What if we gave up on New Year’s resolutions before we even made them?
What if, as the New Year approaches, we choose not to beat ourselves up over the goals we didn’t accomplish, or the weight we didn’t lose, and instead decided to make a list of all of the things that brought us joy in the year that was?
Resolutions always seem punitive. They imply sacrifice and deprivation. Sure, we all want to be better people, but instead of focusing on denying ourselves or putting ourselves through the paces, perhaps we ought to shone a light on all of those things that make us feel full, and alive.
If you’re reading this, it’s a safe guess that you love the beauty of nature. Getting your hands into the earth, sowing seeds, tending to plants, or vegetables, or flowers. Maybe you’ve been dreaming of how to transform that little corner of your garden into something special.
This could be the year that you start on that new garden project. Stop settling for a backyard you don’t enjoy being in, or that doesn’t suit your lifestyle. You can finally get the expert advice you need to start the year focused on creating space that you’ll love. Create an oasis, a green playground, the quintessential outdoor living space or an attractive barrier for privacy. Plant that culinary garden you’ve been dreaming of.
Consider the benefits of finally creating a backyard patio and outdoor entertaining area. You’ll eat out less and save money, because your space will demand to be filled with summer evening suppers. You’ll be more active as you tend to the garden and keep your plants looking well-loved. You’ll create a sense of harmony and peace as you commune with your own little patch of nature. There’s even opportunity for more creativity in your life if you get hands on with the design process.
We want you to step into the New Year by taking your first steps on the garden projects and problems you’ve been putting off, and our team can help you create a plan. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing; it can be a process, one that carries you through the year, and our team can assist you through it.
We’ve got complimentary consultations available with our knowledgeable and friendly staff, whether you’re designing for the first time or the fifth. We can help you learn a new skill, find your green thumb, and help you choose planters that compliment your style, or the perfect tree to commemorate a special milestone or occasion in the coming year.
Get messy and creative, bring your loved ones together to enjoy the fruits of your labour, fill your home with fresh flowers that you’ve lovingly tended. Treat yourself to the rewards of time spent in the garden, and see just how many benefits you’ll reap from reflecting on how you want to feel instead of how you want to change.
Let’s talk about your 2019 gardening goals, ask a question below, contact Mori Gardens at (905) 468-7863 or book an no-obligation appointment through our simple scheduler at www.morigardens.as.me
Christmas has always been my holiday. I still welcome the sleigh bells and snow drops with the giddy enthusiasm of a child, filling my home with gingerbread smells and boughs of pine. I get a charge from the bustle of shopping malls, and I never get sick of the endless loop of carols. This year, I’m leaning on that festive spirit harder than ever. I’m digging deep for that cheer and wonder. When I was invited to Mori Gardens to help make holiday planters, I enthusiastically agreed. It seemed like a good way to kick-start my holiday spirit.
I pictured myself slotted into a pine-festooned assembly line, mass producing whimsical creations while working fast enough to keep my fingers warm. A Santa’s elf in a tired mom disguise. I layered some casual clothes, packed a pair of gardening gloves and a thermos of tea, and appeared, ready to churn out whatever the designer had concocted.
The Garden Centre was transformed into a forest-scented wonderland full of greenery and twinkling lights. Huge arrangements of evergreen dotted with glittering confections warmed every corner of the showroom. Charming twig reindeer bedecked with red velvet ribbon and garlands of cedar stood sentry. I couldn’t help but pat one on the head as I searched for the designer I’d be working with. Clearly, a highly trained pro, with plenty of experience.
Tonie Mori greeted me with a hug.
“So, you’ve come to unleash your creativity?” she said playfully. “I can’t wait to see what you come up with.”
She led me by the hand through aisle upon aisle of glittering branches, pinecones of every variety, ‘snow’ covered boughs, darling little birds, cheerful berries, other-worldly seed pods. There were mountains of fir, pine, cedar, juniper and I was enveloped in the magic of the heady scent of evergreen and spicy sap.
Tonie, who obviously expected great things of me, quickly demonstrated how to price each arrangement, paired me with a more seasoned staff member, and then like a benevolent fairy godmother with just the spell I needed to break my holiday blues she said, “Have fun.”
My mentor, Vicky, slid a pot of dirt my way. With a grin, she shoved a thick log of birch into the centre of the dirt. “I’d start like this, and build around it,” she said.
And that was the sum total of my lesson.
But I was inspired by the season, and my inner elf was awakening. I took a quick pass around the showroom for closer inspiration. The secret seemed to be in creating a base of interesting texture, working with the fuller boughs (like pine with those long, feathery needles) to create a foundation, then filling in the gaps with graceful, slender cedar. Or the arresting geometry of holly. Or perhaps, adorable tufts of juniper with tiny, winking berries in blue.
