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Gardening in a Changing Climate

bleeding heart climate change

  ASK AN EXPERT Gardening in a Changing Climate Although gardeners are accustomed to coping with variable weather conditions we are now experiencing warmer-than-usual summers and winters with skimpy snow cover have gone from the exception to the expected. Fundamentally today’s climate is much different from that of 10 to 15 years ago and climate is not changing equally across the country either. Our toughest trees are becoming stressed by droughts and thus weakened which makes them more susceptible to pests and disease. With less snow cover in the winter it is now vital that

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Xeriscaping = Drought Tolerant Garden

black eyed susans

  ASK AN EXPERT Xeriscaping = Drought Tolerant Garden Helping plants survive drought use to mean turning on the sprinkler at the end of a hot day. There is a more water efficient way of gardening that saves water and time. The goal of xeriscaping is to build a sustainable garden that helps plants survive dry periods on their own, without relying on supplemental watering, fertilizer and other maintenance tasks. There are four key elements that make a xeriscape garden successful and beautiful. 1) Get to the root: Shallow rooted plants are more dependent on

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Designs for Landscaping a New Home or Revitalizing an Existing Home

harmony gardens landscaping ottawa design build plans

The best landscaped property is the one that began with a good plan. It is vital that your ideas, likes, dislikes, wants, needs, desires, wishes are explored and implemented into your landscape design. It is imperative that your existing space be looked at for focal points, vantage points, scale and functionality as well as theme, colour, texture, light and safety concerns. Our designer will consult with you to ensure that all these concepts are implemented into your design. Your design will specifically note the practical hard surfaces like steps, walkways, patios, and driveways required within

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Creating a Sanctuary in your Backyard

backyard sactuary

Creating a Sanctuary in your Backyard Create your own urban oasis by making your outdoor space functional and inviting. Harmony Gardens Landscaping can design and build your backyard sanctuary. From hardscaping features such as interlock patios, walkways to retaining, garden walls, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, hot tub pads, pool surrounds to wooden pergolas, dividers, trellises.  We can build and install water features, flowerbeds, butterfly gardens and your special oasis. Our design will incorporate these eight tips for creating your exotic sanctuary that you will never want to leave. Landscaping will give you the true meaning

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Winter Protection for Your Plants

Are you ensuring winter protection for your plants? Some tender perennials and shrubs need protection from the elements in winter. Plants may need protection from the sun, the wind, the harsh cold, rodents, salt and snow load. Protecting plants from one element may create a weakness in other areas so it is important to keep all elements in mind when protecting your plants. Once you know what you are protecting your plants from you can ensure you have the correct winter protection for your specific needs. SUN: The sun can cause major damage to plants

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Put Your Perennials to Bed for the Winter

In the fall after frost you should put your perennials to bed for the winter. It is important that: 1) Cut back your perennials and old growth. Leave about 2” above ground so you can remember where your plants are in the spring. Ensure all the plant leaves are removed and stems have a clean cut. 2) Prune shrubs to shape, remove dead wood, and to withstand snow load. 3) Remove all solid leaf debris and other waste from the garden. So ensure beds are weeded and cultivated. This is especially important if you have

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Winterizing Your Lawn

Winterizing Your Lawn It is important to prep your lawn for winter weather in October/November. A little TLC is all your lawn needs before the long winter ahead so the grass will come back lush and beautiful in the spring. 1) First it is important that the lawn have a final mowing at a height of 2 ¾” to 3”. 2) Rake up the leaves from the lawn and dispose of so as to decrease leaf moulds, disease and suffocation of grass. 3) Winterizing fall fertilizers are important to help your lawn overwinter. Fall formulations

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Pruning Shrubs & Evergreens

Pruning is an essential part of gardening. Correctly pruned trees, shrubs and evergreens will be superior in appearance, vigour and in flowering as compared to neglected plants. Pruning Tools Hand held pruners (secateurs)- are used to cut stems up to 13mm. in diameter. Scissor types cut closer than anvil types. Must be kept sharp so as to not crush or tear bark. Hedge Shears are used for trimming formal hedges to shape foliage. Gas or electric trimmers are used to shape shrubs, broadleaf evergreens, and evergreens. Lopping shears (loppers)- are used to cut stems and

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What Is A Weed?

