February Gardening

  • Icicle melting month is here as the sun grows stronger every day.
  • Now is a good time to bring begonias out of storage.  They should be showing little pink “noses” of growth.  That’s when they are ready to pot up and put under lights or in a window.
  • Don’t stall any more.  Get your seed orders in if you haven’t already done so.
  • Your plants should begin to come out of winter dormancy with the wonderful sun of February.  Repot those indoor plants that need it.  Freshen the soil in other pots that will not be repotted.
  • Cut back straggly plants to shape them and get them ready for spring growth.
  • You can begin to water houseplants more this month.  Wait, of course, until the soil is dryish before watering.  Too much moisture is worse than too little.
  • Continue planning your outside garden this month.  As the weather warms and the sun is stronger, your gardening urges should surge.  Use the added energy to finalize your gardening plans.
  • Plant herbs indoors this month.  Some herbs take a long time to germinate and will like the extra time before the time for planting outdoors arrives.
  • Refrain from sowing your outdoor plants!  Eight to ten weeks before the last frost date is sufficient.  Count back from the last frost date in your area to determine when you will start your seeds.
  • Bring in branches of spring-flowering trees and shrubs and force them into bloom for early spring colour indoors.  Here’s a good site to help you with indoor forcing: 
  • Buy yourself a pot of blooming daffodils this month.

And just for you, a link to my last presentation: A New Kind of Gardener

Note: It takes a while to load. Please be patient.


Pollinator Patches

"Be the change you want to see in the world." When Mahatma Ghandi said that he must have been thinking about Pollinator Patches. You can make a difference in your world this year by creating a Pollinator Patch -- a habitat for native bees.

To help you build your own Pollinator Patch, see our Roadsides Guide.

Roadsides Guide to Creating Pollinator Patches

The first Pollinator Patch was planted in Barrie, Ontario, in May of 2010. Visit the Roadsides site, read the blog, and be sure to look at the gallery to see pictures of the creation of Pollinator Patch from Year 1 to the Weaning Year 5.

Roadsides web site


Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do. --Wendell Berry



Jottings contains some articles I wrote for the monthly newsletter of Barrie's Garden Club and other projects. I hope you enjoy them.


It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. Ansel Adams (1902-1984)


Hints & Tricks

This is a collection of neat ideas and crazy tricks that I've collected from various sources. Many are amusing, and most are useful. We gardeners just love to learn neat little ways of doing our gardening jobs more effectively. My most popular talk was just that: "Hints and Tricks."

Most of the hints I've used myself or know someone who will vouch for them. All of them are fun to read and almost as much fun to do.


We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it's forever. Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996)


Gardening Info

This is a miscellaneous section of odds and sods of information I've collected and would like to share. I've found most of the information in magazines and on the internet or in the many gardening books I can't resist buying!

The side column of this section includes some of my presentations using Adobe Presenter.

You'll also find some of my favourite links on the Gardening Info page.


"Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the F.D.A.’s job." ~ Philip Angell, Monsanto's Director of Communications (October 1998)


The Blog

I guess the whole site is a sort of blog, isn't it?

But this new section is a more conventional blog -- a space to put my thoughts and new ideas as I learn them or think them.