Jennifer’s Garden

I Built a Greenhouse!

I never expected that I would have a greenhouse. And I certainly didn’t intend to build one last year when I set out to replace my disintegrating cold frame.   The cold frame was a simple structure made of wood, with four short walls, the back being a foot or so higher than the front,…

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Build a Simple Pond or Water Feature

How to build a small pond or water feature

In my garden I have what I not so gracefully call a pond-in-a-bucket. It is more elegantly referred to as a water feature. I installed it primarily for the sound; so that I could enjoy the sound of water and so that it would drown out the sounds of close neighbours enjoying their back yards.…

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Another Fire Hydrant Story

Another Fire Hydrant Story--Drama in Jennifer's Garden

I’ve written previously on the blog about the time, in 2015, when workers from the city replaced the fire hydrant that sits in my front garden. As the fire hydrant was and is surrounded by plants, and replacing it required the digging up of a chunk of my garden by city workers, it was a…

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Garden Lessons Learned in 2018

Lessons Learned From My Garden in 2018

Tomato “Madame Marmande”Isn’t Worth Growing Again I like to try one or two different varieties of tomatoes every year. In 2017 I had a short growing season as my tomatoes were hit with disease, so in 2018 I thought I should try a hybrid, as they tend to be more disease resistant than heirloom tomatoes,…

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A city gardener’s nightmare

Would replacing a fire hydrant destroy my garden?

One of the “features” of our front yard is that it has a bright yellow fire hydrant at the northwest corner. When I first bought the house I noted its presence and promptly started gardening around it.     At first, I tried to plant yellow flowers nearby to make it all look kind of…

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What’s happening in my fall garden?

What's blooming in my fall garden?

When I mentioned to a friend that someone was coming over to see my garden last weekend she was surprised and said “What’s going on in your garden? Ours is looking like it’s done for the season.” I think there’s always something interesting to look at in a garden (I’m the kind of person who…

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Supporting heirloom tomatoes

I really enjoy growing tomatoes, especially somewhat unusual heirloom varieties. By nature, these tend to be very tall plants, growing 8 to 10’ tall in a season, so figuring out how to support them has been part of my learning on how to grow tomatoes well. One of the first things I figured out was…

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Easy care hellebores

Hellebores seem to be getting a lot of attention these days–they’re a great looking, easy care plant that blooms in late winter to early spring. Chosen as the Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial Plant of the Year in 2005, more and more bloom colours have become available, due to the diligent work of breeders.   I…

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Birdfeeders: what gardeners need to know

Cardinals love backyard bird feeders

I spend a lot of winter hours staring out the windows at my sleeping garden so the concept of having something of “winter interest” in the garden is pretty important to me. When you read about creating winter interest the discussion usually centres on making sure you plant some evergreens, ornamental grasses, and trees and…

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How to plant bulbs

Planting Bulbs with The Fabulous Garden

Spring flowering bulbs are one of the easiest things to grow in your garden. Plant them in the fall, protect them from squirrels, and they’ll reward you with lots of colourful blooms in the spring—a welcome relief after a colour-deprived winter. Squirrels really are the only significant obstacle that I’ve found when growing bulbs. They’re…

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My two best water saving ideas

Using water from ductless split air conditioner to water a hanging basket

I’m always looking for ways to use water wisely–it’s the right thing to do for the environment and it saves money–so today I want to share with you a water-saving/reusing tip that I’ve never seen anyone else try, but which has worked out really well for me. It isn’t something for every household, but maybe…

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The gardener’s shadow

dragonfly on bright green leaf

One key to a fabulous garden is being aware of what’s going on in your garden. My garden mentor often quotes the old adage “The best fertilizer is the gardener’s shadow.” That phrase went through my head often this week as I was doing rounds early in the morning; I still have a lot of…

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I couldn’t find it so I created it–The Best Zucchini Bread Recipe

Close up of the best zucchini bread

My garden has entered that late summer stage where, as far as flowers go, it’s all about the dahlias and the black-eyed susans. Rudbeckia triloba (my favourite form of black-eyed susan) has self seeded in several places (not all of which are convenient, but I let it go anyway) and it certainly must be one…

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