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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
We are here to assist in your garden experience from Dream to Enjoyment!
Let’s GROW something Beautiful!
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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.
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 a project plan for yourself.
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.
Looking for a reference for a landscaper?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’?
Of 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 www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca, 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!
~ From all of us at Mori Gardens
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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.
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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.
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 out of the holes.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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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!
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.