Summer Watering 101

Summer Watering 101

Who knew Canada could get so hot!? With the summer we’ve been having, it’s hard to find the energy to get much work done. During times like these, you might find your garden is happy and healthy one minute and then droopy and sad the next! If the heats getting to you, and your garden, don’t worry! In this weeks blog, we’re here to help keep your garden hydrated and healthy during hot times.

Watering Times

When deciding the best watering times for your garden, you first want to start by checking with your local municipality. Each neighborhood is assigned a watering schedule to ensure adequate usage. These guidelines are crucial for keeping your water bill down and contribute to environmental initiatives for lowering our carbon footprint.

Morning: When possible, watering your plants in the early morning is always the best option for beating the summer heat. In the early morning, your plants can have more time to absorb the water through the soil before the sun comes to evaporate it. We recommend the earlier, the better, no later than 10 am.

Afternoon: In most places, the sun is at its peak around 12pm. To keep your plants hydrated during scorching summer temperatures, it’s crucial to never water your plants during peak sunshine hours. Watering your plants during these hours won’t allow your plants to absorb enough water before it gets evaporated. If the afternoon is the only time you have to water your plants, we recommend using a drip irrigation system to ensure a slow and steady watering solution to prevent water evaporation.

Evening: The best alternative to watering your plants in the morning is to water them in the evening! Watering your plants in the evening will allow them the proper time to absorb water from the soil up their roots before the sun comes up. When sticking to an evening watering routine, it’s essential not to overwater your plants, as this could cause fungal growth. Also, try not to water them too late into the evening. Giving them as much evening sun as possible will help to prevent water logging.

Watering Tools

Mulch: Mulching your garden beds is a great way to retain moisture by keeping your soil cooler for longer. Allowing your plants to absorb more water while also preserving water. Just apply 2-3 inches of mulch to the top layer of soil and water as needed. Be sure to reapply throughout the season.

Water bags/Rings: Water bags are a sustainable way to provide your trees with sufficient watering for 5 to 8 hours, never overwatering or underwatering your trees. If you plan on taking a summer vacation, water bags are the perfect solution to keeping your trees hydrated, especially for new trees that need to establish new solid roots.

Self-watering Stake: Whether your potted plants are outdoors or indoors, summer temperatures significantly affect container plants. Without a deep rooting system built into the earth, container plants can dry out quickly and die. While timing your watering will help, it may not be enough to keep your plants hydrated. For optimal hydration, self-watering stakes are the perfect solution for slowly releasing water for container plants. Giving you more time between watering while also stabilizing moisture levels. 

Moisture & PH Meter:  When you doubt whether your plants are being over-watered or under-watered, using a Moisture Meter will help you stay on track. After all, we don’t always get the same amount of sun each and every day. Simply stick the moisture meter in the soil to determine the amount of water required and water as needed.

Tips & Tricks

Depth: Water deeply & right at the roots. Soaker hoses with wand attachments work great! Watering deeply ensures you’re getting right to the roots. It’s better to water deeply, less frequently when possible. We also recommend watering right at the base of the plant. Not only is it a more effective way to hydrate your plants, but letting water sit on your plants’ leaves in the hot sun can cause damage and scorching.

Over-watering: Just because it’s toasty out there doesn’t mean your plants want to be drowned! Keep an eye on your soil. It should never be so wet that water is pooling, and you should allow some time to dry a little between watering so the roots can get oxygen.

Clay-rich soil: Depending on your plant’s needs, using clay-rich soil is a great way to retain moisture for longer. Good clay-rich soil can have better expanding properties, which will allow your soil to hold water longer and more evenly.

Slow release or drip: One of the most essential tips and tricks when it comes to keeping your plants hydrated is ensuring that they get the water you’re giving them! Often times we can be in a rush to water our plants, which can result in a runoff – meaning that the water has rolled off away from the plant. To ensure you’re watering right down to the root of your plants, we recommend using a drip irrigation system or slowing down and watering your plants evenly and all around the plant. This will also produce better-quality plants by preventing one-sided root growth.

For more tips and tricks on keeping your plants hydrated this summer, check out the latest episode of Get Up and Grow, with our President Gord Nickel Gardening Water Tips for Summer below!

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How To Attract Butterflies

How To Attract Butterflies

Whether their delicate presence provides you with symbolic reflection, calm enjoyment or healthy pollinated blooms, butterflies are one of the most beautiful critters to enter our gardens. Lucky for us, these floating beauties can be swayed to visit more often if the conditions are right. In this week’s blog, we’re going to share with you a few tips and tricks to getting more butterflies in your garden.

