Although this may sound shocking to some and possibly enticing to others, the Naked Ladies in my garden are a welcome arrival at this time of year. It is not so much that they are truly naked, they are just minus their leaves. Naked Ladies, Autumn Crocus and Meadow Saffron are all common names for a bulb-like corm called Colchicum autumnale that produces leaves in the spring and flowers in the fall. Over the summer the plant appears dormant but by late August or early September it starts pushing up beautiful mauve flowers with 6 showy stamens, all atop white stems. Colchicumautumnale likes organically rich, well-drained soil and sun to part shade conditions. https://onrockgarden.com/index.php/plant-of-the-month?view=article&id=92:colchicum-autumnale&catid=22
This is a sentimental plant for me as years ago I dug up the corms from my grandparents’ garden. I remember they were still a mass of blooms at Thanksgiving. But as much as they mean to me, they can be a garden design challenge. The leaves that are produced in spring grow a good 25-30 cm and then go through a bit of a collapse as they die off. At that point you are left with a hole. The flowers grow to be about 15-20 cm tall and could easily be overwhelmed by larger plants around them. I have my most favourite site for them at the base of a Witchhazel shrub which is close to a garden bed edge. There are a few rocks surrounding the area where the plants are sited and otherwise, I leave the area bare. The photo I have included is a previous arrangement but I found the leaves in spring overwhelmed the Heuchera, so the heuchera have been moved out a bit. The other photo shows the leaves in spring.
You may find corms for sale in the fall or perhaps you know someone who wants to divide up their clump. They can easily be divided every few years and speaking for myself, I am happy to share. The ladies in my garden are trouble free and never disappoint.
At this time of year, it is difficult to get excited about spring when we know what must come first … fall then winter! However, late summer is exactly the time to think about spring bulbs because they must be planted in the fall in order to bloom the following spring.
As with all plants, you need to take into consideration the amount of light needed, soil and moisture requirements. Most bulbs require full sun to part shade, well drained loam soil and watering when dry. Note that bulbs may rot when over-watered.
Some sources suggest adding bone meal to the planting hole. Bone meal adds phosphorus to the soil which may encourage bulb growth but may also harm some of the other beneficial soil constituents. It is prudent to test your soil first.
Plant bulbs with the pointed end up and to a depth of 2-3 times the diameter of the bulb. You may sprinkle blood meal over the planting site or cover with chicken wire to discourage squirrels and chipmunks from digging them up.
Plant your spring flowering bulbs any time between September to December … as long as you are still able to work the ground.
Spring flowering bulbs are lovely in a formal garden as well as in more natural settings. For naturalization of spring bulbs, please see Bulbs for Naturalizing.
Now the really fun part, what to choose! Check at your local nursery to see what they have in stock and/or what they may be ordering in. Choose large, undamaged bulbs. It is also likely that your favourite on-line supplier carries spring flowering bulbs. I would suggest that you do this well before you plan to plant to ensure that you are able to get what you want.
Tulips – We are all familiar with the large colourful, showy tulips. Their blooms may be cup shaped, fringed, double or ruffled. This fall, I plan to plant some, new-to me species tulip bulbs. While species tulips are smaller than the tulips that we are most accustomed to, they are colourful, very hardy and have a more open flower.
Hyacinth – You can not beat the magnificent fragrance of hyacinth blooms in the spring. They come in several colours, single or double and are accompanied by strong, strappy leaves. Hyacinths also produce nectar so provide food for some of our early foraging pollinators.
Narcissus – The spring flowering bulb, in the genus Narcissus, is more commonly called a daffodil. Bloom colours range from bright yellow to cream to white and combinations of these colours. Daffodils are cheerful flowers. I always smile when I see them especially in a natural setting.
Crocus – Crocus “bulbs” are actually corms. What is the difference??, check here. These are probably the first of the fall plantings that you will see in the spring. Crocus blooms are tube shaped and come in various colours. The plant is low growing and does well when naturalized.
The above are some of the more often seen spring flowering bulbs but there are more. Please see Landscape Ontario for additional suggestions.
A riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Winston Churchill’s famous quotation is the way that I as a novice dahlia grower feel about this subject. So many variations exist. Can they all be correct?? The answer to this mystery seems to be fine tuning a storage method to suit your own situation, which means some trial and error. So, expect some losses at first.
