Sunday, 12 May 2013

Native plants shopping spree in Markham

Do you remember our native woodland garden that we started last year in our front yard? Well, we are really excited that almost all the native plants we planted came up this year. (A detailed front yard update coming soon.) There are some areas that need to be filled in, so we decided to go to the North American Native Plant Society's (NANP) annual plant sale to pick up some plants. 

This was our third time attending this event and we knew we had to get there early as the plant selection diminishes by the minute. It was held again in Markham and we managed to get there right on time. 

The event is very well organized with different sections for shrubs, flowers, trees and grasses. The flower section is further divided into dry, sunny, wet and shady sections to easily find what you are looking for.

There were many people and it felt like we needed to make quick decisions on the plants otherwise our fellow native plant lovers would grab them. There is an option to pre-order plants which worked well for us last year. This time around we decided to take our chances.

The plants were $6 each and we ended up buying a few Running Strawberry Bushes, Blue Phlox, Large Leaf Asters and Wild Bergamot.

In addition to the shopping, it was also great to chat with like minded people and get some more tips on what to plant under our Norway Maple. We even got some admiring praises as we described how we went for it and transformed our whole front yard into a native garden.

This plant sale is a great introduction to native plant gardening. If you want to attend next year I would recommend to prepare a list of plants you want to pick up. There is not much time to look around as plants get picked up fast and the whole event is done by the early afternoon.


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

My new obsession - Flower pot gardening

I am obsessed with flower pots. I love that you can create a little colourful garden oasis in them, whether you live in an apartment or a house. Flower pots for me are the ultimate reminder that summer has arrived.

The most exciting part about creating a flower pot is picking out the flowers; there are so many choices and so many colours. We started our flower hunt at Home Depot where we picked up some classic yellow/blue pansies.

I wanted to add some more textures and greenery so we went to Sheridan Nurseries for a bigger selection. I must admit that I got carried away by seeing all the flowers; I couldn’t hold back.

Sheridan Nurseries
We picked up five additional annuals including my favourites, Silverdust and a yellow Poppy. The only rule I kept was to stay within two main colours, yellow and purple/blue. When Misha saw my shopping cart he started to get worried that our pot might be a bit too small for all my selections.

When we got home I was eager to get started with the planting, despite of a light drizzle. We placed the pot in it's final location and filled the bottom up with stones for better drainage.

Then came the soil. We used all purpose soil in the bottom and triple mix soil at the top.

I played a bit with the flower arrangement...

 ...and then it was time for planting.

I watered the flowers well...

...and this is how our flower pot looks one week after planting.  Every morning I take a quick look at it from our bathroom window, just to soak up the beautiful colours and check how the flowers are growing.

Flower pot - Snapdragon, Dianthus, Poppy, Silverdust, Shamrock, Ranunculus, Pansy, Marguerite

This was our first adventure into annual flower pot gardening and I love it so much that I am already planning our next flower pot, and a window box, and a smaller pot, ... and ... 


P.S. I will post an updated photo of the flower pot in a couple of months. I can't wait for them to grow.