Grow Niagara - Niagara's Garden Resource

Designing a Champagne Taste Garden on a Beer Budget

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.

MORI GARDENS spring collection by © Alex Heidbuechel - Flashbox-8154

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.



Behind the Scenes of the Summer Garden Tour

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

Photography by Amanda Luken Photography



Call Before You Dig!

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.

  • Dig your hole 1 ½ times wider, and a few inches deeper than the pot or root ball.
    • Be sure to add triple-mix to the removed soil, now’s the time to amend the soil type and PH.
  • Remove the plant from the pot and gently roughen the root ball, freeing some of the roots to explore their new home.
  • Gently rub a Mori Gardens recommended transplant fertilizer around the root ball and place the tree in the centre of the hole.
    • An Acti-Sol natural transplant fertilizer containing bone meal is recommended to spread in the hole. This fertilizer is natural and will not burn your plants from over use.
  • Make sure that the top of the root ball is level with the ground. You don’t want to bury it any deeper or the tree will suffocate.
  • Fill the hole with the amended soil, pack it firmly around the tree and water thoroughly.

    One tip for watering is to actually fill the hole with water ‘before’ you plant the tree, and let it drain into the ground ‘before’ you plant the tree.

  • Now that your tree is planted, and watered, add mulch, it looks nice and it preserves moisture.

Now for the clay soil.

There are plenty of plants and trees that flourish in clay soil, but it’s a good idea to know both your soil type and your tree’s preference before you plant.

  • When planting trees in clay soil, the hole needs to be a little larger than the standard 1 ½ times we mentioned before, and you also need to raise the ground level about 2 inches for drainage.
  • Raise the height of the plant, ensuring that the added soil slightly slopes away from the trunk of the tree.
  • Mulching the soil will help improve the texture of the soil over time.

And there you have it, your tree is planted! Now you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Quite literally if you’ve planted a fruit tree.

Need assistance with your garden design, planning and suggestions? A Garden Design will save you time, stress and money, giving you a project plan to follow as well as a design created to your needs that can be quoted by landscapers. 

For any questions please call us at 9054687863 or email


We are here to assist in your garden experience from Dream to Enjoyment!


Let’s GROW something Beautiful!

Related articles you may be interested in:

Where to start? Planting Instructions

Watering For A Thriving Garden

How To Prune – Knowing Your Pruning Goal


Why Hire a Landscaper?

Well, one way to look at it is like this. If you need your teeth fixed, most of us wouldn’t try and fix them or improve them ourselves. The same applies to your garden, and while it may seem counter intuitive, you can actually save more when you use a landscaper, than when you try and do it yourself (much of the time).


Even though we’ve all heard of the expression “measure twice, and cut once”, how many of us have had to return to the hardware store to replace a miss-cut piece of wood, or other home renovation item? Hardscape materials are often one of the biggest expenses in a garden design, and error reduction related to measurement and correct placement are all considerations that a professional landscaper will manage and cover. Not to mention, getting the right material, for the right price.

But if your hardscape needs aren’t at the top of your priority list, a reputable garden designers & landscaper also know where in your garden to place your much loved trees, shrubs and plants; knowing exactly where things should go based on the sun / shade factor, as well as giving a creative flare to the overall look of your garden.

Creativity is one of the factors often overlooked by consumers when committing to hiring a landscaper. An expert garden designer like those at Mori Gardens will use your needs, garden uses and interests through consultation to create a design you can bring to a landscaper for quoting and instillation or Mori Gardens can use to oversee your project with a recommended landscaper.

When using your ideas or design, great landscapers not only provide expertise, know how, and brawn, they also have a creative flair that can turn your property from an average garden design, to one which makes the neighbours ‘green’ with envy (if that’s your thing). They have years of experience working in a variety of different landscapes, and can probably offer something to your property that you may not even have thought about.

One of the real plusses to hiring a landscaper is the savings of time. In today’s hectic world, who couldn’t use a few more minutes or hours a week? On top of garden design and sheer heft, landscapers can maintain that newly installed garden to free up your precious time to do other ‘more important’ things, all at the same time as keeping your garden fresh looking and perfectly manicured.

cropped-91a7647.jpgBook an appointment with an award winning Mori Gardens Designer and Garden Expert, and use your design and suggestions to receive quotes from a landscaper or as a project plan for yourself.

Click Here to Book a No-Obligation Design Appointment

Now, if all of those things haven’t convinced you to hire a landscaper for either your next garden project or the maintenance of property, let’s look at the return on investment (ROI) for landscaping your property.

In terms of hard numbers, if you put approximately 5 to 10 percent of your property value into landscaping, your return will be a conservative 150%, according to a variety of home renovation specialist including HGTV’s John Gidding.

It should come as no surprise that curb appeal has a value. Nor should it shock that in today’s real estate market, any advantage that you can get to increase the value of your property is one worth taking. The professional garden designer & landscaper, are more than a guy who cuts your lawn, they’re your property enhancement allies!

Get an expert opinion on design & landscaping options and tips. Book an appointment with an award winning Mori Gardens Designer and Garden Expert, and use your design and suggestions to receive quotes from a landscaper or as project planning for yourself.

Click Here to Book a No-Obligation Design Appointment

Looking for a reference for a landscaper?

Message, call or visit us: We have a list of recommended Experts for your Garden Makeover, Landscaping, Hardscaping, Garden Lighting and Home Installations

Miguel and Raine 2017 © Alex Heidbuechel - Flashbox Photography--3


Hot Summer Tips For Watering Your Garden

Boy, does this hot weather make one thirsty! Here at the Garden Centre, we’re always checking on each other to make sure we’re drinking enough water as we spend the day out in the sun. Just like we need more fluids on a hot day, our plants also require more to drink. Did you know that on a hot day, a mature shade tree can take up as much as 100 gallons of water out of the soil? And almost as quickly as a plant is taking up all this water, it’s losing this moisture from the leaf surfaces through transpiration.

