"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

Raspberry canes. (Photo by Madeline Yakimchuk)

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 32

August 16, 2017 at 11:35 am

What to do this week If there is one thing that is true about gardeners, it is that we are always thinking ahead. You might think we would all be busy enjoying what we have grown, or perhaps be scattered in multiple directions picking and processing everything that is comingRead More

Flowers made from plastic bottles via http://www.auntpeaches.com/2010/07/friday-flowers-garbage-flowers.html

Garbage versus Flowers?

February 22, 2017 at 1:35 pm

CBRM Council last week approved a budget that nixed the 2017/18 heavy garbage pickup while re-upping the CBRM Blossoming Program. The reason given for canceling heavy garbage — i.e. Cape Breton Christmas — was that the CBRM already provided such a service following the Thanksgiving floods, never mind that the post-flood collection onlyRead More

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 6

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 6

February 15, 2017 at 11:20 am

Caring for seedlings: I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that it is very important for recently planted seeds to be warm until they germinate. Once germinated, they are a little more forgiving, and can be moved to a cooler windowsill so you can use your warmest spot for theRead More

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 5

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 5

February 8, 2017 at 1:20 pm

What to do this week: Now that we have seeds and soil, we need some sort of system for planting. You can use anything you want as your system — you just need containers that hold soil. You can use yogurt containers with holes in the bottom, cut-down milk cartonsRead More

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 3

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 3

January 25, 2017 at 2:50 pm

What to do this week: So now that the seeds are ordered, let’s plan those windowsills. Onions get the first rotation on the best windowsill. Best means warmth and light. You can plant onions by mid-FEBRUARY. You can also start new perennial flowers then. I tell you, compared to buyingRead More

Photo by Jack Dykinga via US Department of Agriculture

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters Week 1

January 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Editor’s Note: This week marks the beginning of a new gardening feature by Michelle Smith, who will also write more broadly on agricultural and food issues for The Spectator in a regular monthly column that will launch next week. This week, we introduce Smith and present her first tip ofRead More