Lasagna garden

My dog, Kahlua, in her new backyard (Photo by Carys Richards/NCC staff)

My dog, Kahlua, in her new backyard (Photo by Carys Richards/NCC staff)

This summer I purchased a house, and alongside the responsibility of being a first-time home owner came the excitement of having my own yard to create a garden in. When I took possession of the house, the backyard looked a lot like this: flat and...

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Saving the bees: Plants to help our buzzing buddies

American bumble bee (Photo by K.S. Gardener/iNaturalist)

American bumble bee (Photo by K.S. Gardener/iNaturalist)

Humans have a very delicate relationship with bees. Despite their importance, many of us fail to understand just how much bees impact our daily lives — and how much we’re putting them at risk. Canada has over 850 native bee species,...

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Support local biodiversity by avoiding invasive plants in your garden

Winged euonymus (Photo by John Ruter/University of Georgia/Bugwood.org)

Winged euonymus (Photo by John Ruter/University of Georgia/Bugwood.org)

With gardening season upon us, the warm weather brings hope that your favourite plot of soil will be better than it was last year. At the Invasive Species Centre, we have one request as you mull over your garden plans for 2019: please avoid the...

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Gardening with native plants this spring

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

I love to garden. I excitedly begin planning for the next year as soon as the autumn chill settles over the prairies. I’m always impatient for spring to arrive, and it doesn't help when the seed catalogues start arriving in November. I find...

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Combating invasive species in a globally rare habitat

Leaders in Conservation in Carden Alvar, ON (Photo by NCC)

Leaders in Conservation in Carden Alvar, ON (Photo by NCC)

On a hot and humid day this past summer, I visited Carden Alvar in Ontario with a group of Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) Leaders in Conservation. We meandered through the forest and stepped onto the limestone plain alvar, which stretched on...

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Three ways to get closer to nature

Busenius Property, AB (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)

Busenius Property, AB (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)

Canadians are more disconnected from nature than ever before. We spend more and more of our time indoors, and a large per cent of us live in an urban setting away from large natural areas. We’re losing touch with the natural world, one that...

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Leave those leaves on the ground

Tuliptree leaf in fall (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

Tuliptree leaf in fall (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

As a child, I heard somewhere that if you catch a leaf as it falls from a tree, it’s good luck. So, naturally, I spent most autumns staring up at the huge trees in the conservation area behind my house, waiting patiently for a leaf to dance...

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Why I'm getting rid of my hostas

Hostas at my cottage (Photo by Dan Kraus/NCC staff)

Hostas at my cottage (Photo by Dan Kraus/NCC staff)

I love going to the cottage. We have a little cabin nestled between a hill and a lake near Algonquin Park, in the heart of Ontario’s cottage country. There are so many things I love about this place. Water, moose and amazing autumn colours....

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Something old, something new

Tending a community garden (Photo by Bob Nichols/US Department of Agriculture, Wikimedia commons)

Tending a community garden (Photo by Bob Nichols/US Department of Agriculture, Wikimedia commons)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been enchanted with the magic of gardening. The way I see it, gardening has the power to give life and mark new beginnings, turning something old into something new. Better yet, there’s nothing like...

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It's the little things that matter

Miner bee on wild strawberry (Photo by Marika Olynyk/NCC staff)

Miner bee on wild strawberry (Photo by Marika Olynyk/NCC staff)

A trip to the cottage is often a reminder to stop and enjoy the small things in life. And the small things can be rather small indeed. On any given summer day, we are surrounded by thousands of pollinating insects going about their business. The...

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