Thursday, March 27, 2014

Book Launch for Groundbreaking Food Gardens

One of the designs from Groundbreaking Food Gardens - my
plan/techniques and ideas for a year round veggie
garden that offers a bounty of veggies, herbs & fruits. 
We're just over a week away from the official launch party for Groundbreaking Food Gardens. It's being held at Halifax Seed in Halifax on Saturday April 5th from 2 to 4 pm.

Please drop in if you can - there will be plenty of shiny new books, as well as seeds with every book purchased, some much-needed spring inspiration, garden chat and also cake - if you need to bribe your kids or significant other. Oh yes, and door prizes like a subscription to Gardens East magazine or a gift card to Halifax Seed!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Canada Blooms 2014 - Part 2, Fabulous Folks!

One of the best bits of going to Canada Blooms is seeing old friends - and meeting new ones! As well, I had the opportunity to meet some avid gardeners that I only knew through social media. It's always great to put a face to the twitter handle or Facebook commenter.

Today, I'm off to a talk at Blomidon Nurseries, but just wanted to share some of these fine folks before I head out.. Hope you're enjoying spring so far! I'm looking out my window with a hot cup of tea and enjoying the view of a handful of chickadees playing in my ornamental grasses.. a nice way to start the day.

One half of the Savvy Gardening crew - Tara and I
at Canada Blooms!! The four of us are pretty
scattered and there is just NEVER enough time together
to catch up. 

Hi Tara - enjoying the kids garden at Canada Blooms!

Paul Zammit, the Horticultural Director of the Toronto
Botanical Gardens

It's Hilary! So great to meet my twitter friend. She's an
avid gardener who inspires me with every tweet. 

And Ron! Another talented gardener from Ontario. Lovely
to see him again!

Me at the tail end of my book signing.. It was a great
turnout! Thanks to everyone who popped by to say hello
and pick up a copy!

I also joined the Pay Chen show while in TO. We had
a great chat about gardening in small spaces.

Go Helen go!! Helen Battersby and her sister Sarah offer
plenty of garden fun on their popular website - Toronto Gardens.
Helen is also a Canada Blooms tour guide and I was lucky
enough to tag along on part of her tour. Love how she
co-ordinates wardrobe with the gardens! :)

The Garden Writers lunch - a busy place! My seminar took place
at the same time, so I was in and out. But I did get a chance
to chat with some outstanding garden writers and re-connect
with old friends. 

Beckie Fox, the editor of Garden Making magazine and
Lorraine Flanigan of City Gardening. In 2013, Lorraine
traveled on VIA Rail across Canada visiting public gardens
from coast to coast on behalf of VIA Rail and Garden Making.

Regal in red - Veronica Sliva of A Gardener's World
was the belle of the ball! Veronica often
blogs about her global garden adventures - but she
never takes me with her - boo!! :)
Beckie Fox of Garden Making along with
her publisher - and charming - hubby, Michael. If you haven't
had a chance to check out the magazine, I
highly recommend it. Each volume reads like a book and is
packed full of info, photos and timely techniques.

I snapped these garden gurus on the way
into Canada Blooms - Sonia Day from
The Toronto Star, who is also a very popular
garden author. Also Kathy Wood whose blog
is called The Cottage Gardener.

Minna of Global Mornings in Toronto and I
talk fragrant spring herbs and timely garden
tasks for spring!

Finally, Tara and I hanging out with the firecracker Miriam
Goldberger, author of the new book, Taming Wildflowers

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

An early spring at Canada Blooms - Part 1

Paul Zammit and me! Paul is the Nancy Eaton Director
of Horticulture at the Toronto Botanical Gardens - and
contributed a fabulous garden design for a pollinator
friendly veggie garden in Groundbreaking Food
I'm just back from a whirlwind trip to Toronto where a highlight of the visit was my day at Canada Blooms. Walking into the massive room at the Direct Energy Centre was like finally (finally!) enjoying a hint of spring. That day started with an early morning tour around the display gardens and various floral masterpieces with my Savvy Gardening buddy Tara Nolan.

While at Canada Blooms, I offered a seminar, followed by a book signing.. and I also had the chance to connect with the Canadian members of the Garden Writers Association. I will post photos of some of those folks in the coming days.

As always, there is so much to see at the show and I thought I could do one big post, but I just have to many photos.. so I'm going to divide it up over 2 or 3 posts.

Today, I want to focus on some of the edibles and new products I found at Canada Blooms.. I even returned home with more seeds (and seed potatoes) - can you imagine?! Now I need to pay a visit to Halifax Seed because I just realized that I need more trays and cell packs to start my seeds. Should have planned ahead.. ooops!

And speaking of Halifax Seed, they are hosting the official book launch for Groundbreaking Food Gardens on Saturday, April 5th from 2 to 4 pm. There will be plenty of books, seeds, garden goodies, door prizes and even cake! Hope you can pop in and say hi. The Facebook event page is here if you wanted to 'check in' beforehand or see more details.

While in TO, I also appeared on Global Mornings - Click HERE to watch that 4 min clip.

