Showing posts with label non gmo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label non gmo. Show all posts

Monday, 16 June 2014

Wall Flower Studio's Grand Opening Store event is this Saturday! Here in #MyHaliburtonHighlands!

Though I've ran a home-based business for many years, it has always been my goal to open a brick and mortar shop in Minden Ontario, here in #MyHaliburtonHighlands.
After discovering the right location, and the timing being right as well, I'm pleased to announce the GRAND OPENING this coming weekend, right on the Summer Solstice no less!

Win me : )
Enter the lucky draw! Add your name/email (or business card) to the bowl on our front desk on opening day to win a terrarium!  The winner will be contacted next Wednesday, June 25th. to pick up their prize! Good luck, everyone!! (No purchase necessary)

Wall Flower Studio is not just a shop but also an destination, offering many gardening related workshops and demonstrations. And just to add, I'm always happy to answer your horticultural & gardening related questions.

At present, I'm setting up a web store to offer my customers the option to shop online. For the time being, if you're in Minden drop in, have a look around, and say hello!

We're open 6 days a week. Closed Tuesdays - Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Below is a sampling of some of the products I personally create and manufacture & package locally! These products, and more, are just a little taste of what is yet to come!
Herb Garden kits in a can! - Non-gmo seeds. 

A variety of foot scrubs, organic tea, bath, beauty & skincare products. Handmade in small batches at
Wall Flower Studio

Terrariums and indoor gardening gifts

Clay masks and sumptuous bath soaks

Healing lip balm and gardener salves - All organic ingredients

Fairy furniture and gardens! Fun for kids of all ages

Seed Bombs! Throw & Grow. 

Lots of Lavender sachets! I throw mine in the dryer. 

Assorted air plants and terrariums

Plantable paper notecards and wedding favors

Organic & non-gmo wildflower seed collections 

Organic Goat's Milk Soaps
A selection of original artwork is available

Look for the oddest creatures roaming about the store, too! This wee fellow is made of Papier-mache.

I should get back to work!Enjoy your week, and I do hope to see you on Saturday!
Cheers, Karen

Directions to Wall Flower Studio
Directly beside the bridge in Minden, Ontario, right between the Grill on the Gull and the Dominion Hotel.
For information about the beautiful Haliburton Highlands, please visit #MyHaliburtonHighlands - Thank you!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Saving Heirloom Corn Seeds... Thanksgiving Style

Wishing all of my fellow Canadian friends a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!
Are you having Turkey or Ham?
I prefer both, but only if they're grass fed and free range.
As a side dish, I recommend some non-gmo, heirloom corn. Pictured above is 'Orchard Baby', and these I've saved from this years harvest, and for this basic human right, I'm always thankful! 
Enjoy! ~ K.S.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Garden Trends 2012 - Native Plants Top the List!

The growing season is upon us and it looks to be an exciting one!
Every year brings stimulating trends worthy of following in our homes and gardens. One can always look forward to brand new, appealing plant material, and one can count on the many landscape designs we see in those glossy magazines as being totally worthy of emulating.

It can be very tempting to jump on every gardening band wagon that comes along, however to pinpoint the most encouraging one to date, it would have to be the commitment many gardeners are making towards the cultivation of native plants. One reason it’s a good band wagon to jump on is because planting native species is best done in partnership with organic practices. One does indeed compliment the other. Aesthetical interest combined with an ecological mindset, especially with respect to the natural landscapes of our shorelines, woodlands, meadows, and even wetlands, makes native plants a wonderful addition to our gardens. In some cases, with respect to soil stabilization, native plants are highly effective. The roots help prevent erosion. All this is especially poignant here in Haliburton County where we witness and live amongst the beauty of the natural environment every day.

Native plants, including trees, flowers and shrubs, increase the biodiversity of our region. To a large degree, they provided food and refuge for our native creatures, including butterflies, birds, pollinators, and other small animals. More importantly, this means our gardens also become a sanctuary of sorts for the many native plants that are becoming increasingly rare in their natural habitat.

