Category: Gardening

The First Ever Studio Garden Hop

Garden HopToday I am hosting the first ever Studio Garden Hop.

Creativity lives everywhere, including in our green spaces. It’s been a delight for me to share my garden with you through tours and the #goodmorninggarden series on Instagram.

Now it’s your turn!

Share your garden, your green space, your plant table, your hanging baskets!

Share a blog post, a video, a slideshow, whatever you like.

Here’s My Garden Tour

Add a direct link to your garden tour.

The post will be open throughout this week until so there’s plenty of time for you to create what you’d like to share! Invite your friends too! Let each of these links be like a magical pathway for us to discover one another’s gardens.


Coming Sunday: The First Ever Studio Garden Hop

Garden Hop

This Sunday I am hosting the first ever Studio Garden Hop.

Creativity lives everywhere, including in our green spaces. It’s been a delight for me to share my garden with you through tours and the #goodmorninggarden series on Instagram.

Now it’s your turn!

This Sunday, share your garden, your green space, your plant table, your hanging baskets!

Share a blog post, a video, a slideshow, whatever you like.

On Sunday May 24th, I’ll put up a post with a place for you to leave a link to your “garden.”

It will be like a magical pathway for each of us to walk and discover one anothers gardens.

JRS Garden Hop Badge

Here’s a badge for you to include in your post as a participant.

I can’t wait to see how your garden grows!

Unboxing: Spring Plants for the Garden

It’s spring in the garden and it feels like Christmas!

This year for the garden I decided to stop relying on whatever the buyer my local garden centre happens to order and instead branch out into the possibilities of what I can order online. Somehow I stumbled across Botanus, a mail-order gardening company guided by three women and three values: Care ~ Inspire ~ Grow. I signed up for their newsletter, watched some of their YouTube videos and decided I was going to give ordering a try. I wanted to share with you the excitement of opening up the box and discovering treasures within!

Here’s a list of my spring plant order – don’t peek if you want to be surprised on the video!

Acidanthera bicolor murielae
Astilbe japonica ‘Deutschland’
Astrantia major ‘Star of Billion’
Athyrium niponicum ‘Metallicum’
Cafe au Lait Giant Dinnerplate Dahlia
Claire Austin David Austin Rose
Helleborus orientalis ‘Double White Pearl’
Hemerocallis ‘White Temptation’
Philadelphus ‘Snowbelle’

I’ll be sure to keep you updated about how things grow.

Keeping a Gardening Journal

Now that spring is truly here, I find that my studio extends right out into the garden. I still can’t quite believe how gardening has crept up on me as an interest.

The seeds were planting when I was young and my mom would walk me in the stroller and as we’d pass things say, “Oh, there are some hyacinths.” “Look at that forsythia. Isn’t it pretty?” Now I find myself insisting my husband walk around our little patch so that I can do the same with him. “Oh, honey, did you see this? That’s a hydrangea.” “Look, the tulips came up!”

Now, as I tend to my own garden, perhaps the most significant thing I’ve learned is to stay with and believe in larger projects, to trust that little by little with care and effort, things will develop and grow. This gives me a sense of peace, hope and patience – which is particularly great because the latter is not one of my best qualities!

As I admit to myself that gardening has simply and surprisingly become a part of my creative life, I was delighted to find a way to combine it with another favourite creative practice: journaling.

Ready for the Garden

Garden Gnome

Finally the temperature is above freezing and the snow is starting to melt. Like my gnome friend here, I’m ready to get out in the garden. I’m itching to take #goodmorninggarden photos, witnessing sprouts turn into stems and leaves and flowers. I’m curious to see whether my parrot tulip bulbs made it through or whether the squirrels had a feast. I’m looking for the daffodils I planted in honour of my mom. She planted them under our backyard trees in Montreal. I felt like I was in the wild woods when I was beneath them. I long for that feeling again!

The only thing that’s helping me with my restless desire is planning for the season ahead. I recently discovered  Botanus and indulged my love of white flowers with a big order from their stores.

Here are some of the new treasures that you’ll be seeing in my In the Garden with Jamie videos this year!

Acidanthera Bicolor Murielae: Its beautiful shape made this an immediate yes for me. I can already imagine drawing the clean and curving lines. Apparently they have a wonderful fragrance too! I’m so excited that they come in a package of 25. Imagine the impact!

