Garden and Flowers

Is there anything sweeter than springtime? In #TheCityByTheSea things are starting to bloom and grow as businesses and tourism operators gear up for all the lovely faces coming to visit them and we LOVE IT!  

Little Dutch Flower Farm  

Entering its second season, Little Dutch Flower Farm is a fresh-cut flower garden operated in our seaside city! Shellilee Ballum owner, operator, and head garden and flower lover is gearing up for the season (make sure you follow her on instagram and Facebook at @littledutchflower

Late last August Shellilee ran a bouquet building workshop in the garden property where participants learned how to build an arrangement, different flower times, enjoyed some drinks and treats, and then set out about cutting and building their bouquet. 

“There has been such a great reception since that session and I can’t wait to host more this summer. I’m a craft geek and I love working with my hands and more and more people are looking for experiences like this – flower farms like this have become so popular worldwide and it offers something unique. People are becoming interested in experiences like this and agri-tourism in ways they weren’t before. I really enjoyed last year’s event, and with my teaching background I felt very comfortable to be chatting with everyone explaining how I do things and answer questions.”  

At the end of the season last year Shellilee also opened up her gardens for a u-pick. With people being so respectful of the gardens and the beds in 2021, she’s hopeful to host more u-picks this season as well which will also help with garden maintenance.

Some varieties you can find at Little Dutch Flower Farm

  • Zinnias
  • Cosmos
  • Sunflowers
  • Scabiosas
  • Asters
  • Straw Flowers
  • Statis

One of the busiest, most fun places to visit in the summertime (who are we kidding any time of year) Kool Breeze offers seeds (birds and plant), local produce, flowers ready for planting, and everything in between!

Read the packaging – “When I first started, I was learning and trying things, but it’s important to look at the growing time it takes to bloom. Whether or not they should be started inside. And starting indoors can be super easy, all you need is a grow light.” 

Direct seeding (sowing your seeds outdoors rather than starting indoors) – “Our selection can be pretty limited sometimes, but we do have heat-loving annuals like Zinnias that are no-fail. If you were to grow a flower, I’d recommend that. And they’re cut and come again, so the more you cut off the blooms to take in your home or put in a bouquet, the more you get. Other direct seed varieties I’d recommend are cosmos, bachelor’s buttons, sunflowers, and fever few.” 

 Trial and error – “You don’t have to buy a bunch of varieties and try them all. Try five, see how it goes, and then every year keep going and growing from there. Find out which varieties you like working with, which ones are more work than you want, what suits your garden.”  

Wellness in the Seaside City

Who doesn’t love heading to the local park or green space for time outside with friends and family? With lots of local playgrounds in the city (as well as a splash pad) there’s loads of fun for families with kids. For those not looking for a swing set we recommend hitting Greens Shore, right on our waterfront. Just steps from the water you can hunker down for a picnic, kick the ball, toss the frisbee or just sit down and enjoy the ocean breeze and shimmering view! Just down the boardwalk is The Knot where you can paddle, bike, or swim around the city on the water or on land. Hike around Rotary Friendship Park, hit the Confederation Trail, or like we mentioned in our last blog, pack your bike and see the city on two wheels!  

Garden and Flowers

While you’re out in the sun see if you can spot our natural floral and fauna 

  • Lady’s Slipper
  • Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Mayflowers
  • Bunchberry
  • Mushrooms and other fungi
  • Squirrels and Chipmunks
  • Red Foxes
  • Rabbits and Hares
  • Ducks and Geese
  • Blue Jays, Chickadees, Finches, and other birds
  • Butteries, moths, bees and other critters

Visiting your local garden centre with an ice cream treat – Kool Breeze Farms and Ice Cream Barn  

One of the busiest, most fun places to visit in the summertime (who are we kidding any time of year) Kool Breeze offers seeds (birds and plant), local produce, flowers ready for planting, and everything in between!

Their garden guru, Master Gardener Garth Davey, has loads of advice for a successful season.  

