Category Archives: Gardening

Suburban garden

When we bought our new house this winter I was worried about what state we might find the garden in when the snow melted.  Based on the evidence in the backyard and the owner’s comments, it looked like we would be sharing our yard with a very large family of rabbits.

But lo and behold not a hint of rabbit presence when we moved in.  After we finished building the sandbox, we decided to add a small vegetable garden next to it.  My 4-year-old is an outdoorsy sort who loves to garden and eat vegetables.  Last summer the first thing he did upon arrival at my parents was rush out into the backyard to pick and eat cherry tomatoes.

Our first step was clearing a small, flat area in the backyard.  We chose a spot near the back corner where it would be out-of-the-way of flying balls and scorching sun.

Levelling the spot was half the fun and necessitated many shovels and even work gloves.

We chose to use 2×10 untreated wood to build a frame for our garden.  The wood cost less than $15 at Home Depot and we had them cut it there into 2 three-foot and 2 six-foot lengths.  We decided to use a frame so that, if we need to, we can add a wire fence around the perimeter if local critters decide to use the kids garden as a salad bar.

The assembly was a simple process: all I needed was a drill and 12 deck screws.  It took approximately 10 bags of soil to fill the box: we thought we’d only need 6 but it packs down quite a bit after you water it.

Because we started in mid-June, we used plants instead of seeds to start our garden.  The boys chose strawberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, and broccoli to start us off this year.

We now have little green tomatoes growing in the garden and my 4-year old checks on them every day.  His favourite part is filling up his watering can at the rain barrel and watering all the plants.  A quick tip: rain barrels sell for at least 50% retail cost if you buy them on www.usedottawa.com or www.kijiji.ca.

And so far, not a single rabbit has nibbled on any of our greenery!

Sara is mom to a 4-year-old firefighter and 2-year-old monkey.  You can find her at her blog, My Points of View

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Budding Gardeners Love Visiting Laporte Gardens

by Isabelle

My little guy loves helping out in the garden, and now that he’s almost four, I can honestly say that he does help me when we’re outside together. He helps with the weeding and tilling, carries gardening tools around the yard, sows seeds in the starter containers and fills pots up with soil. Of course, when I need to run gardening-related errands, he’s the first one to put his shoes on and run to the car.

Our absolute favorite gardening centre is Laporte Gardens, located on Old Montreal Road near Trim (just east of Orleans). Not only do they cater to all of my gardening needs, with a large, well-organized selection of trees, shrubs, plants and herbs, but they have also thought of the little ones who visit their centre with mom and dad. Our visit starts with a quick overview of what’s on sale indoors, where you can find a selection of pots, seeds, books, and other gardening items, but most importantly, where Tim Horton’s coffee and Timbits are provided free of charge to customers (a small charitable donation is suggested but not required).

The large outdoor area provides tons of entertainment for little ones, who (when it’s not too busy), can run around the aisles of trees and plants and play in the covered wooden playstructure. The playstructure, of course, is the highlight of the visit, although the soil and mulch pick-up is also very popular with my son – we drive to a designated area, where helpful (and strong!) young men pack up our car. Very impressive to a three year-old.

Isabelle is the mom of 3.5 year old Jay and two-month old Rosie. You can also find her at Dr. Peach’s Blog.

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