When to dig? Conventional advice says to wait for the frost but this year’s fine weather made other alternatives a consideration. Dahlias originate from the mountains of Mexico where the fall is semi-arid. It is the lack of water that causes the plant to go dormant. Here that happens either with a killing frost or by cutting the plant down. Both cause the onset of dormancy and once begun, the tubers underground start to set “eyes”. Leave the tubers in ground for 1-2 weeks before digging (this also helps the thin skinned tubers to toughen up, which helps them store better).
Divide now or in the spring? This is entirely personal preference. Dahlia are easier to split in the fall as the stalk hardens over winter. However, the eyes are easier to see in the spring. If you choose to split in the fall, tubers will need washing and drying before splitting. For plants being overwintered as a clump, knock off excess soil and let dry before storing. Some sources conjecture that the fine covering of soil helps to protect the tubers from shriveling over the winter.
Successful dahlia storage is a balance between the right temperature range and the relative humidity. Ideally, dahlias should be stored around 45 to 50 F and at a RH of 75-85%. The method you use should try to ameliorate the conditions you are storing in. For example, the dryness of the air in winter in Ontario means that shriveling of tubers is more of a problem than rot. Use of a packing material such as vermiculite or wood shavings can provide a more stable environment, absorbing excess moisture when necessary and giving back when needed.
Specifics of various techniques are referenced for your information. I have decided to try 3 methods. I am going to split some this fall and store using the saran wrap method as well as in vermiculite in plastic tubs. I will also leave some in clumps with a slight covering of earth, pack in vermiculite in a large plastic tote. I lean towards the plastic tubs as my basement in quite dry in the winter so am concerned with moisture retention. Don’t forget to check your tubers over the winter and remove any ones with rot or spritz with water if they appear to be shriveling.
Spring bulbs are one of the most rewarding of garden plants. For very little maintenance, they show off their grandeur year after year while announcing the arrival of spring and a strengthening and more powerful sun.
“The more, the merrier” is my motto when it comes to bulbs. From snowdrops to crocus to daffodils to hyacinths to tulips, they all provide a show in the garden for very little effort, and they chase away the late winter browns. You likely have more room for bulbs than you think because you can plant them underneath perennials and shrubs that will hide the bulb foliage while it is dying down in late spring.
Spring bulbs are planted in between September and frozen ground during the year previous, and they spend the winter underground preparing for their showtime when the snow fades away. You’ll find bulbs of all types for sale in that timeframe at your local nursery centre, in supermarkets and in big box stores.
The secret to being able to plant more bulbs each year in the fall is to know what you have growing already and where. This spring: take pictures and more pictures so that you know where these reliable soldiers are and you can then avoid shoveling into an existing clump this summer.
Pictures are also helpful when it comes time to divide those happy but oversized clumps of bulbs. When the flowers begin to decrease, it’s time to divide and replant. The best time to do this is when the foliage has browned in late spring. Dig up the clumps, being careful to dig deep enough so as to not slice them into pieces by mistake. Replant a few immediately and store the rest in a dry place until the fall.
An alternative to pictures is to come up with a “bulb marking system” — I use green metal miniblinds to mark my bulbs. Unfortunately, the miniblinds do travel sometimes so I need to reinstate them in the spring if that has happened. The markers are a visual reminder that although it appears later in the summer that a particular location is bare, it is not and you’ll avoid having to replant those spring beauties.
If you purchased forced bulbs in the supermarket in February (like paperwhites, daffodils or tulips), these can be planted out into the garden that same year. After the greenery has died back, store them in a dry place until the fall and then plant them with other purchased bulbs.
For autumn planting: Choose the site for your new bulbs and prepare the area with compost and bone or blood meal. I usually plant 5 or 6 in a group initially for tulips, daffodils and smaller bulbs like crocus.
If squirrels and chipmunks are bothering your tulips after planting, try cutouts of 1″ chicken wire planted into the soil just above the bulbs. The bulbs will happily grow through the mesh next spring but the critters can’t dig past the wire mesh.
If squirrels are bothering your tulips in the spring, try daffodils instead. You could also try planting allium bulbs with your tulips as they emit an odour that the critters do not like. Other suggestions are some raw onions cut up and scattered around the bulbs or tall chicken wire cylinders, even if they are unsightly. Might be worth a try.
Lastly, you may also choose to embark on a squirrel-feeding program during bloom time to discourage the striped and bushy-tailed rodents from munching on your blooms in favour of yummy peanuts. Be aware, though, that this may actually encourage more squirrels to your buffet!