For the first time in months, I dialed the volume in my head down to zero and just cruised through the garden centre, filling my arms with a hefty pile of fragrant greens. I didn’t care about the sap on my parka. I didn’t feel the cold. My feet were guided by the crooning carols of Harry Connick Jr as I amassed the beginnings of my masterpiece.
The natural curves of the branches told me where each bough wanted to go. I remembered Vicky’s advice and rooted the greens deep into the soil so the wind wouldn’t take them. Soon the birch bough she’d shoved into my pot rose like an ivory tower from a gently undulating sea of evergreen.
It took thirty minutes to create the base. I got lost in the wonder of creation. The life-giving magic of my fingers in the dirt, listening to how this sculpture wanted to be born. Trance-like, I took to the aisles again in search of finishing touches; magnolia leaves, giant pine cones, willow branches and lotus pods gilded with a touch of copper. Each element told my hands where to place it, and soon my first planter was complete.
My creation was handsome; decidedly understated and earthy. There was something calming and grounded in its design – a natural offering, resilient through the bitter frost of winter. The winds could blow, but even under a clump of snow the beauty of this collection of boughs and pods would endure.
Holiday planters not only make a lasting decoration to add cheer to your entranceway, they also make wonderful gifts. Mori Gardens offers outdoor arrangements year round in a variety of sizes, in addition to wreaths, centerpieces, fresh evergreen boughs and other design elements so you can unleash your own creativity. The design space where I worked is available to the public for use for workshops and creative parties. Evergreen gifts make excellent party favors for your guests to take home after your annual shindig and will add warmth and cheer throughout the winter season.
You may be interest in the following articles:
An Evergreen Tradition
How To Care For A Fresh Cut Christmas Tree
Learn more about out our 4 seasons planter program, the Mori Gardens Creative Space, and how to get your custom planters this season visit us at www.MoriGardens.com
By: Catharine Skinner
There is no such thing as perfect. This is what I must remind myself every single year when it comes time to choose my fresh Christmas tree. Still, when it comes to selection, I agonize over just theright height, I agonize over just the right height, shape, colour – really the list is endless
Thankfully, I can’t go wrong at Mori Gardens. Their selection of fresh trees is unrivaled.
So, how do you know which tree is perfect for you? Start by considering your household. If you’ve got little ones around,pine and fir trees have softer needles than say, spruce trees whose sharp needles can hurt when you get one in the foot.
Measure the height and width of the space you’d like to place your tree. Don’t forget to include the height of your tree stand.
Line the inside of your vehicle or the bed of your truck with an old tarp or sheet to protect it from tree sap and needles. Bring utility gloves to spare your fingers.
Test your tree for freshness. Make sure it’s not dropping lots of needles when you give a branch a shake, look for even colour. Pine needles should be flexible when you bend them and fir needles will snap. Check the trunk for a slight stickiness.
Once you get the tree home, saw off half an inch from the trunk and get the tree in water as soon as possible after that.This will freshen the trunk for better absorption.
Find the coolest, driest spot in your home for the tree. Avoid placing the tree near a heating vent or fireplace.
Keep your tree stand full of water. You may find that the tree is extra thirsty when you first bring it home and will need water added every other day.
I remember years ago, my husband at thetime took me to a local tree farm. It was our first Christmas together, and wewere both wildly enthusiastic. The farm was as picturesque and charming as you might imagine, and our cheeks were rosy with holiday cheer.
First we got lost in the woods. Then my husband ruined the wool coat I bought him trying to saw down the tree we’d chosen. (We were city folk, what can I say?) Finally, after sweating andgrunting over attempting to hack down the tree, my husband flicked hiss now-covered (bare) hands and his wedding band went soaring through the air, landing somewhere in the snow with a soft thunk. We had to make the trek back the next day with a metal detector and miraculously found the darned thing.
All this to say that one tree farm adventure was enough for my lifetime. Give me a takeout mug of hot something orother and a stroll through the bedecked wonderland of the Mori Gardens centre and you’ll see my holiday spirit shine. It’s a family tradition; we get the kids involved in selection, and it always ends with a gorgeous fresh tree, acozy evening sipping cocoa and listening to our favourite carols, and a home filled with the delightful fragrance of evergreen.
After all, the lasting traditions are usually the simplest ones.
Real, cut Christmas trees are a wonderfully fragrant tradition for the holidays. Find Your Premium Fresh Cut Christmas Trees at Mori Gardens.
