Tis the season! To climb around the garage looking for the box marked “x-mas”, pulling it out and taking a big deep breath in. Untangle the string lights, test the bulbs, replace the bulbs, test the bulbs again, map out your route and set up that ladder! If this doesn’t sound like fun to you, step off that ladder and follow us, we’ve got a better option to lighting up your home this season and all year round.
Instead of using holiday lighting try landscape lighting. Landscape lighting will compliment your home all year long and it only requires a one time setup. Depending on your bulb choice, you can get around 50,000 hours of light and when set up on a timer, even longer! And when you want to join the festivities, it’s as easy as switching out a few light bulbs.
There are many places you can add lighting to your outdoor space. Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration to open up our imagination. Below are a few inspirational photos to help you think of your home in a ‘new light’.
The Garden – Gardens lights are great for entertaining in the backyard and for creating a landscape view from inside your home at night. When placing landscape lighting in your garden not only are you able to experience your garden for longer hours of the day but you’re also going to create pops of colour that aren’t visible in the sunlight. As seen above, up lighting is a technique used to create vibrant colors by placing a light underneath your plant’s foliage. This looks especially beautiful with deciduous plants that glow vibrant reds, greens and yellows.
The Front Yard – Lighting at the front of your home is a great way to increase security, provide lighting for guests and highlighting accent trees. As mentioned earlier in this article, front yard landscape lighting is also a great way to save time and energy during the holidays. After a one time installation, you can get creative by changing lights to reflect holiday colours or spotlight holiday décor like wreaths or reindeer to put them on display.
The Pond – If you’re lucky enough to have a pond, pond lights are a must. They’re a safe, non-invasive method to highlighting a water feature that could save humans and wildlife from falling in in the dark. Pond lighting is a great choice for keeping an eye on sneaky critters who steal fish and the lights create a calm rippling effect with a beautiful reflection.
Walkway/Backyard – Placing your lights along a walkway is a safe way to keep an eye on all traffic, coming and going. It’s great for your guests to safely find their way. There are several methods to placing your walkway lights, but we really enjoy up lighting on trees. Placing your lights from the bark upwards will create a more visible walkway, with a view. From a distance, your trees will create additional accent lighting to better compliment your home and landscape.
What You Need
If you’re interested in creating a night display of your own there are a few items you will need to get the job done. First you should determined what your landscaping objective is and then you will need to decide how much effort you’re willing to put in. Solar lights are a great option for the easiest method. However, there likely isn’t enough natural sunlight available to power these lights in dark spaces (like under your plants). If you’re interested in creating a more grand and customized look, you will need to purchase lighting fixtures, stands/stakes, a transformer, LED bulbs and timer. If you choose to create your own display with individually purchased products, be sure to purchase waterproof products and speak to an expert.
The most affordable and easy option for landscape lighting are outdoor lighting kits. They are affordable, easy and customizable. Outdoor lighting kits include everything you need in order to create the outdoor atmosphere of your dreams. The kit we carry captures everything you need to get started on pond and garden lighting.
Whether you’re new to outdoor landscape lighting or you’re an expert, there are always ways to change your displays. Creating something new and exciting each and every time. Need more inspiration? Check out what our President Gord has to say below about adding lighting to your pots, plants and trees.
Just when you think winter couldn’t get any more windy, wet, and cold, you step outside and notice something new. Something emerging from the ground that reminds you that spring is on its way! And it’s all thanks to you and your fall bulb planting back in October! When planting fall bulbs, Tulips are famous for making an early, long lasting, spring entrance which makes them one of the most popular fall bulb choices. In this article, we’re going to teach you what there is to know about our friend the Tulip and how you can get started on your very own this fall.
From classic folklore tales of “true romance”, the Tulip has been crowned the flower of perfect and deep love, making them ideal for gifting to your partner, children or family. Originally from Turkey, the Tulip comes in over 150 varieties. The most common varieties of Tulips being Double Peony, Fringed Tulips, Triumph Tulips, Parrot Tulips, Single Early, Double Earlyand more! All incredibly different, with many different shapes and colors available in each variety.
Single Early Tulip
With their district cup shape and 6 petals, Single Early Tulips are on average 10-18 inches tall. Single Tulips are one of the earliest bloomers in cool weather and they also tend to last longer as well. Single Early Tulips pair well with Peonies and Clematis.