Exploring gardens around the world makes the winter pass so much faster
By Emma Murphy, Master Gardener
I have the February blahs. Although I am absorbing each minute of our ever increasing daylight (when it’s not cloudy!), I’m craving lush greenery and blooms anywhere I can find them. I spent part of yesterday looking through some trip photos to Florida from 3 years ago where I visited just about every botanical garden and specialty garden I could find – it was heaven!
So..the solution..virtual garden tours! So many wonderful botanical and famous gardens have adapted to not being able to have guests by launching virtual tours or live broadcasts from their locations since the pandemic. Here’s a few of my favourites.
Time to travel around the world from your living room. (additional links at the end).
Keukenhof, The Netherlands
Built in 1641, the Keukenhof Castle (west of Amsterdam in the Netherlands) and estate is more than 200 hectares. In 1949 a group of 20 leading flower bulb growers and exporters decided to use the estate to exhibit spring-flowering bulbs. 2021 will be the 72th edition of Keukenhof, with A World Of Colours as its theme. Check out their virtual tours and the initial invitation by Managing Director Bart Siemerink in March 2020.
Claude Monet’s Garden, Giverny, France
Over 500,000 people visit painter Claude Monet’s famous gardens each year (so glad to be one of them in 2018!). There are two parts to the garden – the Clos Normand flower garden in front of the house and a Japanese inspired water garden on the other side of the road (where he completed his Water Lilies painting series). Enjoy a commentary alongside a video tour of the famous garden, including the wonderful lily pond. More info here.
National Trust’s Hidcote Manor Gardens, England
The National Trust site allows you to take a 360-degree tour around the old garden, plant house and spectacular red borders of these Arts and Crafts-inspired gardens in the rolling Cotswold hills in Gloucestershire.
Scotland’s Garden Scheme
One of my favourites. Established in 1931, it helps garden owners across the country open their private gardens to the public to raise money for charity. The properties range from cottage gardens to stately homes; allotments to therapeutic and physic gardens; and formal gardens to wildlife sanctuaries. There are more than 100 tours to look at here.
Australia’s Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Further afield in Australia’s Blue Mountains just outside Sydney, artist Trisk Oktober’s steep, cool temperate gardens in Katoomba are transformed into a living artwork. I visited the nearby Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens in 2010 and it was magical. It’s also the only botanic garden within a United Nations World Heritage Area.
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawaii
Located on Hawaii’s Big Island, the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden includes not only a garden but a nature preserve. If you need to zen out and feel like you are on a tropical island, this is the tour for you. And this one.
Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, USA
Closer to home across the border is Longwood Gardens, consisting of 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows. It is the living legacy of American entrepreneur and businessman Pierre du Pont, inspiring people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education, and the arts. The Our Gardens, Your Home initiative is their way of keeping gardeners connected.
There are so many more virtual garden tours going on around the world.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, Virginia, USA
On my bucket list when we can travel again, this video gives you some of the highlights to see. The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew has 37 acres of woodland, 14,000 trees and 50,000 different plant species.
Wisley Gardens, Surrey, England
The Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley in Surrey (south of London), is one of five gardens run by the Society, and top of my list of gardens to see. Check out their website, and also they have a great collection of videos on YouTube.
If you’ve found a great virtual garden tour please share it with all of us in the comments! Spring will be here soon!
As I type this, we in central Ontario are in the midst of a burst of spring-like weather, and it’s supposed to continue for a few days yet. It gives us all a second chance to finish fall chores not completed when the snowfall and killing frosts hit in the last few weeks.
If, like me, you failed to get all of your tulips and daffodils planted, do not worry. As long as you can get a shovel in the ground it’s OK to plant spring flowering bulbs. Some pros suggest they actually do better if planted when the ground harbors a bit of frost, so take advantage of those late season sales and plant away. Also, by planting later, you may experience fewer issues with squirrels stealing your bulbs. The arrival of snow doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance, either. If the ground hasn’t completely frozen yet, you’re in luck, even if you have to break through the frozen crust first.
If you regularly find that squirrels munch on your buffet of bulbs, you may wish to purchase some “chicken wire” at your local co-op store. Cut a small round circle about the same size as the hole you’re going to dig. Plant the bulbs at the recommended depth, and then cover with some soil up to about 2″ from the surface. At that height, plant the chicken wire, and cover over with a bit more soil and mulch. The added benefit of the chicken wire is that should you forget where you planted tulips next summer after their foliage has died back, the chicken wire will be a good reminder when you hit it with your shovel. The bulbs will happily grow through the 1″ holes in the wire next spring.
