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Your Complete Fall Cleanup Checklist

Autumn has arrived, and when the air gets crisp and the leaves begin to turn, gardeners can expect to enjoy a spectrum of beautiful fall colours. This short 'season' usually lasts only week or two here in Alberta, and once it's passed, many gardeners and homeowners are left with some work to do. From fall [...]

Plant List: Plants Deer Choose Last

Deer - one of the most challenging garden pests to control. While some gardener's have found success using deterrents like PlantSkydd or Bobbex, those solutions require diligence, and they come with their own downside (um, no one loves the smell). For a more 'natural' approach, many gardener's choose to design their yards with trees and [...]

Spring & Summer Outdoor Watering Guide

We get a lot of questions from well-intentioned gardeners down here at the greenhouse -  vivid descriptions of 'problem plants', pictures of sad shrubs, and even bags full of fallen flora will often accompany these advice-seekers, and HANDS DOWN, the most common cause of death-and-disease for outdoor plant care is: wait for it... Not. Enough. [...]

7 Ways to Have a Beautiful, Prairie-Hardy Yard (With Plant List!)

Spring is here, and many of us are hovering over our yards, waiting to see what survived the prairie winter, and what didn't. Our chinook-y winters and dry summers can make it challenging to have the yard of your dreams, but with the right plants, and a few easy steps, it's very possible to have [...]

Your Complete Spring Yard Prep Checklist

Every spring, there are a few of those early days when the sun peeks out, the air warms up, and the snow melts. Gardeners begin to stir and wrestle with the temptation to get gardening, despite their better judgement - after all, the widely touted "False Spring" is an Albertan specialty! Though the ground may [...]

QuickGuide: Starting Your Seeds Indoors

Alberta is not known for having an extensive growing season... which can make it difficult to grow some vegetables, herbs, flowers, or other garden plants from seed to maturity! With only 3-5 months of decent weather to grow in (depending on the year), most gardeners 'round here need to get creative. A quick and easy [...]

Bug Series: How to Deal With Thrips

Thrips – a word that makes any houseplant collector shudder. These tiny bugs are primarily a problem indoors, where they are protected from predators and the elements, but they are common pests to vegetable and fruit garden as well. The bad news is, just a few thrips can do a lot of damage. The good [...]

Bug Series: Leafrollers, Tent Caterpillars & Other Caterpillars

Caterpillars – are they cute? Are they gross? They jury’s out. Depending on who you ask, caterpillars are a delightful analogy for change, or they are tiny, hungry, fuzzy monsters. If you’re a gardener and not a 1st grader, you might have a distaste for these crawling insects, but the truth is that, generally, caterpillars [...]

Bug Series: How to Deal With Spider Mites

If you’re already a gardener or a houseplant enthusiast, you’re probably familiar with the dread of finding a spider mite infestation. Spider mites are common in most places around the world (though species will vary), and these ultra-fast-reproducers give even rabbits a run for their money. These pests are not to be taken lightly – [...]

Bug Series: How to Deal with (Common) Leafminers

Common in most North American climates, there are a great variety of leafminers species that feed on everything from prairie-hardy trees & shrubs, to the edible leaves of your fruits and vegetables. Though the damage left behind by these pests is easy to identify, the bugs are not. Maturing as small, non-descript black flies, leaf [...]

Bug Series: How to Deal With Slugs

Let's be honest, it's not awesome when you reach down to gently pluck a new leaf from your lettuce plant and you end up with a handful of gooey slug-mush instead. Slugs typically aren't a gardening-favourite, but these icky molluscs are easy to deal with, and usually not the end of the world. Why They’re [...]

Bug Series: How to Deal With Fungus Gnats

Talk about tiny! These itty-bitty little black flies, love wet habitats. We don’t notice them often outside in the open environment, but they are common household pests for those plant-lovers among us. Why they’re good: Fungus gnats actually serve an important purpose in the greater ecosystem. They don’t harm our plants but rather, live symbiotically [...]