Using native plants helps to conserve water and eliminates the need for pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals that we now realize are unhealthy practices towards our planet. Native species create less work in the garden too, as the many beautiful native flowers available are, for the most part, drought tolerant. This is good news for cottage country and its part time residents. They can be absent from here, back in the city for days, or even weeks at a time, not having to worry that their garden won’t be alive upon their return.

The native plants of Haliburton have evolved here, adapting to this environment in which they grow. That means weather patterns and the other flora and fauna that have evolved here with them, are equally comfortable together. These variations of adaptability to our regional environment are what make native plants so desirable and effortless to grow. Consider adding native plants to your garden!

A Few Hardy Native Species for Central Ontario:

Aronia melanocarpa - Black Chokeberry - Zone 2

Potentilla fruticosa - Potentilla - Zone 2

Aquilegia canadensis - Wild Columbine - Zone 3

Arisaema triphyllum - Jack in the Pulpit - Zone 3

Echinacea purpurea - Purple Coneflower - zone 3

Gaillardia aristata - Blanket flower - zone 3

Quercus rubra - Red Oak - Zone 3

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Garden Trends for 2011 - One Gardener's Perspective!

Native, Organic & Heirloom Gardening
One of the most positive gardening trends is the commitment of gardeners towards organic practices in their garden.
There is an increased awareness and interest to view the natural landscapes of woodlands, meadows, and wetlands for inspiration in their gardens.
There are many ecological and environmental reasons to use native plants in the garden. It makes for an increase in biodiversity, provides habitat for creatures such as butterflies, birds and other pollinators, and can become a refuge for the many native plants that are increasingly becoming rare in their natural habitats.
Using native plants helps to conserve water and eliminates the need for pesticides,
fertilizers and other chemicals that we are realizing are unhealthy practices on our planet.
The benefits of native plant gardening include less work and a beautiful garden.
Native plants evolved here and adapted to the environment in which they grow.
That means the weather patterns and the other flora and fauna that have evolved with them are equally comfortable together.
These variations of adaptability to the regional environment are what make native plants so effortless to raise.

Garden Rooms
Rooms out of doors will continue to "grow" in popularity as people are spending more time entertaining friends and family at home.
Partly due to the economy, but also because it is a popular trend enhancing our homes as a sanctuary for our own well being.
Enlarging gardens, replacing travel with new patios, barbecue areas, water features, as well as other landscaping options, has already becoming popular for a many.
Outdoor areas can be utilized to the enth degree as individuals continue to create their own version of paradise with the use of exciting new varieties of plant material, planters, and weatherproof decor and other architectural features.

Home & Community Edible Gardens
Due to the previous downturn in the economy it's my belief that more and more people will see the benefits of growing their own food, or art at least growing some food to offset purchases from the grocery store. This also includes community gardening, which is a huge asset and benefit to any city, not just for the food that is grown, but for the social aspect of gardening as well.
And, with the growing concern of chemicals used by food manufacturers, there is resurgence or renaissance with edible gardens. Just look at the Whitehouse garden, and the impact that has had on many to follow in it's footsteps!
Gasoline prices continue to be a factor in higher food costs, so a greater reliance on domestic and local growers of food will become the norm. It's already happening, and the timing couldn't be better, really!
Gardening, for some time has been considered more of a hobby, but will become more important as people develop into a more cautious attitude about what food they eat and where it comes from.


Kitchen Gardens and Potagers
Herb gardens can be created indoors on windowsills and of course, outdoors.
Some may be small in size, ie. container herb gardens, but these flavourful and useful plots will continue to become popular as people learn how vast the choices are for herbs in which to grow and use in their food.
Heirlooms herbs and veggie's will also become more common as people start to realize that food products grown with GMO's are doing more harm than good for both our health and well being, and to the environment.
Also, many are beginning to realize that so many of our
older heirloom varieties of vegetables are being lost,
due most in part to giant Agricultural monopolies and corporations who grow only a few limited varieties of food, mostly because it ships easily, and not because of taste,
which means lack of diversity for the human race to feed upon.
That's why the potato famine happened!
We don't want that to ever occur again.
Relying on only a few varieties of produce will surely lead to that.
So, these are just my thoughts. Loosley based on what I see on other garden sites and initiatives, plus what I would like to see happening!
Feel free to share what you’re gardening trends will be this year!
Happy Gardening!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Mesclun Mix - Planning to Plant in the Garden

Some salad greens from last year. I love a variety of colour and foliage.
Wall Flower Studio's Mesclun Mix - Lots of variety!