If you’re like me, most of us will attempt to water our plants as we’re rushing out the door in the morning on the way to work, or out running errands. If the plant is lucky, it may receive a quick 20 to 30 second spritz, a friendly pat on the head and is left to fend for itself for the rest of the long, hot day. This is the equivalent of sucking on an ice cube and then being parched until the sun goes down. Here are a few simple ways to water wisely.



  1. When you are digging a hole to plant a new shrub or tree, pour a full watering can of water into the hole and allow it to soak in before placing the root ball into the hole. This way, moisture is available to the roots right away. When you finish planting, create a ridge of soil just above the outer edge of the root ball then water inside the ridge. This helps the water to drain down into the root ball and not to run away from the base of the plant.

  2. Use soaker hoses to water your garden. Most of us water by spraying from the hose up into the air to give the leaves a refreshing shower. As lovely as that looks, it really isn’t doing the plant any good. Although it’s true that the plant can absorb a small amount of moisture through the stomata found on the leaf, the majority of the water is absorbed by the roots of the plant. The water sprayed on the leaves will quickly evaporate into the air and won’t have a chance to be absorbed. Water from a soaker hose comes out slow enough to penetrate directly into the soil and not run away from the plants. Think of it this way – people absorb water through their skin when they stay in the bath too long (prune-y skin). It doesn’t mean that it’s the best way for you to take in water to re-hydrate. So water the roots, not the leaves. Make sure you leave the hose running slowly for a longer period of time, allowing the water to penetrate deeper into the soil. Better to run the water for a longer period of time less frequently then to water a little more frequently. The longer the hose runs the deeper it goes into the soil. When watering using a water wand on the end of the hose make sure you are watering the soil and not the leaves.

  3. Collect rain water using a rain barrel or any other water-retaining container to water your plants with. Of course, this method requires some rain to collect from. Maybe not the best first-line approach this particular summer, but rain collection is a great, eco-friendly back up system for watering in dryer seasons.

  4. It’s always best to water early in the morning. If a plant is given the water it needs at the beginning of the day, it’s less likely to wilt in the heat of the day. When watering in the evening, water droplets sit on the leaves, which can lead to fungus problems.

  5. Adding a 2” layer of mulch to your gardens will stop the sun from drying out your soil as quickly.

  6. Save and reuse “grey water” to water your plants. You can use your cooking water (e.i. water used to boil or stem vegetable), water from washing dishes, and used bath water to water you plants.

abstract art artistic autumn

What to Do During Drought

Water Your Garden.

It’s the most obvious strategy, of course, but to stay healthy, most lawns like an inch of mositure per week and garden plants require much more. As a rule of thumb 1-inch of water penetrates the soil by three inches. If a tree has roots when planted that are 12 inches deep, it will need 4 inches of water on the surface to reach all the way down. (Your sprinkler won’t be enough when it’s a heat wave)

Make sure to give deep watering over frequent watering.  It’s a bit of a waste to give your plants less water more frequently: Doing so discourages the roots from growing as deeply into the soil (where it stays moister longer) as they can, and it’s also inefficient as more water is lost to evaporation.

*Tip: To measure the amount of water your plant is getting, cut the top off a 2 liter pop bottle and put it next to your plant of choice, or use a tuna can (they’re about an inch high), every time the tuna can is filled or an inch of water has filled the pop bottle, you will have watered down by 3 inches. This is a great way to really see how far your sprinkler or a rain fall is going for your garden.

*Mike~ism: When measuring your watering, remember 15 minutes is a measurement of time, not a measurement of water. Your plants are a living thing that depend on you to survive

Apply Mulch.

A 2- to 3-inch-deep layer of mulch over the soil can do wonders: It keeps the soil cooler and shields the ground from direct sun. The benefit is that moisture stays in the soil longer, where it’s more available to your garden plants.
Run a soaker hose underneath your mulch to maximize water savings: Water will be delivered directly to the ground (reducing evaporation) and slowly (reducing water loss to runoff). It will also keep plant foliage dry, which helps prevent many common fungal diseases such as black spot on roses.

Stop Fertilizing.

If you apply fertilizers (organic or synthetic), it’s helpful to stop at the onset of a drought. Fertilizers encourage plant growth; the more a plant grows, the more moisture it needs. If fertilizer salts build up in your soil because they’re not naturally leaching out with rain or irrigation, they can build up and burn plant roots, causing further damage.

Pull Weeds.

It might not be fun at the best of times, but getting those weeds out of the garden is especially important during drought. The reason: Weeds’ roots steal valuable moisture from the soil.

Deadhead Your Flowers.

Removing spent blooms before they have a chance to set seed saves energy for your plants: They don’t need to put extra energy (which they need water for) into producing seeds.

Have a questions, ask our garden experts 

For more watering and care articles, please see the links below

Fusion Gardening: Conserving Water

Planting Instructions: Where To Start

Watering For A Thriving Garden


A Canada Day Tribute to the Maple Tree

Is there anything more quintessentially Canadian than the Maple tree, and its magnificent leaves? Be it the radiating red leaf of the Autumn Blaze Maple tree, or of course the national tree of Canada (in Ontario at least), the Sugar Maple tree. The maple leaf is a symbol of our unabashed patriotism, taking pride of place in the middle of our flag, emblazoned on the backs of our sports team’s jerseys, and a much sought after specimen for our gardens. And of course, the sweetest of associations for last; how many of us have taken our kids to a ‘sugar bush’, to watch Maple syrup being tapped straight from the tree into that silver metal buckets hanging on the trees, to be then made into our world famous nectar ‘Maple syrup’?

green lobed leaves on branchOf hardy stock, and with hundreds of cultivar, according to an Ontario Canada website some Maple trees can live upwards of 200 years, and reach heights of over 30 meters tall. Regardless of variety, images of Canadian children climbing branches, throwing the ‘keys’ (seeds) into the air to make helicopters, and jumping into a rustling piles of fall leaves, are simply part of the Canadian psyche

The cultural importance of the maple tree cannot be overstated, its historical reach extending as far back at the nineteenth century; where according to, the image of the Maple leaf was approved for use on the Ontario and Quebec coat of arms in 1868, and the Canadian coat of arms in 1921. It also took pride of place during both WWI and WWII on regimental badges and was confirmed as the official symbol of Canada in 1965.

