December Gardening

  • Hurry – get your amaryllis planted before Dec. 3 for Christmas bloom!
  • Empty your waterbarrels – if you haven’t done so already.  Turn the barrel over for the winter.
  • Make a winter container.  Stores are full of conifer and dogwood branches to create an outside winter container.  From the containers you used this summer, pick a freeze-proof one – either cement or synthetic material.  Pack your container full of branches.  Add a bow to your evergreens and a branch with berries to make your planter festive.  Berries of Ilex verticillata (winterberry) or mountain ash will add accent. 
  • Personally I love Bittersweet (celastrus scandens – the NA native plant) used as an accent for outdoor winter planters.
  • You can prune your evergreens lightly at this time of year.  Prune for winter shape.
  • Hardwood cuttings can be taken now.  Store them in sand in a cool place and plant in the spring.
  • Plant paperwhite narcissi for winter bloom in about 6 weeks.
  • Check your stored tubers and bulbs and throw out any that are rotting.
  • Hold back on watering your indoor plants.  Water only when the soil in the pot is dry 1 inch from the top.
  • Make sure your potting supplies are washed, organized and ready for spring planting.
  • And enjoy your Christmas.

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.