Mixing it Up: Combining Edibles with Ornamentals
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Mixing it Up: Combining Edibles with Ornamentals

Author: Claire McCaughey, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton Just a few decades ago, planting ornamental plants and food crops together would have been frowned upon by the gardening establishment. Gardeners have tended to specialize in growing ornamentals or vegetables in separate beds, with only a few choosing to grow them together. There might have been a…

Gardening for Birds: Planting for American Robins
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Gardening for Birds: Planting for American Robins

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton The American robin, with its brick-red breast, yellow beak, and grey wings, is a much-loved harbinger of spring and always a welcome visitor after our long, cold winters. Most sightings start just when the ice and snow are melting. These birds are well suited to city living and…

Light Pollution and the Importance of Darkness For Wildlife
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Light Pollution and the Importance of Darkness For Wildlife

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton As days become shorter, winter solstice approaches. Long shadows fall over the garden while many migratory birds begin their long, often dangerous, journey south. For gardeners who care about wildlife, autumn is a good time to pause and reflect on the effects of artificial light—especially hazardous for migrating…

Gardening for Birds: Planting for Woodpeckers
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Gardening for Birds: Planting for Woodpeckers

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton. Three species of woodpeckers visit my well-wooded, older suburb. Usually, they are most noticeable during mating season with their loud drumming sounds to attract a mate. The smallest is the downy woodpecker, about 16.5 cm long, which often forages in the old apple tree. The hairy woodpecker, about…

Annuals: Why We Love Them and Tips for Success
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Annuals: Why We Love Them and Tips for Success

Author: Claire Leduc, Master Gardeners of Lanark County After months of winter and pandemic restrictions, gardeners will be eager to get outdoors and enjoy their gardens. Annuals are sometimes passed over as expensive because they only last one summer. But when you grow them, you start to appreciate their many positive qualities. First, what is…

Pollinator Tips for Summer Gardens
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Pollinator Tips for Summer Gardens

Author: Julianne Labreche, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton Hot, lazy July days bring busy pollinators to visit our orchards, flower, and vegetable gardens. These small garden visitors are critical to human survival. They help to put food on our tables by pollinating many plants that provide us with edible fruit. Pollinators, which include many beneficial insects,…

Keystone Plants Trees – Ecoregion Five
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Keystone Plants Trees – Ecoregion Five

Author: Adair Heuchan, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleto.. “Oaks support more forms of life and more fascinating interactions than any other tree genus in North America. They produce enormous root systems over their lifetimes, and these help make them champions when it comes to soil stabilization, carbon sequestration, and watershed management.” Douglas Tallamy: The Nature of…

An Overview of Garden Plant Suggestions for Birds
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An Overview of Garden Plant Suggestions for Birds

Julianne Labreche, Master Gardener, Ottawa-Carleton N= Native Plant Bird Friendly Shrubs and Small Trees Evergreen Trees for Birds Deciduous Trees for Birds Perennials for Birds Bird-Friendly Annual Flowers Bird-Friendly Vines Grasses for Birds These are alternatives to Miscanthus, considered an invasive plant species. www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/grow-instead Groundcovers for Birds Useful Birding Apps Merlin Bird ID Website: merlin.allaboutbirds.org…

Edible Flowers You Can Grow
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Edible Flowers You Can Grow

Author: Claire McCaughey, Master Gardeners of Lanark County. Edible flowers have long been part of the cuisines of distinct cultures. Take, for example, squash blossoms (the flowers of Cucurbita pepo). The genus Cucurbita originated in the Americas and has been an integral part of Native American and Mexican cuisines. Squash blossoms were adopted into Italian…

Getting a Head Start on the Summer Growing Season
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Getting a Head Start on the Summer Growing Season

Author: Rob Stuart, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton; published with permission. Mid-March in Ottawa is usually the ideal time to start sowing seeds of annual flowers, vegetables, and herbs that you plan to grow this summer. Hopefully, you already have the seeds ready, either saved from last year’s harvest or purchased at a local store or…

Grow a Garden Full of Memories
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Grow a Garden Full of Memories

Author: Lee Ann Smith, Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton, Published with Permission However you define a garden oasis, I’d like to encourage you to grow some memories! Consider choosing specific plants to celebrate the people and places most important in your life. You can give yourself the pleasure of revisiting favourite friends, family members, events, and…

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