So this Canada day, when you’re getting ready to settle down to watch the fireworks, take a look around at Canada’s very own version of ‘splendid display’, and admire the beauty of your culture, your history and your very own national tree…The Canadian Maple tree! Here at Mori Garden’s, with our extraordinary collection of over 60 different variety of maple trees, we’re celebrating Canada Day in our way; offering special prices on select maple trees, and an extra special something for clients who bring in this article.


If you see a beautiful Maple in your future, stop by and talk to one of our garden consultants; just remember these bad boys get big, and you might want help choosing the right maple for your space. There’s one for every garden!

Happy Canada Day!

~ From all of us at Mori Gardens

Other articles you may be interested in, 

Planting instructions

Pruning Deciduous Trees

Summer Watering


Have a question? Contact us with the form below or call us at (905)468-7863


Improve Your Home’s Return on Investment with Landscaping

You’ve decided to sell your house!

Moving up, moving away or downsizing, it doesn’t make much difference; you still have to sell your current home. Everyone knows, or at least are told by their realtor, that presenting the inside of your home in the best possible light is important… but what about the outside and your garden?


Forgetting the exterior of your home when selling your house in today’s real estate market can cost you thousands of dollars. People are not only looking for the house of their dreams to be well appointed on the inside, many are looking for a garden that speaks to them as well, with a place to entertain, relax, BBQ, have the kids play and the list goes on.

What does ‘your’ garden have to offer? Does it offer space, nice views? Is it small, large, contemporary, or traditional? There are so many different types of gardens and so many different ways to highlight your garden and what it has to offer. The point being, don’t’ overlook your outdoor space when you’re selling your property. In the end, a well presented garden allows buyers to see the potential in a space, it might just be the difference between a sale or not.

According to a 2015 Washington Post article, written by Jill Chodorov Kaminsky, simple things such as edging, weeding, planting inexpensive annuals and general lawn maintenance can go a long way to influencing a buyer’s desire to purchase your home.

“Curb appeal” as realtors, and home design expert call it, is priceless. It’s that intangible ‘something’ that draws you towards certain properties, making you feel connected to them before you’ve even stepped inside.

Many people selling their homes may see putting money into a garden that they’re not going to enjoy, a waste. But is it? With many experts suggesting that

your return on landscaping potentially being as high as 150 percent and up,

it almost seems silly not to.


Patios, decks, outdoor kitchens, even small water features are always a safe bet, this doesn’t include pools and hot tubs which tend to be more of a deterrent than asset when trying to sell your house. Things light lighting, sheds and stone work are all things that can increase the value of your property if done well, and will catch the eye of potential buyers, making them see the potential in your home, and wanting it to be ‘their’ new family home.

Get an expert opinion on design & landscaping options and tips to help with your homes curb appeal and value. Book an appointment with an award winning Mori Gardens Designer and Garden Expert, and use your design and suggestions to receive quotes from a landscaper or as project planning for yourself.

Click Here to Book a No-Obligation Design Appointment

Looking for a reference for a landscaper. 

Message, call or visit us: We have a list of recommended Experts for your Garden Makeover, Landscaping, Hardscaping, Garden Lighting and Home Installations


architecture clouds daylight driveway


Watering For A Thriving Garden

Watering your garden while there is a drought going on can be difficult. The soil can become very dry, and that may make it difficult for water to get to where it needs to go in your garden if you aren’t watering properly. Of course one of the best options is to choose plants that are native to your area as they will grow the best, but that doesn’t always offer a nice variety of options when it comes to vegetable gardens.
If you want to grow your garden as planned while conserving water, there are a few things you can do to help your garden thrive during the drought.

Make (or Buy) Soaker Hoses

Soaker hoses are the best way to go if you would like to be sure that the water you are using is getting into the soil and to your plants’ roots rather than running off. There are many varieties that can be bought in the store as well as many ways to make one yourself. You can use an old hose by poking holes every six inches and making sure that something is on the end that will block the water flow. This design will allow the water to drip out evenly. Be sure to not make the holes too large, and when the water is turned on, make sure it’s on a low setting so you allow it to drip out rather than spray ou291A5048t of the holes.

Collect Rain Water

Collecting rain water is a great way to not only respect the earth and reuse the water it already gives us, but also an excellent option for gaining access to water during droughts. Keep a few garbage cans or other large clean barrels somewhere in your yard, especially at the ends of the gutters. These barrels will collect water when it does rain. If you live in an area where it’s common to have droughts in early summer, be sure to put those barrels out as soon as spring starts to begin collecting water. Of course this water will not be very clean, especially if it’s being run through gutters, so it will not work for drinking or cleaning, but it will work perfect in your garden during a drought.

Re-Purpose Wasted Kitchen Water

You may find that while making dinner or doing dishes, you let the water run for a period of time while waiting for it to get hot. Why not utilize this water that is just going down the drain? Using sink basins, you can collect this water and add it to your rain barrels outside. You can also use water that was used for boiling things as it will not hurt the plants at all. Utilize any water that you may be wasting by collecting it. You could even place bins in your shower to collect water that would otherwise go down the drain.


Mulch the Soil

To help your soil retain the water you are able to feed it, it’s important to mulch in as many areas as possible. Mulch will help the soil retain more water rather than allowing the sun to dry it out. You can use a variety of materials as mulch, including straw, newspaper, grass clippings, burlap bags and more. When done right, mulch can minimize weed growth and increase your yield too!
Step 1

  • If you water annuals from overhead, do so early enough in the day that the foliage dries before nightfall. A watering-hose attachment provides a gentle spray

Step 2

  • Drip-irrigation tubing and soaker hoses use water more efficiently than overhead sprinklers, and are very handy if flowers are planted in rows or blocks.