Bug Series: How to Deal with Aphids

What most people don’t realize is that these pesky little insects come in many different sizes and colours. Most commonly in Alberta, you’ll see green, yellow, black, or brown aphids. Described as “juicy-looking” bugs, these soft-shelled insects are literally just that – slow, plump, and sweet to eat (for their predators, that is). Why They’re [...]

Bug Series: How to Deal With Birch Leaf Miner

Ah yes, the enemy of the Birch Tree! These crafty little larvae are originally native to Europe, but migrated to certain parts of Canada sometime in the mid-1900’s. Most entomologists agree that it’s not reasonable to expect the eradication of Birch Leaf Miner here in Canada, but many of our own native species have adapted [...]

Bug Series: How to Deal with Ants

An unwanted ant colony can be a frustrating nuisance to gardeners, and these persistent colony insects aren't exactly easy to get rid of. But don't worry, if you can't live peacefully with em', you have options. In order to address the root of the issue, it's important to understand why your new neighbours have appeared [...]

Bugs Series: How to Deal With Bugs On Your Plants

Bugs are part of the natural ecosystem. They play an important role in creating healthy environments, and even healthy gardens. Some bugs are simply beneficial – like ladybugs, earthworms, bees, and even centipedes – causing no harm to your plants, but instead creating nutrients, eating harmful bugs, and pollinating flowers. Other bugs can cause plant [...]

Plants for Your Shady Spots

It’s a common gardening frustration: “Nothing will grow there!” If you have a north facing yard, an awkward shady corner, or a side-bed that gets almost no sun, you probably know the feeling. You’ve tried plant after plant. Some of them die right away. Some of them show promise for a little while, but eventually [...]

How to Build Your Own Succulent Box

Ok, so who can resist a cute little succulent centerpiece? Putting together your own, customized succulent arrangement is super quick and easy to do, plus you get the satisfaction of applying your own creativity to a living decoration for your home. Here’s your quick, 6-Step Guide for building your own succulent box: Step 1: Prepare [...]

How to Properly Plant Trees & Shrubs

Don't have time to read all the words? The quick and dirty: Dig the hole no deeper than the root mass and 1.5 - 2 times as wide. Place the plant in the center of the hole. Back fill with amended soil. Add some form of nutrients or fertilizer. Water really well! (You want water [...]

Growing Vegetables in Cochrane and Seed Starting Tips

Time to start thinking about what will be growing in our gardens this year. We get a lot of similar questions around different types of seeds, i.e. GMO, organic, heirloom, etc. as well as what grows well here in Alberta. At this point we have received all our seeds for the 2018 gardening season. All […]

Indoor & Outdoor Garden Ideas

Just a sampling of some styles of gardens and garden/plant spaces that got us really excited for Spring/Summer this year! We have to say, some of these may not be possible to achieve here in Alberta but there is no reason they can’t get you thinking warm, happy thoughts and provide inspiration for your garden […]

3 Ways Plants Could Improve Your Health

Having plants in your home (or office) has great benefits – that’s not news to most of us, but did you know just how beneficial they are?  In 1989 NASA published their Clean Air Study (Wolverton, Johnson, & Bounds, 1989), which they created after it became apparent that enclosed structures contain high amounts of toxic […]

Seed Starting Guides

All About Mulch

Mulching Mulching refers to much more than just bark. Mulching means to cover the soil with some kind of material. There are two types of mulch; inorganic and organic. Inorganic mulch includes things like rock, recycled rubber products, geotextile fabric, etc. Organic mulch includes things like shredded bark or bark chips, compost, old leaves, etc, […]

Plants for tough areas in the garden!

Plants for those tough areas in the yard. Plants for Wet Areas [*Will grow in shade] Trees & Shrubs Ash Birch Chokecherry Dogwood Elm Larch Maple Oak Poplar Willow Perennials Creeping Jenny* Elephant Ears Globeflower* Goatsbeard* Iris (siberian) Ostrich Fern* Rayflower* Snake Root* Plants for Shade Areas [*Will tolerate full shade] Trees & Shrubs Snowberry […]