For more information on finding your premium cut Christmas tree contact Mori Gardens E: email@example.com P: (905)468-7863 or visit http://www.morigardens.com
Read more about Christmas Tree Care & Choosing Tips at https://growniagara.com/how-to-care-f…
Real, cut Christmas trees are a wonderfully fragrant tradition for the holidays. Selecting and caring for your tree is the key to lasting beauty, and with a few simple tips, your evergreen will flourish throughout the holiday season.
When you find a tree that you like, do a freshness test to make sure that it’s worthy to come home with you. Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward you. Very few needles should come off in your hand if the tree is fresh. Shake or bounce the tree on its stump. You shouldn’t see an excessive amount of green needles fall to the ground. Some loss of interior brown needles is normal and will occur over the lifetime of the tree.
After you’ve chosen your tree, keep it in a sheltered, unheated area, such as a porch or garage, to protect it from the wind and sun until you are ready to decorate it. If you won’t be decorating it right away, place the tree in a bucket full of water that you refill as needed.
Just before you set up your tree, make a fresh, straight cut across the base of the trunk (about 1/2 inch up from the original cut) and place the tree in a tree stand that holds a gallon of water or more. If you don’t cut off some of the trunk, the tree won’t be able to absorb water, and it will dry out and become a fire hazard.
Make sure your tree stand will hold enough water for the size of your tree. Measure the diameter of your tree trunk in inches — that’s how many quarts of water your tree stand should be able to hold. (For example, if it measures 6 inches across, then you need 6 quarts of water.)
Keep the tree stand filled with water. A seal of dried sap will form over the cut stump in four to six hours if the water drops below the base of the tree. If a seal does form, you’ll have to make another fresh cut, which is much harder to do when the tree’s decorated.
A tree will absorb as much as a gallon of water or more in the first 24 hours and one or more quarts a day thereafter. Water is important because it prevents the needles from drying and dropping off and the boughs from drooping. Water also keeps the tree fragrant.
For safety, keep your tree away from all heat sources, such as fireplaces, radiators, baseboard heat, portable heaters, television sets, and heat vents. Not only can all of these can make the tree dry out faster, but can also contribute to setting a tree on fire.
Use the correct size of tree stand for your tree and see that the tree is secure in the stand to prevent it from falling over.
Be sure to keep an eye on pets and children around Christmas trees. Don’t let your 4-legged friends drink the water in the tree stand as it can upset their tummies and reduce the water the tree is getting. Don’t place glass ornaments where little fingers can reach them and avoid using tinsel.
I’ve never been one of those people who knock out holiday shopping early. In fact, I typically roll my eyes at friends who smugly announce that not only are their gifts purchased but wrapped too before we’re barely into December. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of the poor souls left racing around on Christmas Eve, but I’ve never had it together enough to be able to kick back and relax the week before Christmas.
Until this year.
I don’t know how I’ve managed to live in this region for four years without noticing the multitude of holiday craft markets on offer. All summer long I’d planned on hitting the market for produce and the occasional bouquet of fresh cut flowers, but it just didn’t happen. It looks like I can make up for my laziness all the way through the late fall. Maybe these events are on my radar now that my local garden centre has hopped on the bandwagon. It doesn’t matter. I’ve decided that local holiday markets are the answer to my shopping prayers.
I’ll enlist a girlfriend, get a sitter for my son (who likes shopping about as much as he likes getting a flu shot), and I’ll choose the perfect layered outfit. Nobody wants to carry around a bulky coat when there’s handmade soap to sniff.
The holiday market will be a feast for all of my senses. My eyes will wonder at the festive décor; boughs of evergreen, cheerful ribbon, snowflakes, icicles, glistening orbs of delicate glass. Creations by local artisans will inspire and delight; beads and baubles, ornaments for the home, accessories, and apparel. My fingers will caress fabric, paper, and wood. Fragrant candles, oils, and soaps will tickle my nostrils. Surely there will be some treats for my taste buds to enjoy – I’m dreaming of shortbread or gingerbread. Really, any bread will do. I’ll even settle for a crusty round of sourdough. Maybe there’ll be hot apple cider to wash it down. Or even better, mulled wine.
The market will help me be a better citizen. I’ll be supporting local makers and entrepreneurs. My friends and family will be thrilled with my thoughtful and creative gift-giving. Who do I know who wears a beard? I’ll bet I can find about five different beard balm flavours. Or are they fragrances? I guess they really aren’t meant to be eaten, though I’ve encountered a few that have made my mouth water.
Friends who come to visit from out of town will think I’m the perfect host as I shuttle them from wine tasting to the festive merriment of whichever market happens to be on that weekend. By this time next year, I’ll know all the best ones to visit.
