With the warmer weather here for many of us, our focus turns to the outdoors. We’ve got some tips for you!Read More
Customize your house plan
EkoBuilt’s passive house floorplans are tried and tested, but they are also easily customized to you and your life.Read More
Our ticket winners to the Ottawa Home & Garden Show!
Thanks to all who took the time to enter our ticket giveaway for this year’s Ottawa Home & Garden Show. We were happily overwhelmed by the response!
Win tickets! Ottawa Home & Garden Show 2019
We have 20 free tickets to the Ottawa Home & Garden Show 2019, which will run from March 21-24 at the EY Centre.
Tree Planting for Homeowners in Eastern Ontario
Nearly two years ago we first wrote a post here about the Trees for Tomorrow and Green Acres programs that help homeowners wishing to reforest a part of their own land. It’s such a great idea, that we’re writing here about it again. This spring they planted the six millionth tree.
For many of us building a custom home, we’ve chosen to build on a patch of land outside of the city. That often means we have some extra space that can be considered for various uses. Sometimes there are obvious uses that come to mind for ourselves, whether gardening, small scale farming, recreation, etc.
Have you considered planting trees in volume? Planting seedlings for future trees will improve a property and its value, provide wildlife with new habitat, help to cut down on land erosion, create shade and livable spaces, and even offset carbon emissions.
For any landowner with property sitting idle, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority offers technical and financial assistance to reforest that space.
Applicants for 2019 Tree Planting Season
The RCVA is now looking for new planting areas for the 2019 tree planting season. Could it be you? Or someone you know? Anyone with a large area of one acre or more for planting is welcome to contact the RCVA for a site visit:
Forestry Program Manager
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
613-692-3571 ext. 1175
Imagine your property filled with more than an acre of trees for a small fraction of the real investment required, where all of the hard work is done by others, including site assessment, clearing and planting. The program includes survival assessments in the early years.
The only commitment on the part of landowners is to cover the heavily subsidized planting effort (this really is a good deal), order a minimum of 500 trees, and to make reasonable efforts to protect the trees from damage.
There is also a Butternut Recovery Program for the endangered butternut species.
Get $4 OFF tickets to the Ottawa Home & Garden Show
Rain proofing your BBQ and other fun things
This super wet summer is definitely providing some challenges in the garden and in planning get-togethers. Leave it to the British to offer some good advice on barbecuing in wet weather: How to Rain-Proof Your Barbecue from the Guardian.
As Canadians who camp, we’re not too phased by tending to the BBQ in the rain, but it’s a great reminder that a well placed tarp can make a world of difference. We expect to do this when we go camping, but this year it may be something worth doing in the backyard too if you normally enjoy grilling without any cover. This video offers a great primer on 4 knots that are great to know whenever and wherever you might be setting up your tarp.
4 Knots to Set Up a Tarp
Rainy Day S’Mores
If foul weather conspires to simply keep you feeling housebound for a spell, there are loads of recipes for Rainy Day S’mores on the ‘net, and you could certainly start with this one from Savoring the Good: Rainy Day S’mores in 10 Minutes.
Here’s to summer fun, even when the weather doesn’t go our way!
Not just another year in the garden
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 garden (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.
In 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?