Lime your Lawn –  Grass thrives (and will be a serious competitor to weeds) when the soil pH is 6.8.  Most soil tests around 5.6 and it takes a lot of lime over time to raise it any amount.  Lime is organic, safe to children and pets and can never be overused.  Fertilizer works at its best with a higher pH too! 

Divide Perennials – Hosta often outgrow their space and day lilies and coreopsis flower better if divided every three years.  Instead of breaking a shovel, use a reciprocating saw to cut around the plant and then slice it into divides.  Share or swap with friends and family.  This also works well when transplanting or relocating shrubs.   

Smaller is Better – Don’t get caught up thinking a larger plant will be that much further ahead for growing in the garden.  Smaller plants adapt faster and easier after being transplanted while their larger siblings often sulk from suffering transplant shock.  Removing any flower buds creates more energy for the roots to grow with lots and lots of blooms to follow.   

Great Baskets (and planters too) – Hanging baskets can have up to a dozen plants in a 12″ container.  Keep these well fed by feeding them with a water soluble fertilizer at half strength every time you water.  A good fertilizer for flowering plants will have a higher middle number on the packaging (as in 8-20-12). 

Tomato/Tomahto – Plant and grow both a determinate (bush variety) and an Indeterminate (vine variety).  The bush variety will produce all at once and is great for canning or freezing, while the vine varieties will provide you with good eating throughout the season.  Tomato plants can be laid on their sides when planting.  This will produce more stability to the plant while creating new roots for greater uptake of nutrition and water.  Tomato plants also need calcium to succeed…crush eggshells and spread around the base of the plant. 

It takes Two – Apple, pear, plum and cherry trees need two different varieties to cross pollinate and bear fruit.  If your property size creates an issue consider planting a 4 in 1 that has four different varieties of apple, plums or cherries on one tree.   

Harden Up – Greenhouse plants are sheltered from the wind and unfiltered sunlight.  Keep your purchases in a sheltered location outside for a few days before transplanting them in the garden.  Don’t forget to keep them watered and protect them frost if the nights turn cold. 

Keep Evergreens Green – Juniper, spruce, yew, cedar as well as boxwood, euonymus, rhododendrons and holly should be wrapped with burlap for the first two winters.  After three years their roots will have developed beneath the frost line so they’ll have access to moisture when the winter winds blow. 

Be Careful with the Whip – String trimmers are the major cause of injury to trees.  Protect the trunks with a layer of mulch that keeps the grass from growing.  Your tree will thank you in shades.   

Experience Counts – Join a garden club and share experiences (and plants) with gardeners old and young.  The Summerside Garden Club meets the third Thursday of every month (except July and August) at 7:00pm. Call Carol at 902-303-7704 for further information. 

Gardens of Summerside  

We mentioned music outdoors, but one of the great things about sunny warm days in Summerside are the Concerts in The Garden hosted by Culture Summerside. Running for the 22nd year, Concerts offer guests local music in our historic district. Beginning in July running Wednesdays from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. until the end of August, you can enjoy tunes and a treat at the intermission (Wyatt Heritage Properties’ homemade ice cream) topped with Island strawberries or rhubarb.  

The 2022 Line-Up 

July 6 – Julia Squarebriggs and Old Tradition 

July 13 – Fred Martin  

July 20 – The Buchanan Family  

July 27 – To The MACs  

August 3 – Blue Zone Band  

August 10 – Dusty Roads  

August 17 – Fascinating Ladies  

August 24 – Not All There  

Also in the gardens is the Olde Fashioned Carnival. Travel back through time for a Victorian-style carnival with 15 games and activities on the lawns of the Wyatt Heritage Properties. Save your nickels and dimes for June 24th for an evening of fun also featuring tea and cake for 10 cents (and get your leaves read for another dime) hot dogs, cotton candy and other food for $1, and enjoy the petting farm, puppet caravan, street performers, live music, and time with family and friends!  

Based in the historic district, Holman’s Ice Cream Parlour also offers a unique garden experience. Purported to be one of the oldest continual gardens around, you can order a waffle cone with your favourite ice cream and sit in their garden while you enjoy the cool treat.  

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