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20121018-221906.jpgOn November 24th from 10am till noon, I am pleased to offer a workshop on Holiday Wreath Making. This workshop will help walk you through the steps of designing and creating your very own custom Holiday Wreath.

Topics covered during the workshop will include:
– bow making
– ornament layout
– color coordination
– attaching objects securely to your wreath
– tips to make your wreath last all winter

A variety of sample wreaths will be on display for inspiration.

The cost of the workshop includes your 20″ mixed evergreen wreath, all ribbon, decorations and fasteners. Please feel free to bring any special items you want to include on your wreath. Light refreshments will also be served.

The workshop will be held at Innisfil Montessori Academy with a portion of the workshop profits going back to the school to buy books for their library. The cost of the workshop is $35 for a 20″ mixed evergreen wreath (square wreaths will be available for a $5 surcharge).

If interested please call myself to register. Spaces are limited.

Jodie – 705-828-2758

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National Tree Day Logo

September 21, 2011 was National Tree Day and to celebrate I visited with my friends at to teach them a bit about our friends, trees!

One of the first things we talked about was what trees do for us. Now for those not familar with IMA, the kids strong>range in age from 2 to SKso their answers were incredible! I had everythings from: “Give us shade” to “Give us water” to “Build furniture and toys” to “Grow apples” to “Paper!”. I was pretty impressed! We further discussed some of the things they might not have known come from trees, like the polymers for toilet seats, medicine, fibre for cereal, tires, or the additives in bubble gum! A quick look around their classroom and we were able to count a lot of things that came from our friends the trees! We also discussed how much oxygen is provided by trees, and the kids were excited to learn that just two trees provided enough oxygen for a family of four!

I had brought a pile of leaf samples, expertly pruned from my yard that morning, to show the different types and colours of leaves. We talked about why some leaves were green and some had changes colour, the different shapes and even identified our Maple Leaf! We then looked at the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees – relating them to Christmas trees in our home.

Once we had had a chance to have lunch with some yummy tree cupcakes!
Tree Cupcakes by J. Munshaw
Then we headed out to the school playground for the highlight of tree day. The students and I planted their very own Serbian Spruce.
New Tree at IMA
All the kids had a chance to add soil and mulch under the tree and stomp it in place. The result was a tree that will grow with the students and the school 🙂

The love of gardening can be started very young. I had earlier worked with these same children creating a vegetable garden at their school that was a huge hit! It is incredible how much the children grasp about the plants and love to interact with the plants.

There are many great resources online for gardening with children, but even simple steps like letting them have a small corner of your vegetable patch or their own flower pot can be a simple way to introduce them to this wonderful world! You’ll be amazed at how they amaze you! 🙂

One question I am often asked when I visit a new client is “How long will it take to transform my yard?”. The answer really depends on the size of the project but I think people are often surprised when then learn it can take as little as one day.

Take this front yard project for instance – the hardscaping was already in place when I met with the homeowners who had been wanting to put a plan in place to add some curb appeal to their home for the past few years.

Front Yard Before Transformation (Hardscaping already in place)

While speaking with the homeowners I learned about the style of landscaping they liked (a bit on the formal side), what plants they liked (ornamentals like Spiral Evergreens and Topiaries) and what their favorite colors were. We also discussed things like whether they liked rockery and how tall they wanted the plant material to be in relation to their front window (in this case the client wanted an unobstructed view out of their front window which we could easily accomodate with the right plant materials). The neighbourhood was also quite mature so we were able to look around at what other people had done for inspiration.

A Quick Look at my Notes

I mocked up a few ideas with the help of a garden hose, my clients standing in as trees and some basketballs to make sure we were on the same page. We then made an appointment to meet in a few days.

Armed with this information I headed back to my office and came up with a plan to add some planting and rockery that fit both their style and budget. I ensured that there was both color, scale (in terms of the house) and a balance of ornamental shrubs to give the homeowner a garden that would look great 12 months a year. I also addressed the downspout so that the old concrete splash pad could be disposed of and wouldn’t be an eyesore in the new garden.

The Plan! Note that all plants are labelled and in some case alternatives are given

Our second meeting was a visit to the garden center to select the plant material. By meeting my clients at the garden center they were able to see all the plants that would be part of their new landscape and make any changes incase a plant I had suggested wasn’t exactly to their liking. All specialty plants were selected and tagged right away assuring my clients that they’d get the EXACT plant they saw in the store.

Shortly after this meeting the crew from Humber Valley Landscaping was scheduled to be onsite to start the work. All the materials were delivered the morning of the job (soil, mulch, plants, stone) so that work could begin right away.

I met the crew bright and early with a can of paint and we laid out the plant beds before the beds were actually cut out. Once the beds were cut, I (with the muscle-help of the crew) then laid out the plant material. The crew planted the plant material, placed the armor stone, mulched the beds and watered everything in. The site was cleaned up and by the end of the day the job was complete!

We have left a small area in front of the bonsai to be planted with annuals each year that will allow the homeowner some creativety with their landscape and I have provided them with a list of suitable annuals (however at anytime they could change this area to a perennial planting or fill in the area with river rock if the task of annuals becomes too much).

So in eight short hours this home owner had a complete front yard transformation from a quick sketch to a newly planted front yard! The results are amazing and the homeowner was thrilled!
The Garden Transformation Complete!

When it was all said and done these words in an email from the client summed it up just perfect: “Jodie, The landscaping looks beautiful! Thanks again.”