May Gardening

    Its go, go, go for gardening this month!
    Even with Covid-19, we can be in our gardens.

  • sow seeds, clear leaves, move perennials with no chance of infection.  There are many things we can do this May.
  • seedlings started inside should be hardened off and ready to plant by the end of the month.
  • bedding plants can be purchased soon.  Probably by the end of the month.  I live in zone 5a and hold off planting until near the end of the month is fine for me. It’s even possible to wait until June for some annuals.
  • continue dividing and replanting perennials
  • plant potatoes 2 weeks before last frost
  • give your grass areas a haircut
  • remember to weed – don’t give the weeds a chance to get out of control.  Get them when they’re small.  Of course, if you’re like me, you let them grow a bit just to see what they are.  I let cleome, nigella and cosmos self-seed and don’t want to destroy all the seedlings!
  • leave your dandelions for the spring bees.  Pull them in late June.
  • give your roses a good pruning now that you can see where growth will be.  Remember prune dead, damage and diseased from all your shrubs and bushes – that includes lavender and penstemon.
  • sow the seeds of hardy annuals outside where they will grow and remember where you sowed them.  Put in stakes and string if you must.
  • plant summer bulbs such as cannas and tuberous begonias as soon as all danger of frost is gone.  In my Zone 5a that’s really after June 1.
  • check for tent caterpillars.  They seem to appear about the time the leaves start to open.  By the middle of May they should be apparent.

And enjoy May.  The Covid-19 affair and winter have been long.  May is your reward

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

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.