An amazing purchase of mine a few weeks ago is a small cordless drill auger attachment. It works wonders to create just the right size of hole for my bulbs, with very little effort. Mine is only about 6″ tall and makes about a 2″ hole. I move it around a bit to make the hole just big enough for 5-6 bulbs. Worth the $10 investment, for sure.
Remember: Bulbs are not seeds. They are alive and need to be planted in the fall. They will not last in storage — or that sack on a shelf in the garage. They require somewhere between 13-14 weeks of sub-zero temperatures before they’ll bloom next spring.
So what do you do if you find a bag of bulbs in January? There is a method of bulb planting that can work even during the coldest winter. It’s called the “no-dig” method. Simply move the snow away from your chosen location and place your bulbs on the frozen ground. Cover them with a bag or two of garden soil to a depth of three times the height of the bulb, and that’s it! The bonus of this method is that the soil above the bulbs will likely freeze quickly, and squirrels won’t harvest half of your crop. This method also works in areas where there are so many roots that digging a hole for bulbs is challenging. Try it!
Nothing compares to walking through a garden in spring with the heady scent of hyacinths wafting through the air! Hyacinths not only have an incredible fragrance but they also have beautiful blooms and glossy green strap-like leaves. Their wonderfully scented flowers provide early nectar for pollinators. They bloom in spring (mid-March – early May) and their flowers come in a rainbow of colours. Another great thing about hyacinths, they are deer and rabbit resistant. For more, check here Hyacinth.
We are all familiar with tulips but did you know that there are now so many varieties that you may plant a tulip garden that begins blooming in early spring and may continue into June depending on the planting location and variety. Tulips too come in a multitude of colours and shapes … some are also fragrant. Unfortunately, squirrels and chipmunks appear to love the taste of tulip bulbs so try covering them with chicken wire, or try sprinkling the planting site with bone meal or chicken manure, to keep the little critters away. For more, check here Tulips.
Daffodils, also known by the fancier name narcissus, are long lived often continuing to appear each spring at old homesteads well after the original inhabitants have moved on. They too come in many varieties with different flower shapes and colours including yellow, white, red, orange, green or pink. Daffodils will grow in sun or shade and naturalize amazingly well. Also good to know that daffodils are not of interest to squirrels or chipmunks and, when planted interspersed among other more susceptible bulbs, may help to keep rodents away. For more, check here Daffodils.
The diminutive Muscari, or grape hyacinth, are not a variety of hyacinth although they are in the same family. Muscari also readily naturalize. Because of their small size, plant lots for the best spring show. For more, check here Muscari.
Snowdrops are another diminutive plant that will be the first bulb to bloom in your garden perhaps even through the snow as their name suggests. For more, check here Snowdrops.
Alliums bloom late spring to early summer so a bit later than many of the bulbs already discussed. Their unusual flowers can be quite striking as their globe shapes nod in the breeze. Don’t be surprised if you purchase an allium to find that they are usually sold singly and may be more expensive than many other bulbs. For more, check here Alliums.
Most spring flowering bulbs are planted in the fall (September or October) before the ground freezes.
Purchase the largest, best quality bulbs that you can find. Large bulbs have lots of food energy for the emerging plant which will result in strong stems and large flowers. Avoid bulbs that appear to be soft, damaged or discoloured. Check on the product package to make sure that you have chosen bulbs that will grow in your zone. If you don’t know your gardening zone, find it here Canadian Gardening Zones
Plant bulbs in full sun (6-8 hours/day) to produce the largest blooms and strong straight stems. However, many will flower in light shade … blooms may not be as large and stems may not be as strong.
Follow the package directions for planting your bulbs.
Bulbs need time after blooming to store energy for the next year. To remove the dead leaves, either snip them off at the base, or twist the leaves while pulling gently.
Some bulbs will not flower as robustly the second year eg. hyacinths. Some gardeners treat these as annuals, removing the bulbs after flowering and planting fresh bulbs each fall. Note that many bulbs are toxic so store them appropriately so that your pets or little people are not able to access them.