Also known as “Crispa”, Fringed Tulips are famous for their soft fringe. They come in a variety of colors including pink, violet, yellow, white and red and grow up to 14-20 inches tall. Fringed Tulips perform beautifully on their own, or paired with slim flowers.
Also known as Peony Tulips. Double Early Tulips resemble Peonies with their layered pedal arrangements. Double Early Tulips grow 10-16 inches tall and come in a huge variety of colors. Double Early Tulips are sensitive to rain, and prefer to be sheltered. These Tulips are versatile and go great with most flowers!
Named after tropical parrots for their vibrant color and feather like pedals, the Parrot Tulip comes in a large variety of colors including red, orange, yellow, purple, pink, green and white. As a tall Tulip with long stems, the Parrot Tulip can get up to 3 feet tall, making them a delicate variety of Tulip. Add your Parrot Tulips to any flower arrangement for an eye catching exotic look.
How to Plant Tulips
Tulips are an easy to grow perennial that require little maintenance once they blossom. When choosing your Tulip bulbs, be sure to check whether the ones you’re choosing are fragrant are not, as not all Tulips are. This is especially important if you’re going to use your Tulips for fresh cut flowers. Once you have your Tulips selected, you’re ready to follow these quick and easy steps for growing them.
1.) Plant your Tulips= bulbs in September or October, when the soil is 15C in well-draining soil with full sun or partial shade.
2.) Plant the Tulip bulbs 5-7″ deep and 4-5″ apart, with the pointed side of the bulb face up.
3.) Water your bulbs well and wait for spring!
Once your Tulips have bloomed, be sure to allow the foliage to die back without pruning. This allows the foliage to fall to the ground, nourishing the soil for future growth. Tulips require little maintenance, with little to no watering depending on Mother Nature. If your Tulips aren’t getting enough rain, you can water them once a week.
Look at that, you’re ready to plant your own Tulips! Now you can expect beautiful Tulip blossoms year after year. With every year, comes more unique colorful combinations and varieties of Tulips for you to enjoy every spring. Happy gardening!
Now that Fall is approaching, it’s time consider which fall bulbs are the best choice for you to plant this season. A great way to do this might be to reflect on previous years. Perhaps you were surprised to find that your garden didn’t have the beautiful smell you were looking for. Maybe after all your fall bulb planting efforts, your beautiful spring blooms were gobbled up by deer before you could even enjoy them. Your garden bed might have looked a little sparse and could use some fluff. Or maybe you could appreciate some pollinators to keep your garden at it’s best. Whatever it is, we’re going to help you pick the right fall bulbs for your garden this season. Here are a few important categories for you to consider when choosing your fall bulbs this season.
Our friend the deer. As graceful and beautiful as they are, they don’t always make great house guests. If they make their way to your yard it’s not likely they’re stopping by for a quick “how ya been”. It’s most likely that they’re there to steal a bite of all your tasty new beautiful spring blossoms that you waited months and months to enjoy. We don’t blame them, who wouldn’t wander into a yard with dessert was growing from the ground up. If you have had this problem in the past the good news is that the solution is a lot easier than tangling string all over your garden. This fall, your best option is to consider planting bulbs that are resistant to deer. Meaning that deer won’t be tempted by the taste of your garden, so they’ll move on to the next yard (sorry neighbors). At Wildwood Outdoor Living, we have plenty of deer resistant options for you to choose from. If you have a deer problem, get longevity out of your garden with these deer-resistant fall bulbs.
There are many reasons why you might want to attract bees to your garden. Bees are the primary pollinator for all of our produce and plants. Without bees our plants, produce and overall air quality would suffer. Thankfully, gardeners around the world are helping to take care of the declining bee population by planting resources for them to thrive and pollinate. If your garden looked tired last year, count on Mother Natures best pollinators to pick it back up again. When you attract bees to your garden, these pollinators will attract small ecosystems, creating healthier soil and water. Bee friendly bulbs will attract bees to your garden, letting your plants flourish and even multiply!
Who would have thought that not all flowers are fragrant? You walk by a flower, you smell it, and nothing?! No magical fragrance to keep you humming along with your day. Sometimes you learn the hard way by planting all your fall bulbs and when spring comes, it still smells like winter. If you enjoy the fragrant smell of spring, fresh cut flowers or crafting sachets, potpourri or essential oils, fragrant fall bulbs are perfect for you. Each flower beautifully crafted with it’s own scent for you to enjoy in the privacy of your own home.
