Welcome to Grass Root Gardens

In CategoryGrass Root Gardens NEWS
ByAdministrator

WELCOME

Welcome to Grass Root Garden’s Website. We are proud to share with you our fantastic new look! Grass Root Gardens’ website was first introduced the spring season of 2002. It was developed as a tool to enhance the customer’s experience with our Organic Garden Centre and all it has to offer. Gardens evolve and change over time, so too the plants we grow. We thought it time to have our website reflect these changes. Our extensive horticultural background has given us tremendous insight into the gardening marketplace in North America and we use the same successful approach towards Grass Root Gardens® with quality, uniqueness, exclusive varieties and new and retold introductions.

Why Buy From Us?

  • Chemical-Free Garden Centre, Plants, and Seed.
  • 600+ varieties available.
  • New and exclusive plants and flowers for the landscape.
  • Assortment of Perennials, Annuals, Grasses, Shrubs, Vines, Hostas
  • Heirloom Fruits and Veggies for the Edible Garden.
  • A selection of outstanding varieties of merit and beauty.
  • Strong Industry Guarantee.
  • Stewards of our Planet.
  • Urban Farming Enthusiasts.

Customer Service Is Our Top Priority

Customer satisfaction is a top priority at Grass Root Gardens®. Our knowledgeable and experienced grower is always on premise to answer any questions about the plants we grow. We are there to guide you through your growing, planting and garden adventures. If you need assistance at anytime please call and we will gladly do our best to answer your questions in a timely manner. Can’t find the plant you are looking for? Perhaps we can find it for you.

Freezer Jam Workshop-Two Recipes, Too Easy!

In CategoryChild-Friendly Nature Projects, Grass Root Gardens NEWS, Ideas, Recipes
ByGrassRootGardens

Our second workshop of the season went off without a hitch. This time I remembered to pack everything on my list, including my wonderful husband Don. He was such a doll to agree to show us  how to create delicious freezer jam from scratch. Who knew it was so easy to make a jar of fruity, fresh, wholesome goodness? I will never buy store-bought jam again. We learned that in just a few minutes of  time and a few ingredients, we too could create our own jam!  Mom’s in the audience were quick to point out the ‘no cooking involved’ recipes would make this a deliciously fun activity to do with their children! Mom’s are smart that way lol.

Anyhow,within an hour Don whipped up three batches of  jam for us. Two strawberry and one blueberry –a total of fifteen 250ml jars! We enjoyed the workshop, Don was great, his flare for food entertained and enlightened everyone.  The night concluded with  a sampling of our jam atop warm sourdough bread.  Add to that a great cup of Colombian coffee. We be jammin now!

1. Strawberry Freezer Jam

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Strawberry-Freezer-Jam

Strawberry-Freezer-Jam

Tested till perfect

This recipe makes 6 serving(s)
Ingredients

*  8 cups cups(2 L)organic strawberries, hulled
* 1 1box light pectin crystals
* 3-1/4 cups(800 mL)organic granulated sugar

Preparation:

In large bowl and using potato masher, crush strawberries, 1 cup (250 mL) at a time, to make 4 cups (1 L). In small bowl, whisk pectin crystals with 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the sugar. Add to strawberries and stir to combine; let stand for 30 minutes.

Add remaining sugar and stir until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour into six 1-cup (250 mL) airtight containers, leaving 1/4-inch (5 mm) head space. Cover with lids. Let stand undisturbed at room temperature until set, about 24 hours. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 8 months.
Additional Information:

*

Variation:
Low-Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam
Crush 8 cups (2 L) strawberries as above. Stir in 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) sugar; let stand for 15 minutes. Stirring constantly, gradually add 1 pouch (45 g) Freezer Jam Pectin; stir for 3 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Ladle into five 1-cup (250 mL) containers, leaving 1/2-inch (1 cm) head space. Cover with lids. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 1 year.

Makes 5 cups (1.25 L).