The word “Mesclun" means "mixture."
For me, it's when early sweet lettuces and tangy, tender greens are pre-mixed,
then sown and grown together.
Mesclun is actually amazingly easy to grow.
Most seeds will even germinate in cooler weather conditions.
The key, I've found, is making sure that the soil is evenly watered until the seeds germinate, which will usually take place within a week.
I've noticed that Mesclun mixes are becoming increasingly popular as people discover the wonderful ways to use different greens. Many can be container grown, so it's an accessable way for people to grow their own food.
I've created a custom blend for Wall Flower Studio.
Many unusual and tasty greens are included for growing,
and no two salads grown & harvested will every be alike!
I kind of like the sound of that!
The seeds included are:
Red giant mustard, Red deer tongue lettuce, Russian red kale, Mizuna mustard, Arugula, Tom Thumb lettuce, Black-seeded Simpson lettuce, Parris Island Romaine, Persian Cress, Lacinto Kale, and Reine Des Glaces Lettuce.
If you don't have a lot of experience growing from salad from seed,
I'm thinking that a Mesclun mix is a great way to start.
Ending up with a great harvest with very little effort is my kind of gardening!
Would love to hear if anyone else is growing their own salad mixes.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Seedy Sunday . Toronto . Get the Jump on Spring!

Seedy Sunday - Toronto - Sunday February 13, 2011 12pm-6pm
Click the picture above for more info!
Wall Flower Studio's Seed Stand
Entrance to Seedy Sunday is By Donation - Pay What You Can!
"Seedy Saturday and Sundays are the days when the new gardening season begins in earnest. You can have an opportunity to learn more about gardening, hone and share your gardening skills, and buy or exchange vegetable and flower seeds."

Basil Seeds - Tender Annual - I like to grow them indoors all year long!
Dragon Tounge Bush Beans (Heirloom) - Prolific & Rust Resistant, too!
Almost finished packing all the seeds! It doesn't seem like work. : )

Chuck a Seed Ball. In your yard, or somewhere else!
Wall Flower Studio is pleased to participate in our 3rd Seedy Sunday in Toronto!
Come on down. Visit and purchase from the people who are growing & providing seeds for the food you might eventually be putting on your family's plate!
These are seeds that you know are open-pollinated, untreated and Non-GMO.
Happy Gardening!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Three Sisters Garden - The Original Companion Planting Method

. Corn, Beans and Squash!

Three Sister's Garden

Many people think of companion planting as a relativley new idea, but it's definatley not!

This is a First Nation's concept which goes back millenia.

It's truly heirloom gardening in it's finest form;

A beneficial co-existance and a sustainable practice,

passed down from year to year and generation to generation, just as the seeds were.

It's success and methods were passed on as to other tribes and regions in North America.

Here's how it works...

The Three Sisters is a combination of three plants:-corn (maize)-beans (pole)-squash

Each supports the growth of the other in one way or another.

Corn supports the beans physically, and squash grows around them both.

The original "design" concept was to plant it on a mound of soil, and in a circular method.

The beans naturally wind themselves up the corn stalks, which provides the support.

The beans in turn, feed the corn by providing nitrogen to the soil.


The squash, with its vines and trailing habit, winds it's way around the base of the corn and beans, hence becoming a barrier against weeds, as well as shading the soil,

which helps retain moisture.

Ingenious, really. : )

If you'd like to try planting in this method, I'd suggest first preparing the soil.

Plenty of compost & organic matter should be used to offer the seeds a healthy beginning.

The wonderful thing about a Three Sisters Garden is that it can also be grown in a container.