My holiday market-hopping will kick off on November 16th. Mori Gardens has made their annual open house (a decade-long tradition) a festive celebration with A Very Mori Christmas Palooza. The Palooza includes Mori’s own showcase of local artisans, the Niagara on the Lake Christmas Market, open through November 18th. While I’m there, I might even pick out my Christmas décor. They have the most beautiful trees, wreaths, and planters. Come to say hi. I’ll be the lady in the festive plaid shirt with a face full of cookies and a steaming mug of cheer.
There is nothing more satisfying to a gardener than seeing those first early spring flower bulbs popping up from the cold ground. These little sprouts soon bloom into gorgeous blossoms, brightening up your garden for the start of a great growing year.
“A flower bulb is an underground storehouse and flower factory. Within the bulb is everything that the plant will need to sprout and flower at the appropriate time.”
True bulb – e.g. Daffodils, Tulips, Hyacinths, Onions
Corms – e.g. Crocus, Gladiolas
Tubers – e.g. Begonias, Potatoes
Rhizomes – e.g. Irises
Storage Roots – e.g. Dahlias, Carrots
– winter hardy-can be left in the ground year after year
– plant in the fall
– blooms early spring-summer
– tender-must be dug up in fall
– plant in late spring
– blooms summer to fall
Bulbs that are planted in the spring need to be dug and stored inside for the winter – i.e. Canna, Calla lilies, Begonia tubers, Gladiolas etc.
For your Spring Blooming Blubs, stop by Mori Gardens. We are happy to answer your bulb questions and assist you in creating your ideal garden. For more information click the bulbs category for additional bulb resources.
When was the last time you visited your local park? It’s no secret that being outdoors has psychological benefits, but what exactly does that mean? Well, aside from the obvious benefits of ‘exercise’ in and of itself, there are other perks to parks.
A study performed by Stanford University has shown that the effects of nature on those who take in 90 minutes of nature a day, reduce obsessive thoughts of worry, decreases the effects of depression, as well as reducing stress levels and improving happiness.
The Niagara region is incredibly fortunate to be the proud owner of some of the most beautiful parks and green spaces in southern Ontario, but sadly as reported by Environment Canada, Canadians spend as much as up to 90% of their time inside. We work at our job, we work on our homes, we work towards building assets and covet that elusive and undefinable destination of ‘success’.
While much diminished by technology and modernity, our need for nature can be traced back to the early nineteenth century, with the likes of Thoreau suggesting that “we need the tonic of wilderness”. Perhaps looking at our local parks and green spaces is a way for us to find success of a different ‘nature’, that of emotional success. According to a paper published by the Harvard Medical School, the benefits of being outside for as little as five minutes are quite amazing.
The first and most obvious finding is that your levels of vitamin D will raise. Why is that important you may ask? It increases your body’s ability to fight infection and disease, it improves your ability to lose weight (I know right?!), it affects your bone density, your hair, your emotional wellness, and the list goes on.
Aside from the immediate benefits of a ‘beautiful’ environment, which most are able to appreciate; a walk in the park reduces physical aches and pains and lowers the likelihood of stress fractures, osteoporosis, and some heart conditions.
With the opening of the Voices of Freedom Park here in Niagara on the Lake in September, perhaps now is the time to embrace the outdoors, and take in some local history. Designed by Raymond Tung in collaboration with the Town’s planning department, and storytelling installations by Toronto artist Tom Ridout, Voices of Freedom Park recognizes the contribution of early black settlers to Niagara on the Lake, as well as the abolition of slavery, and the beginning of the Underground Railroad.
There’s so much to gain from spending just a few minutes in a park. With parks such as the Voices of Freedom Park just around the corner allowing you to walk through some of our local histories, there’s no time like the present to put on your walking shoes, zip up your jacket, and take in some fresh air and vitamin D.
It has been a long, hot, dry summer and most of our summer containers are looking battle fatigued. Why not bring new life to your doorways this fall by adding mums along with annual and perennial grasses and plants to your containers?
To assist you in your Mum purchase and care process, please use the following instructions and contact our garden team for any additional questions or assistance.
· Mums can be planted in the fall or kept in the pot. Allow the mum plants to go dormant over the winter. Keep them outside once the blooms die, and mound the pots with dried leaves or garden refuse to prevent premature freezing.
If you have questions about your mums or creating your fall planters. Contact our Mori Gardens team, for fall arrivals, tips & tricks. We’re here to assist in your garden needs from Dream to Enjoyment.
Without a doubt, we live in one of the prettiest towns in Canada. Niagara-on-the-Lake is in full bloom, and store fronts, businesses and patios are bursting with colour. Each morning, you’ll see the busy crew from the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake watering and maintaining our public spaces. Like a stealthy team of garden ninjas they pluck weeds, spread mulch, fertilize and make sure the lovely floral backdrops that turn up in countless tourist photos don’t whither in the sweltering heat.