Per 1 tbsp (15 mL): about 16 cal, 0 g pro, 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 4 g carb, trace fibre, 0 mg chol, 0 mg sodium. % RDI: 12% vit C, 1%

http://www.canadianliving.com/food/strawberry_freezer_jam.php

2. Blueberry Freezer Jam

From start to finish, this delicious small batch of jam can be ready to enjoy in 30 minutes.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: n/a
Servings: About 5 – 1 cup (250 mL) Jars
Ingredients:

* 4 cups (1 L) organic Ontario blueberries
* 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) organic sugar
* 1 45 g pouch of freezer jam pectin
* 2 tsp (10 mL) grated organic lemon peel

Preparation:

In large bowl crush blueberries to measure 4 cups (1 L)*. Stir in sugar. Let stand 15 minutes. Stirring constantly, gradually add pectin to the blueberries and stir 3 minutes longer. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in grated lemon peel. Ladle into 5 1-cup (250 mL) mason jars, leaving 1/2-inch (1 cm) headspace, apply lids. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or freeze up to 1 year.

* Instead of blueberries any fully ripe berries or tender fruit (Ontario peaches, plums or apricots) can be used.

http://www.foodland.gov.on.ca/english/fruits/blueberries/recipes/blueberry-freezer-jam.html

 

Spring Forward into Daylight Savings Time

In CategoryFlower Press, Grass Root Gardens NEWS
ByGrassRootGardens

Are you  ready to spring forward: Clocks will move ahead 1 hour to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday at 2 a.m meaning we’ll lose an hour of sleep. Not to worry though, this just gives us more time to play in the garden. Enjoy the sunshine!

 

A symbol of the Geneva, Switzerland, watch industry of world renown, the famous flower clock, located at the edge of the Jardin Anglais (English Garden), was created in 1955. It is a masterpiece of technology and floral art. The Flower Clock is the pride and glory of the city, honouring the importance of the watchmaking industry as well as the skilfulness of its gardening team. It changes every year to accommodate the seasonal colours and requires around 6500 flowers, trimmed to the millimetre by horticultural specialists. Formerly only decorative with its sole dial comprising over 6,500 flowers, the new millennium provided it with decisive artistic dimensions thanks to the ingenuity of the gardeners of the Service of Green Spaces and the Environment.

Created in 1955, the clock has been captured through the lenses of millions of cameras every year. In 2002, because the sidewalk in front of it was not wide enough for tourists to capture the whole picture without being run over by passing cars, it underwent minor surgery and resurfaced with a new and more modern look. The seconds hand of Geneva’s Flower Clock is the largest in the world (it is more than 2.5 meters long).

 

The floral clock was truly enchanting. It had 12 divisions for the hours, and each hour would see the flowers in one of the divisions open or close. People who knew how it worked could leave their wristwatches at home when they visited this garden. A flower clock is a working timepiece. Floral clocks, as they are sometimes referred to, are public clocks, set in prominent locations, that not only display the time but the beauty of the season through the planting of flowers. Therefore at night time flowers are closed but with sunrise they open their heads. Round-the-clock schedule of petals movement is result of irregular growing of upper (inner) and lower (outer) their sides. If upper side grows faster then petals opens out and flowers opens. On the contrary, more fast growing of lower surface leads to deviation of petal inward and closing of flower.

 

However, there are flowers that open only at night, among them sweet-scented tobacco (Nicotiana alata), enotera, night beauty. This effect related to the fact that they are pollinated by night insects. Flower clocks are good only during sunny weather, during cloudy days they lie. Periodicity of opening and closing of flowers and inflorescences depends not only from nature conditions but from place of plant vegetation. Many plants have a biological clock, which regulates the time of day that their flowers open and close. For example, the flowers of catmint (Nepeta cataria) – also known as catnip – open between 6am and 7am; orange hawkweed follows between 7am and 8am; field marigolds open at 9am and varieties of Helichrysum wake up for 10am. Other varieties follow, with Convolvulus opening at noon.

As a part of beautiful landscape, flower clock brings us pleasant feeling at Wayfaring Travel Guide

.

Happy Holidays!

