Gardening in a Changing Climate

As gardeners, it’s hard not to notice our changing climate. Cooler, wetter springs and drier, hotter summers. We will need to adapt what and how we grow but we also need to do everything we can to slow climate change and mitigate its negative impacts. We’re not powerless: we can act. We can conserve water, stop using gas-powered tools, protect biodiversity through native species, use organic fertilizers and adapt by growing plants more suitable to our changing climate.

It’s easy to say “the small things I do won’t change the world”, but in fact they will if enough of us take heart, get serious, change our behaviour and demand our governments act now.

Elizabeth Cull, Franchise President

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Spring Into Action!

Wow! From frost and snow to temperatures in the 20’s – talk about springing into action. At the end of February I was deciding to hold off seeding things I’d normally start indoors under lights, and now four weeks later, I’m having to check my raised vegetable bed regularly to make sure the soil is […]

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Let the Garden Inspire You

If you’re like me, you’ve already been thinking about ways to decorate your home for the holiday season. I love pulling out all the family traditions to make my home welcoming over Christmas. But I also like to try different things each year, some of which become family traditions in their own right!

Being a gardener, my ideas always turn to the wonderful materials I can gather for free from my garden to make my home more festive. It can be as simple as cutting evergreen boughs from your garden and pushing them into the soil in planters that are past their best. Add sparkling Christmas balls, mini-lights, ribbons or even a small lantern and you are well on your way.

For more inspiration, take a look at our latest newsletter – or better yet, visit one of our stores which are all decked out to help you have a wonderful, green and garden-y Christmas.

Elizabeth Cull, Franchise President

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Tips for the Lazy Gardener

  At a flea market earlier this spring, I picked up a little book called Proven Tips for Lazy Gardeners by Linda Tilgner. Perfect, I thought, much as I love gardening, summer weather makes you think more of lounging under a shady tree than weeding. So here are some of the tips I’ve gleaned – […]

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Spring Forward

I know some people hate the semi-annual time change – spring forward, fall back – but the longer hours in the early evenings have given me lots of time to work in my new gardens. And even if you are feeling a little sleep deprived, there’s nothing like some time spent in a garden to revive you.

March is the month to plan, plant and start seeds indoors. So get out your seed packages, find those gardening gloves, pick up a trowel, and let’s get gardening!

Elizabeth Cull, Franchise President

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And Another Gardening Season Begins

The tips of spring-flowering bulbs poking through the soil in my planters tell me that another gardening season is about to begin. And while it’s really too soon to start any seeds – even indoors – this is the perfect time to make sure you have everything you’ll need when the days get longer and the weather gradually warms up.

The first thing to do is take stock of your garden and supplies. Take a good look at your garden and think back to last season. If you made notes, took pictures or kept a journal – great! You know what you want to repeat and what you want to change. If you grow vegetables, take some time to consider how you will rotate your crops to avoid pests and disease. Draw a plan or make a list of what you want to add or delete so you’re ready and don’t fall in love with the first lovely plant or seed you see only to find out if really won’t work.

And check out our latest newsletter. It’s all about starting plants from seeds.

Elizabeth Cull, Franchise President

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Embrace Fall

I think I’ve confessed this before: fall really is my favourite season. The air is crisp. The colours are rich and warm. The to-do list for the garden is much shorter than in spring!

One of my favourite garden “chores” in the fall is selecting which spring-flowering bulbs to plant. I’m like a kid in a candy store. I’ve always been completely seduced by tulips – so many luscious colours and shapes. Read more …

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Slow Down … It’s Summer

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding it increasingly difficult to drag myself away from my garden these days. Early in the morning, the air is cool and the plants look gorgeous. The long stretch of warm weather has made everything in my allotment garden explode. Even though it was only planted at the very end of May, I’ve already been able to harvest lots of greens and soon I’ll be on to beans, zucchini and tomatoes.

Ornamental gardens are at their summer height – colourful and lush – including the plants transferred from my old garden to my deck.

While this newsletter encourages you to think about next season’s gardening, do take time to just sit back and enjoy the beauty and bounty you’ve already created.

Elizabeth Cull, Franchise President

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Changing Gardens

After 23 years of tending my large and rather wild garden in South Oak Bay, I’m moving house. Over the time I’ve owned Dig This Oak Bay I’ve talked to many customers who’ve “downsized” their gardens. There’s sadness involved in leaving a garden at any time. You wonder how the plants you tended so carefully are faring and whether your favourite rose has recovered from the severe pruning it received from the local deer.

But there’s also a sense of relief as the list of chores is shorter and a sense of excitement about starting something new. I will now be gardening on a large deck and a 12 foot by 3 foot raised bed allotment garden. I’ll be practicing square foot gardening techniques in the allotment garden and we’ll see what it’s like to create an ornamental garden entirely in containers on the deck.

I’ve come to realize that we really just borrow gardens for a period in time. They were there before us and continue after we move on. If we make the land we live on productive and beautiful while we’re there, then we’ve done our job. So now, on to something entirely different.

Elizabeth Cull, Franchise President

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Hello Spring

It’s been a crazy winter here on the southern half of Vancouver Island. Our Eastern friends were laughing as we experienced a “real Canadian winter”. But spring never fails to show up and we gardeners are more than ready for it. To celebrate the arrival of spring, I created this spring-inspired wreath for my front door.

Let the gardening season begin!

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