Important Notes for Watering

You’re not alone in the disliking cold showers or cold bathwater; plants hate cold water, too. This is especially true when they are seedlings or growing in pots where there isn’t enough soil to absorb the shock. Always water young plants with cool or tepid water, never icy cold.
Check your new transplants every day, especially if the sun is hot, the air is warm, and there is a noticeable breeze or wind. The warm air moving over the open ground will quickly absorb water, sometimes leaving the plant roots in dire straits. New transplants need soil that is evenly, constantly moist, but not soggy. When planting small peat pots directly into the soil (a practice often used with annuals that may not survive root disturbance), be sure that no part of that pot protrudes above the soil. If it does, the dry peat will act like a wick, soaking water from the soil and letting it evaporate into the air.

If you water the new plants with a watering can, turn the rose at the tip so that the holes point upward to the sky instead of down toward the earth. This minimizes soil disturbance. Finally, remember that a little bit of water is frequently worse than no water at all. When you water, do so thoroughly, letting the moisture soak into the ground where the roots need it — don’t merely wet the surface.

Related posts of interest:
Fusion Gardening, Conserving Water
Getting Started? Planting Instructions
Fruit Tree Care
Healthy Soil, The Key To A Successful Garden

Mori Gardens in here for your Garden Experience from Dream to Enjoyment!

For more questions on watering or plant care  please email with our comment form below or call us at 9054687863




Grape Vines, How To Prune For Fruit

Pruning grape vines can be a mystery. But if you remember that all grapes produce fruit on one-year old wood, you have taken the first step towards viticulture!

Here’s how to prune a grapevine.

Miguel and Raine 2017 © Alex Heidbuechel - Flashbox Photography--6

  1. Allow the grape vine to grow any-which-way the first year it is in the ground. Having abundant stems and leaves will help develop a strong root system on immature grape vines. No pruning at all for the first year.
  2. Select the strongest and most vigorous-looking stem during the winter of the first year. Using bypass pruners, remove all the other stems at the base of the plant or as close to the trunk on the main stem as possible. Stake the remaining stem which will become the trunk of the plant. Use a grape stake or secure the vine along a fence with wire.
  3. Allow stems to grow from the main trunk. In the spring of the second year, begin removing all but two of the very best side shoots that grow from the trunk. If the vine isn’t branching where you want it too, pinch the top of the main trunk to encourage side branching.
  4. Cut back the top of the trunk during midsummer of the second year, when the vine reaches the desired height. The process of tip pruning will force new growth alongthe main trunk. Remove any new branches that don’t fit your plan.Miguel and Raine 2017 © Alex Heidbuechel - Flashbox Photography--5
  5. Cut back all but the desired side branches and the main trunk during the second winter. What you have now is the basic frame for the plant – an upright stem with two sets of side branches.
  6. Allow the vine to grow during the third spring and summer, removing anything that grows from the trunk. You want to retain the basic framework of the vine.
  7. Leave 12 buds along each of the arms during the third winter. Pruning during the third winter is crucial to future fruit production. These 12 are the buds that will produce fruit during the 4th summer. Each of the 12 should have 1-2 leaf joints so that the vine looks like a stubby hat rack when you are finished pruning. These are called ‘renewal buds’ and will remain on the plant forever.
  8. Prune the 12 renewal buds so that there is always one more bud growing from the tip. This practice will continue from the fourth winter onward. What you are doing is allowing the renewal buds to extend and grow one bud length every season. During the summer, the fruit develops on the new growth that springs from the renewal bud. Keeping them short during the dormant season keeps the plants under control.

Miguel and Raine 2017 © Alex Heidbuechel - Flashbox Photography-538

Tips For Pruning A Grape Vine

Keep pruning tools sharp and clean.

Be careful not to cut off the newest year’s growth from the renewal bud. You only need one bud from that growth, but if you lose it by careless pruning, you will lose your harvest for next summer.

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Plant Rentals – A Unique Approach to Wedding Decor

As a wedding officiant in the Niagara Region, I’ve seen all kinds of weddings. From the quirky (Hobbits in the garden) to the traditional (under the shade of the trees at Kurtz Orchard), each wedding that I’m part of is a unique reflection of the couple themseMiguel and Raine 2017 © Alex Heidbuechel - Flashbox Photography--12lves. Large scale or intimate, each celebration features little nods to the personalities of the people I marry, and touches that display their tastes. It’s always a treat to see what each wedding will reveal about the people who are joining together.

Some of the most beautiful weddings I’ve attended incorporate nature.

Of particular note were two weddings, both held on the property of family members. One was a truly boho chic affair with hand made jelly jar lanterns, and macramé dream-catcher inspired decorations, a teepee bar and canoe loaded with cold drinks, hay bales for seats at the ceremony and the signing held in the couple’s refurbished Volkswagen bus.
The other was held on a family vineyard, in the forest on the property. The couple had painstakingly worked to clear a winding trail that led into the heart of the ravine on the escarpment, where they’d created seating-in-the-round for guests to view the ceremony from all sides. Along the path, they’d placed a photo booth, an altar with photos of their dearly departed, and a string quartet.
Guests had to go on a little journey to find the tree-stump benches and the circle that had been cleared for a hand-fasting ritual. The reception that followed was held at Mori Gardens, which had been transformed into an elegant venue with lovely touches of décor at every turn.
These two weddings were warm and beautiful because they had such a personal feel. Each couple used the natural environment to set the stage for the big event. They incorporated the wild elegance of nature, and they did something I hadn’t yet seen at a wedding – they added rented plants to create vignettes of decor that made for interesting accents or perfect photo backdrops.
 Miguel and Raine 2017 © Alex Heidbuechel - Flashbox Photography-439
In another life, I was an event coordinator, and I’d used rented plants plenty of times to round out a decorating budget with some living loveliness. It hadn’t even occurred to me to try this at a wedding. My boho couple created a living archway in front of which I pronounced them husband and wife. They also used batches of ferns to create clusters of greenery around the perimeter of the garden. Everything was rented, the cost was budget-friendly and the garden centre worked with them to maximize impact and install the plant décor.
Miguel and Raine 2017 © Alex Heidbuechel - Flashbox Photography-217
The forest wedding featured containers of flowers for splashes of colour amidst all of the greenery, and striking accents around the bar. Of course, having an event, photoshoot or reception at the garden centre proper allows for wild creativity. 
Plant rentals are a high-impact, affordable wedding décor idea. Trees, flowering or ornamental shrubs, container arrangements, there are so many varieties of plants available.
Event Coordinator? Hotel? Wedding Planner Florist? Mori Gardens offers Living Rentals by partnership to assist in turning your events into am experience full of colour and life! 
Green Rentals Logo
1709 Niagara Stone Rd., Niagara On The Lake, Ontario  (905) 468 7863