On Sat, March 15th, I joined Charlie Dobbin, host of The Garden Show for a one hour talk with her and her 'under gardener', Frank. They are a hoot - and so professional. Charlie, who also organizes Canada Blooms, had a terrible cold, but soldiered through. Listen to the podcast HERE.

And in tomorrow's (Thurs March 20th) Globe and Mail, there will be an article on my new book.. I'll post an online link if there is one.

More to come! :)

Hello Toronto!

Walking into the show I spy veggies!!

Is it summer? I see bush beans!

A view of some of the booth created by the Toronto
Botanical Gardens - a true edible paradise!

They used an assortment of trellises,
teepees, etc to support vining
crops likes cukes, noodle beans and more.

So colourful! This was a happening booth! This
photo was taken before the show opened.. during show
hours, it was wall to wall people!
See - I wasn't lying.. wall to wall! These four ladies work
for the TBG and were manning the cash registers.
So many tempting plants, tools and gardening goodies.

Oh look - it's m new book!! During my book signing, they
went through quite a pile! What a great place to
sign books. 

So beautiful! I filmed a short 2 min video here
to promote my upcoming June 5 and June 6
appearance at the TBG.
A pot of kale!
More raised planters and food crops.

A sprawling hanging tomato. The
pot was wrapped in burlap for
visual appeal.

A charming potting cart. I want one! (and
I love these topiaries)

A few new products - a pallet inspired
vertical garden. Great for edibles like
salad crops or herbs, as well as ornamentals
like succulents. 

A trough planter. Nice and deep for holding soil, with
a wide top to fit in as many plants as possible.

More vertical growing products. I
really want to start a living wall on my
back deck.

A closer peek. I want to grow herbs in mine.. anyone else?? :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sea and Be Scene segment, Canada Blooms & other housekeeping tidbits!

Canada Blooms 2013! Book signing in the
Toronto Botanical Garden booth. 
The countdown is on.. It seems like Canada Blooms has been just over the horizon for months.. but finally, it's here! I'll be speaking on Saturday March 15th at 1 pm, followed by a 2 pm book signing at the Toronto Botanical Garden booth - always a spring delight! While in the big city, I'll also be joining several radio and TV shows to talk about the spring garden season, as well as Groundbreaking Food Gardens.

If you're interested in checking out any of these media spots, here is a schedule, but I will also post links to these segments when I have them:

I'll also be posting and tweeting photos of Canada Blooms over the next few days! So stay tuned.. 

Sea and Be Scene:

Last week, I had the opportunity to talk with singer and entertainment personality Stephanie Beaumont of Sea and Be Scene. We covered a wide range of gardening topics, including fun and easy ideas to engage kids in the garden. To watch our chat, click HERE.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Podcast with the Savvy Gardening Gals!

UPDATE - I've just added the link to our chat with Steven Biggs below.. I'd also love to hear what your favourite gardening guff is!?

Last night my Savvy Gardening cohorts and I had the pleasure of talking to Steven Biggs (No Guff Gardening) for a soon-to-be-released podcast about our favourite garden guffs.. I talked to Steve and his co-author Donna Balzer almost two years ago about year round veggie gardening (listen HERE) and last night, Jessica, Tara, Amy and I had a blast chatting and laughing about garden myths. (spoiler - mine was 'You can't grow that here'.. anyone else ever hear that one?) Our podcast with Steven is HERE!

After our talk with Steven, we then joined John from the popular blog, 'An Obsessive Neurotic Gardener' to talk about a wide range of fun topics that included how the four of us met, what sparked the idea for Savvy Gardening, our favourite garden tools and so much more.. Essentially, it was a laughfest!! Jessica even shared our original name for the site - you'll have to listen to find out what it was.. let's just say, it's good that Jessica's husband realized why that name wasn't well suited. (oops!) To check out our chat on the 'An Obsessive Neurotic Gardener' podcast, click HERE

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

And….. it's out!!! Groundbreaking Food Gardens has arrived in Canadian Bookstores

I will be the first to admit that I don't totally get book release dates.. With Year Round Vegetable Gardener, it took a few extra weeks - after the release date - to arrive in Canada, which was a bit frustrating.. It was available in the US in late Dec 2011, but it was Feb before Canadian bookstores saw copies.

I anticipated the same situation for Groundbreaking Food Gardens and have been telling folks that it will prob be late March. After all, the official release date is March 25th. But once again I was wrong. I just learned yesterday that the book was printed in Canada and was already shipped to bookstores! This morning, I just got a message from Coles in Bedford Place Mall here in Halifax that they had copies on the shelf! Exciting!!

Officially, the book launch is going to be at Halifax Seed on Saturday April 5th from 2 to 4 pm. That will also be the first book signing I'll be doing. There will be plenty of garden fun (and cake!) and I'll share some stories and images from the book! I am so looking forward to that and I hope to see everyone there and hear about your own garden plans for 2014! (Halifax Seed will also be giving away seed packets to those who buy copies!) Plus, there will be giveaways of some pretty sweet garden goodies.. More details to come..