Allium 101

Allium 101

 Are you looking to add a touch of elegance and beauty to your garden? Look no further than ornamental alliums. These stunning flowering plants are the perfect addition to any garden, with their unique spherical blooms and vibrant colors. In this week’s blog, we will explore the world of ornamental alliums and discover how you can grow these magnificent bulbs in your own backyard! Here’s how…

About Alliums

Allium flowers have a unique growth pattern, with the blooms appearing on stalks that are typically leafless. These flowers are grouped together in a pom-pom arrangement at the top of the stem. Their appearance has been likened to a frozen firework mid-explosion, creating a visually striking and dynamic display.

Relatives to Onions

Alliums are part of the Alliaceae family, which includes around 600-925 species of perennial bulbous plants. While not all of them are cultivated for consumption, many species are primarily grown for their stunning flower heads.

Alliums are Versatile

Alliums are incredibly attractive when planted in borders, beds, and pots. However, their true beauty shines when they are planted in clusters or groups. They are perfect for creating stunning cut flower arrangements and can even be used in dried flower displays. It’s no surprise that we have a deep affection for them!

Pollinator friendly & Pest Resistant

Gardeners often opt for planting alliums in their gardens because they are highly attractive to bees and butterflies. It is worth noting that these plants are typically avoided by deer and rabbits, which may be attributed to the strong fragrance produced when the stems are broken.

Great as Dried Flowers

Allium flower heads are a great option for dried flower arrangements. Unlike some other flowers, they do not produce multiple blooms, so you can leave the flower head on the plant until it naturally dries before cutting it for use in arrangements. This makes them a convenient choice for those looking to add some long-lasting beauty to their floral displays.

Allium Symbolism

The allium flower is associated with the meaning of unity in the language of flowers. As a result, it is commonly exchanged between married couples and long-term friends as a symbol of their strong bond.

Popular Varieties of Allium

Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting out, growing allium bulbs is a rewarding and relatively easy task. With a wide variety of allium species to choose from, including Allium giganteum, Allium schubertii, and Allium caeruleum, there is sure to be a variety that suits your taste and preferences.

1.) Purple Sensation – If you’re new to growing alliums, a great option to start with is the widely loved and early-blooming variety called Allium aflatunense ‘Purple Sensation’. The raspberry-purple flowers have flower heads that are about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. They are supported by slender stems that measure 24 to 30 inches in length. A great choice for cut flower gardens!

2.) Allium Globemaster – The large-headed alliums, such as ‘Gladiator’, ‘His Excellency’, and ‘Globemaster’, are impressive flowers that can reach sizes as large as bowling balls, with diameters ranging from 5 to 10 inches. They are supported by sturdy stems that can grow up to 3 to 4 feet tall!

3.) Allium White Giant – There are two alliums with striking white flowers that are worth mentioning. The elegant ‘Mount Everest’ features beautifully pure white flowers measuring 5 inches in diameter and grows on tall stems. Despite its misleading name, the Allium nigrum (black onion) is highly recommended for creating all-white gardens. The flower heads of this plant have a unique vase-like shape rather than being perfectly round.

How to Grow Allium

In order for alliums to thrive and bloom in the spring, they require a period of cold weather to establish their roots. Therefore, when you start experiencing the first signs of coolness in the air during fall, it is the ideal time to begin planting them. To grow Allium of your own, try following the steps outlined below for both in-ground and in-container planting!

  1. To ensure optimal growth, it is recommended to wait until the outside temperature drops below 15C and the soil has cooled off. In the Northern regions, this typically occurs in September or October, while in the Southern regions, it usually happens in October or November.

  2. Choose a location in your garden with soil that drains well and receives full sun exposure.

  3. To plant allium bulbs, dig a hole about 4-8 inches deep and space them approximately 6-8 inches apart. Make sure to place the bulbs in the ground with their pointy ends facing upwards. This will ensure proper growth and development.

  4. It is recommended to water your plants thoroughly and then wait until spring for further watering. This approach helps promote healthy root development and conserves water by preventing excessive moisture.

  5. It is important to leave the foliage of alliums intact after they have bloomed. It should be allowed to wither and turn yellow before removing it completely.

