Friday, March 6, 2015

Two Gardening BFF's Speak at Canada Blooms

There is fresh snow on the ground that like a meringue has a thin crust with a soft, pillowy interior. 

But if you look beyond the new snow, there are slight hints that winter is finally coming to an end. The temperature has warmed slightly, if you can call a temperature that is still in minus digits "warm", and there is more sunlight at the beginning and end of each day.

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about what you want to do in the garden this spring. If you are planning on growing some vegetables for the first time this year, you're not alone. Sales of vegetable seeds now outsell that of flower seeds.

Niki Jabbour, author of the book Ground Breaking Food Gardens, has become one of Canada's most popular gardening celebrities. Along with friend and garden writer Tara Nolan, Niki will be speaking next week on the inaugural day of Canada Blooms on the topic: Garden BFF's: How Edibles and Ornamentals Can Play Nicely Together.

Niki has lots great advice for novice veggie gardeners:

Pick the right site. The best place is a spot that receives plenty of sunshine- at least eight hours each day.

Consider your soil. If your soil is less-than-ideal, don't panic! Instead, build a raised bed to grow your vegetables, filling it with quality garden soil and compost.

Start small. I always tell novice veggie gardeners to keep it small! A manageable 4-by-8 foot raised bed or even a few pots of edibles will be much easier to care for than a large garden. Start with a handful of your favourite crops and once you've got a handle on planting, tending and harvesting, you can always decide to go bigger the following year.

Plant your menu. Grow what you like to eat.

In her book Groundbreaking Food Gardens, Niki collected 73 themed garden designs from a diverse and varied group of gardening experts. Each of the book's plans includes a profile of the contributor, the concept behind their design, a beautiful illustration and a plant list. 

I am really looking forward to Canada Blooms next week. Touring the show floor and listening to Niki and Tara's talk on combining edibles and ornamentals promises to be perfect way to usher in a little spring.

Niki Jabbour and Tara Nolan will be speaking together at the Active Life Garden Solutions Theatre, Presentation Room, Hall B at 12 pm on March 13th. Their topic again is: Garden BFF's: How Edibles and Ornamentals Can Play Nicely Together.

Niki will also be speaking on the topic of her book Groundbreaking Food Gardens on the Unilock Celebrity Stage at 3pm on March 13th.

Niki is a garden writer and radio host from Halifax, Nova Scotia. In her first book, The Year Round Vegetable Gardener (Storey Publishing) Niki showed us it was possible to have homegrown, organic produce 365 days a year. Groundbreaking Food Gardens (also Storey Publishing) her second book, hopes to inspire the way you grow your garden.
Niki's radio show the Weekend Gardener airs live on and is also available in podcast form. Niki's work can also be found in Gardens East, Garden Making, Fine Gardening and Canadian Gardening magazines. Niki's blog is

Tara Nolan is a freelance writer, editor and digital consultant. For over six years, Tara was web editor of Canadian She is a member of the Canadian Garden Writers Association and is co-founder of the blog Savvy Gardening. Tara has written for many publications including the Toronto Star, Glow magazine, Elle Canada and Canadian Living. Presently, Tara working on her first gardening book.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much Jennifer for sharing our fun Garden BFFs talk! I can't wait to get to Canada Blooms.. it's become my annual spring kick off. Let's just hope Mother Nature gets the message too! :)


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