The Town’s dedication to keeping Old Town pristine is one of the reasons we’ve won the Communities in Bloom International Challenge two years in a row and why an estimated 3.5 million tourists visit Niagara on the Lake each year. In the warmer months, Queen Street flourishes as flocks of visitors enjoy shops, cafes and restaurants, The Shaw Festival, horse drawn carriage rides and hotels. We took our own little tour of some of our favourite public garden spaces in Old Town, and here are the highlights for those visiting Niagara as well as us locals, to stop and admire our beautiful town from a different angle, including the names of some of those plants you’ve had your eye on.
Our first stop was this charming plot at the end of Mississauga Street at Queen. This spot features the dark elegance of purple fountain beech, the ethereal wonder of weeping Japanese maple, sturdy yew trees and perennial fountain grasses.
The best way to take in the rest of Queen Street is to park and walk. I’d recommend starting at 166 Queen Street, a residential property with a whimsical garden designed by Mori Gardens and maintained by Bryan Jones Landscaping Ltd.
Take a look at the lampposts dotting the street. Those glorious flowering baskets must be watered by pole arm each morning until they drip through.
I love the Snow Queen oak leaf hydrangea in front of the 124 on Queen. At 10 x 7 feet, this majestic plant may be too large for the scale of your home, but the Munchkin oak leaf offers a similar look in a compact 3 x 4.5 feet.
Stop for a treat or lunch at Treadwell, or the brand new Treadwell bakery, and enjoy the wonderful shady patio bordered by pin cushion boxwoods, purple salvia, and perennial hibiscus.
Perhaps the most memorable of Queen Street gardens is the explosion of colour at the Shaw Café and Wine Bar. These annual flowers are part of a plan dreamed up early each year and grown in green houses for months before they are ready to plant outdoors. They start and end each day with a big drink so they’re fresh and ready for adoring visitors.
As you continue along Queen towards King Street, take a look at the trees. You’ll see oak, maple and ginko. These trees looks so healthy because new soil is added, and they are fertilized and mulched by the Town.
Balzac’s Coffee Roasters on King Street features gorgeous planters that get refreshed with each season. Their design incorporates height, texture, colour contrast, and interest from leaf and flower.
Across the street from Balzac’s is the Prince of Wales Hotel. Globed yews, variegated hostas, and astilbe create a lush, green welcome and a striking contrast to the façade of the grand old hotel.
Simcoe Park offers several lovely vantage points to sit and people-watch. Rest in the shade and admire the yew hedging, variegated hostas, Annabelle White Hydrangea, and chestnut trees. Can you spot the layers of height, various textures, and points of interest? Each plant compliments its neighbor, and serves to make this a perfect place for a rest as you wander along Queen.
As you turn back to walk down Queen, admire Corks Winebar and Eatery featuring cheerful variegated dogwood, juniper and hicks yews. Note the rosehip bush in front of Wine Country Vintners and find a globed burning bush at Nina’s Geletaria & Pastry Shop. Great for leaf interest in the summer months, this bush changes colour with the seasons and makes for a great hedge or pruned shrub.
No detail was missed at many of our local shops, such as Greaves, with a sense of entry at even the side doors. That’s rose gold bayberry and yew hedging in the front of the building.
Take a right on Victoria Street and admire homes and local businesses like One Earth and Frances Denny Acquisitions as you stroll towards the water. You can take a left on Front Street and a left again on Gate to head back to Queen Street.
Pop into Pie’za for lunch, or visit the Oban Inn to admire the gardens with a glass of Perridiso wine.
It’s not just the hard working crew from the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake who are willing to get their hands dirty for our award winning beauty. You’ll see countless private residences and bed and breakfasts with meticulous gardens that will delight every taste and style.
As you return to Queen Street, you’ll see the Canada Post Office sign poking through the Virginia creeper. The building is also adorned with white hydrangea similar to either the Annabelle hydrangea (which grows 3 x 4’) or the Incredibelle hydrangea (at 5 x 5’). Those are perennial grasses you see in the distance.
Our little walking tour of Queen Street public gardens is just a small sample of the loveliness on offer here in Niagara-on-the-Lake. If you are planning to visit our wonderful town, locals will tell you, one of the best ways to experience the town is on bicycle, taking your time to soak up all the sights. Choose your favourite spots, and show them off to visiting friends and family, or snap photos on your visit of the gardens that most inspire you.
Mori Gardens is proud to have grown with Niagara since 1974, assisting locals and visitors alike with garden designs, offering many of the stunning plants you see throughout town, and sponsoring community projects in the most beautiful town in Canada.