Planting Allium in Containers

With the exception of a few steps, planting Alliums in a container can be just as easy as planting them in the ground. The only difference being…

  1. For effective drainage, it is important to choose a container that allows excess water to flow out easily. When filling the container, use loose soil and make sure there is no water pooling at the bottom. This will help maintain proper moisture levels for your plants.

  2. To safeguard your plants during the colder months, it is advisable to bring your containers inside and store them in a cool location like an unheated garage or basement. This will provide them with the necessary protection.

Tips for Growing Alliums

Allium bulbs are resilient plants that are straightforward to cultivate. However, they do not tolerate excessive moisture well. If a bulb is submerged in water, it will quickly deteriorate. Therefore, it is crucial to prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged. Avoid areas where puddles remain visible for 5-6 hours after a rainstorm to ensure the optimal growth of your flower bulbs.

To improve waterlogged soil, you can incorporate organic material like peat, bark, or manure. The same principle applies when planting bulbs in containers – proper drainage is key. Make sure to choose a pot or box with sufficient drainage holes at the bottom.

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2023 July Gardening Tips

2023 July Gardening Tips

As the summer heat reaches its peak, July presents an exciting opportunity for garden enthusiasts to immerse themselves in all of their favourite gardening tasks. From tending to vibrant blooms to nurturing luscious vegetables, this month is filled with endless possibilities to keep you busy in your garden. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting out, we’re here to provide valuable insights and tips for your best July garden yet! So grab your tools, put on your gardening gloves, and let’s dive into the world of lush greenery and blooming beauty! In this weeks blog, 2023 July Gardening Tips!

July Plant Care Tasks

1.) Boost the growth of your long-blooming perennials by applying a high-quality all-purpose fertilizer. This essential step will ensure that your plants receive the necessary nutrients they need to thrive and produce stunning blooms for an extended period of time.

2.) When summer-bearing raspberries have completed their fruiting cycle, trim down the canes that produced the berries.

3.) Harvest your garlic and shallots promptly once the majority of the tops have withered away. This ensures that you get the best flavor and freshness from your crops.

4.) Maximize your vegetable yield by planting second and third crops after harvesting. Opt for late varieties of leafy greens, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli to ensure a continuous supply of fresh produce throughout the growing season!

5.) Protect your larger growing perennials from rain and wind damage by staking them securely. This simple yet effective technique ensures that your plants are well-supported and can continue to thrive even in adverse weather conditions.

6.) Don’t miss out on the opportunity to fill your garden with vibrant colors! It’s not too late to plant annuals and enjoy a stunning display of blooms.

7.) Don’t forget to remove any dead or diseased foliage, as this will further contribute to the overall well-being of your garden.

8.) Trimming your annual herbs is a smart choice if you want to enjoy a second harvest. By pruning them properly, you encourage new growth and ensure a bountiful yield for your culinary endeavors.

9.) Enhance your cooking skills by utilizing garlic scapes! Not only will this culinary technique add a new layer of flavor to your dishes, but it will also promote the growth of delicious bulbs.

10.) Secure your berry harvest by picking them before the local wildlife discovers a tasty treat. Enjoy the fruits of your labor without having to share with our feathery and furry friends!

Seeds To Sow In July

July is a great time to start planting several types of seeds, especially in areas with mild winters. These varieties not only offer the opportunity for a bountiful harvest in the fall and winter but also provide the option to enjoy them as delicious and tender baby vegetables and more, sooner. To keep your garden growing with a constant supply, try check out our list of great seeds to sow now, below.