The Magic of Composting

What Is Compost?

Noun – Compost is described as a rich, crumbly, soil-like material used for gardening

Verb – Composting is the breaking down of plant material that is no longer living, with the help of micro-organisms through a decomposition process

Understanding a few basic composting principles will help you get the best results.

If you want to produce compost that looks good enough to eat just think – Mmmmm!

  1. Mix
  • Add as many different plant based ingredients as you can find
  • Alternating layers of leaves, grey matter, and soil
  • Different materials provide different nutrients. For example: grass blades provide nitrogen, dried leaves in the fall provide phosphorous
  1. Mass
  • The more bulk you have (up to a certain point) the faster it will decompose
  • If everything is chopped too finely there will be no air circulation, causing unfavourable conditions. You do not want to have many pieces over 1/4″ diameter
  1. Mash
  • Even though you do want to have some bulk, large, thick pieces will decompose very slowly
  • For example – the stems of tomato plants would take a long time to decompose as is, but if you were to cut or shred it into small pieces – It would decompose much quicker
  • In the fall – shred leaves with the lawn mover before adding it to the pile
  1. Moisten
  • In order for proper decomposition to occur it is necessary for the pile to be moist and not too dry or too wet
  1. Move
  • Keep turning your pile towards the centre of the pile where all the action is taking place
  • The centre of the pile will heat up to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit or 65 degrees Celsius
  • If you turned your compost pile every day, it would be ready to use in 2 weeks
  • If you turned your compost pile once a week, it would be ready in 3 months
  • If you turned your compost pile once a month, it would be ready in 1 year

If you have followed these principles, the results will be the most amazing material you could hope for to use in your garden. Compost is often referred to as “black gold”.


What Can Be Composted?

Anything of living plant origin can be composted, but the quality and quantity of the materials you use affects the process and determines the nutrient value of the finished compost. Here is a chart of what can and cannot be used:

Can Be Used

Each Item should be under 20% of the total pile

Caution – Limited Amounts

Each Item should be under 10% of the total pile

Do Not Use




Leaves (Shred if large or waxy)

Grass Clippings (Dried first)

Old sod

Reject or Soiled Produce

Fruit & Veg. Peels

Newspaper (Shredded)

Eggshells (Crushed)

Stable or Poultry Manure

Tea Bags

Garden Soil

Corn Cobs

Shredded Twigs

Shredded Bark

Pine Needles

Hedge Trimmings

Wood Shavings


Coffee Grounds

Peanut Shells

Diseased Materials

Pest-laden Materials

Weeds that have gone to seed

Meat & Bones


Whole Eggs


Seed & Fruit Pits

Cat & Dog Manure

Bakery Products



As mentioned in our definition of composting, decomposition only occurs with the presence of micro-organisms. Micro-organisms are small microscopic creatures that are naturally present in soil. Like most things, there are good micro-organisms and bad micro-organisms. The success of your compost pile depends upon which micro-organisms you have present. The good micro-organisms are called “aerobic” and the bad ones are called “anaerobic”.

Good composting organisms need 4 things in order to survive:

  1. A balanced diet – not all the same material291A4021
  2. Water
  3. Air
  4. Warmth

That is why it is important to have a compost pile made of different materials that has some bulk to them and that is kept moist. When these conditions are met, the pile will naturally heat up in the centre and that is where organisms will be the most active. When only anaerobic organisms are present, that is when you have a bad odour.


Tips For Successful Composting

Good Compost Pile: Aerobic Bad Compost Pile: Anaerobic
Ingredients: Made from once-growing plant material Animal Parts

Man-made synthetic parts

Necessary Size: Between 3’x3’x3’ to 4’x4’x4’ Under 3’x3’x3’ or over 4’x4’x4’
Moisture: Evenly Moist Too dry or too wet
Mixing: As often as you can Never
Other Characteristics: Presence of earthworms

No odours

Decomposes quickly

Medium sized pieces

Heats up in the middle of the pile

Contains many nutrients needed for proper plant growth

Good micro-organisms

No earthworms

Bad rotting odour

Very slow to decompose

Too fine or too large of pieces

Does not heat up

Does not have many nutrients

Bad micronutrients

For questions please e-mail our garden experts at

Lasagna Gardening

No, it doesn’t mean growing your own lasagna

Lasagna gardening is a no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that results in rich, fluffy soil with very little work from the gardener. It means that you will not have to lift any sod to create a new garden. The name “lasagna gardening” has nothing to do with what you’ll be growing in this garden. It refers to the method of building the garden, which is, essentially, adding layers of organic materials that will “cook down” over time, resulting in rich, fluffy soil that will help your plants thrive. You are also letting all of the earthworms do the work needed. Also known as “sheet composting,” lasagna gardening is great for the environment, because you’re using your yard and kitchen waste and essentially composting it in place to make a new garden. Please see diagram below for more details


No Digging Required

One of the best things about lasagna gardening is how easy it is. You don’t have to remove existing sod and weeds. You don’t have to double dig. In fact, you don’t have to work the soil at all. The first layer of your lasagna garden consists of either brown corrugated cardboard or three layers of newspaper laid directly on top of the grass or weeds in the area you’ve selected for your garden. Wet this layer down to keep everything in place and start the decomposition process. The grass or weeds will break down fairly quickly because they will be smothered by the newspaper or cardboard, as well as by the materials you’re going to layer on top of them. This layer also provides a dark, moist area to attract earthworms that will loosen up the soil as they tunnel through it.

