Archive | April, 2011

A natural touch at the Royal Wedding

29 Apr

Savvy Kate chose Shane  Connolly, an English  floral designer,  whose is known for using seasonal, organic flowers and employing a sustainable approach by using as much growing, rather than cut, plants and trees in his floral arrangements.

Kate’s Bouquet

The bouquet personified Kate – classically beautiful, thoroughly English and reserved with purpose.  Containing all organic, freshly cut flowers, each were selected based on their significance to the Royal Family, the Middleton Family and the Language of Flowers.

  • Sweet William means gallantry (how appropriate!!!)
  • Lily-of-the-valley symbolizes the return of happiness
  • Hyacinth signifies the constancy of love
  • Ivy signifies fidelity, marriage, wedded love, friendship and affection.
  • Myrtle is the emblem of marriage and love

Kate herself requested that all the cut flowers will be donated to local charities BUT  what ever will happen to her bouquet?  Personally, I would’ve loved to see Kate toss it over her shoulder following the romantic balcony kiss!

The Abbey

The dramatically simple floral displays in Westminster Abbey featured all locally grown flowers from the Royal Estates and other growers in the country including azaleas, rhododendron, euphoria, wisteria and lilac.

The most impressive feature were the six 20 feet-high English Field Maples and two Hornbeams that lined the dramatic aisle.  Thankfully much care as been taken with these trees as they were planted in large custom designed containers.  Following one week of public viewing in the Abbey, they will taken to private royal family gardens  (Highgrove Gardens) to be replanted.  Now that’s a wedding keepsake that will grow and flourish as they do!

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Spice up your salad greens

27 Apr

The punch of peppery Arugula!

Mmmm… nothing tastes better than fresh salad and it is the perfect time to be growing it.  Salad greens prefer cool moist weather of spring and late fall and are super easy to grow.  Pick up a packet of seeds at your local grocer or home supply store like Canadian Tire and get started in a semi-shaded area of your garden or sow in a container.  Within 3-4 weeks you will be able to spice up your store-bought lettuce with some fresh greens from your garden.

My favorite one to grow is Arugula as its dramatic peppery flavour improves any bland salad.  For more details, read this article from Toronto Star’s Sonia Day.  Spice up your salad greens – Yourhome.ca.

Save $$$ and Live Green

14 Apr

Get the one card that will keep money in your pocket as you Go Green!  The Live Green Toronto Membership Card is available to people who live, work, and shop in the city of Toronto – and it’s FREE!

You can easily save between 5-15% on many of  the organic and eco-minded products that you already buy in Toronto.

For example, enjoy discounts at over 84 restaurants and cafes such as my favorites:
Gilead Cafe & Bistro: 5% off any retail & deli items
The Healthy Butcher:  Save 10% on whole Certified Organic, Locally Raised Chicken
Balzacs Coffee: 10% off Fair Trade coffee.

But there is more than just food, you can save on travel, fashion, home decor etc.  For example:
Grassroots: save 10% on tons of great organic home items such as sheets, towels; natural personal care products; cleaning products and organic baby products.
Zipcar: Save $55 when you sign-up as a member

Sign-up is fast and free! Within 2-3 weeks your card will arrive in the mail and you can start saving.
Click here to get yours!

Get Busy! Your Spring Garden Checklist.

5 Apr

It’s time to get your hands dirty!
Here is your quick checklist to get your garden rocking this Spring.

1. Rake and remove excess debris, not all debris (i.e. remove broken branches and smothering leaf litter).  Be careful not to damage fresh tender shoots.
2. Prune summer-flowering shrubs (e.g. Rose of Sharon, Hydrangea, Hardy Fuschia) but NOT SPRING flowering shrubs or you won’t flower this year! (e.g. Azaleas, Rhododendron, Forsythia)
3.  Cut back ornamental grasses (leaving about 4″ of last years dead growth)
4. Fertilize & amend your garden beds using compost and organic mulch now so they have time to mix and settle before you plant in May.
5.  Divide & Save $$$: Divide perennials such as Hostas, Daylilies and fall blooming ornamental grasses (e.g. fountain grass, maiden grass) once their sprouts reach greater than 2″ in height.  By dividing and replanting now, you will save $$$ at the garden center this spring.
6.  Indoor Care: Re-pot overgrown indoor houseplants as they too will soon have a quick burst of growth and will welcome a larger home!