South Central, BC ArugulaBeansBeetsBroccoliBrusselsCabbageCarrotsCeleryEggplantEndive/RadicchioKaleLettuceMelonsOnionsPac ChoiPeasPeppersRutabagaSwiss ChardTurnips
Coastal, BC ArugulaBeansBroccoliBeetsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryCressEndive/RadicchioKaleKohlrabiLeeksLettuceMelonsMustardOnionsPac ChoiPeasParsnipsRhubarbRutabagaSpinachSwiss Chard.
Canadian Prairies ArugulaBeansBeetsBroccoliBrusselsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerEggplantFennelKaleKohlrabiLettuceMelonsOnionsPac ChoiPeasPeppersRutabagaSwiss ChardTomatoes, Turnips.
Southern Ontario ArugulaBeansBeetsBroccoliBrusselsCabbageCarrotsCauliflowerEndive/RadicchioFennelKohlrabiLeeksLettuceMelonsMesclunMustardOnionsPac ChoiParsnipsPeasPeppersPurslaneRadishRhubarbSwiss ChardTurnips.
Central Ontario ArugulaBeansBeetsBroccoliBrusselsCabbage,  CarrotsCauliflowerEndive/RadicchioKaleKohlrabiLeeksLettuce,  MelonsMustardOnionsPac ChoiParsnipsPeasPeppersPurslaneRadishRhubarbRutabagaSwiss Chard, Turnips,
Prairies ArugulaBeansBeetsBroccoliBrusselsCabbage,  CarrotsCauliflowerEggplantFennelKaleKohlrabiLettuceMelonsOnionsPac ChoiPeasPeppers, Quinoa, RutabagaSwiss ChardTomatoesTurnips

Pond Care for July

1.) Ensuring the well-being of your fish is crucial, especially during hot weather. By regularly cleaning the filters in your pond features and adding aeration, you can maintain optimal conditions for their survival. Trust me, taking these simple steps will help keep your fish alive and thriving!

2.) Be vigilant when it comes to pests that can infest your water plants, such as water lily aphids, beetles, and snails. These critters can cause significant damage if not detected and controlled promptly. Stay on top of their presence to ensure the health and beauty of your water plants.

3.) Boost the growth of your waterlilies by providing them with essential fertilizers. By nourishing these beautiful aquatic plants, you can ensure their health and vibrant blooms throughout the season. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance the beauty of your garden or pond with thriving waterlilies.

4.) Trimming back overgrown plants is essential to promote their health and vitality. By pruning, you can encourage new growth, prevent disease, and improve the overall appearance of your plants.

Lawn Care for July

1.) In order to maintain a healthy and vibrant lawn during hot weather, it is crucial to properly water it and make adjustments to your lawn mower. Be sure to water your lawn thoroughly, allowing the water to penetrate deep into the soil. Additionally, consider raising the blade on your lawn mower for a higher cut, as this can help protect your grass from heat stress and promote stronger growth.

2.) Transform your lawn care routine by saving grass clippings for mulch. This simple step not only helps to keep your lawn cool but also provides essential nutrients, ensuring a healthy and vibrant yard. Plus, it’s a sustainable way to reduce waste and nourish your lawn naturally.

3.) Avoid fertilizing during the peak of summer to yield better results for your lawn or garden. By withholding fertilizer during this time, you can promote healthier growth and prevent stress on your plants. This practice will ensure that nutrients are used efficiently and effectively, resulting in a lusher and more vibrant landscape.

More to Do This July In The Garden

Looking to do more in your garden this July? Look no further than ‘Accent Trees and Shrubs’ presented by our very own President, Gord Nickel, on Chek News’ Get Up and Grow, below!

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How To Store Seeds

How To Store Seeds

How To Store Seeds

Are you looking for a way to ensure that you have an abundant harvest year after year? With proper storage, your seeds will remain viable for many years and you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. In this article, we will discuss some of the best practices for storing your seeds so that they remain viable and can be used in future harvests. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your seeds and maximizing their potential. Start storing your seeds the right way today and enjoy years of abundant harvests!

Why Store Seeds?

Seed storage is a critical component of successful crop production. To ensure consistent yields, it’s essential to keep seeds in the most optimal conditions. Proper seed storage can greatly improve seed longevity, germination rate, and even quality. By understanding the ins and outs of storing and preserving seeds, gardeners can maximize their return on investment while ensuring their crops thrive. Plus, it’s a great way to save money on seeds when they go on sale even when you might have to hold on to them for a year! Or, even when you have more seeds than you need to plant this season.

Seeds With Great Lifespan

When stored the right way, some seeds can remain viable for more than 5 years – including Brassicas (Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, collards and kohlrabi), chicories (endive, escarole, radicchio) and many other vegetables like cucumbers, kale, lettuce, melons, mustards, peppers, radishs rutabagas sunflowers tomatoes and turnips.

