Learning how to make your garden work for you
Finally a book that recognizes that while we all want beautiful gardens, we don’t all want to work too hard at it. I have been told countless times that there is no such thing as a lazy gardener. But the truth is, I am a lazy gardener. Or I would like to be, if I could figure out how to be one. (Just so you know, my co-author, Dan Cooper, is not a lazy gardener – it’s all about balance.)
Gardening from a Hammock helps us get organized by assisting with choices of low-maintenance plants that keep working when we don’t. Talented gardeners tell us why they choose certain plants, how to work the soil, watering techniques, and how to get the maximum benefit from our choices. Essentially, how to garden smart so it’s not work.
We are delighted to introduce a low-maintenance gardening book that borrows expertise, tips and valuable experience from nationally recognized gardeners. We also are grateful to all the photographers who so kindly let us use their wonderful photos for the sake of educating and sharing their love of gardening. Please check out their individual pages under gardeners and photographers and their websites from the adjacent Honour Roll. As well, special thanks to Dave Cooper at ttc for his page design and support, and Wendy Thomas for her editing skills. A special thanks to Linda Chaplick for meticulously reading and editing along the way.
We are glad you came by to learn about our Gardening from a Hammock. It also is available at many stores including the Toronto Botanical Garden shop in Toronto, Sheridan Nurseries, selected Lee Valley stores, as well as through Amazon.ca. Like our gardens, we trust this website will grow as we learn and share along the way.
Ellen and Dan
Darren Heimbecker from Whistling Gardens with Pinus Parviflora ‘Ogon Janome’
Darren Heimbecker, owner of Whistling Gardens which boasts 20 acres with 2,500 different conifers, singles out one of his favourite low-maintenance shrubs. Pinus Parviflora ‘Ogon Janome’ (Japanese White Pine or Golden Dragon eye white pine) is a slow-growing yellow-variegated conifer that handles a fair amount of shade. “You never have to touch this plant,” says Heimbecker, “just enjoy it.” He explains that it takes backstage for the summer, but is front and centre in winter with its layered colours of variegated gold, green, silver, grey and blue. It has a globe shape when young and can become broadly conical with age. Heimbecker says that after 10 years his Japanese White Pine is only about two feet. Whistling Gardens (www.whistling gardens.ca), south of Burlington, Ontario, has one of the largest conifer collections in North America featuring many rare varieties of ornamental and native trees and bushes.
We will be selling our books, Gardening from a Hammock, at Through the Garden Gate tour, Saturday June 14th and Sunday June 15th. This is the Toronto Botanical Garden’s 27th annual tour of private gardens. There are 19 featured this year in the prestigious Toronto’s Hoggs Hollow area, around York Mills and Yonge. For details and more information, contact: 416-397-1483 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Cooper has had a lot of fun speaking about low-maintenance gardening throughout Ontario. He speaks again this month in Markham Ontario (see upcoming talks on sidebar). Check out more about his talks from this newspaper article: Ont FARM article
Here is another hardy, reliable plant that carries us from late summer, early fall all the way into the winter. Check out Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’. Japanese anemone. These tall, elegant white daisy-like flowers dance from August through October. They work as cut flowers, as an accent and provide vertical interest.
How about some plants that strut their stuff in the fall. Check out the epimedium rubrum.
Look for Gardening from a Hammock at the Garden Writers Association annual Symposium in Quebec City, August 16th through 19th. We will have a table and are happy to share ideas and suggestions on low-maintenance gardening. Hope to see you there.
2013 is the Year of the Wildflower – check it out
You can buy many of these at Wildflower Farms, Mason House Gardens, and Chalklake Greenhouses. Several more “natives” are included in our book ‘Gardening from a Hammock’ on sale now at Lee Valley Tools. http://www.GardeningfromaHammock.com
Helen Battersby, just posted a review of Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum) on her site ‘Toronto Gardens’ (http://torontogardens.blogspot.ca/2013/04/native-plant-profile-prairie-smoke-geum.html?showComment=1365689631287
I love her superb photos of this beauty.
Prairie Smoke is one of the great drought-tolerant plants recommended by garden lecturer and tour leader Frank Kershaw in our book ‘Gardening from a Hammock’ for a low-maintenance garden. He likens the seed heads to a “pink puff of smoke” and says it spreads but not aggressively. Like many native plants, it also tolerates poor dry soil. And the leaves turn a nice red colour in fall. A great all-around perennial.
You can find more drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants discussed in our book.
(from Dan Cooper on Gardeners blog)
Book Review: Spend less time weeding and watering and more time enjoying your garden by Tara Nolan, editor
To see original article, click here.
Gardening From a Hammock: How to create a low-maintenance garden
By Ellen Novack and Dan Cooper
Let’s face it. Not all of us have oodles of time to spend in our garden. We may aspire to it, but the reality is our life can pull us in different directions. That being said, there’s no reason why we can’t maintain lush garden beds throughout the growing season. That’s where Gardening From a Hammock comes in. The idea being that once you plant all of the low-maintenance recommendations (the ones that are suited to your garden’s conditions, of course), you will have the time to sit back and enjoy your handiwork—or attend to all the other activities that require your time.
The authors, Ellen Novack (who has been writing our Low-maintenance Monday guest blogs) and master gardener Dan Cooper, have sought out well-known, Canadian gardeners to provide their low-maintenance picks and growing advice. While reading the book I felt I was privy to some important secrets—tips that I’ve applied (or made a list to apply) to my own garden.
What makes this book unique:
I love how the authors sought out a diverse mix of gardeners to provide their recommendations. Everyone’s growing experiences are different, so it’s interesting to see what works best for some and not for others. A handy chart at the end of the book provides quick, at-a-glance info for busy green thumbs. And an underlying theme (intentional or not) of the book is about helping the environment.