Skip to main content

Read more e-books and guides from The Globe and Mail

Four tips to get your garden ready for spring

Want to move indoor plants outside, or build a yard that attracts butterflies? Marjorie Harris offers expert advice

Read the full story


handout

Patio furniture that would look at home in your living room

Matthew Hague offers suggestions to help you seamlessly bring the indoors outside

Read the full story


Photograph by Joseph Saraceno; Prop Styling by Wilson Wong

Celebrity designer Brian Gluckstein’s top five tips for a patio refresh

Gluckstein’s personal patio set-up reflects much of the luxe-yet-liveable style he’s become synonymous with

Read the full story


iStock

Gardening tips for the smallest of spaces

Choosing the plants to best fit to your space depends on climate and sun exposure

Read the full story


Larry Davidson

What can I prune and when?

The rule of thumb is that if it blooms in spring, prune after the flowers are spent; it if blooms in autumn, cut it down in late winter and early spring. This generally works for vines and shrubs, but when it comes to the latter, don’t take out more than about one-third of the stems from the base. As for trees, it’s safe to prune them now, since they’re mature enough to form calluses in order to heal themselves after being cut. But again, don’t remove more than you have to – it’s really only about shape and safety. That said, many old evergreens – especially very old yews – can get a whole new lease on life if you whack them right back. They’ll come back looking almost like new. − Marjorie Harris


How much and how often should I water?

Give big trees and large shrubs three buckets of water twice a week – that’s about the same as letting the hose or watering system run gently for 45 minutes. Avoid mini-watering – letting the water run every day for 20 minutes – as it produces plants with a shallow rooting system. As for plants in containers, water them almost every day depending on size and rainfall. When in doubt, use the knuckle test: Stick your finger into the container and if it’s dry above the first knuckle, water slowly until it runs out the bottom of the pot. − Marjorie Harris


Alana Paterson

DIY kitchen garden essentials: How to grow your own bountiful harvest

A primer on creating high-yield food plots that are also attractive (plus tips on what to do with all that bounty)

Read the full story


Beppi Crosariol/The Globe and Mail

At first I just wanted free lunch. But now I can’t imagine life without my vegetable garden

Tending to his vegetable garden – with all of its glorious frustrations – left Beppi Crosariol with more than a green thumb

Read the full story


Jeff McNeill

Want a high-impact, low-fuss garden? Try xeriscaping

Marjorie Harris answers questions on this hot gardening trend

Read the full story


John Statham

Make native plants feel at home in your garden

Native ephemerals are crucial to every garden

Read the full story


HarkAway Botanicals

A rooting interest: How to solve the grass conundrum

A handsome grass placed with some skill will enhance the tiniest of gardens

Read the full story


F-Studio

I’m confused about mass planting versus a mixed bed. How do I avoid a haphazard look?

A good mixed bed isn’t easy to achieve – and it can take years of gardening experience to get there. A mass planting usually means having a large area covered with one kind of plant (as in all the same hosta); a mixed bed, which is one I prefer myself, has many different kinds of plants, often with similar colours blending into the next. Try planting three of the same kind of plant in a triangle. This will prevent anything from looking too spotty. Then add the next threesome in a complementary colour, texture or contrasting foliage (pointy with fluffy). To my eye, it is a much healthier, more interesting way to plant than dozens of the same plant in huge drifts, unless you are dealing with acres of land. − Marjorie Harris


How do I figure out whether I have alkaline or acidic soil?

That is always something useful to know. Many plants really like acidic soil. To make a test of your own, mix soil from one part of the garden and add it to a jar of water. Pour some baking soda over it; if it bubbles, it’s acidic. In another container pour ordinary vinegar over the muddy water; if it fizzes it’s alkaline. If nothing happens, you’ve got neutral soil, which is what most gardens like to grow in. This is, of course, a crude method. Another way to figure out what you’re working with: Look around. Are there lots of cedars and other evergreens? Any healthy-looking rhododendrons? If so, you can bet the soil is acidic. − Marjorie Harris


Drew Shannon

I thought I was a nature lover. Then raccoons started tearing up my lawn

The grass was rolled up neater than any roll-up-the-rim cup, Sam Heffer writes. Raccoons: 1, backyard: 0

Read the full story


Sandi Falconer

My balcony garden might be small, but it’s a project of hope

Oleksandra Budna loves what container gardening does for her sense of well-being

Read the full story


Illustration by The Globe and Mail; source images/istock

Why hasn’t the gardening industry been disrupted yet?

Uber transformed public transportation. Airbnb altered the way we vacation. But as Wency Leung reports, gardening remains unchanged. She digs in to find out why the pursuit is rooted in the past

Read the full story

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.