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Project in a day: Adding life to your forgotten garden

Most of us have experienced this at some point or another… that forgotten corner of your garden that gets no light, nothing grows but weeds and that looks like its too far gone. Mine was under my front tree. Every time I looked at it, I thought “one of these days, I should probably fix that”. That day came on an ambitious Saturday morning after a couple cups of coffee. And while it took some time to get motivated, this redo only took a couple hours. Here’s what I did (hopefully it gives you hope to give that forgotten corner a second chance)

Before (isn’t she a beauty?)


Round one (picking apart the pieces)


Time for this garden to get naked


Taking out the debris



Getting the under soil wet


Time for fresh soil


And more fresh soil…


He clearly was supervising


Add Hostas and some decorative plants… and voila!


Time > 2hours

Save the Tulips… or at least this one

Did you drop a bud? happens to the best of us. Try putting it in a container of water and you may see it come back to life.

  • Choose a clear glass container (can be a mason jar or something unique)
  • Trim the stem of the bud (if possible) so its cut on a diagonal
  • Fill jar with water, and add bud

This doesn’t work with all plants, however works really well with tulips. However, if you aren’t sure give it a try to see what happens! Tulip-Glass


The Easter Bunny got into my plants!

Want to add some colour to your plants this easter? Try adding easter eggs! Decorating easter eggs can be a fun family activity and a great way to express creativity, one egg at a time. This weekend we spent some time decorating eggs using crayon shavings and food colouring. The results were lots of colour and personality. Add your eggs to some basic plants for some easter fun.Easter-Decorating

Easter-Planting-02 Easter-Planting-03 Easter-Planting-04 Easter-Planting-05 Easter-Planting-06

The warming topic of ice melts

Shopping for a solution to fix slippery steps can be difficult with so many options to choose from.  The important thing is to narrow down what the environment where you will be spreading it as well as any surround concerns.

  • Do you have pets?
  • Is it going on Asphalt, Concrete, Stone?
  • Garden or lawn in close proximity?

While every home is different, here are some guidelines I use when looking for products.

  • Sand: If you have Stone or concrete (especially newly placed within a year), I would suggest using sand. Although it won’t melt the snow, it will create some traction to prevent slipping and is less likely to damage your steps. It’s also more gentle on gardens and your pets paws
  • Carbonyl Diamide or Urea based ice melts: These are typically milder ice melts and ingredients used in “Pet-Safe” De-icers. While they are not as powerful as some other ingredients, they tend to be a bit safer for pets and gardens.
  • Rock Salt, Calcium Chloride: These are usually your more powerful and cost effective solutions. However, when using these be careful around stone as it might damage it. As well, don’t spred on gardens as it might cause damage in the spring. Also the rocks can get stuck in between your pets paws so keep an eye on their paws, especially between their toes where this tends to get stuck.

While these are a guideline to get you thinking about what to use for your de-icing needs, it’s always good to read the back of the package or ask a sales associate if you aren’t sure.

Hope this helps!

For more about the different chemicals in ice melt, Consumer Reports put together this breakdown which is also useful