Handpicked Books

The Garden in Winter: Plant for Beauty and Interest in The Quiet Season

This book by Suzy Bales has so many beautiful photographs and ideas on how to add interest to your garden in winter. It is meant to inspire and get your creative mind going. Bales collects tips from many different sources and knows how to capture the beauty in nature.

It’s a perfect book to look through and pick up ideas while looking at your early winter garden through your window while you sip a cup of tea nicely tucked in your favourite armchair.

There is a chapter on Christmas wreaths, center pieces and arrangements. It is so lovely to make ornaments and arrangements from nature, better yet using materials from your own garden and avoiding buying plastic ornaments all together.

My personal favourite is the Bales’ use of spray-painted dried allium that can look like snowflakes when painted white.

Now I need to venture into our LEGS Community Gardens to see what plant material is there to use.

spray painted allium
Dried allium Christmas ornaments

Many Suzy Bales gardening books, including The Garden in Winter are available at the Toronto Public Library.

The Garden in Winter: Plant for Beauty and Interest in The Quiet Season. Suzy Bales. Rodale, 2007.

By Dorota Rajewska

While the Garden Sleeps

Last days of autumn in the garden

We can be proud of our accomplishments in 2019:

  • 212lbs of fresh, organic food donated to the Daily Bread Food bank
  • planted: 4 pear trees, 3 plum trees, many serviceberries, 2 hazelnut trees and a strawberry patch
  • added a new 3-section composter
  • created a water system that finally works!
  • extended our north garden area

We are looking forwards to another great year in 2020. We are planning to start on orchard pruning and organic bug control methods as early as February.

In November we have completed our Autumn Tasks in the LEGS Community Gardens and now we can use the well deserved break to dream up plans for next year’s planting.

Some things we have done this year:

  1. Raked, raked, raked all the leaves and other plant debris to place in the compost bins.
  2. Weeded the pesky strangler vine.
  3. Spread the organic mushroom compost over cleaned up vegetable beds
  4. Gathered all the apples; we couldn’t compost them as they had too many bugs this year.
  5. Moved some perennial flowers to a better location.
  6. Did a general clean up of the whole area.
  7. Our tool shed has never been better organized!

Seeds, seeds, seeds.

We have been saving seeds so now that we get a break from gardening it is time to organize the seeds and get them ready for the annual seed exchange in the spring.

What about you, how do you prepare your garden space to rest through the winter?And what types of things do you do now in order to be one step ahead once planting time arrives?

By Dorota Rajewska