If you don't have enough garden space, it's a fun way to garden, and children will love it too! Make sure however, that the container will have direct sunlight for at six hours or more, and of course, that the container has good drainage.


Start by planting the corn in the middle. Let the corn grow a few inches before sowing the beans directly around it. Then, plant the squash seed along the edge.

Squash will trail, and can be trained to grow right around your container.

Keep the seeds moist and water well throughout the growing season.

You'll likely have to water every day when growing anything, especially edibles, in containers, which will dry out much quicker than if planted directly in the ground.

Try planting heirloom varieties, enjoy your harvest, save the seeds, and have fun!

Thanks for visiting and Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Citron Melon - Citrullus lanatus - The Original Watermelon

Citron Melons @ Wall Flower Studio
Citron Melon - Citrullus lanatus - Pink Seeded Citron - Family: Cucurbitaceae
Citrullus lanatus originates from the western Kalahari region of Namibia and Botswana, where it can still be found in the wild. These small fruits are generally bitter and mainly used for their seeds, and it's commonly thought to be the probable ancestor of egusi melon. This fruit is also used as a source of water during periods of drought or as cooking melons, and may well represent the ancestral form of the watermelon. Following first domestication of Citrullus lanatus in southern Africa in prehistoric times, its cultivation became widespread in Mediterranean Africa, the Middle East and West Asia more than 3000 years ago. How's that for a true heirloom! It was introduced to the Americas in early post -Columbian times. Citrullus lanatus seeds are increasingly used for their oil in semi-arid regions and also the use of the oil in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry is increasing. There are also prospects for use of the seeds in the improvement of infant nutrition in view of their high protein and fat content. Watermelons are a rich natural source of lycopene, a carotenoid of great interest because of its antioxidant capacity and potential health benefits.
This variety is the Red Seeded Citron, which was used by the pioneers in Victorian times, here in Ontario, to make candied fruits, jams, marmalade and other edible treats. The Citron stored well, and grows well in all types of soil, so it was valued by early settlers of Ontario. Thanks for visiting... Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Amaryllis - Seedheads and Seedlings

I stuck an Amaryllis seed in my begonia plant. Lo' and behold, it's growing!
The Amaryllis is still blooming, and has been for a month, now. 18 stalks all together grew this year. Puts a big smile on my face! If you haven't visited my blog before, this Amaryllis is over 100 years old. A true heirloom!
I've hand pollinated all the flowers and as you can see, there's lots of seedheads now. When planting Amaryllis seeds, it's best to treat them like a Maple key seed. A bit of the top of the seed should be sticking out of the soil. They should be kept moist, but not sopping wet. Would love to hear from anyone else who has been successful with starting Amaryllis from seed. Thanks for visiting and Happy Gardening, whether it's indoors or out!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


This beautiful "Pink Turtlehead", (Chelone lyonii - Hot Lips) blooms from late July right through to October. It's a North American native perennial flower that hosts the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly.
Chelone comes from the Greek word that means tortoise because each blossom resembles, (without too much imagination required), a turtle's head.
It's a good perennial for late summer colour. It doesn't like excessive heat, but will tolerate full Sun if it has it's requirement of moist soil. Actually, the soggier the soil, the better it will perform in your garden!
The flowers are cross-pollinated primarily by bumblebees, but I've seen the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird visiting my flowers for their nectar. But, here is the best part of all... The bitter foliage is usually avoided by Deer and other herbivores. Hooray!!
I've yet to see a white variety growing, but from what I've read, they too are happiest in damp locations such as ditches beside the road. This lovely pink/purple version grows in my shade garden and is considered a rare and possibly endangered species. I have collected a limited amount of seeds from them, so if you're intersted, email/query me here:
- sloanartgallery(at)gmail(dot)com
  • Foliage: Herbaceous smooth-textured.
  • Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings.
  • This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds.
  • Propagation Methods: By dividing the rootball or from seed; direct sow outdoors in fall or early spring.
  • Stratify seeds if sowing indoors.
  • Seed Collecting: Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds.
  • Non-patented native perennial
  • Height: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
Thanks for viewing & Happy Gardening : )