In CategoryDesserts, Grass Root Gardens NEWS, Recipes
ByGrassRootGardens

It’s that time of year again, the red, green, and white time of year called Christmas! Where everything glistens and sparkles, and the smell of cinnamon, chocolate, orange, and peppermint waltz through the air. For many of us it is one of the most blessed days of the year celebrated with family and friends. A time to give thanks, to reflect on what we have and what we could do better. A time for peace and goodwill, gift-giving and good food.  Christmas season with all its many traditions is also one of the busiest times of the year and no wonder, the to-do list is endless. Families with young children are particularly hurried with homework, school activities, concerts, trips to see Santa, shopping, baking, cleaning and cooking. Would we have it any other way? Never! Could we pare it down some, enough to smell the mistletoe? Absolutely or should I say I hope so!

This year I decided to give it my best shot paring down the list. First I had to make a few choices, like do I really need to spend a gazillion dollars to have a great Christmas? Will Aunt Ida really care  that I baked one less dessert or that my usual formal dinner is buffet style this year? Do I really need to iron ALL the linens, clean every nook and cranny? Will my benefactors appreciate a less than glitzy store bought gift? I don’t know but I will soon find out. If they love me ha, ha,then they had better love my gifts!

So here it goes, I’m going to list them as I make them or when time permits. Remember I’m going for nice, easy and stress-free while reducing my carbon foot print this holiday season so please be patient with me.  Like ‘somebody’ once said “there’s always next year”. Seriously though most of these recipes, gifts, and projects can be applied and/or adapted to suit any time of year.

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Chocolate Crackle-Cookies

Preheat oven to 190′C (375′F)

Makes 4.5 dozen cookies

  • 1 package  Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 15ml. (1 Tsp.) water
  • 75ml. (1/2 cup) Crisco
  • Icing sugar

Blend together dry cake mix, eggs, water, and Crisco with a spoon. Drop batter by 4 ml. (1 tsp.) into icing sugar. Coat well and roll into balls Put onto greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.

I like to add vanilla, chocolate chips and coconut to the second batch for an extra rich taste. Replace the chocolate with chocolate mint chips for a whole other flavour!  I picked up some inexpensive cookie tins from the dollar store to add a festive touch. The great thing about tins is that they are so easy to reuse or recycle once the goodies are gone. Next year I may rethink my containers to incorporate a more natural look or maybe hand-paint recycled cardboard boxes. This year I’m sticking with the tins, they fit my theme and will look cheery and colourful in my gift baskets. Plus I hadn’t planned to make my own gifts this year until a few weeks ago so I’m sort of in a time crunch  before Rudolph comes calling!

Chocolate-Crackle-Cookies-How-To-Make-9GrassRootGardens | Grass Root Gardens
Chocolate-Crackle-Cookies-How-To-Make-6GrassRootGardens | Grass Root Gardens
Chocolate-Crackle-Cookies-How-To-Make-5GrassRootGardens | Grass Root Gardens
Chocolate-Crackle-Cookies-How-To-Make-3GrassRootGardens | Grass Root Gardens
Chocolate-Crackle-Cookies-How-To-Make-5GrassRootGardens | Grass Root Gardens
Chocolate-Crackle-Cookies-How-To-Make-8GrassRootGardens | Grass Root Gardens

 

 

 

Peanut-Free Granola Bars

1/2 cup peanut butter or sunbutter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil (or another oil of your choice)
1 cup oats

Peanut-Free-Granola-Bars-How-To-Make-6GrassRootGardens | Grass Root Gardens

1 cup of any combination of:  sesame seeds, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds,dried fruit, mini chocolate chips

  • In a medium sized saucepan, melt together peanut butter/sunbutter, honey and coconut oil.
  • Remove from heat and add one cup of oats.
  • Choose your favorite combination of coconut flakes, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, dried fruit and mini chocolate chips, to equal a total of ONE CUP. Pour into oat mixture and stir well.
  • Spread mixture into an 8×8 or 9×4 pan.
  • Chill for two hours, cut into bars. For quick snacks on the go, wrap each bar separately in plastic wrap.
  • Peanut-Free-Granola-Bars-How-To-Make-2GrassRootGardens | Grass Root Gardens
    Peanut-Free-Granola-Bars-How-To-Make-3GrassRootGardens | Grass Root Gardens
    Peanut-Free-Granola-Bars-How-To-Make-1GrassRootGardens | Grass Root Gardens
    Peanut-Free-Granola-Bars-How-To-Make-4GrassRootGardens | Grass Root Gardens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Meilland’s ‘Peace’ Rose

In CategoryGrass Root Gardens NEWS, Roses
ByGrassRootGardens

The ‘Peace’ rose was introduced to the world in 1945. Today this is one of the most popular roses in the garden and cut flower trade with over one-hundred million sold as of 1992.  Much of the success of this beautiful rose lies in its perfect form, fragrance and colour; Large flowers, light yellow to cream color, slightly blushed at the petal edges with crimson-pink.  For me it is the history of its origin that captured my heart.

