How and why we garden is changing rapidly as we focus more and more on the health of the environment as well as the beauty of the nature we create.
With the rising costs of almost everything, gardeners are thinking twice about the kinds of plants they buy. It’s no longer enough for a plant to just look pretty. Gardeners are looking for plants that do double duty creating a positive impact on the environment.
With all of this in mind, I asked a few of my favourite garden industry gurus for their take on this growing season. What plants do they think are important and why?
Leaside’s Gardenzilla Lawn & Garden is all set and ready for the busy gardening year ahead. Michael Chudy (owner and general manager) told me they will be doubling down on the lawn-to-garden conversions in general, and pollinator gardens in particular.
“We’re loving plants and gardens that invite nature back into people’s yards,” Chudy said. So, this year, their nursery will be stocking a lot more pollinator plants, including milkweed (essential for monarchs), anise hyssop (a Chudy favourite), catmint and serviceberry (one of my favourite trees), to name just a few.
When Michael Renaud closed his Horticultural Design store on Bayview (after 27 years in business) many of his loyal Leaside clients followed him to Summerhill Nursery & Floral. I did too!
“This year, we’re expanding our choices of succulents and drought resistant plant material for the garden,” says Michael R. “Many varieties of Sempervivum (hens and chicks), sedums and some Ragusa rose varieties that need very little care. These beauties flower all summer long and are both drought and pest resistant.”
He will also bring in more edibles like berries, fruit trees, and citrus, figs and an expanded selection of organic seeds and starter plants. Even a ‘grow your own’ mushroom kit from a company on the east coast. Interesting!
Vegetables and herbs
(The late, lamented) Davenport Garden Centre left their Bayview location last fall, yet they continue to be one of my best resources for native and neonic-free plants. I know many Leaside gardeners feel the same way.
Carla Rose of Davenport says, “With so much food inflation, I believe there will be a sustained interest in growing your own food. Vegetables and herbs will be in heavy demand. I also think more people will be looking for lawn alternatives with low maintenance ground covers, or at least, reducing the size of their lawns.”
Carla also told me about her new native plant grower and was able to track down a native rose for me. I can hardly wait for my new “Rosa blanda” to arrive!
Plants that can actually make some dough
Bessborough EMS has partnered with Plantables.ca, hoping to promote growing organic herbs and veggies, while raising a bit of money to support the school. What a great idea! And it’s as easy as 123.
- Visit Plantables.ca
- Pick your plants and use the code: BESSBOROUGH
- Choose your delivery week for May or June and the plants will be delivered to your door
Leaside mother Rachel Gordon is the point person for this exciting new fundraiser. She explained how 10 per cent of all plants purchased through Plantables.ca (using the BESSBOROUGH code) will go directly to the school and help fund some of their green initiatives as well as other projects.
Last year, the kindergarten teachers ran a fairly extensive garden with the students and the kids loved it. The team plans to do it again this year and I must say, I love it too!
What will my garden grow this year?
Along with that native rose, I will add some of the new succulents to the hot and dry areas of my garden. I’m going to add a few more pollinator plants and experiment with a serviceberry tree in a large container. And since I plant organic veggies and herbs every year anyway, I may as well buy them through Plantables and help Bessborough School at the same time. Another win/win.