Astilbe japonica ‘Deutschland: My mom didn’t like astilbes at all, but I’m quite fond of them. They bring a lovely feathery flower to the shadier parts of the garden. I had one that ended up living with my neighbour when our fence was installed, LOL! Now it’s time for a fresh planting.

Astrantia major ‘Star of Billion’: How could I not get something called “Star of Billion”? It felt predestined when I heard about this plant for the first time on a gardening show in the morning and the catalogue arrived in the afternoon! I look forward to seeing those stars!

Athyrium niponicum ‘Metallicum’: What a dramatic fern – the colours, the textures! What a treasure I imagine it will be!

Cafe au Lait Giant Dinnerplate Dahlia: Ever since I went out for dinner at the Rectory on Centre Island and they had huge dinner plate dahlias as a centrepiece, I knew I wanted to have some in my garden! I grew dahlias for the first time last year and haven’t mastered the art of removing them from the garden and storing them but maybe with this beauties I will!

Helleborus orientalis ‘Double White Pearl‘: I love, love, love green-white flowers. They feel so fresh and new, almost liminal. Plus it’s exciting to have shade plants that bloom.

Philadelphus ‘Snowbelle’ or, as I know it, “mock-orange” : I have one in my garden but its health has been waning. The mock-orange is a deeply meaningful shrub to me. I have loved it since I was a little girl when my mom planted it outside my little brother’s bedroom window so that he could enjoy the scent of it on spring mornings. I will always, always want one in my garden.

Hemerocallis ‘White Temptation’: One thing I’m not very good at in the garden is having a place for something before I bring it in. (I’m not very good at it in the house either, LOL!) This is the exception. I have the perfect spot for these hardy, re-blooming perennials! I do seem to be learning to plan for a full-season garden instead of focusing, as I usually do, on my fierce love of spring! These beauties will be at their best in mid to late summer, which has been a little quiet out back.

Claire Austin David Austin Rose: This was the big splurge! I’m not generally drawn to roses but wow, I couldn’t take my eyes off these. Imagine the photos from bud to bloom, a gradual unfolding of beauty. I can’t wait!

What are you looking forward to in the garden this year?


Sunshine Inside: Bringing Geraniums In

Geranium Indoors

On Monday’s Behind the Scenes I shared that I had recently learned that you can bring your garden geraniums in for the winter. So many people responded with delight that I thought I’d do a bit of research and share more about how you can bring your summer beauties in for the winter.

Fall Geranium

This gardening adventure started with reading Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton. In one little sentence, May mentions bringing her geraniums in for the winter. I stopped in my tracks. “You can do that?” Every year I buy friendly, beautiful red geraniums for our little front garden. I’d be delighted to enjoy their beauty again – maybe even all year long!

So, the first thing I did was go grab a big clay pot from the basement and dig one of these beauties up. I shook away most of the soil (and hopefully any potential little friends) and repotted with some fresh potting soil. I didn’t do any research. I just thought I’d give it a go. I left her outside for a couple of days so the change wasn’t too drastic. Then I brought her into the kitchen, which tends to stay cool, and on Monday I brought her into the studio. So far, so good.

Potted Geranium

Now, it turns out there are a few approaches that you can take to keeping your geraniums and I’ve found some videos that help with the basics.

Bringing Geraniums In to Enjoy for the Winter

This demonstrates and affirms my simple approach of moving your plant from the garden to the container. I’ve taken this approach with one of my geraniums so that I can enjoy it all year. I only have one room with enough light to sustain this beauty and so I may try a different approach to the others.

Overwintering & Cutting Back Your Geraniums

Ouch! I had read about how much you have to cut back your geraniums to prep them for overwintering but wow! This video helped me feel confident in how much to cut and how to do it well. I’m a bit hesitant to do this because I want to get as much enjoyment out of the plant as I can. If my continuing research is right, you can leave the cutting back until late winter, when the plants are getting a bit leggy anyway, and then they’ll be ready for the spring. I’m leaning towards that approach. And heck… if you’re going to cut, why not make cuttings?

Taking Geranium Cuttings

As I looked through videos for how to take geranium cuttings, there were rather a lot of different opinions! I shared the one that included the most complete information from someone who is clearly expert at dealing with this particular plant. However, I did find this next one did the best job at demonstrating how to actually cut and prep your geranium cuttings.


I’ve been feeling a little sad about gardening season coming to a close. Bringing these plants into the studio and considering making cuttings for the first time, leaves me excited to be on the next gardening adventure! I hope you’ll join me in exploring ways to keep our garden love alive all year long.

May Sarton & Geraniums