Milkweed and monarch butterly.

Natural Garden News – March 16, 2024

Inside this edition of Natural Garden News

  • Leave those dead plant stems!
  • Why I ordered plants as plugs
  • How native plant gardens foster a sense of place
  • Recommended reading
  • Right now in Haliburton
  • From the socials

I hope you enjoy the newsletter! If you have any questions or feedback, please reply to this email.

Simon Payn

Leave those dead stems!

With this scarily warm weather we’ve been having in Haliburton County, it’s tempting to get out there and do a bit of tidying up in the garden.

Please wait!

One of the reasons we leave dead stems standing in the fall is because insects overwinter in them. It’s a nice, safe cozy place to wait out the snow and ice.

And they’re not ready to get up yet! It’s important to wait until the soil temperature is at least 10C before cutting down those stems. And when you do cut them down, you can leave them on the ground where they fall – they make a nice mulch to suppress weeds.

Dead stems = gardening for life.

The issue of stems is another example of human needs vs nature’s needs – and how new gardeners understand we’re gardening for life, not just for us. Yes, maybe the stems look messy according to society’s teachings, but they’re not messy to nature. So if we’re to play our part, we let nature have what nature needs. Right now, that’s dead stems.

Why I’ve ordered plants as plugs

I’ve just put in an order for some plants for delivery in May.

When it comes to planting a native plant garden, the debate often lies between starting from seeds, using plugs, or opting for larger plants. Among these, plugs often stand out as the most balanced option—neither too big nor too small, but just right for cultivating a dense, thriving ecosystem. Read more.

How native plant gardens foster a sense of place

The concept of ‘sense of place’ is a powerful one. It speaks to the connection between a garden and its larger environmental and cultural context. Native plant gardens help foster that important connection. Read more.

Recommended reading

Early spring: Haliburton County isn’t the only place where spring seems to have come early. Gardens in England are blooming early too. Read more.

Clover lawns: I confess, I sowed a bunch of white clover around my home before I knew better. Here’s why it’s not the best option. Read more.

Garden design: If we’re to win hearts and minds, it’s not enough to just allow gardens to grow wild, or even to plant a bunch of native species and hope for the best. We need the art of garden design too. Read more.

Get the free guide

I’ve updated my guide to natural gardens in Haliburton County and surrounding areas.

Now booking Spring installs

If you’d like me to come and look at your garden or shoreline, please fill out the inquiry form.

Right now in Haliburton

It’s been feeling like Spring here the last few days – scarily early. Here’s a picture of Drag Lake one morning last week. I love the tree shadows on the ice, which is getting thinner by the day.

The ferns are already showing – always some of the earliest plants to grow in the Spring. Wild strawberries are also leafing out nicely. And this morning I heard a flock of geese.

We’re heading for a few cold days, but it seems Spring is almost here – whether we think that’s a good thing or not.

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From the socials

Rufus says Hi!

Thank you for reading!


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