In 1935 at the age of 23, French horticulturalist Francis Meilland, developed a hybridized tea rose known at the time as #3-35-40.  In 1939 as war began in Europe, Meilland foresaw the impending invasion of France and secretly sent cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany, and United States to protect the new rose. Rumor has it, that it was sent on the last U.S. plane out of Europe before the German invasion, to Conrad Pyle Company where it was successfully propagated during the war. For over five years, because of no communication due to the war, Meilland had no knowledge of what happened to the rose. It survived its clandestine journey under three separate names. In Germany- ‘Gloria Dei’ (Latin for glory of God), in Italy ‘Gioia’ (Joy), in the United States ‘Peace’ and in France, Meilland named it ‘Madame A. Meilland’ in memory of his dear mother. The latter name is recognized as the true cultivar while the others are the commercial names.

The variation of the commercial name ‘Peace’ was announced by the Conrad Pyle Company on April 29, 1945. Interestingly, on the same day that Berlin fell, which is also the day officially recognized as the end of WW2 in Europe. Later that year the ‘Peace’ rose was given to the delegates at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco with a note which read “We hope the ‘Peace’ rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace”.

It’s remarkable that sixty-six years later the ‘Peace’ rose is still the most enduring and beautiful hybrid tea rose on the market. Unfortunately world peace is still so elusive to our world today.

peace-rose

Nothing is more precious than peace. Peace is the most basic starting point for the advancement of humankind.

~Daisaku Ikeda

Peace rose image by Firegodess1-photobucket

Three Cheers to 2012!

In CategoryGrass Root Gardens NEWS
ByGrassRootGardens

Wow, it has been quite some time between posts, I’m awfully sorry about that!  It was not my intention to be gone so long, but you know how life is, sometimes it drifts in other directions if only for a moment. I may have been gone for a bit, but you were not forgotten.  Closing up the greenhouses, covering perennials in thermal blankets and prep work for the 2012 season is hard work. Fun for me because I love what I do but hard just the same. Grass Root Gardens has been a one woman operation the last few years and I have become a ‘Jill of all trades’. Soup to nuts, I do it all. Probably not a good thing but there you have it!  The economy has taken a beating, road closures and detours in front of my business due to municipal and federal infrastructure forced me to cut expenses. I trimmed my inventory as much I could without affecting quality however that was not enough so I had to let my employees go. Hopefully the economy picks up for everyone so that I may relinquish some of my duties and rehire. On a good note I have been assured by the government that my road will NOT be blocked this year. Fingers crossed on that one because Grass Root Gardens just could not take a third year of road closures!

Thankfully I’m an optimist, any gardener can tell you this is one our most endearing qualities, so what’s a few obstacles, right? Pull up the boot straps, again and carry on. As my grandmother used to say “life is good if we don’t weaken” so three cheers to Grass Root Gardens as it embarks on its ten year anniversary in 2012 and cheers to you for coming along for the ride, I could never have done it without you.

Peace On Earth card

Give me love, give me peace on earth, give me light,

give me life; keep me free from birth,

give me hope; help me cope, with this heavy load,

trying to, touch and reach you with, heart and soul.

~George Harrison

The Journey from Seed to Harvest – Sweet Pepper ‘Marconi’

In CategoryGet it Growing, Organic Vegetable Plants, Seeds
ByGrassRootGardens

Well the journey from seed to harvest this year regarding peppers was long and often times uncertain due to weather conditions. Too cold, too much rain and lack of sunlight slowed the peppers greatly. Many farmers across Ontario had to plant a second crop of peppers this year to make up their losses and to have peppers for you the consumer.  There were many days I spied black trays of dirt praying for any signs of life. It wasn’t until late May when sprouting began in earnest and some varieties didn’t sprout until June, a few didn’t germinate at all.  Next year I will start the peppers 30 days earlier than this year. Oh it’s the farmer’s life for me,  I wouldn’t want to do anything else, so if waiting a few more months for peppers has to be – so be it. All the more sweeter!