Naturalizing your garden is just as it sounds. Inviting natural elements that are found outside of your garden in. These elements include non-invasive plants and that are indigenous to the area and the micro-organisms they attract. Proving you with richer soil and healthier, happier plants that come back year after year with little to no maintenance. Most often you will use short stock flowers when naturalizing, creating a layered garden affect for gardens that are missing some dimension.
After you’ve made your fall bulb selection, be sure to compare the different colors that are available in your bulb of choice. For a calmer feel, try choosing a cool color as your main focal point. For more energy, go with a warm primary color. You can then plan out your garden according to your individual bulb needs. If you’re ever stuck, send us an email to email@example.com and we will be happy to help you plan the perfect fall bulb arrangement.
Mm, Garlic…It makes almost every dish better! Who doesn’t add a little extra garlic in their recipes? Roasted garlic, garlic bread, garlic potatoes, honey garlic…the more the better! If you enjoy cooking then you know the difference in taste between using fresh garlic and minced garlic from a jar. You might even know the difference between “fresh” garlic from the store and fresh garlic from your garden. At Wildwood Outdoor Living, we have been growing garlic for over 40 years and we’ve grown many different kinds of it. Spanish Roja, German Red Hardneck, Chesnok Hardneck, Garlic Legacy, Garlic Siberian, Garlic Duganski, Garlic Elephant, Red Russian Garlic and more! If you’re interested in growing garlic or if you already grow it and you’re interested in learning more about the different kinds, you’re in the right place. In this blog you’ll find our tried and true methods of growing garlic, as well as some interesting garlic choices you’ll want to try growing this season.
1.) Types of Garlic: Hardneck & Softneck
A comparison between hardneck and softneck garlic.
Photo by David Fuller | Image by Homestead.com
Softneck: Softneck garlic grow much quicker than Hardneck Garlic. They enjoy warmer climates and produces many small cloves per 1 bulb. Unlike Hardneck, they don’t grow flowers known as scapes but they do tend to store better. Below are the two most common types of Softneck garlic.
Artichoke:Artichoke Garlic resemble the flowering of an artichoke. They grow 10-14 multi-size cloves. They produce no scape and require less work.
Silverskin: The best performer in garlic storage! Known for their spicy and complex taste. Silverskin Garlic can be stored for up to 12 months.
Hardneck: Hardneck garlic produce a woody stock with a flower called scape. Garlic scapes are highly enjoyed in cooking and produce foods like pesto! When harvested you can expect a single row of cloves wrapped together in a papery sheath to form the head of bulb of garlic. Hardneck garlic grows big bulbs and enjoy cooler climates. Here are some of the best garlic choices for you to try this season.
Rich complex flavor, long-lasting taste. Excellent for cold climates.
2.) Growing Garlic
When To Grow Garlic: Plant in mid-September to October, at least 4 weeks before ground freezing. Many varieties can also be planted in early Spring.
How To Plant Garlic: Break bulbs into individual cloves. Make sure cloves are hard and solid. Plant larger cloves as they will produce larger bulbs – you can use the smaller cloves for dinner! Plant root plate end down, 3 inches deep, in well-drained soil. Add organic matter/ manure or mulch on top. Raised beds are recommended, as soil should be well draining. Spacing of at least 5 inches on 1-foot rows will provide adequate sunshine, any extra spacing will allow bulbs to grow larger. Keep soil moist.
3.) Harvesting Garlic
Growing/Harvesting Garlic: In the spring, harvest the flowers 10-14 days after they appear. This allows the plant to put its energy into the bulb in the ground, not into making seeds. In July, harvest the bulb once it has matured, and the leaves brown off . Dig from ground, and immediately brush off the soil from around the roots, very gently!
Curing & Storing Garlic: Drying is an essential part of curing the bulbs, so do not wash them in water. Remove from direct sunlight, and leave under cover in a breezy area. With stalks/leaves attached, tie in bundles, or spread on screens/drying racks. Two weeks drying time is ideal. To store, hang in netted sacks/bags. Store in a cool, dry and well ventilated area with a stable temperature of 15°C.