Plant them now! A spring garden with a mixture of different bulbs looks lovely! Plant bulbs along a path or close to your home’s entrance to be able to enjoy their dramatic scent. They will also add a burst of colour to your perennial garden before other early flowers are up. A mass planting of spring flowering bulbs will make a bold statement in your garden!
Happy Thanksgiving! While we navigate through this pandemic, we hope that you will be able to enjoy some happy moments in a safe and healthy environment. The colours have been beautiful this year and I have marveled at the many different shades of red, orange, yellow and green that still exist in my small urban backyard.
Thanksgiving reminds me that it is time to plant garlic for next years’ harvest. Here is a ‘Fact Sheet’ that I have put together for those who might be interested in planting this very easy to grow root vegetable.
Garlic is part of the Onion Family (Alliaceae) and although there are hundreds of varieties, they all fall under two main categories; Hardneck and Softneck.
Hardneck have a long flowering stem called a scape which eventually develops tiny bulbils at its top end. They usually have a single row of cloves and tend to do best in colder climates. They peel easier than softneck but do not store as long. They last approximately 4 to 6 months.
Softnecks are best for warmer climates, will last 9 to 12 months and have more than one row of cloves in each head. They do not develop a flowering stalk or scape. Softneck garlic are the type that are used to make garlic braids.
Elephant Garlic (Allium ampeloprasum) is a type of leek that is grown like garlic, but is 6 to 7 times bigger and has a milder flavour.
Full sun and well-drained soil with infrequent watering.
WHEN TO PLANT:
In the Peterborough area, October is the best month to plant your garlic. It can be done in early spring but you will produce a larger harvest if done in the previous Fall. Do not use garlic from your local grocery store as it may not be the best variety for your region and it’s often treated with an anti-sprouting chemical to inhibit growth. I purchase my garlic from my local nursery or Farmer’s Market and I also use my own garlic that was harvested in early August.
HOW TO PLANT:
Separate the inner cloves but do not remove the papery covering. Plant the largest cloves with the pointy end up. Space cloves five to six inches apart and two to three inches deep. You can mulch with straw, but I always mulch the garlic bed with shredded leaves which will be plentiful in the next couple of weeks.
I have never had any garlic concerns; however, my daughter did deal with the leek moth this year. Adult moths lay their eggs and the hatched larvae tunnel into the leaves. She was able to keep it under control by going out each morning and removing the leaves that were encasing the larvae. If you have the space, it is always best to rotate your garlic each year.
Garlic produces a garlic scape which appear on hardneck varieties, usually in June. They look a little like green onions that spiral and have a small bulbil at the end (which looks like a small hat). They should be cut once you see the spiral or they will become tougher the longer you leave them. Cut it at the base where it comes out of the stalk. Chop them up and fry with a little olive oil or they can be made into garlic scape pesto. It is wise to remove the scapes even if you don’t plan on eating them. This allows the energy to go back into growing the underground bulb.
You will know your plant is ready to harvest when two to three sets of the bottom leaves have died or turned yellow. Do not leave them too long as the bulb will begin to split. Gently pull out the bulbs with a garden fork.
Garlic needs to be dried. Gently remove the dirt and trim the dangling white roots to approximately 1 cm. I tie my garlic together in bunches and hang it in my shed to dry for two weeks. Keep it out of direct sunlight and ensure it doesn’t get wet.
Once dried, clean gently. Trim the long stalk off and store in a cool dry area. Garlic does not like to be refrigerated. You could also store them in empty egg cartons.
If you would like to learn more about growing garlic, read this extensive article from the Ontario Ministry.
Definitions of “spring” and “ephemeral”, curtesy of Merriam-Webster online dictionary, are “to come into being” and “lasting a very short time”. Two wonderful words, when used together, mean those lovely but short-lived flowers that we may see on our walks through woodland gardens or deciduous forests at this time of year!
My list of favourite spring ephemerals includes:
Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) – Of course, this native plant comes to mind first. It is Ontario’s official flower but not Ontario’s only trillium … there are four other native species. Trillium grandiflorum produces one large, white, three-petaled flower above three, simple, broad leaves. The flower fades to pale pink as it ages. Red seeds are produced which are mainly dispersed by……ants! Seeds germinate slowly and take 4-5 years to become a mature flowering plant. Plants grow to reach 30-45 cm (12-18 in.) high, prefer moist rich soil and dappled shade.
