Take It Outside!

Whether it’s a casual picnic, your personal version of Dîner en Blanc, or a sandwich and cool drink in your Adirondack chair, dining outside is one of the pleasures of summer.

Somehow food eaten outdoors just tastes better, but if you want to crank your experience up a notch try these ideas. . .

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Garden Inspiration

This looks like a real balcony where anyone would love to hang out on a fine summer day. But it’s actually one of the demonstration gardens at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle held every February. Now that I’m gardening on a small deck, you can be sure I took lots of photos to inspire me.

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A gardener’s visit to New York wouldn’t be complete without an afternoon walking the High Line, a public park on Manhattan’s West Side built around a defunct elevated railway.

Designed by Dutch planting designer, Piet Oudolf, this elevated garden is a dynamic and inspired 3-mile-long transformation of what otherwise is just a ugly urban relic.

According to one of our favourite blogs, Gardenista, here’s what we can learn from the High Line to apply in our own gardens. Read more 

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Tips for a Great Hanging Basket

Victoria is known for its hanging baskets and your garden or patio can easily be part of this tradition.

To begin you need a wire basket. The bigger the basket the better in this instance, as a bigger basket leads to higher water retention which means less maintenance and greater opportunity for bigger and more vibrant plants. Read more …

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Choosing the Perfect Garden Bench

The style of bench you choose for your garden is partly a matter of personal taste and partly a matter of function. Is its primary purpose a place to relax? Or are you using the bench to create a point of interest in the garden, something to draw people along to explore further? Whatever your objective, here are some tips to help you find the perfect garden bench.

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These Plants Work for You

Did you know that house plants can improve air quality inside your home?

Believe it or not, back in the 1980’s NASA did a study to look at which plants were best able to filter the air of the space station! And if these house plants are good enough for the space station, think of what they can do for your home environment.

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Take Another Look at Roses

I’ll confess: I’ve been guilty of being a rose snob, preferring old roses with pedigree over modern hybrid tea roses.

I love the soft colours of old roses and the interesting shapes of their flowers. Did I mention the perfume? But I certainly don’t love the black spot and powdery mildew. And I sure wish they would bloom longer and more often.

That’s why this article on “new” modern roses caught my attention. Imagine a well-behaved, disease free rose that looked and smelled like an old rose. According to Val Bourne, an award-winning garden writer for the Telegraph, it’s time to take another look at the newest breeds of roses.

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Garden Seating Simplified

It’s June so it’s time to think about spending more time relaxing and entertaining in your garden. A well-designed outdoor seating area expands your home and gives you more options for entertaining outdoors and al fresco dining. Here are some tips from garden designer Darcy Daniels found in a recent newsletter from Fine Gardening.

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The Movable Garden

Looks can be deceiving! This beautiful garden is almost entirely in containers. Container gardening comes to mind when you don’t actually have a garden, but just a patio or balcony. But containers can also be very useful and beautiful in conventional gardens.

Fine Gardening Magazine is one of our favourite sources of inspiration for container gardens, so take a look at this article and see what containers can do for your garden.

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Gardening for the Little Folk

In case you hadn’t noticed, fairy gardens are all the rage right now and not just for children. Many gardeners are enjoying stretching their imagination by creating tiny gardens for fairies. Fairy doors, small scale furniture and tools, and of course, tiny fairies, can be placed in a spot in your garden for all to  enjoy. Some brave souls even put their fairy gardens out on the boulevard for all to see. I’m sure it’s bad karma to disturb a fairy garden.

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