You know the best part of growing garlic? That they multiply and they store well, so you will never run out! Garlic is one of the easiest, most versatile plants to grow this season. It adds flavor to almost every dish and makes a well received gift when you have enough to share. Enjoy your garlic planting, and please feel free to share any tips and tricks you have for planting garlic!
If you haven’t heard of sustainable gardening, or if you have and you’re looking for ways to implement eco-friendly changes to your garden, we’re here to help! In this article we will discuss what sustainable gardening is, why it is important, how you can make changes at home and how we can help.
What is sustainable gardening?
Sustainable Gardening is an organic method of gardening that deters the use of products that harm the environment. These products include chemicals like pesticides and unnatural fertilizers, gardening tools that use power or gas tools and the use of plastic or new material products. Unfortunately for us, some of our unsafe household products come with warning labels that are too small to notice or read clearly. Allowing us to use them without knowing the harm that they can have on our health and environment. Let’s take a closer look at some of the products you might want to reconsider if you’re trying to create a more sustainable garden.
Pesticides & Herbicides
Pesticides are chemicals created by humans as a tool to remove unwanted guests (weeds, insects, fungi…etc.) from our gardens and crops. Used largely in farming for produce, pesticides are also used at home. Although seemingly harmless, pesticides have been proven to have extreme negative impacts on our health and wellbeing, as well as the planets.
For our health, the use of pesticides can lead to organ damage, reproductive issues, cancer, vomiting, headaches and more. For our environment, we see the damages created by pesticides in our air, water, and soil by affecting the micro-organisms that live in these ecosystems. As a result, this has largely impacted the health and population of many wildlife species. For some birds, consumption of insects poisoned by pesticides has affected their reproductive organs by producing weak eggshells that get crushed when nesting. Pesticides have also affected the population of many bird species by killing the insects needed to feed these birds.
What this information and research has allowed us to do, is to identify where we can make changes for the better in our gardens, by making them more sustainable for the planet and ourselves. To reduce the use of chemicals in your garden, create a sustainable compost to feed your plants and shop for products that are organic. At Wildwood Outdoor Living, we offer a huge variety of organic alternatives to help make your garden more sustainable. Here are a few of our favorite organic products, to help you grow a sustainable garden at home.
Picture yourself in your garden, enjoying the sun and the plants. Everything is healthy and growing. It’s not often we look at our garden and notice all the plastic waste that we might have created along the way. If you look again, you might notice plastic netting, string, pots, garden tools, labels, and packaging. In sustainable gardening, we want to identify the ways we can reduce our carbon footprint by reducing waste. Let’s look at how we can reduce waste in our garden, allowing us to do our part as gardeners to clean up the planet.
Netting/String – Using plastic netting or string in your garden can be lethal to many animals including deer and birds. These plastics are non-recyclable and often end up in landfills that spill into the ocean trapping whales and other marine life. A sustainable gardening alternative to using plastic netting and string, is twine. Twine is made from renewable resources like cotton, hemp and jute and is biodegradable, making this a perfect sustainable gardening alternative to plastic netting and string.
Potting – Often when we purchase our plants, they come in a plastic container. From that container, we replant them into a small pot and then continue to replant them into larger pots as they grow. If you’re using plastic pots, that’s three or more plastic containers for just one plant. As an alternative to plastic pots and containers, try using biodegradable ones! Biodegradable pots are a leader in sustainable gardening, as they are completely composed of organic materials and are also fully biodegradable.
Labels – This is one of the easiest ways to make your garden sustainable and often the first practice to put in place for beginners. Let’s consider how many plants we have in our garden. Now, of that total, how many of those plants have a label? How many of those labels are going in the garbage when the season is over? That amount of waste can be reduced by using popsicle sticks or rocks as labels to mark your beautiful plants, making them 100% sustainable.
Garden Tools – When purchasing garden tools, try to purchase tools that are made from recycled materials, have no plastic accessories or that are good quality, to ensure a one time purchase. Sustainable alternatives to plastic garden tools are tools made from recycled metal and wood. If you can’t find the sustainable alternative for the tool you need, try asking a neighbor to borrow one!
Not only can the use of chemicals and plastic waste pose serious health risks to ourselves and our planet, but it also introduces chemicals to our plants health and taste. By making your gardens more sustainable and organic, you’re not only improving your health, helping our wildlife friends, and decreasing your carbon footprint but you can also expect healthier chemical free plants!
