I hope we’re settling in to spring in Atlantic Canada by the time you read this. As I sit at my desk, I can see bits of grass and other plants in my backyard peeking through the snow of an early thaw.
Recently, I moved into a house with a long neglected garden, and spent the winter thinking about the possibilities, mapping and remapping the beds in my head.
When I last had space for a garden, I dedicated most of my beds to vegetables. Growing your own food is immensely satisfying. Tomato plants are my favourite, partly because you can see the progress individual tomatoes make each day, and because a fresh, flavourful home-grown tomato tastes so much better than one from the grocery store.
This time around maybe I’ll try something new, inspired by the book excerpt from Niki Jabbour’s Veggie Garden Remix, which you’ll find later in this issue. Jabbour is a Halifax-based gardening blogger, radio host, and author. Her newest book highlights unusual vegetables you might not think to grow in Atlantic Canada, like tomatillos, romanesco (a member of the broccoli family that looks like a pointy, green cauliflower), and the tiny cucamelon.
While satisfying and delicious, vegetable gardening involves a lot of hands-on, day-to-day work, so the idea of planting flowers appeals to me too.
My past flower experiences have all been transplants in large planters, so this might be my year to start from scratch. Luckily, I have plenty of advice from Carol Matthews, our gardening columnist, in our free archives at eastcoastliving.ca.
In this issue, you’ll find Carol’s latest column, offering handy tips for those of us who wish we had planted bulbs last fall. It’s not too late. There are many varieties best planted in spring that flower throughout the summer. Canna Tropicana and angel wings bulbs can add a splash of colour to the yard of even the most novice gardener, like me. Read it here.
If it’s still chilly in your part of Atlantic Canada as you read this issue, I hope you’ll find spring warmth here.
In this issue we meet the owners of a modern home in Lockeport, N.S. that uses energy efficient options to lower its eco-footprint, learn to host an afternoon tea (with recipes and tea suggestions), and find advice on what to watch for when buying a cottage.