Gardening 2016–From Herbs to Edible Flowers?

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According to the gardening experts old-fashioned blooms are new again, and some have said 2016 should be claimed as the year of the Granny Garden. Hostas, Peonies, Foxgloves, Sweet Peas and those heavily scented Rambling Roses are hot on serial gardeners lips this season. Experts are predicting Dahlias will gain huge interest because of their beautiful bright colours and their ability to flower from midsummer right into fall. This year it’s all about mixing your old-fashioned flowers alongside your fruit and vegetables crops. Did you know that allowing plants to grow next to your veggies can greatly help in the fight against pests?

But, here is the big question- do you really have the time or patience to grow things anymore? Like myself, most people now crave low maintenance as they want to be successful with plants without a lot of work or information. Cellphones and iPads have now replaced gardening books with quicker information on how to take care of your garden.

Each year I have noticed garden vendors are selling more and more shrubs and succulent plants because people have become so busy with their lives. You now see more varieties of ready-potted plants in decorative containers being sold, but thankfully there are still many of you who like getting your hands dirty– so the traditional garden is not dead yet. This year it’s not only about flowers, but also about “backyard boldness” as we will see more and more outdoor living spaces with innovative lighting and accented with touches of whimsy.

Space-saving fruits and vegetables like dwarf tomatoes have become so popular that cottage industries are springing up built around planting solutions for small gardens. One of the most popular and easiest ways to have a low-maintenance garden in a small space is to grow vegetables in hanging baskets. This year try mixing herbs in with the vegetables for more variation and decor.

Trend setting gardeners this year will grow mint for their Mojitos, or how about some homegrown dill for your Bloody Mary’s. It’s all about drinking from your garden, as herbs are not only great for teas and smoothies but also magnets for pollinators. Here are a few suggestions what to grow in your drinking garden:

Mint: Leaves: calming, digestive.
Passionflower: Leaves; relaxing and restful sleep.
Rosehips: Buds after bloom has died; vitamin C boost.
Lemon Balm: Leaves; calming and relaxing.
Chamomile: Buds; relaxing and soothing tummy

Edible flowers are also on the gardening wanted list this year but, it’s important to know the flowers you plan to eat are free from pesticides. Be careful of anything purchased from florists, nurseries or garden centres, or even those found growing wild by the roadside, as they may be contaminated. The best way to enjoy edible plants is to grow them yourself .

Did you know that single petals from Pot Marigolds or Bachelor Buttons are great in salads, or you can sprinkle them on fruit and cheese? You can even use Day Lily buds in stir fries- but be careful, as they could possibly have a diuretic effect. Lavender whole flowers are not only fragrant for sachets and inside the home, but you can also use them in ice cream, custard or pound cake.

I think the most important thing each year to remember is that we should strive for a more organic, chemical-free, pet-safe, wildlife-friendly garden. We should always be looking for new ways to be eco-sensitive and encourage and protect insect and bird life in our gardens. According to Susan McCoy, president of Garden Media Group, a top garden trend-spotting agency based in Pennsylvania, she has declared 2016 as a year of “back-to-the-earth functionality” for our gardens. Let’s get growing!

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Two Fields Over has lots of bedding plants at the Carleton Place Farmer’s Market that are cold hardy so you can get an early start in your garden.  Lettuce, kale, herbs of many kinds, calendula and Lavender. So get diggin’ and come to the Carleton Place Farmers Market Saturdays-8:30-12:30

trish

Two Fields Over

Patricia Darlington

Carleton Place, ON

Trishdarling4@yahoo.ca

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About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

2 responses »

  1. Brilliant article Boss. Sounds odd but either Patricia D has a stunt double or I met her in a prev life.
    p.s.
    A small but decent g,g,google app called Benefits of Tea could do with some of the abovementioned info added. Chin,Chin.

    Liked by 1 person

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