Monday, 15 March 2010

Borage - Beautiful Blue Borago officinalis

Borage - Borago officinalis

I just love this picture. Those showy little blue star-shaped flowers attract bees, butterflies, and all kinds of good pollinators to my garden.
I use Borage for companion planting. It's well known that growing them near your tomato plants can not only to improve their growth, but also to make them taste better and to repel the tomato hornworm. Who can argue with such wisdom?! A wonderful addition to any kitchen or herb garden.
The edible flowers have a delicate cucumber flavour. Marvelous in salads, sandwiches or as a pretty garnish!
Borage is an annual herb that prefers to be grown in full sun.

I especially admire them since they are an heirloom, and have been cultivated since at least the year 1440. Such a historic plant.
In folklore, this lovely herb was thought to bring courage to the heart. The ancient Celtic people believed borage helped bring courage to face enemies in battle.
When planting seeds in Spring, first, soak the seeds in wet paper towel for twenty-four hours, then sow directly into the garden.
Borage will grow to a height of 3 feet.
To purchase Borage seeds please visit my LocalHarvest Store. : )
Thanks for visiting, & as always, Happy Gardening!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Heirloom Amaryllis - New Seeds Almost Ready!

Amaryllis - Hippeastrum vittatum - Seed Pods developing nicely!

Lovely dark peach - orange colour flowers
This amaryllis was originally my great-grandmother's plant. It was passed down to my great Uncle Allan, (whom I miss dreadfully), and, now of course, to me. It's well over 100 years old, and for the past few years I've been collecting and selling the seeds from it.
This wonderful plant, (among other treasured heirloom seeds varieties I've collected) is one of the reasons I decided to enter the seed business. I love the idea of ressurecting and promoting old varieties of heirloom seeds that have been long forgotten by the corporate growers/seed houses of today.
I have now grown many plants from the seeds, as they are extremely easy to propogate.
This year, when people visit my studio/garden, I'll have some plants potted up and offered for sale.
I think my Uncle Allan would be very happy to see this lovely species shared with others!

 The "Mother Ship" !!!

The closest name I can find for this variety of Amaryllis is 'vittata'.
It's been confirmed by 2 well known and knowledgeable growers of antique bulbs,
so I am satisfied that I'm correct with the name.
Culture Notes:
I can tell you that I've been successfully growing this amaryllis for 10 years now.
Hippeastrum 'vittatum' does best in full sun to partial shade with a rich moist soil mix.
They enjoy full sunlight during the growing season and I put them outside.
This will vary with your climate. I live in Zone 3 USDA, but this will be different for someone living in SoCal!
When coming into flower, partial shade helps to bring out their brilliant colour. After the amaryllis has flowered, it should be treated throughout the rest of the year like any other house plant. I never have had to put it in a dark place to rest in order to bring it into flower. It's internal clock seems to know best!
Thanks for viewing, and Happy Gardening!

Friday, 29 January 2010

Dill - Anethum graveolens :: 2010 Herb of the Year

Celebrate this year’s Herb of the Year ~ Dill! 
Dill is a member of the parsley family. It's similar to Fennel, and is an annual plant that grows to a height of approx. 4 feet tall. It's a strong smelling plant with yellow flowers that develop those lovely fruiting umbels. Dill grows well in a sunny spot with well drained organic soil. Any soil suitable for growing vegetables will be just perfect. Dill's common use is for flavoring pickles and for it's preserving properties with fruit and vegetables. The leaves make a great garnish, chopped onto meats and veg dishes.
Seeds should be planted ¼ - ½ inch deep and thinned to about one plant every 12 inches. The seedlings can be transplanted if one is careful, so they can be started indoors in Spring before the last frost. Bouquet matures in about 60 days. When harvesting seeds from Dill, hang the cut stems upside down in bundles with paper bags tied over the flower heads. Make sure to leave some dill flowers on to get a constant supply of the seeds!
Recommended Temperature Zone: USDA: 5-10. Frost Tolerance: Hardy to -20°F (-29°C)
Happy Gardening : )