May We Suggest...

Whether you’re a seasoned horticulturist or a budding enthusiast, our curated collection of insights is designed to navigate the unique challenges and embrace the rewards of rural gardening. Unearth secrets to enrich your soil, cultivate lush landscapes, and immerse yourself in the joy of nurturing nature’s wonders. Let’s embark on a journey of growth, inspiration, and the pure satisfaction of watching your rural garden thrive. Explore our tips, discover hidden gems, and unlock the full potential of your rural oasis.

Our Tips!

Tip # 1: Monarch Waystations

Winter is a great time for reflection. If you are looking for new ways to support our environment consider establishing a Monarch Waystation in your part of the world. Loss of habitat in Monarch overwintering grounds and their breeding areas in Canada and the United States threaten this beautiful butterfly. It is so easy to add milkweed and nectar sources to your favourite habitats.

For details about creating a Monarch Waystation and to register your waystation.

The Monarch Waystation program is outlined in a brochure at

Tip From: Keppel Croft

Tip #2: Hosta Shoots

Have hostas and feeling peckish?  Eat your hosta shoots!  The tightly curled, emerging leaves of hostas are enjoyed widely in Japan as a spring delicacy.  You can harvest all of the shoots from a hosta and it will simply grow more, or you can take 1/2 from each plant so that you don’t slow down the showy garden display.  They can be eaten raw, but benefit from about 10 minutes of cooking; they’re mild and tender.  We toss them in olive oil and roast them in the oven; they’re a fantastic vegetable.

Tip From: Fiddlehead Nursery

Tip # 3: Using Snow for Visual Planning

When planning a new garden/landscape bed in winter (because that’s the best time to do so), walk the planned perimeter of the bed in the snow. Tramp the snow down well into a solid line. Stand back and view it from all angles, including viewing through windows in the house. It’s much easier to change an outline in the snow than in turned up ground. When you have the outline exactly where you want it, continue to walk every few days. This will make sure the snow is packed down well enough that in spring when it melts, you will still be able to see a faint flattening of the grass over the outline, and your feet will know the path. I no longer have photos, but I did post this on my business fb page a few years ago.


Always design your landscape from views within your home, as well as outside perspective. Look at the broader landscape for views you might wish to hide – utility poles, community mailbox, neighbour’s junk in the backyard. Then plan to plant tall enough things to obscure the offending view in those spots. Similarly, look for views you might wish to borrow – a cute garden shed a yard over, a beautiful tree, spectacular sunsets – and plant taller things on either side to “frame” that view.


Tip From: RiverWood Gardens

Tip #4: Hold Off on Fall Clean up

We were always told to clean up in the fall, I never did that and
now the census is to clean up in the spring because so many animals, birds,
insects live and eat and keep warm with the growth of the plants left till
spring.  Ive never lost a plant so I think the overgrowth also protects the
roots of the plants.

Tip From: Froggies Song

Tip # 5: Caring for Ornamental Grasses

One of the most commonly asked questions at the nursery is ‘When do I cut down my ornamental grasses?’


The best time to do this gardening task is from mid April to early May.  When left standing throughout the winter months, grasses provide valuable shelter and seed  for many forms of wildlife.  They also provide great texture, colour, movement and interest to the winter garden. Enjoy these plants until Spring!


Tip From: Willow Farm Grasses

Tip #6: Snowdrops

When snowdrops are in bloom it is time for transplanting. It is so easy! Dig up one or more clumps, pull the bulbs gently apart and then replant the bulbs singly or in small clumps in new parts of your garden or on the edges of a planting so that your patch grows noticeably larger. You might need a screwdriver or a sturdy stick to make the planting holes. Remember not to crowd these bulbs. They multiply!


Tip From: Keppel Croft

Tip # 7: Mini Indoor Garden

Flowering snowdrops make great mini indoor gardens. Find a suitable container. Dig up a clump of snowdrops. Pop the snowdrops into your container. Arrange the moss around the top of the bulbs. Bring a handful of moss inside for a finishing touch. Add some water. When your indoor snowdrop garden looks a little weary plant the bulbs back in your garden. Return the moss to your garden, too. Repeat next spring!


Tip From: Keppel Croft

Snowdrops in house

Tip #8: Pruning Tips

Many customers ask us at the Garden Centre how and when to prune perennial Hibiscus. We always tell them to wait until spring when the bright green stems from the fall have died back to the ground ( the ‘before’ photo). The whole brown part of each stem should be cut back to the green part at the base of the plant as shown in the second photo. In the ‘after’ photo you will see what a properly pruned perennial Hardy Hibiscus should look like in spring. And the big color photo is your summer reward for diligent spring pruning! And don’t forget to add some perennial granular fertilizer or compost around the base of the plant each spring as these plants are heavy feeders and require a lot of nutrients to make these huge flowers. And mulch well for moisture retention. Dry soil and lack of nutrients will result in stunted growth and a lack of blooms. A little spring work for a summer full of blooms and easy care beauty!


Tip From: Folmer Garden Centre and Botanical Gardens.



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