May 31: Best from the blogosphere

By Sheryl Smolkin

This morning when I took the dog for a walk I saw tulips, begonias, apple blossoms, pansies and rhododendrons and that was just in my own yard. My husband has a green thumb and knows how happy I am surrounded by flowers.

He also grows vegetables, so he and his good friend Russ pour over seed catalogues looking for heritage tomatoes and other delectable treats beginning in September. By March they can’t resist at least a couple of visits to the garden centre.

The official start of the gardening season in Canada is the May long weekend, so many of you have already planted hardy seedlings that you may have started inside under lights. But regardless of whether you have yet to put a spade in the ground, it’s always great to get advice from the experts.

And some avid gardeners like to write as much as they love to grow things. Believe it or not, there was even a Garden Bloggers Conference at the Beverley Hilton in Los Angeles earlier this month. Here is the GBC list of lists (albeit U.S.) of top garden blogs.

Here are some other great gardening blogs we found:

Gardens by Laura of Calgary Gardening Services supports sustainable gardening practices.  In a nutshell, she says her company follows practices that will allow future generations to meet their needs by attempting to protect, restore, and enhance landscapes to provide ecosystems that benefit humans and other organisms.

You Grow Girl was launched by Gayla Trail in February 2000 and has grown into a thriving project that speaks to a contemporary, laid-back approach to organic gardening that places equal importance on environmentalism, style, affordability, art, and humour.

In mid-May, Melissa J. Will, the self-styled Empress of Dirt  wrote about how to start a new garden pond for anyone installing a small (under 1000 gallons – about the size of 10-person hot tub or less) prefab garden pond or other little container pond on a patio or balcony.

For those of you in apartments or condos, balcony gardener focuses on smaller-scale gardening. She says, “My downtown city balcony garden is all about containers. It’s a different garden every year. It’s small. I spend a lot less time pulling weeds and watering. It’s fun, it’s challenging and it’s easy to try new things.”

Nikki Jabbour is part of the blogging team at Savvy Gardening. She has some interesting vertical vegetable gardening ideas to boost growing space, reduce insect and disease problems, and beautify decks and patios. In her veggie plot, she uses structures like trellises, stakes, and obelisks. These support vining tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, gourds, peas, and pole beans. But, she also has a vertical vegetable garden on her back deck and patio.

Finally, take a look at Little Green Fingers: A first-hand account of gardening with kids. Several charming recent posts discuss cake decorating with edible flowers, growing pea shoots with children and how to make ice mobiles.

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