Join the Grow Niagara Community. Follow our newsletter by putting your information below, like us on Facebook and enjoy beautiful Niagara On The Lake.
There are always lots of wonderful things happening around Niagara on the Lake, and August has been no exception, with its famous Peach Festival. We attended the festival, celebrating its 28th year, not only to purchase the wonderful goods for sale, but also with the rental of our fruit trees to the Town of Niagara-On-The-Lake, enabling areas of the festival to benefit from the interest, texture and shade of our fruit trees.
Throngs of locals and tourists alike converged on Niagara on the Lake in a bid to lay hands on one of the many delicious peach products being sold during this year’s Peach festival. The peach pie was a crowd favourite, we even had one in the Garden Centre fridge for everyone to share…Thanks Tonie!
We of course can’t forget to mention ‘fresh’ peaches. You’ll see the fruit stands dotted all over the Niagara region selling fresh fruits of all kinds; peaches, plumbs, nectarines, cherries, pears and apples…I know I forgot someone’s favourite, but the choices and varieties are so abundant it’s hard to remember them all.
With the increased interest in being self-sufficient, fruit trees are a natural go-to when it comes to food production. There must be no better feeling than picking your own apple or pear from a tree that you planted and looked after yourself. More experienced gardeners graft plants, allowing them to harvest up to 5 different varieties of apple, cherry or pear from the same tree. I know…it’s not me either, but the possibilities are amazing.
For those who have the desire to grow fruit trees, but have limited space, ‘never fear’ there’s something for you too. The espalier fruit tree is an attractive, yet productive form of growing a fruit tree simply trained along a fence, or a trellis which controls the spread of the tree and keeps it neat and contained within boundaries set by the grower.
As well as providing an abundance of food for you and your family, fruit trees provide privacy and shade, so sit back, drink your vino and eat your fruit right from the tree; there’s no better indicator that it’s summer in the Niagara region!
On August 9th, members of the community gathered in the oasis at Mori Gardens to celebrate the retirement of Terry Mactaggart. With 30 years of dedicated service, Terry has helped local residents as the Visiting Volunteer Coordinator for the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care service.
“Palliative care makes Niagara-on-the-Lake a very good place to live, and to die, and Terry’s had a lot to do with that,” says Joyce Loewen, long-time board member with NOTL CPC, and Terry’s mentor.
The Community Palliative Care service is a tremendous resource for the seriously ill and their caregivers and families, though it can be a challenge for people to take advantage of what the service has to offer. Why are people so reluctant to even have the conversation about end-of-life care?
“Because our society doesn’t want to talk about death. We are a death-denying society,” says Loewen.
The NOTL CPC has grown over the last thirty years, thanks to Terry Mactaggart, who moved from a career in teaching to palliative care after the death of a close friend in 1983. Terry made the trip to Connecticut to say goodbye and met two hospice workers assigned to her friend’s care. Moved by their gentle compassion, Terry was curious about whether there was a similar service in the Niagara Region.
She started her work in hospice care in Niagara Falls in 1985 as part of the hospital’s visiting volunteer program. In 1986 she began to serve her own community. After about a year, she was asked to take over the program half time, and she made the transition to working for the organization, while still spending the balance donating her time for twenty two years.
The experience of palliative and hospice care is a stark contrast from the clinical, antiseptic hospital environment many people fear when they hear these terms. It is warm, and human and this is what Terry will miss the most.
She tells her hospice team, “Show your emotions. People want to know that you’re feeling, and that you care. “
Volunteers are the backbone of the CPC service. They not only offer comfort and companionship to clients, but they also offer support to caregivers and families by lending an ear, or offering a much-needed break.
“It takes a calm, compassionate person,” says volunteer Nellie Visser. “But if this is something that appeals to you, you’ll be okay if you bring your own unique skills to each visit.”
Terry Mactaggart and her team are unanimous about what makes their experience most rewarding; collecting stories, learning personal histories, charting the map of a life lived with love, and heartbreak, and triumph.
It’s not about dying. Palliative care is about living out the rest of one’s days to the fullest.
Many homeowners long for a shady retreat that is until they try to select plants that will successfully grow there. Most of us can only think of Hostas and ferns. But a shady yard doesn’t mean your gardening days are doomed. Numerous options abound for creating eye-catching shade gardens. These easy shade solutions will help turn your shady yard into the colorful retreat you’ve always wanted.