 

According to the Marconi seed cultural notes Marconi is an Italian heirloom prized for extremely sweet, large red fruits. Plants produce 3-lobed tapered blunt-tipped fruits that measure 3″ at the shoulder and up to 12″ long. Excellent for using green, in fresh in salads, and also for frying. 70-90 days from transplant.

My Observations

Some peppers were ready for harvest September 17th, 2011. There are four more plants with dozens of unripened peppers as of this date. I would suspect they need another four weeks to harvest. Normally from seed to harvest these peppers should take 150-160 days but this year they needed a longer growing time at 210-240 days. Proving 2011 was a poor year for peppers in Windsor Ontario, at least for my Marconi’s. Long red Cayenne peppers seemed to do just fine.

 

Sowing the Seeds 2011

In CategoryGet it Growing, Grass Root Gardens NEWS, Seeds
ByGrassRootGardens

 

Fall Gardening with Ornamental Grasses

In CategoryDeals, Fall, Get it Growing, Grass Root Gardens NEWS, Ornamental Grasses
ByGrassRootGardens

A fall garden is not complete unless you have at least a few ornamental grasses. Partner them with other fall blooming perennials and shrubs for dramatic results and eye-popping colour.

In this picture-mums, asters, sedums, kale, and fountain grass grass. For less than 100.00 this garden could be yours. Grass Root Gardens would love to help you select everything you need to make this garden happen. Plant it once to enjoy for years. Sure its an investment, but think of what you spend on annuals per year-its a bargain! And..you don’t have to water and fertilize it constantly like the annuals. I don’t know, why plant every year if you don’t have to. Just saying..

Fall Gardening with Ornamental Grasses
Fall Gardening with Ornamental Grasses

Love Ornamental Grasses? This Book’s for You!

In CategoryFall, Get it Growing, Grass Root Gardens NEWS, Ornamental Grasses
ByGrassRootGardens

You know what I like about this book on ornamental grasses? Everything! Whether you use it as a reference book or a casual read as a coffee table book, bored you will never be. Durability-wise it holds up nicely, the designs are before their time, thus never out-dated. I’m giving this book 5 green thumbs up.

From the moment I picked it up in 2002 I loved it. The photography is exceptional, and photographer Saxon Holt captures the breathtaking beauty of ornamental grasses in the landscape and garden in extraordinary ways. From cover to cover the author Nancy J. Ondra presents outstanding garden design showcasing the versatility and splendour of grasses for any garden setting. Discover unique ways to combine other garden plants such as perennials and shrubs with ornamental grasses to bring out the best in your garden year round.

Light, wind, texture, movement, drama, grasses do it all. To every home and commercial landscape embracing these lovelies there is joy in knowing very little maintenance is required to keep them at their best. One snip in the spring, amend the soil with organic matter, water and you are good to go for another year! So what are you waiting for-plant your grass today. You will love it..and the book too!

Excellent Book on Ornamental Grasses
Excellent Book on Ornamental Grasses-Versatile Partners For Uncommon Garden Designs

For more info and stunning photos..

Fall is the perfect time to plant a garden!

In CategoryFall, Get it Growing, Grass Root Gardens NEWS
ByGrassRootGardens
Fall Gardening

Fall is the perfect time to plant a garden

Seasoned gardeners realize that fall is the perfect time to garden and not just for bulbs. There are a number of benefits to planting in the fall.  First, the weather is agreeable and the rainfall is generous. Fall is the time in which the plants focus on their root system rather than flowering, therefore, being very strong by the time spring comes when they are ready to flower. Basically you gain a whole year by planting in the fall. Secondly, the spring garden will grow in more fullywith the root system well established. And fnally the layout of the garden is clearly seen in the fall and the gardener is not left guessing at what was in that space! This allows planting and filling in with more confidence about the desired results.

Grass Root Gardens will help you plan your fall garden, assist in plant picks and answer your garden questions.

 

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