How to Store Your Seeds

1.) Immediately – To ensure that your seeds remain fresh and in good condition, store them right when you get them.

2.) Container – Dry seed storage is an important part of successful gardening and farming. Airtight containers are the best way to store dry seeds for long-term use. These containers protect the seeds from moisture, pests, and oxygen, thus preserving their viability and ensuring a successful harvest.

3.) Label – Proper labelling and categorization of stored seeds is a must! You should keep the seed packet at hand for easy reference in the future. This way you’ll know exactly what type of seeds are in your container and when to plant them during the optimal time.

4.) Location – To ensure successful germination, it is vital to store seeds in a place with low temperatures and away from direct sunlight. Additionally, strong odors should be avoided as they can compromise the efficacy of the seeds.

5.) Store – Seeds should be stored between 4°C & 10°C (40 – 50°F). Avoid putting them in the refrigerator as its humidity levels fluctuate. Remember, freezing can destroy certain seed varieties.

Tips For Planting Stored Seeds

1.) When planting seeds, it’s important to keep them moist so they don’t dry out. Oxygen is essential for proper germination, so flooding the soil can lead to a decrease in oxygen & stunt the growth of your seeds.

2.) On a sunny day, leaving the plastic dome on the seedling trays is not a good idea. If you see a lot of condensation, take it off or prop it open for ventilation. If it’s left on, your seedlings may get steamed by the trapped heat and moisture inside the dome.

3.) When transplanting seedlings outdoors, it’s important to harden them off gradually. A cold frame or cloche is useful for providing gradual exposure to colder temperatures. Otherwise, your plants may be too shocked by the conditions and either be stunted or die from the stress.

With these simple steps, you can easily store your seeds and save money. Not only that, but it also helps to reduce waste and promote sustainability. So why not give it a try?

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Top 5 Gifts For Dad This Father’s Day

Top 5 Gifts For Dad This Father’s Day

 Don’t know what to get Dad for Father’s Day this year? Don’t worry, we’ve curated a list of the perfect gifts that are sure to make him feel special. Get ready to take your gift-giving game to the next level with The Top 5 Gifts for Dad this Father’s Day!

1.) Adirondack Lounger

If you’ve got a Dad who loves his favorite chair, then you know how important it is to him. But why not take that special spot outdoors for an even more special experience? Introducing the Ergonomically designed, heavy-duty dream chair! With no painting, no slivers and no rot, this chair will be a lifetime companion for your Dad and his favorite spot outside.

2.) Aquascapes Mini-Pond Kit

Don’t have a pond? Get one! Whether Dad lives in an apartment or doesn’t have the space for a pond, The Aquascape AquaGarden Mini Pond Kit makes it simple and easy to add the sights and sounds of a water garden to any location. Not only a fun project to do together, but a relaxing way to unwind together this Father’s Day.

Looking for more fun? Add a few small fish and different types of plants to create your own unique aquatic paradise. The waterfall filter offers an ideal environment for plants, but also acts as a biological filter to keep the water clean and clear.

3.) DIY Bird House

A great way to create lasting memories with Dad this Father’s Day is by completing a DIY project together! This Bird Feeder Kit comes with all the materials you need to build your own bird feeder. Not only will it be a fun and rewarding activity, but it will also give Dad the opportunity to watch and enjoy the birds that visit his creation. With this kit, you can create an enjoyable experience of bonding, learning, and appreciation for nature that will be remembered for years to come!

4.) Funny Dog Fountain

Are you looking for a unique way to put a smile on your Dad’s face this Father’s Day? Look no further than the Aquascape Naughty Dog Spitter! This lightweight and durable poly-resin ornament is easy to install and provides a fun, whimsical addition to any pond or water feature. Not only is it eye-catching, but it will bring life to your outdoor living space. Plus, it’s sure to be a hit with Dad!

 5.) Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre, Gift card

Struggling for ideas on what to buy your Dad this Father’s Day? Get him a Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre gift card and let him pick the perfect gift himself. The card can be used for both in-store and online purchases, so it’s a great last-minute option with no expiration date!