About Butterflies

[Canadian Tiger Swallowtail]
With over 300 species of butterflies in Canada, the majority of butterflies can be found fluttering between British Columbia and Quebec. As the most recognized butterfly, the Monarch Butterfly can be found on almost every continent around the world.
Unable to withstand Canada’s harsh winters, the Monarch butterfly flies over 4,000 kilometres to Mexico each year, where it spends six months soaking up the sun in the Oyamel Fir Forest of Central Mexico. As Spring starts to unfold in Canada, butterflies like the Monarch start to appear in early April.
Note: Though, with 2 to 6 weeks lifespans, not all butterflies make it to migration. Only the last generation of Monarchs in a single year makes it to the migration phase with an average lifespan of 8 to 9 months long.

Butterfly Habitats

[Mourning Cloak]
Grasslands, deserts, forests, alpines and wetlands are all ideal environments for butterflies to thrive. Since butterflies can be found across many ecosystems, it’s essential to know a few ways butterflies choose their potential homes. Try some of the proven tips and tricks below to meet all the requirements needed to keep your butterflies happy and coming back each and every year.

Butterfly Food

[Milbert’s Tortoiseshell]

During the day, butterflies need rich sources of nectar to provide them with the energy they need to survive. The best nectar for them often comes from colourful and fragrant flower blooms. If attracting more butterflies to your garden is on your agenda, you’ll want to take note of these proven butterfly favourites.

Zinnias Black-eyed Susan
Salvia Coneflower
Sunflower Blazing Star
Milkweed Yarrow
Cosmos Scarlet Morning Glory
Climbing Aster Coreopsis
Allium Purple Sensation Yellow Crocuses
Bright White Daffodils Asclepsias Incarnata
Knapweed Puschkinia

Butterfly homes

After a busy day of pollinating and eating nectar from our gardens, butterflies need a safe place to rest at night. To prevent them from being carried away from the wind, they like to nuzzle themselves between blades of grass, rocks, under leaves or tightly between branches on trees. As gardeners, the best thing we can do to provide a safe shelter for butterflies is to introduce a manmade butterfly home! Place your butterfly home near your popular butterfly flowers to make sure it’s visible, and add some sticks and dry leaves to help entice them.


[Dakota Skipper]

Since butterflies have straw-like tongues called ‘proboscis,’ they are restricted to a liquid-only diet. Some ways they can stay hydrated is through the nectar they get from flowers and fruit juices. As a fun activity, try setting out a bottle cap filled with honey water or fruit juice for them to drink from or place one near a butterfly to attract it to you. Or, place some fruit in the sun and see how long it takes for them to find it!

Sun Basking

[Clouded Sulphur]

Butterflies can’t fly when they’re cold. To keep them moving, they often stop to bask in the sun. To help your butterflies stay warm, add a few flat rocks in sunny areas to give them a safe place to soak up the sun!


[Summer Azure]

Unfortunately, our poor butterfly friends have many predators, including birds, snakes, rats, wasps, ants, lizards and more. To save them from potential predators, try to be mindful when placing your resources. For example, don’t place your bird feeder and butterfly home in the same place.
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Top 5 Deer-Resistant Fall Bulbs

Top 5 Deer-Resistant Fall Bulbs

With the approach of a new season, comes plenty to do in the garden! Perhaps the best place to start is to think about what might have gone wrong this year so that we can do our best at preventing it from happening the following year. One problem area that we are always asked about is how to deter deer from gardens. Well, if you have plans on planting fall bulbs and happened to have a deer problem this year, now is the best time to put a fool-proof plan into action! To help your garden perform at its best, deer-free, we’ve come up with our favourite deer-proof fall bulbs to get you one step ahead with the fall planting season approaching.

1. Schubertii Allium

[Allium Schubertii]

Also known as Schubert’s Allium or Tumbleweed onion. Allium Schubertii produces enormous 12-inch blooms with tiny, shooting-star-like florets. Unlike common densely packed Allium, Schubertii Allium has sparse blooms, creating a strikingly unique garden giant worth noting!

Plant new bulbs 4″ deep and 8″ apart in the fall (Sept-Dec) for a late Spring (May – June) bloom. This easy-to-grow variety is resistant to deer, however, note that alliums are poisonous if ingested by pets. Add “Schubertii” to cut flower arrangements, whether fresh or dried, to make any bouquet “pop”!



Bulb Size

14-16 cm

Bloom Size

12” W

Sun Requirements

Full to Part Sun


Moderate to dry








May – June

Planting Depth


Space Apart


Deer Resistant


Skill Level



Zones 3-9


Toxic to pets

2. Iris Dwarf Katherine Hodgkin

[Iris Katherine Hodgkin]

Part of the Dwarf family, Iris ‘Katherine Hodgkin’ is a hybrid award-winning iris known for its short flowers with detailed pale blue-veined petals with yellow blotches. Growing only 6 inches tall, Iris Katherine Hodgkin is a fantastic naturalizing bloom that can also perform well in containers all while deterring pesky grazers like deer.