Ingredients For A Lasagna Garden

Anything you’d put in a compost pile, you can put into a lasagna garden. The materials you put into the garden will break down, providing nutrient-rich, crumbly soil in which to plant. The following materials are all perfect for lasagna gardens:

  • Grass Clippings
  • Leaves
  • Fruit and Vegetable Scraps
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Tea leaves and tea bags
  • Weeds (if they haven’t gone to seed)
  • Manure
  • Compost
  • Seaweed
  • Shredded newspaper or junk mail
  • Pine needles
  • Spent blooms, trimmings from the garden
  • Peat moss
  • Straw

There is some importance to the methods you use to build your lasagna garden. You’ll want to alternate layers of “browns” such as fall leaves, shredded newspaper, peat, and pine needles with layers of “greens” such as vegetable scraps, garden trimmings, and grass clippings. In general, you want your “brown” layers to be about twice as deep as your “green” layers, but there’s no need to get finicky about this. Just layer browns and greens, and a lasagna garden will result. Ideally, what you want at the end of your layering process is a two-foot tall, layered bed. You’ll be amazed at how much this will shrink down in a few short weeks

When To Make A Lasagna Garden

You can make a lasagna garden at any time of year. Fall is an optimum time for many gardeners because of the amount of organic materials you can get for free thanks to fallen leaves and general yard waste from cleaning up the rest of the yard and garden. You can let the lasagna garden sit and break down all winter. By spring, it will be ready to plant in with a minimum of effort. Also, fall rains and winter snow will keep the materials in your lasagna garden moist, which will help them break down faster.
If you choose to make a lasagna garden in spring or summer, you will need to consider adding more “soil-like” amendments to the bed, such as peat or topsoil, so that you can plant in the garden right away. If you make the bed in spring, layer as many greens and browns as you can, with layers of finished compost, peat, or topsoil interspersed in them. Finish off the entire bed with three or four inches of finished compost or topsoil, and plant. The bed will settle some over the season as the layers underneath decompose.

Advantages Of A Lasagna Garden

While you will be maintaining a lasagna garden the same way you would care for any other garden, you will find that caring for a lasagna garden is less work-intensive. You can expect:

  • Fewer weeds, thanks to the newspaper suppressing them from below and the mulch covering the soil from above.
  • Better water retention, due to the fact that compost (which is what you made by layering all of those materials) holds water better than regular garden soil, especially if your native soil is sandy or deficient in organic matter.
  • Less need for fertilizer, because you planted your garden in almost pure compost, which is very nutrient-rich.
  • Soil that is easy to work: crumbly, loose, and fluffy.

Lasagna gardening is fun, easy, and allows you to make new gardens at a much faster rate than the old double-digging method. Now your only problem will be finding plants to fill all of those new gardens!

closeup photo of sprout

Fusion Gardening: Going Native

If you are up with the latest gardening magazines and garden blogs you probably have been reading about one of the “hottest trends” in gardening – “fusion gardening”.

Even though they call it a new trend, the ideas behind it are anything but new ideas. Gardeners have been using some of these practices for generations. Unfortunately, over time, we have gotten away from working with Mother Nature instead of against her. Not that I feel that I need to be in with the latest trends, but Fusion gardening does make a whole lot of sense.

Fusion landscaping works in harmony with the natural conditions of your property. It blends or fuses together traditional garden design with sound ecological practices such as water-retaining features.

Right now, as you dream of warm days and evenings, and how you would like to use your outdoor space — and what it might look like — you’re likely considering where you will eat, relax, enjoy a recreation area and even where you will provide storage. Fusion garden designs incorporate all of that into the plan that also manages storm water, attracts pollinators and creates space for composting.

These are some of the practices that I would like us to take a look at today.


Using Native Plants

If you’re looking for a landscape filled with good looking, easy-to-maintain plants that are well adapted to our climate, then native plant material may be your best bet.

With a little planning and careful selection of plants, anyone can have a native plant landscape that works in harmony with the environment, provides a haven for native wildlife, and is attractive in the most urban of settings. Going Native can be done in small steps; you don’t have to replant your entire yard all at once.  Instead, you can start small by replacing an exotic tree with a native one, by making a small area of your yard into a native plant garden, or by replacing a section of turf with a bed of native plants.  Any piece of your property that you maintain in native vegetation or convert back to native plants can help offset the habitat losses from development and the spread of invasive plants

What is a Native Plant? Native plants (also called indigenous plants) are plants that have evolved over thousands of years in a particular region. They have adapted to the geography, hydrology, and climate of that region. Native plants occur in communities, that is, they have evolved together with other plants. As a result, a community of native plants provides habitat for a variety of native wildlife species such as songbirds and butterflies. A native plant is defined as any species that existed before European colonization.

Why Should You Use Native Plants? Native plants provide a beautiful, hardy, drought resistant, low maintenance landscape while benefiting the environment. Native plants, once established, save time and money by eliminating or significantly reducing the need for fertilizers, pesticides, water and lawn maintenance equipment.

Native plants do not require as much fertilizer. Vast amounts of fertilizers are applied to lawns. Excess phosphorus and nitrogen (the main components of fertilizers) run off into lakes and rivers causing excess algae growth. This depletes oxygen in our waters, harms aquatic life and interferes with recreational uses.

Native plants require fewer pesticides than lawns. Nationally, over 70 million pounds of pesticides are applied to lawns each year. Pesticides run off lawns and can contaminate rivers and lakes. People and pets in contact with chemically treated lawns can be exposed to pesticides.

Native plants require less water. The deep root systems of many native plants increase the soil’s capacity to store water. Native plants can significantly reduce water runoff and, consequently, flooding.

