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Blooms Tips

Clarington Blooms Participant


Erica Mittag
Community Development Coordinator
1595 Prestonvale Road
Courtice, ON L1E 2P2
Map this Location
T. 905-435-1061 ext. 226
Email the Community Development Coordinator

  • To create perfectly natural markers, write the names of plants (using a permanent marker) on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants.
  • The next time you boil or steam vegetables, don't pour the water down the drain, use it to water potted patio plants, and you'll be amazed at how the plants respond to the "vegetable soup."
  • Stash a spare set of hand tools and garden twine in a waterproof container in your garden. When you spot weeds, broken rose canes or a stem that needs tying up, you won't have to run to the garage or potting shed for supplies.
  • Nourish gardens and containers with time-release fertilizers that continue feeding for long periods of time.
  • Wait to prune evergreens, such as yews and boxwood, until they've produced most of their new growth. As a result, you won't have to prune them again until next year.
  • Add fresh mulch to your gardens every year. A 2- to 3-inch. layer of mulch keeps weeds from sprouting and helps the soil retain water, so you'll be weeding and watering less often.
  • When you've got a bag of tulip or lily bulbs to plant, or when using annuals to edge a border, dig a large, single planting hole instead of many smaller holes. Make sure it's large enough for all the bulbs or plants to prevent overcrowding.
  • Be there, in your garden. Whether Lao-Tse actually said it or not, it's true: The best fertilizer is the shadow of the gardener.
  • Select the right-sized tree for your house. Many smaller lots are easily overwhelmed by large shade trees. Make sure the trees you plant in your garden suit the size of your yard and will grow to no more than 1.5 times the height of the house.
  • Create views in your garden using lines of sight. From the sidewalk or street but also from the windows of your house. You want to be able to enjoy your garden from both inside and outside the house.

Photographing your garden

  • "A general view of the garden works best with a distinct foreground, middle ground and background." Marilyn Cornwell, garden photographer.
  • "Show views framed by objects or structures to lead the eye through the image and give a sense of perspective." Marilyn Cornwell, garden photographer.
  • "Find the focal points and capture them in context, leading the eye to the object of interest." Marilyn Cornwell, garden photographer.

Use of colour

  • Match the colours in your garden to your house. Use complementary colours that will accent the features of your house - the colour of your front door or your trim.
  • Use some bright pops of colour to draw the eye to certain views in your garden.
  • Plant in drifts of colour not just in 1s and 2s. Repeat the same colours in various places to create a sense of rhythm in your garden

Use of texture

  • Contrasting and repeating textures can also be used to create rhythm and cohesion in the garden. Plant in clumps of 3, 5 or 7 plants to allow the eye to rest before travelling on to the next feature in the garden.
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