 Happy Father’s Day from all of us at Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre!
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Salvia 101

Salvia 101

Salvia (or ‘sage’) is an attractive and fragrant addition to the summer garden. It is known to be quite resilient, being both deer & rabbit-resistant. If you are looking for a reliable hardy plant for your garden this June, check out everything there is to learn about Salvia in this weeks blog, Salvia 101.

About Salvia

Salvias belong to the family of Lamiaceae and are known for being colorful. The flowers are dense and have a tubular shape, while the stems & leaves are usually velvety. These plants can be found in various shades like purple, blue, red, pink & white.

Salvia, derived from the Latin word salvere meaning “to heal,” and has been used centuries ago by the Greek & Roman societies to improve memory and enhance cognitive functions.

Although “salvia” and “sage” are often used interchangeably, the former usually refers to ornamental plants, while the latter is for culinary herbs. Additionally, there are several varieties of garden sage that have attractive ornamental features.


Salvia plants are lucky, as they are usually left undamaged by deer and rabbits due to the pungent odor of their distinctive leaves. This scent works as a natural deterrent to other pests in the garden.


Salvia plants are highly tolerant of both heat and drought, making them ideal for the summer garden. They come in a wide variety of shapes & sizes, ranging from 18 inches to 5 feet tall! Growing them in containers is also possible and can be beneficial if you have limited space.


Before selecting salvias to add to your garden, it’s important to note that the hardiness of the species varies across different regions. Some are best kept as annuals while others can survive as perennials. There’s a large selection of both types available.

Varieties of Salvia

There are nearly a thousand species of salvias, of which some are perennial and tender. To make up for their lack of winter hardiness, they are often treated as annuals in regions where they cannot survive the cold weather.


For regions with warmer climates, certain Salvias are known to be perennial plants that persist from one season to the next. However, most of these varieties are usually grown as annuals that need replacing yearly. Popular Annuals include: Scarlet Sage or Texas Sage, Pineapple Sage and Bedding Sage.


This is an ideal group of plants for cold climates, ranging in height from 12-24 inches and producing blooms between late spring and early summer. The following salvias are usually grown as perennials; Azure Sage, Peruvian Sage, Autumn Sage and Hybrid Sage.

How to Plant Salvia

Salvia requires full sunlight and slightly acidic to neutral soil pH for proper growth. The blooming period typically ranges from spring to fall and flowers come in various colors like blue, pink, purple, red, white & yellow. This plant is hardy in the zone 5-10. To plant your own Salvia at home, follow these easy instructions:

1.) Dig the ground to a depth of 12 inches & remove any stones or roots. Then add in 3 inches of compost for extra nutrient content to make the soil more fertile.

2.) When growing plants in pots, it is advisable to add some grit or sharp sand to the compost in order for better water drainage. Plants planted in the garden soil don’t require additional feeding as they can gain nourishment from atmospheric conditions.

3.)After taking the plant out of its pot, put it in a hole that is three times the size of the plants container, so that the top of its root ball is even with the soil surface.

4.)Depending on the type of plant, space plants at a distance of 1 to 3 feet apart.

5.) After planting the desired species, be sure to pack the soil around it firmly yet gently. Afterwards, give the plant its first good soak of water.

How to Care for Salvia

Watering Salvia

For optimal hydration and weed prevention for your Salvia, add a 2-inch layer of mulch near the plant. If there are more than 7 consecutive days without an inch of rain in summer, water the plants accordingly. However, do not over-water them as Salvia does not enjoy excess irrigation during warm months.

Feeding Salvia

During bloom season, Salvia plants do not need any additional fertilizers to flourish. Removing dead flowers periodically will help in creating a continuous blooming effect.

Pruning Salvia

When the season comes to a close, it is beneficial to leave some flowers on the plants for reseeding and providing food for birds. Some plants may develop woody lower stems with age; prune these back if desired. The last step is to cut all of the stems down to an inch or two above soil line after the first killing frost.

Dividing Salvia

It’s recommended to divide your perennial salvia plants every few years, preferably in the early spring before new growth begins. To do so, simply take the plant out of the ground, split it into smaller clumps and replant them where desired.