After a busy summer of traveling to and from the cottage and maintaining two properties, repairing our heat damaged lawn and near dead shrubs I was pleased to be able to have a short rest between seasons. Credit goes to my daughter and my fantastic neighbour for managing to keep my front door urns alive while I was away from home off and on throughout the summer. Many an urn full of gorgeous mature plant materials has perished in a short two day weekend of baking hot sun without daily watering.

When we first moved into our home I had a small table and a few muskoka chairs at the front entry to both fill the space and provide a relaxing place to sip wine with my neighbourhood friends on a Friday afternoon while we watched the kids play. Over the years we learned that on a cool but sunny day in March at approximately 3:30 p.m. we could strategically park our muskoka chairs on that cement entry, just around the corner and out of the wind in such a way that it would feel like a hot July day. Okay – so you had to close your eyes and do a little visualization to ignore the melting snow and the sound of slush splashing off passing cars, but it was nice little moments like this that warmed your inner core and gave you a little boost of much needed vitamin D. Now that the kids are grown the chairs have been abandoned for beauty over function and although I look forward to the sun I really love the abundance of plant life   that fills the very colorless corner at the front door and strategically hides the hideous garden hose that needs to hang there. Have you ever noticed that hoses only come in really ugly colors!

This year I decided to forget doing a fall planting (I wasn’t inspired by the plant selection this year) and just patiently wait for the cooler weather so I could once again fill my pots with an abundance of texture and color. In the meantime I brought out the chairs back out for a few weeks but didn’t find time to actually sit in them and sip wine. Yesterday, as the last few leaves fell from our maple tree I was finally able to get those pots filled and looking great again. If it stays cool enough to keep them green they will last throughout the season. I miss sitting in my muskoka chair sipping wine with my neighbours but I think I miss having my pots full of color even more. Wine lasts for a few minutes but the joy of color can last all season.

Order your seasonal planter   905- 878- 7803

Have you ever wanted to splurge on one of those gorgeous full and fragrant Christmas urns that you see at the front door of the quaint little shops in your hometown? If you have ever potted a plant then you are probably able to create one of these for yourself. This is the time of year when garden centre’s offer free workshops and sometimes even how to videos on their websites to entice you into their stores.

Get yourself signed up for the newsletter of your local garden centres website and look for their open house or workshop announcements. Remove the existing flowers from your pots but leave the old dirt in there and soften it up with some water or move your pots to the garage so it doesn’t freeze solid. Pack a pair of gardening gloves, a plastic bag and your pruning shears in the trunk of your car. While running your usual errands in and out of town keep your eyes open for colorful dogwood branches, pine boughs, pine cones, and berries that may be growing wild in the ditches on the sides of the country roads. Gather some of these materials (without trespassing of course) for use in your urn. I love to use hydrangea heads from my garden. They can be painted with silver or gold paint if you’d like or leave them natural.

Once you’ve attended the workshop you can decide what materials you need to purchase and combine them with the ones you’ve already collected to create a made-by-you masterpiece. Add a little sparkle, a grouping of 3 inexpensive plastic ornaments wired together and tied to a branch, a big bow, or some twinkle lights for the Christmas season. Be sure not to stab them into the dirt if you wish to remove them from your arrangement once Christmas is over. They may be frozen in!

Water your arrangement often until it freezes for the winter. If it’s still warm or your pot is in a sunny spot the greenery will turn brown quickly, so timing is everything. If you can’t plant right away because of the warmer weather, place the ends of the greenery into a water bucket in your garage to keep them fresh until you’re ready to work with them.

Get ready for the compliments that are going to be coming your way when guests arrive for your Christmas gatherings and find out you made them yourself!

Connon Nurseries

Getting Connected


"I just wanted to write a note to let you know how thrilled we are with ‘Rediscover Your Home’. We’ve had 9 years of growth and accumulation since moving to our current home. The stuff we needed and used was all there, but in a format that no longer met our family’s needs. Helping sort and organize the rooms to functionally meet our current lifestyle was a great step forward, then identifying ‘memory items’, including photos and wall art that make it feel and look like home, pulled it all together. The boys (including Dad) are able to help run the day to day events, entertaining and sports – thanks to the organization making sense, and we are enjoying our family time way more as a result! Even my Father-in-law commented on the new room layouts and pictures on the walls! I will definitely be in contact when we need to update the space again! Thanks for making my ‘house of stuff’ a home again and workable for our family using items we liked and already owned! All the best."

~ Felicity G, Mississauga

CRD Association

Canadian Redesigners Association