An abundance of large trees and shady areas in your yard can be a challenge to the creative gardener, rather than an obstacle to good gardening. Shady places that provide cool, refreshing areas of beauty during summer’s heat also can contribute color and interest to the landscape throughout the growing season
Determine the various degrees of shade in your yard. How much sunlight areas receive—and when they receive it—dictate what kind of plants will thrive there. Gardening in the shade doesn’t have to be frustrating. Some plants will tolerate relatively low light, and a few actually thrive in it. You can choose from an array of flowering annuals, perennials, bulbs, and woodland plants for color. Many groundcovers do well in problem areas. In light shade you might even be able to grow a few herbs or leafy vegetables. The trick is to know which plants are most likely to succeed and then to give them the kind of care that will improve their chances.
Densely shaded areas beneath large trees or under the overhang of a building present more problems than do situations of partial or light shade. Although partially or lightly shaded areas receive direct sunlight for only a small portion of the day, light intensity is still quite bright. There are numerous plant choices you can make in these locations, though by no means as many as are possible with five or more hours of direct, full sunlight.
Full Sun: At least 6 full hours of direct sunlight. Many sun lovers enjoy more than 6 hours per day, but need regular water to endure the heat.
Partial Sun / Partial Shade: These 2 terms are often used interchangeably to mean 3 – 6 hours of sun each day, preferably in the morning and early afternoon.
Dappled Sun: Dappled sunlight is similar to partial shade. It is the sun that makes its way through the branches of a deciduous tree. Woodland plants and underplantings prefer this type of sunlight over even the limited direct exposure they would get from partial shade.
Full Shade: Less than 3 hours of direct sunlight each day, with filtered sunlight during the rest of the day. Full shade does not mean no sun. There aren’t many plants, except mushrooms, that can survive in the dark.
With few exceptions shade-tolerant plants will do best in well-drained, relatively fertile soil. Both sandy soils and heavy, clay like soils will benefit from the incorporation of organic matter such as peat moss, compost, or well-rotted manure. Such materials are particularly helpful in areas of hard, compacted soils.
Poor soil often hampers shade gardens more than lack of sunlight, so liberally add organic matter in spring, fall or whenever preparing a new garden. Soil fertility also can be a source of trouble. Trees and shrubs fill the soil with feeder roots that greedily use up nutrients as readily as they are applied. It often seems that the more you water and fertilize, the more roots with which you have to contend. Yet adequate fertility is an absolute must for all your plants because without it they are bound to be small and their growth will be weak. In most cases a spring application of a balanced fertilizer, followed by one or two applications as the season progresses, will help your shade plants survive the competition of tree and shrub roots. If root competition is a serious problem, planting in containers above ground is a viable alternative. Try to be careful not to disturb tree roots too much when planting under existing trees.
Light is not the only major concern when gardening in shady areas. Frequently, inadequate moisture can be a problem. The thick canopy of a large tree or the overhang of a house will act as an umbrella, deflecting rainfall away from the ground directly beneath it. Worse yet, trees and shrubs will compete with smaller plants for every drop of moisture that reaches the ground. It is vital that plants growing in the shade of large trees and shrubs, or sheltered by your home or garage, be watered regularly even during times of seemingly adequate rainfall.
Help conserve moisture and add nutrients and organic matter by mulching with shredded leaves, evergreen needles and other organic materials.
Let’s face it, we’ve all seen a garden that we truly admired, knowing that we could never achieve or afford it. Whether it was the botanical gardens that you visited when you were away on holiday, or your neighbor’s spectacular garden that riddles you with jealousy every time you walk past it; Garden envy is real, and cost can be a big factor for many home owners.
If you lack the budget, creativity and technical know-how to design your own space, having a garden design done ‘will’ save you money. It will prevent you from buying plants and not knowing where to put them, as well as putting them in the wrong spot and having to dig them up, or worse watching them die.
The trick is, once you’ve had your design done, plant it as you can afford to. And don’t think that just because you get a design created that you ‘have’ to buy all of the plants and implement the design straight away. A few plants at a time is ok…as long as you have a plan.
A designer will take into consideration the type of garden you’d like, the space that you have to use, the maintenance level of your garden and much, much more.
It’s almost like paint by numbers…but for plant lovers.
Your design can incorporate everything that you want in your garden like hard-scape items such as decks and seating areas, water features, statuary and more; but it can be implemented over several years. That’s the beauty of having a design done by a garden designer; they know how large the plants will be at maturity, and incorporate that into their design. So, a design created five years ago, will still be good now, because the plants regardless of when you plant them, will be in the correct spot, as per the scale and design on your plan.
Plant your focal points and favourites first, it will allow you to feel good about your garden, even though you know there’s more the come. The great part is, it will only get better and better. You’ll know that with every plant you add, you’re getting closer and closer to the final product.