What is a weed? Broadly speaking a weed is any plant growing where it is not wanted. Usually this means a plant that is invasive, or harbours pests or diseases that are harmful to desirable plants. Weeds are not a total curse as some attract beneficial insects (milkweed attracts monarch butterflies), some add organic matter to the soil and those with deep roots break up compacted soil while others are harvested for food (dandelion for salad greens). Weeds prefer poor nutrient-deficient soil usually. Stinging nettle is an exception and grows in nutrient rich soil. Germination

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Fall Lawn Care

harmony gardens landscaping ottawa fall lawn care

Fall Lawn Care – September In September we recommend that lawns be core aerated, an application of TurfMaize and a final application of nematodes for grubs and/or cinch bugs. Core aeration improves the oxygen flow around the root zone of the grass, stimulates microbial activity, improves soil structure, improves water flow, brings nutrients to the surface and decreases compaction. Aeration is best done when the ground is moist with fall rains. Core aeration removes “plugs” of soil approx. 3 inches (7.5cms.) in length and deposits onto the lawn which will breakdown in about a week’s

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Late Summer and Fall Gardening Checklist

fall gardening checklist

Late Summer and Fall Gardening Checklist Fall is a great time to plant trees and shrubs, cut back perennials, remove annuals and get your lawn healthy for next spring. Remember to keep watering…trees and shrubs that are deprived of water now will be easily stressed in the winter. August: -dead-head perennials -prune honeysuckle vines and climbing hydrangeas -divide and transplant perennials -planting of perennials, ornamental grasses, hedges, shrubs and trees -prune evergreens and hedges; shape shrubs -mulching of flowerbeds -install sod September: -collect seeds and herbs for drying -add composted manure to garden beds -check

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DIY: How to Divide your Perennials

DIY divide perennials

How to Divide your Perennials Water your perennials one week and then one day before dividing if possible. Divide and transplant on a cool, cloudy, calm day if at all possible. Cut straight down around root ball with transplant spade, aiming to include as many roots as you can. Gently loosen root ball but keep it intact leaving as much soil on as possible to lessen transplant shock. Inspect the plant for obvious places to divide remembering that each new plant needs a balance of top growth and roots. Gently spread leaves, start in centre

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Dividing and Transplanting

dividing and transplanting

Dividing and Transplanting Dividing, transplanting and reducing the size of overgrown perennial clumps are essential tasks that rejuvenate the perennial garden resulting in healthier, better-looking plants and more perennials. You can expect clumps of perennials to need thinning or dividing and transplanting every three to five years. Some transplanted perennials can take awhile to get re-established and to bloom again. Perennial clumps that have taken on a doughnut shape need to be divided and transplanted. This growth pattern where most of the vigorous shoots are on the outer perimeter with little growth in the clump’s

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Interlock Cleaning and Maintenance

Ottawa interlock pavers maintenance weeding

Interlock Cleaning and Maintenance Interlocking, patio stones, flagstone, stepping stones or any hard surface will eventually get weeds and require cleaning out prior to regular maintenance. Cleaning out of weeds from hard surfaces can be done by: 1) Hand weeding to remove weeds, sand and debris using an L-shaped interlock weeding tool. Ensure to remove all soil, roots and debris prior to re-sanding. Very time consuming method. 2) Thermal weeding should be done by a professional so as to not burn and mark pavers. Weeds are burned out by using a propane torch weeder. 3)

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Dead-Heading Techniques

dead-heading techniques harmony gardens ottawa

Perennials bloom for a few weeks each season but gardeners have learned to extend blooming periods by dead-heading. Dead-heading is the removal of spent, mature flowers that are turning brown or losing their petals. If left to nature most of these spent flowers will develop seeds. When they ripen the plant starts to decline in preparation for dormancy and next season’s growth. Deadheading interrupts this natural cycle encouraging plants to continue to produce new buds, prolonging the blooming period thus more flowers in your garden. Dead-heading prolongs blooming, promotes a second flush of flowers, discourages

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