on the Home Show, click here!

Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Boston Flower Show!

Slacking off done! It's past time for me to post these images from the Boston Flower Show.. I was thrilled to be able to visit Boston - great city - just over a week ago and to take part in the annual garden show speaking about my new book. Having come fresh from the massive Philly Flower Show, I was unsure of what to expect, and although it was a smaller show, it was just as amazing. The floral displays were incredible, but so were the display gardens. One in particular, really took my fancy. It was a child's garden, complete with an amazing tower treehouse-type structure - I want one!

The folks at the show were also very welcoming and I had a great turnout for both my lecture and the subsequent book signing. The enthusiasm of gardeners is so contagious and I may have accidentally bought more seed from the Hudson Valley Seed Library.. Opps! :) I also found an herb seed company that sold gourd seeds and bought some cannonball gourds and long dipper gourds, two that I haven't grown before.

So, without further ado, here are some images from my Boston adventure:

I didn't find a Hobbit, but I would love one of these hideaways in my garden, as well
as the tower house in the background. So fun!

I enjoyed the marketplace at the Boston Flower Show.
Check out these eye-catching topiaries! I loved this display!

May have accidentally bought some gourd seeds. Great varieties!

Stunning garden.. soothing sound of water and vibrant geraniums!

From square (above photo) to round.. so many different types of designs.
These spring flowering trees looked and smelled good.. 

There were a bunch of mini street gardens - thought this one stood out!

Must have this pergola! On either side were cages with exotic birds. The gazing pool
ran the entire length of the pergola. A dream garden. 

6-foot tall garden sculptures crafted from wire. They reminded me
of giant alliums.. Wish I was handy and could make something like this!

Fothergilla.. an underused spring blooming shrub. Simply gorgeous!

Moss rocks - fun and funky! Great for an indoor garden or shaded patio. 

Quite the fancy hat! 

Another floral hat.. 

Opps! More seeds.. These art packets are seriously decorative. Plus, fantastic
varieties of heirloom veggies. 

Really great seed packets. 

And more! I could have snapped photos of each one!

I really wanted to sit on these rounded pillows.. 

Such a tidy looking pathway. Just like my garden. ha ha..

Too bad we weren't allowed to walk on the bridge.. it looked so inviting!

How many reasons do you need??

Another water feature and sitting area, but lovely. 

Look Ma! It's my book! 

Love the colour coordinated door and tulips! I guess there weren't any deer in the
Convention Centre! 

A full view of that amazing children's garden.

Fun art in the children't garden. Such a whimsical display!

Can you tell I loved this garden? Do you see the veggie-filled wheelbarrow?

One last shot of my new favourite hangout. So cool!! (I may be too old to say that!)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Seedy Sunday at Otis & Clementine's

What a great day for a fun Seedy Sunday event! I'll be heading down to Otis & Clementine's in Tantallon from 3 to 4 pm today for a Book signing/Q & A/Seed exchange. I've just packed up dozens of mini baggies of some of my favourite seeds - from my personal seed stash! I've got some Mexico Midget tomatoes, Giant tomatoes, Black Velvet Roma tomatoes, various peppers, Altor Mizuna, Spicy Globe Basil and more!

To take part, simply show up! You can bring any of your own excess seeds (I have a few spare small baggies to divvy it up) or just come to try a few new samples. Otis & Clementine's has also brought in a seed rack from the wonderful Annapolis Seeds and she will be selling their heirloom tomatoes, beans, peas, cucumbers and more!

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Visual Tour of Canada Blooms 2012

I'm baaaaccccckkkkk.. still sick, but at least I'm starting to feel better.. The fact that today is the 1st day of spring and the temperatures are hovering near 20C certainly helps! :)

I thought I'd post photos out of order.. First Canada Blooms and then tomorrow I'll post about the Boston Flower show. All in all, these were amazing events. While at Canada Blooms, I attended the annual Garden Writer general meeting for the first time.. Mark Cullen gave a short talk and singled me our (as a 1st timer at Canada Blooms) to give my impression. Having come fresh from the massive Philadelphia Flower Show, the Boston Flower Show and finally reached Canada Blooms, there was one thing that really stood out for me. Canada Blooms is for gardeners. The displays are amazing, but not unreachable for someone to try at their own home.. They were less showy than at the big US shows, which had major 'wow' factor, but Canada Blooms was there to impress and inspire and not just knock my socks off with massive and intricate floral displays.

I felt like I was walking through spring gardens and even the vertical walls and carpet gardens would be something that I could tackle if I wanted to.. So, not sure if I'm making any sense (after all, my left ear is still plugged and I'm rather unbalanced!), but Canada Blooms has a decidedly Canadian feel to it.

Still on topic of the garden writer lunch, I have to say that I was thrilled to finally meet Liz Primeau, whose new book, In Pursuit of Garlic came out on Saturday. It's a lovely read - informative, thoughtful and inspiring, just like Liz. I had to duck out of the lunch early for a book signing, so I'm sorry I didn't get to meet a few more of my online garden writer buddies.. next time!

So without further ado (and because I need to go make a cup of tea), here are some photos!

Hello veggies! A cute veg/herb box at the Toronto Botanical Garden booth.. 

More orchids.. all the shows have featured orchids and Canada Blooms
is no exception!

Sorry, a bit blurry, but a unique window display.

Another window display.. headless and body-less mannequins! 

Check out the waterfall.. stunning! One of my favourite displays. Just like a park.

There were 2 of these massive carpet gardens. They were tilted for optimum viewing.

Spring blooming trees, rhodos, bulbs, spring is here!

Loved this little garden too.. Yellow and green.

Ok, I need this treehouse! Check out all the pallets! This was an
award winning garden - pallet and play!

Gotta love the fun factor in this garden. Duckie watering can (I actually
have this same one - sorry, tacky!) and the kiddie pool.

A display to reflect Toronto transit.. don't ask me to understand it, but it was pretty!

Imagine this around a patio.. Incredibly colourful!

Very cool water feature in the middle of this display. So many bulbs everywhere!

Love the stonework and the vines.. that intense purple is also pretty eye-catching.

All the big shows have had a heavy vertical showing. I really liked this.. how about on my deck??

Do the wave! Plenty of architectural interest here.. about 100 feet long.

Not sure where this could go.. fun though!