Native plants help reduce air pollution. Natural landscapes do not require mowing. Lawns, however, must be mowed regularly. Gas powered garden tools emit 5% of the nation’s air pollution. Forty million lawnmowers consume 200 million gallons of gasoline per year. One gas-powered lawnmower emits 11 times the air pollution of a new car for each hour of operation. Excessive carbon from the burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming. Native plants sequester, or remove, carbon from the air.

Native plants provide shelter and food for wildlife. Native plants attract a variety of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife by providing diverse habitats and food sources. Closely mowed lawns are of little use to most wildlife.

Native plants promote biodiversity and stewardship of our natural heritage. In the U.S., approximately 20 million acres of lawn are cultivated, covering more land than any single crop. Native plants are a part of our natural heritage. Natural landscaping is an opportunity to re-establish diverse native plants, thereby inviting the birds and butterflies back home.

Native plants save money. A study by Applied Ecological Services (Brodhead, WI) of larger properties estimates that over a 20 year period, the cumulative cost of maintaining a prairie or a wetland totals $3,000 per acre versus $20,000 per acre for non-native turf grasses.

Native plants lowers your maintenance. Native plants are survivors. They tend to be more cold hardy and more adaptable than most exotics.

Native plants help hold the soil in place helps prevent soil erosion. Because of their deep and rapid growing root systems, native plants work well to retain soil on slopes or difficult planting areas.

Native plants provide beauty. Many native plants produce showy flowers, abundant fruits and seeds, and brilliant fall foliage. By planting native plants, you will have a beautiful yard that is friendly to wildlife.

Native plants adapt better to poor soil conditions

For additional questions talk to our garden experts at Mori Gardens



A Garden for Bees

My five year old son and I were taking advantage of a glorious evening and enjoying the local playground. He was up on the climbing structure, acting out a treasure hunting adventure, when he suddenly jumped down and raced towards me, clearly spooked. When I asked what was the matter, he told me there was a bee. I assured him that bees were not to be feared. That we need to take care of them because they are dying off and us humans need them in order to survive. This is how we started talking about creating a garden for bees.
One out of every three bites of our food is made possible by pollinators like honey bees. That’s a statistic I pulled from Bees Matter, a Canadian initiative restating agriculture’s commitment to honey bee health issues. If you’re curious about why honey bees are so integral to our survival, this site is an excellent resource. This is where I learned that one of the simple ways that we can contribute to the increased health of the bee population is by planting flowering plants. Bees need a good source of pollen and nectar so their colonies can survive through the winter months. By planting a pollinator friendly garden, including the plants below, available at Mori Gardens, we can help honey bees thrive.
Native Plants that Attract Pollinators:
Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Beardtongue (Penstomon)
Bee Balm (Monarda)
Anise Hyssop (Agastache)
Helen’s Flower (Helenium)
Purple Coneflower ( Echinacaea)
Blazing Star (Liatris)
Tickseed (Coreopsis)
False Sunflower (Heliopsis)
Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea)
Winky Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris)
Rock Rose (Helianthemum)
Non-Native that Attract Pollinators::
Showy Stonecrop (Sedum spectabile)
English Lavender (Lavendula)
Anemone (Anemone)
Shrub Roses (Rosa rugosa)
Bluebeard (Caryopteris)
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
Privet (Ligustrum)
PG Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata)

Garden Tower: the ultimate patio farm, Grow 50 plants in 4 square feet

Now Available at Mori Gardens 

A fully organic, vertical, self-contained growing environment for over 50 plants in a 2’ x 2’ space with amazing results.

Lettuce Tower


The award-winning Garden Tower is made from 100% recyclable food-grade plastics (no BPA, plasticizers, etc.) in a patented design that will produce nutrient-dense, fully organic veggies for at least a decade. Each Garden Tower takes about 20 minutes to assemble, then can be filled with an organic soil mixture, and you’re ready to plant.

A Garden Tower can be operated as a self-sustaining ecosystem by feeding compost and worms into the central tube, or alternatively, you can augment the soil with an organic fertilizer. Whatever your preference, the Garden Tower makes an ideal environment for abundant growth with minimal weeding required.

  • Transforms kitchen scraps into organic produce

  • Recycles nutrients, saves water, and vermicomposts

The patented award winning Garden Tower 2 grows plants vertically, enabling you to grow 50 plants or more in just 4 square feet making it the ultimate space-saving gardening container! The design easily rotates 360 degrees for optimal lighting and convenient watering. The Garden Tower 2 also supports a much wider variety of large vegetables that cannot be grown in other container-type gardens including cabbages, broccoli, squash, zucchini, cucumber, and melons. With supplemental lighting the Garden Tower 2 can even be used indoors for year-round production.

  • Composts kitchen scraps into organic fertilizer

The Garden Tower 2 is injection molded using food grade (FDA approved) high-density polyethylene (HDPE) components. The plastic contains no BPA, PVC, phthalates, or other substances suspected to be toxic, cause disease, or disrupt hormones disruption. HDPE was chosen because it is a pure hydrogen-carbon plastic which is made from only high-purity food-grade resin. The additives for colour and UV protection meet the same special FDA standards for food contact.

  • Accessible, easy to use, senior friendly, food-grade, recyclable

The 50 plant Garden Tower 2 can easily be maintained from a chair or wheelchair, making it ideal for seniors. Not only does vertical gardening make the most sense for this demographic, but having the ability to rotate gives the senior gardener an easy method to manage their fresly grown produce.

  • Easily Collect & Reuse Water

Ideal for conservation, while maximizing yield and convenience. Gravity pulls water down, nourishing the plant roots. Excess water collects in the bottom drawer, collection nurients that can be reused. Water savings of 90% have been reported in high-heat zones and in arrid, high-altitude desert regions with poor or sandy soils.