Dog-toothed violet (Erythronium americanum) – These pretty little native flowers grow from a corm. They are small, just 15 cm (6 in.) high but their bright, yellow flowers stand out and along with their spotted leaves (hence their other common name “Trout Lily”), are one of the earliest spring ephemerals to appear. They prefer rich, moist but well-drained soil and part to full shade.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) – If you remember your high school latin, you will recognize where Sanguinaria originates when you learn that all parts of this native contains an orange/red juice. The Latin sanguinarius means “bloody”. S. canadensis is the only species in this genus. It produces a white flower, that may be tinged in pink, and has deeply lobed, flat leaves. It prefers part to full shade and well drained, moist, rich soil but seems to survive in varying soil conditions. This plant will grow under your black walnut tree! S. canadensis grows 15-30 cm (6-12 in.) high and spreads through rhizomes.
Mayapple (Polophyllum peltatum) – Mayapple makes a great groundcover. It grows up to 45 cm (1.5 ft.) tall and produces one white flower which appears under it’s umbrella-like, multi-lobed, two leaf foliage in late spring…..a single leaf means no flower and no fruit. The leaves and root are poisonous as is the immature green fruit. Only the mature yellow fruit is edible. This plant spreads through rhizomes, prefers light shade and moist, rich soil.
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema tryphyllum) – Where do I start; this plant has a very interesting flower …. the spathe is the most conspicuous part. It is a hooded, tube-like structure and houses the spadex which is a spike and is where the actual flowers are located. Clusters of bright, red berries form in the fall. It grows 30-90 cm (1-3 ft.) tall and prefers moist, rich, slightly acidic soil and part to full shade. Jack-in-the-pulpit grow from corms.
Next time you go for your woodland walk look for the spring ephemerals. Their appearance signals that warmer weather is coming very soon! Let the gardening season begin!
Many nurseries now carry native plants and some specialize in natives. Just be sure to ask about the origin of the plants that you are buying, you are looking for plants that have been nursery propagated not harvested from the wild.
“Thank goodness the seed catalogues have arrived… I was about to start cleaning my house!”
It starts with the dream.
There’s no better time than now to dive into a good seed catalogue and start planning for the upcoming growing season. Seed catalogues can be a great resource for bulbs and unique seeds, and offer a far bigger selection than what you can find in your local garden centre. You’ll find inspiration and will likely discover new plants that you must have in your 2020 garden.
You’ll be the most successful if you pick the seed companies that are closest to where you live, or in the same growing region as you. However, you can still have success ordering from a company farther away, but you’ll have to be careful not to order a plant that isn’t in your growing zone.
Below are some popular seed companies from across Canada, with some that are also in close proximity to the Peterborough, ON, area.
Whether you are an avid gardener or just beginning to get your hands dirty, Florabunda Seeds in Keene, ON, has a wide variety of heirloom and unusual flower, vegetable and herb seeds. They pride themselves in their untreated, non-GMO, and non-Hybrid offerings. They package generously by measurement and not by seed count. Download catalogue. Request a catalogue.
OSC Seeds from Kitchener, ON, features a selection of high-quality seed packets, perfectly suited for the Canadian climate and ready for planting in your garden. Their full line of products includes 30 herbs, 250 vegetables, 240 annuals and 100 perennials & biennials. Request a free catalogue
William Dam Seeds
William Dam Seeds is a family-run company located just outside of Dundas, Ontario, supplying small farmers and gardeners in Canada with seed for food, flowers and soil building. They are proud to offer a varied catalogue of many different seed varieties that are not chemically treated, and some of the seeds are certified organic as well. You can download their online catalogue, or request a mailed copy via their contact page.
Natural Seed Bank
Natural Seed Bank is an online retailer of garden seeds. They sell various organic and untreated garden seeds. Located in Port Hope, Ontario, Natural Seed Bank is 100 percent Canadian owned and operated. All of their seeds are non-GMO and untreated, and many selections are organic. They’re committed to never selling GMO products.
Richters is your go-to for everything herbal. Located in Goodwood, Ontario, Richters has been growing and selling herbs since 1969. Check out their online catalogue or request a copy to be mailed out. Online catalogue. Request a catalogue.
Veseys is one of the premier seed, bulb and garden supply sites in North America. Located on Prince Edward Island, Veseys has 75 years of history providing products, services, and advice to gardeners. Be sure to head over and subscribe for your free catalogue. They put on many fantastic specials, have quality products and outstanding customer service. Request a catalogue.
Shifting Roots – a blog from the prairies offering a good list of seed companies