Talk to your local garden designer and have them recommend the plants that should go in first, if you’re not sure, or don’t have a favourite. In no time you’ll be enjoying your Champaign taste garden, knowing that you used your beer budget to achieve it. The cost of the design will, and I speak from experience here, be less than the time and the dead plants you have wasted from trying to do it yourself.
As with any project that takes time, patience is key. Just know that your wait will be worth it, and will manifest itself in the form of a beautiful garden that can provide you with hours of enjoyment; without having you break the bank! Your dream garden is just a plan away! Cheers!
To Book your Mori Gardens Design Consultation, or to meet with our friendly Garden Consultants , use the following link, and choose a time that works best for you. Not in the area? We can create remote designs internationally.
Have a Question? Ask away! We’re here to assist in your garden experience from dream to enjoyment.
It’s no secret that we live in one of the prettiest towns in Canada. Each summer, locals and tourists alike line up for the chance to view the private gardens of some of our talented green-thumb residents. The NOTL Horticultural Society has hosted their Garden Tour for no less than twenty seven years, collaborating with locals to create an immersive and inspiring afternoon for garden enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
On July 16th, the annual Garden Tour volunteer appreciation mixer was held at Mori Gardens. Mori is the platinum sponsor of the tour, offering a helpful discount to gardeners in the lineup, plus rental items to enhance each space and pro tips for any trouble-shooting before the adoring masses come to call.
The back of the garden centre was transformed into a breezy oasis. Refreshments were provided by sponsors Konzlemann and Silversmith, there was a buffet of nibbles, and live jazz guitar. The centerpiece of the event were an assortment of delightful hats, a new tradition.
Each host on the tour dons one of these whimsical hats, and visitors collect photos of the hosts and their smashing bonnets. The 2018 collection featured beehives, bird’s nests, feathers, dragonflies and sprays of wisteria and were dreamed up by floral designer Hilary Bellis (president of Neward Neighbours) and Liz Klose of the Canadian Garden Council. Upcycled materials for the hats were donated by Newark Neighbours. In return, the Horticultural Society made a generous donation to the local thrift shop and food bank. The hats were raffled off at the mixer in support of the Horticultural Society.
This year’s summer tour was a great success. Cindy Grant, chair of the Garden Tour committee, says approximately one thousand visitors passed through and a team of over sixty volunteers made it possible for both guests and hosts alike to enjoy the experience.
Once the summer tour wraps up, the selection process for the following year begins almost immediately.
“We’re looking for a gardener’s garden,” says Gloria Thurston, head of the selection committee for the last six years. “We need to see passion and a sense of play in addition to technical skill.”
Gary Hall, (marketing and social media) explained that the ideal garden offers a balance between glitz and effort, creates an opportunity for the gardener to expand their own knowledge, and celebrates the unexpected.
Sometimes some arm-twisting is required in recruiting. Concerns like privacy, and spousal approval often come up. Thurston’s own garden was finally showcased this summer, after years of persuading her husband that they should join the lineup. Thurston says he sat in the garden for the afternoon, greeting guests, and watching the excellent job the Society’s ‘Garden Sitters’ did of maintaining order, and then rewarded Thurston’s persistence with a sincere “You’ve done good!”.
I never did find out who got to wear the crazy hat.
If you’d like to be considered for the 2019 Garden Tour, or for more information on the NOTL Horticultural society, visit them at https://www.notlhortsociety.com
Photography by Amanda Luken Photography
Congratulations! You’re contributing to the world’s oxygen supply and planting a tree …but where do you put it, how deep should the hole be, can you replace an existing tree, what else do you need to know?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help!
There are lots of things that you need to know before you plant a tree, not just that you need to dig a hole. The city requires you to ‘call before you dig’ to make sure that you don’t dig into any important pipes or wires.
It may seem like a hassle, but I guarantee you, if you dig into a gas pipe or hydro line, both hassle and cost to you are increased two fold. You could potentially injure yourself or someone else, incur costly repairs and even a law suit…it’s not worth the risk.
Call to make arrangements 1-800-400-2255
Once you call the city, they will have someone come out to mark your garden with spray paint and flags to let you know where the pipes and wires are. Don’t stress about the paint, it grows out, and it allows you to dig with confidence knowing that you’re not going to destroy anything.
If you’re planning on removing an old tree in order to replace it with a younger version, check with your city bylaws to make sure that you are permitted to cut the tree down. There are certain trees that are protected, trees of a certain dimension which can’t be cut down, as well many cities are attempting to preserve endangered bird species, so you’ll need to ensure that there are no nests in your tree.
So, now that you’ve done your due diligence; you’re ready to dig. Here’s where you consider your soil type. There are certain allowances that need to be made for clay soil, but we can get to those in a moment.
Let’s start with all other soil types.