The “Ultimate Patio Farm” for porches, balconies, & rooftops

Nearly 50% of the worlds population lives in cities. For Urban dwellers wishing to garden, the lack of available space and uncontaminated soils are growing concern. The Garden Tower 2 is an ideal solution for today’s urban balconies, rooftops, and courtyards.

When asked why consumers don’t garden more, 45% of all households responded that gardening takes too much work or too much time. The Garden Tower 2 requires a minimum or time and work. It’s compact design allows it to be placed just about anywhere that will get at least 6 hours of sun a day and, with a rotating base you can adjust it to ensure adequate light on all sides.

Garden Tower Review (click below)

Peggy offers impressions from planting a Garden Tower 2 by Garden Tower Project. This review emphasizes the accessibility of the Garden Tower for organic gardening. The rotating vertical design offers advantages for seniors such as no weeding, greater access in small spaces, light management, reduced physical stress and more.

Commercial Applications

The Garden Tower 2 is ideal for use in commercial growing operations, enabling you to grow more product in a smaller amount of space and with fewer resources. Please inquire regarding multiple units.

Available to Ship 

(905)468-7863           1709 Niagara Stone Rd. 



Dreaming of Outdoor Living

I am not a seasoned gardener. In fact, after leaving city life behind, I’m facing the chore of creating a front garden and backyard living space in our two-year-old home, where all we’ve got by way of landscaping is some sod and a skinny little tree at the side of the road. Up until now, my green thumb has only ever been used to plunk cheerful annuals into balcony containers.

Enter Joanne Young, Garden Designer at Mori Gardens, who kindly walked me through the overwhelm of planning an outdoor space. She’s honed the process into a few easy steps that even a city gal like me can manage.

Take a tour. See your space from a new perspective. Identify problems: drainage issues, privacy needs, ugly views. Which plants are keepers? Which should
go? Check paths and walkways for repairs. Consider access. For example, herb gardens work nicely when they are close to the kitchen.

Use of Space. A weekend coffee on the porch with the paper. Outdoor entertaining. Space for kids to play, and help tend the garden. Will you grow food? Create a sanctuary for birds, bees and butterflies? Are you low-maintenance, or do you love a challenge?

Make a wish list. Include every element you’d love in your oasis. Dream big, and see how your outdoor space can evolve over time.

Consider budget. Divide your list into stages you can tackle each year. Take into account the most economical use of your resources. For example, if you need brickwork for a shed, a pathway, and a patio, it may be more affordable to tackle all of the brickwork at once than to hire someone for each job.

Hone your style. Japanese, English Cottage, Woodland…these were terms I’d heard, but was hard pressed to define. Pore through magazines, Pinterest, and sites like Collect images that appeal to you, and you’ll notice common themes emerge.

Use the Five Senses of Gardening. Joanne’s key to  beautiful garden design includes   sense of entry (invites you in to see more),

welcome (equate the space with relaxation), enclosure (defines space, creates shade and privacy), place (compliments the architecture of your home), and a sense of flow (lines direct the eye around the garden).

Draw a bubble diagram. This rough sketch of your space is ideally drawn to scale. Add existing elements, and then allocate ‘bubbles’ to plot new features. Play around before making permanent decisions. Note sun and shady spots, and experiment with lines.

Make a plant list. Remember that you can purchase smaller versions of the plants you love and let them grow in. Other considerations include maintenance, problem areas (turn them into features!), your hardiness zone, seasonal transitions, sunlight, and colour.

I’ve got everything I need to start dreaming up my backyard sanctuary. If you’re still intimidated by tackling an overhaul on your own, book in with a Mori Gardens designer. They offer a no obligation appointment to find the service that’s right for you.




Observations of a Home Buyer

The spring and summer are the hottest times in real estate. I too have recently found myself in the market for a new home. While looking for my dream home, I made some observations that I thought may be of interest to those of you selling your current property, and even those of you who find yourself in the same boat as me.

white and brown concrete bungalow under clear blue sky

I don’t claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination, and while I do work at  Mori Gardens I still have so much to learn about trees, plants and all things garden. But, what I ‘can’ speak to, is the way that a prospective home’s garden, and curb appeal make me feel, when considering the purchase of my new home.

One of the first things that I will say, is that I’m a bit of a nut about trees; which may not apply to everyone, but my poor realtor will attest to this fact, and can tell you about the time that I almost purchased a home, but then backed out because it didn’t have enough trees. Thankfully, I must have some other redeeming qualities, as my tree obsession didn’t ruin our friendship.

London Plane trees are one of my favorite trees, followed closely by a tri colored beech, and the bigger the better. Which leads me to my first observation, and a fact verified by many a garden design expert; mature trees add value to your home, both financial and emotional. For some people, and I include myself included in this group, an old large tree on the property brings a sense of serenity and all things nature and character. Obviously, the tree needs to be in good shape, not invading your piping or cracking your foundation, and not in danger of falling onto your potential new property.

low angle photo of maple leaves

But it’s not just about the trees. A home owner who has taken the time to tidy up their garden, even just adding mulch and a couple of annuals, shows that they care about their home. This care and attention to detail, more often than not translates into a well looked after inside as well, and says a great deal about the overall condition of the house’s interior.  For those avid gardeners who are selling their home, walking into a property that has a backyard, that is truly an oasis… ,for me, takes a property that I may have overlooked, to a genuine candidate.


I looked at a couple of houses outside of my ideal location, and what initially seemed to be an exercise in futility, became an exercise in learning and objectivity. I learned that a beautiful garden can actually take a ‘nice’ home, in an ‘okay’ area, into a wonderful option and true contender.

For me, there is nothing nicer that driving up the street towards my home and seeing it appear on the horizon, looking well-manicured, full of colour and waiting for me to come home to admire it. For the prospective seller, what value does this kind of impression have on a potential buyer? Priceless, I’d say!


Looking at selling your home or a makeover to your current garden?

We can help you add value, reduce heating and AC bills as well as create wind protection and privacy.

Create a Custom Garden Design with our expert garden team to use as a project plan or to have quoted by recommended landscapers.

(905) 468 – 7863