Horticulture

Gardening Tips: Dishing the Dirt

Gardening Tips: Dishing the Dirt

February 8, 2023 at 10:45 am

Editor’s Note: This column first appeared on 1 February 2017.   What to do this week: When you think about what seeds need to germinate, the main thing is soil, obviously. You want your soil to hold water, but not too much. Roots need air too, just like us. SoRead More

Early rhubarb (Source: My Minnesota Garden https://www.mymngarden.com/how-to-divide-rhubarb/)

Gardening Tips: Divide and Compost

May 4, 2022 at 1:00 pm

Editor’s Note: This column first appeared on 2 May 2018.   What to do this week This week is a good time to divide rhubarb, as well as a few other perennial plants, but rhubarb especially. If at all possible, you want to do it when you just see theRead More

London Plane Tree, Sydney, NS (Photo by Paul MacDougall)

Hiding in Plane Sight

March 2, 2022 at 10:47 am

A few days after James is released from hospital following a terrible motor vehicle accident in JG Ballard’s novel Crash, he ventures out of his apartment for the first time. Beyond the forecourt of his building he reflects that, “the tree-lined avenue which led to the neighborhood shopping center wasRead More

Wheat seeds germinating. (Photo by Oksana Lastochkina, own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons(

Gardening Tips: Stratifying & Scarifying

February 23, 2022 at 12:17 pm

Editor’s Note: I noticed the seeds on display at the hardware store this past weekend and realized it was time to bring back the gardener, so here’s a column that first appeared on 22 February 2017.   What to do this week This week I want to talk about stratifyingRead More

By U.S. Department of Agriculture (Seedling) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Gardening Tips: Scarifying & Stratifying

February 24, 2021 at 1:30 pm

Editor’s Note: This week, we are re-running the third in a series of three columns from 2017. They are perfect for this time of year, and will help you get ready for spring while Michelle deals with a few things that have her tied up right now.    What to doRead More

Source: The Little Garden Shop, Etsy https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/gardenlelah?ref=listing-shop-header-item-count#items

Gardening Tips: Perennials

February 17, 2021 at 1:47 pm

Editor’s Note: I spoke with Michelle Smith this week, and she says it’s time to start gardening again, so the Spectator will resume publication of timely advice from her archive.   What to do this week Most of the vegetables we grow from seed in our gardens are annuals. TheseRead More

Photo by Madeline Yakimchuk.

Gardening Tips: Cover Crops

September 2, 2020 at 4:15 pm

Editor’s Note: The Spectator is reaching into Michelle Smith’s gardening column archive for some weekly advice that is as relevant now as when it was first written.   What to do this week The main thing I am doing now, besides harvesting, is dealing with cover crops. I’m crimping or otherwise destroying theRead More

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Soil with a Twist of Lime

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Soil with a Twist of Lime

April 22, 2020 at 9:10 am

Editor’s Note: The Spectator is reaching into Michelle Smith’s gardening column archive for some weekly advice that is as relevant now as when it was first written.   What to do this week This is a great time of year to talk about soil structure. Whatever you have in your backyard, ifRead...

"Lynn's Garden in Winter" (cropped). A pollinator garden, it is "a sea of milkweed, echinacea, bergamot, veronicastrum, and a variety of grasses." (Photo by Lynn Farrell via A Nova Scotia Garden in Winter https://novascotiagarden.com/)

The Garden in Winter

February 19, 2020 at 12:45 pm

Is the winter garden the most beautiful garden of all? — Philip Slayton to Lynn Farrell, A Nova Scotia Garden in Winter   The Spectator‘s own gardener — Michelle Smith — is currently enjoying a well-deserved break from the rigors of weekly column writing, giving her more time to dealRead More

Our Wild Downtowns?

Our Wild Downtowns?

April 11, 2018 at 11:57 am

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw, “Reinstatement of the Blossoming Program” on the agenda for the 27 March 2018 CBRM council meeting. Had Deputy Mayor Eldon MacDonald, who put the issue on the agenda, temporarily lost his mind? I think the short answer is, “Yes.” During the meeting,Read More