Thinking Outside the Box

Summer 2020: a season of change. At home, with fewer friends and parties happening around us we can take stock of our gardens and spend time muddling around in them, but with what plant material, or even soil for that matter? Who knew a health pandemic would lead to a shortage of plants, soil and mulch?

So, what happened? Simply put, the timing of mid-March for encouraging all to quarantine was not ideal with greenhouse operators having to quickly make planting decisions based on news reports of retail life not being normal until summer; as a result, we all planted and ordered conservatively.

Now, with garden centres open, many people still home quarantining and not planning to travel this summer, plant purchases are “off the charts”.  More people than ever “got into” gardening and bought twice as much, all with only half the stock available in the province.

So perhaps you don’t have lime potato vine in your containers because your garden centre was sold out or you have orange geraniums instead of red or the space for the new clematis is still bare. Why not step outside the box and try a Swedish ivy in place of the potato vine? Why not feed the soil with compost in the area where the clematis will be planted next year? You can move a small garden statue there for now or split off a piece of hosta and plant it there, knowing that when you plant the clematis eventually it needs foliage in front of it to shadow and cool the roots. Your perennials are getting too big in one section? Find a cloudy day and split them, then take the afternoon to watch the sun pattern in your garden.  With this valuable information, find the best locations to re-plant the divisions and be sure to water extremely well.

Taking this usual year to study your garden, try something new and rejoice in small victories may be a healthy change for us all.

By Vikki Whitney, Owner of Griffin’s Greenhouses
705-652-8638 or 1-877-647-4334