Plant bulbs 2 inches deep and 3 inches apart in well-draining soil, ensuring they get exposed to full or partial sun. Dwarf irises do well in a variety of locations; containers, borders, rock gardens, and lawns are all great choices! Be sure to plant these flowers in large groups if used on a lawn, as they can be otherwise easily lost due to their small stature.

Colour Blue
Bulb Season Fall, Sept-Dec
Bulb size Top size
Bloom Feb – April
Lighting Full to partial sun
Water  As needed
Fragrant No
Size 6” (15cm)
Plant Depth  2”
Space Apart 3”
Deer Resistant Yes
Skill Level Easy
Zone Zone 5
Toxic Toxic to pets and humans
Other Benefits Great for naturalizing

3. Anemone De Caen Sylphide

[Anemone De Caen Sylphide]

Anemone De Caen “Sylphide” shines with its bright, violet-pink, poppy-like flowers adorned with a powdery dome of black stamens at the center. This easy-to-grow variety is very prolific as well, with as many as 18 flowers per plant! Its long stem makes it a great choice for use as a cut flower. To be planted during the fall months (Sept-Dec) in preparation for a springtime (Mar-May) bloom.

In most, well-draining soil plant the bulbs at a depth of approximately 2”, leaving 4” of space between each bulb. Loves the sun, however, in hotter areas, a bit of shade is appreciated! Anemones are beautiful deer-resistant flowers that will light up your garden with rays of dazzling pink, all while attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinators!

Colour Pink
Bulb Size 6 – 7 cm
Bloom Size 4”
Sun Requirements Full to Part Sun
Water As needed, about 1″ of water per week
Fragrant No
Height 10”
Plant  Sept-Dec
Bloom Mar-May
Planting Depth 2″
Space Apart 4″
Deer Resistant Yes
Skill Level Easy
Zone Zones 5 – 10
Toxic Toxic to humans and pets

4. Chionodoxa Pink Giant

[Chionodoxa Pink Giant]

Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow) “Pink Giant” is an early spring (March-April) blooming variety that boasts loose one-sided racemes of up to 12 upward-facing, large pink flowers with a diffused margined white eye. Its charming blossoms are borne atop the foliage of 2 – 3 narrow semi-erect, basal leaves. This bulbous perennial naturalizes easily, once established, returning to your garden year after year.

Plant in autumn (September – December) in well-draining soil, under full sun or partial shade. Plant the bulbs at a depth of 2”, while leaving 3” of space between each bulb. A deer-resistant variety that is suitable for growing in hardiness zones 3 through 8. “Pink Giant” provides a pretty display when planted among many kinds of perennial plants in garden borders. They can also be planted near other very early-flowering perennials to create complementary colour combinations.

Colour Pink
Bulb Size 5 – 6 cm
Sun Requirements Full to Part Sun
Water As needed
Fragrant No
Height 6”
Plant  Sept-Dec
Bloom Mar – Apr
Planting Depth 2″
Space Apart 3″
Deer Resistant Yes
Skill Level Easy
Zone Zones 3 – 8
Toxic No
Other Benefits Disease tolerant


5. Snowdrops Galanthus Woronownii

[Snowdrops Galanthus Woronownii]

Also known as ‘Snowdrops’, ‘Giant Snowdrop’ or ‘The Green Snowdrop’, Galanthus Woronownii are native to Turkey, Russia, and The Republic of Georgia and are named in honour of the Russian plant collector, Georg Woronownii. As one of the very first signs of spring, Galanthus Woronownii can be found pushing their way through the frozen ground with white blooms with green accents stretching their pedals into bloom in February and March. They make the perfect blooms for woodland margins, lawns, under deciduous trees, rock gardens, border fronts and walkways.

Plant Galanthus Woronownii in zones 3-8, 3 inches deep and 4 inches apart in fall. Galanthus Woronownii prefers full sun to partial shade environments and are toxic to humans and pets when consumed. These fantastic neutralizers are easy to grow and require less than an inch of water per week, in well-drained soil.

Colour White
Bulb Season Fall, Sept-Dec
Bulb size 5-6cm
Bloom Jan-Mar
Lighting Full to partial sun
Water  Little, less than 1 inch per week in well-drained soil
Fragrant No
Size 10cm/4 inches
Plant Depth  2”
Space Apart 3”
Deer Resistant Yes
Skill Level Easy
Zone Zones 3-8
Toxic Toxic to humans and pets
Other Benefits Great for naturalizing
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August Gardening Tips

August Gardening Tips

With the tail end of summer here, it’s time to squeeze in every last drop of the sunny outdoors that we can! In this week’s blog were here to keep you busy and growing in the garden with all that there is to do for the month of August! 

