Not just another year in the garden

Landscaping and gardening is high on the to do list in our new home. What inspiration is guiding you this year, whether in your back yard or back forty?

Each spring in the garden represents a fresh start. This year our fresh start is on a bigger, blanker canvas. We’ve now got siding on the house, but everything else outside is pretty much up for grabs! Here’s where we might look for some inspiration as we get started:

Garden Days – this 10-day celebration of National Garden Day comes in mid June (9 – 18 June, 2017) and provides great opportunities to visit local gardens and other gardening spots; check out the website for activities in your area.

Tips for planting a bee-friendly gardenBee in purple wildflower (David Suzuki) – with honeybees and other bee populations in decline, it’s a no brainer to make sure our gardens contain plants that will attract and sustain bees.

There are lots of great tips available online, but a good starting point is the David Suzuki Foundation.

2017 Trends in Garden Design – this overview from Garden Design Magazine is out of the U.S., but many of the trends and looks apply to us north of the border. This year heralds a return to a more natural aesthetic in the garden after quite a few seasons of more manicured, controlled outdoor spaces; this includes outdoor furnishings. Recent trends like attractive edible plants have grown to include natural dye gardens (yup, growing plants that you can use to dye yarns, textiles and clothing). Cool!

Sourcing local…everywhere you look, more and more local seed producers are turning up, making it easier than ever to select plants – ornamental and edible alike – that will thrive where you live.

Want to choose garlic that will actually flourish in your garden? Find a local gardener who’s been nurturing a local variety for years and ‘borrow’ a few bulbs that you can plant in your own garden. The same applies to any plants you want to introduce to your garden.

The Wild GardenIn the Ottawa region, we’re intrigued by emerging players like The Wild Garden, which offers a Monthly Herbal Box program, walks and workshops, and other opportunities to learn more about native wild foods and herbs.

Endangered native species…we’ll consider planting trees and plants that are native but under threat. The Butternut tree is a great example in Eastern Ontario. Native to this part of Canada for thousands of years, it has been threatened by Butternut Canker Disease. The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority runs a Butternut Recovery Program that’s worth exploring if you live in the area.

Oh, and anything we choose will likely have some element of ‘low maintenance’ built in. I think we’re all looking for that!

What’s inspiring you in your outdoor spaces this year?

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