As gardeners, our planet needs us to do our part and help where we can. Sustainable gardening is a growing method of gardening which fosters unlimited options and creative ideas to keep our green thumbs growing. Stay tuned for more sustainable gardening tips and tricks from Wildwood Outdoor Living Centre.
The first sign of spring to so many people is when tulips and daffodils start to pop out from the ground. These bright, colorful signs of warmer weather to come are not there by accident. Unlike lilies and dahlias, the flowers that bloom right at the start of spring need to be planted in the fall. These are referred to as “Fall Bulbs”.
While tulips and narcissus (daffodils) are some of the most known fall bulbs, there are quite a few different types of flowers that can be planted in the fall to allow for early spring blooms.
And even Garlic!
Some types, such as anemones and ranunculus, can also be planted in spring so you may have already seen some for sale earlier this year. Fall bulbs require a cooling period. This varies by type, but it can last up to 16 weeks. This forces the bulbs to remain dormant otherwise new growth could be damaged by the cold weather.
Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy those fall bulbs a little sooner? Amaryllis and Paper White Narcissus are flowers that are commonly referred to as “forcing bulbs”. They are both from warm climates, so they don’t require a cooling period to trigger blooms.
So, what does that mean?
Forcing bulbs are bulbs that have been tricked into blooming out of season. The term “forcing” can make it sound like a laborious process, but its usually about as hard as planting any other kind of bulb.
How To Force Amaryllis
Amaryllis are one of the easiest bulbs to force to bloom out of season. Since they don’t need to be chilled, they can just be potted indoors and require minimal care. There are a few different options for planting amaryllis. You can pot them up, place them in a decorative vase, or order ones that come coated in wax. The choice depends on how you want your display to look, and how much time you want to put into caring for the bulbs.
If you enjoy the classic look of having your flowers potted up, then we have good news for you, you can just plant your amaryllis bulbs in some soil. There are a few things to be aware of, so here is how you should go about it:
Choose a pot with good drainage, and make sure to use well-draining soil.
Plant the bulb close to the top of the soil. Only cover the bottom half of it.
Give the bulb a good soak. Let water flow out of the drainage holes.
Move the bulb to a sunny and warm location inside your home.
Water sparingly. Keep the soil moist but do not soak it. Once growth starts to appear (green shoots will start to come out of the bulb) you can begin watering it regularly.
Turn the pot every few days as it grows so your Amaryllis grows straight up instead of leaning towards the sun.
Once blooms start to appear, move the flower out of direct sunlight to prolong the lifespan of the flowers. Amaryllis take an average of 6 weeks to bloom after potting.
If you prefer a more decorative look, then planting amaryllis directly into a vase might be for you. This method doesn’t require any soil and gives you a lot of options for how you would like your flower display to look.
So how do you get a flower to grow without any soil? There are a few steps:
Choose a vase or container that you want to grow the bulb in. There are vases specifically designed for amaryllis if you don’t have any that would fit the bulb.
Fill the bottom 2-4 inches with marbles or pebbles. Glass stones work well. Set your bulb on top of the glass or pebbles.
Slowly pour water into the vase. Stop when the water is just below the bulb and is barely touching the roots.
Place the vase in a sunny and warm location and soon you will see the roots growing out the of bulb and down into the pebbles. This will give the plant stability while also allowing it to take in more water.
Make sure to rotate the vase every few days as it grows so your flowers grow straight.
Top up the water any time it is needed, making sure to keep the water just below the bulb.
Once blooms start to appear, move the flower out of direct sunlight to prolong the lifespan of the flowers. Amaryllis take an average of 6 weeks to bloom.
Finally, there is the easiest way to grow amaryllis: Waxed bulbs. Waxed amaryllis bulbs don’t require soil or water because they come with all the nutrients they need sealed inside the wax.
They usually come dipped in red, gold, silver, or copper colored wax so they fit into almost any display. You can see our wax coated Amaryllis bulbs here. Waxed bulbs are often a surprise regarding what color they will be when they bloom, but ours will bloom red.
If potting bulbs or having to remember to top up the water in the vase doesn’t appeal to you, then waxed bulbs might be just what you’re looking for. Makes sure to rotate waxed bubs every few days to keep the flowers growing straight.
With so many options (both for growing styles and bloom colors) it’s hard to say no to adding Amaryllis to your fall bulb wish list. Check out our selection of Amaryllis here or our entire selection of fall bulbs here!
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