Lawn & Pond

Keep lawns deep-watered during hot weather. Fertilize, a healthy thick lawn will keep weeds down.
Raise the blade on your lawn mower. Growing taller blades of grass will allow your lawn to retain moisture during hotter months.
Use grass clipping to mulch your lawn, keeping it nice and cool.
Look for thin areas to re-seed. August is a great time to allow new seed to grow before cooler temperatures.
Give your grass a growing start by fertilizing in the late summer.
  Watch for grubs and treat them accordingly! The best way to prevent grubs is to have a lush and healthy lawn.
Clean water features like waterfalls, remove built-up algae which can effect functionality.
Remove old water lily leaves and fertilize.
Check on your fish! August is a common time for fish to develop ulcers. Use medication as needed, clean the water and filters.
Check water for nitrate levels.



Remove perennial blooms as they fade.
In perennial gardens, a light cultivation, followed by mulching with compost, will restore their ornamental stature.
For ongoing health of vegetable gardens, remove plants that have finished producing. Chop them for compost, apply a warm season green manure crop or replenish the soil and plant fall and winter vegetables.
Avoid watering the foliage of tomatoes.
Deadhead all spent annual flowers and water flower beds early in the morning.
Don’t forget to water trees and plants which grow under eaves of your house.
Feed rhododendrons and azaleas and keep them well watered.
Replace annuals with new season plants! Try tucking in new varieties of plants that are ready to take on the fall, like Chrysanthemums!
Check houseplants! With hot temperatures and extra watering, it might be time to upgrade to bigger pots. Gently pull your plant out of the pot and see if there are new roots that are ready to be replanted.
Potatoes and onions should be ready for harvest! Check for foliage that has browned as an indication that they’re ready.


Miscellaneous & More!

 Check on temperatures for heat waves! Make sure to work in a shady spot or start working in the garden in the early morning or evening.
Stay on top of your harvesting! Failure to do so will result in slower production.
Inspect your plants for insects and pests! Treat as needed.
Don’t forget to clean your tools! Cleaning your tools is a key component in preventing the spread of disease.
Plant colchicums or fall crocus for colour now.
Reapply 14-14-14 slow-release fertilizer – your annuals have a good few months left!
Plan for fall planting by planning out your gardening space & sunlight. Purchase seeds accordingly and start sowing!


Looking for more to do this August? Check out the latest episode of Get Up and Grow ‘How To Get Rid of Algae in Ponds’ below with our President, Gord Nickel.

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Eremurus 101

Eremurus 101

Also known as Foxtail Lilies, Desert Candles and King’s Spears, Eremurus are strikingly unique members of the Asphodelaceae family. Originating from all over the world in Asia, China, Turkey, and Europe. They can reach up to seven feet tall in varieties of whites, pinks, yellows, and oranges. Derived from the Greek meaning “tall” and “solitary” Eremurus symbolize endurance.

Varieties of Eremurus

With over 50 different variations, there are four common types of Eremurus that can be found commercially available for growing in your home garden.

Eremurus Himalaicus – Produces white flowers, reaching up to four feet tall.

Eremurus Robustus – The tallest variety of Eremurus, producing pink or white blooms that climb up to ten feet tall.

Eremurus Stenophyllus – The shortest variety of Eremurus, producing yellow flowers that grow from 2ft to 3ft tall.

Eremurus Isabellinus – A hybrid Eremurus bred between Emerurus Olgae and Emerus Stenophyllus. Also known as “Cleopatra” with copper flowers reaching 4ft tall.

At Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre, you can find the following varieties that have become increasingly popular year after year.

Eremurus Copper Cleopatra Tops

How To Grow Eremurus

While deterring unwanted garden pests such as deer and disease, Eremurus attracts beneficial pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds. They are easy growers that require little maintenance while creating a big impact. Plus, there’s nothing quite like them when it comes to their performance indoors as cut flowers and in containers.

When planting Eremurus, it’s important to know that these garden giants require space to grow. Placing them at the back of garden borders is a popular way to prevent overcrowding while taking advantage of their enormous height for added depth. When given the space they need, Eremurus pair beautifully with peonies, roses, allium, and iris.  To grow Eremurus at home, follow the care guide below to see if your home garden meets their growing requirements.

SUN Full to Partial Sun
ZONE Zones 5 – 8
BLOOM TIME Late spring to early summer
HEIGHT  Up to 10 feet tall
PLANTING SPACE Plenty of space, 8″ is recommended
PLANTING TIME September until Frost

 Cutting Eremurus

To get the most out of your cut Eremurus, cut them at the base of the stem on an angle and place them in warm water with sugar or plant food. As the flowers wither from the base upward, remove any dead foliage and replace the water as soon as it isn’t clear.
Don’t forget to pre-order your Eremurus now, to guarantee your favourite striking garden giants this fall!
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