Gardening 101: Gardening On A Budget

gardening on a budget

If you’ve been putting off improving your garden because you think it will be too expensive, here’s some good news:  gardening on a budget is possible!

All it takes is a little planning, patience and perseverance. Here are a few tips to help you on your way:

  1. Start from seed:
    gardening on a budget
    You can start many flowers, vegetables, herbs and other popular plants from seed.  Granted it will take a little longer to get that full, mature looking flowerbed, but it also brings a great feeling of accomplishment when you look out onto a bed with healthy plants you grew from scratch!
  2. Plant and divide:
    gardening on a budget
    When you do buy plants, you get a good bang for your buck when you buy perennials that will multiply allowing you to divide them in subsequent seasons to populate other areas in your garden, or swop with friends.
  3. Shape and shift:
    You don’t have to cover your entire landscape with plants. Creating an interesting mix of beds, ground cover, lawn and unplanted areas creates great visual interest. Unplanted areas can be covered with gravel, rock, mulch or even stepping stones, driftwood or sculptures to provide texture and drama.
  4. Repurpose, Recycle, Upcycle:
    Container Gardening gardening on a budget
    Use your imagination and repurpose old items sitting in your shed or garage. An old wheelbarrow can become a flowerbed.  An old tire can become a fountain.  Look with new eyes at the possibilities.
  5. Shrubs and Trees:
    Using beautiful shrubs and trees can provide ‘anchors’ in the garden. Choosing just one or two to add to your garden each season needn’t break the bank, but can add colour with seasonal flowers or interesting foliage.
  6. Elbow grease:
    Keeping things trimmed and cleaning up dead leaves, weeds and unruly branches doesn’t cost anything except some time and energy and it can make your garden look immaculate!
  7. Let there be light:
    Adding a few solar lights, or outdoor garden lights can add that final touch of pizzazz that will make your landscape an interesting and fun place to be day and night.  Just make sure that they placed or hung neatly. There’s nothing that creates an air of neglect like lights hanging haphazardly or bulbs that don’t work.

January In The Garden


JanuaryThe weather this winter has been pretty brutal! January in the garden has its challenges and chores and as soon as it warms a little – and hopefully it does – there are a few things to take care of.

Hopefully you’ve already protected vulnerable plants from the snow and ice and spread a good layer of mulch around the roots.  With the storms we’ve had, you might have had some damage to branches and it’s a good idea to cut of broken bits to prevent disease later on.

If the winter continues in this crazy cold fashion, you might not be able to do all that much outside other than some basic clean up, but, you can plan for the spring and summer.


Grab a nice cup of hot coffee, a sketch pad and a pencil and begin to dream your best garden plans now.  You’d be surprised at how quickly spring comes around.

If you’d like some inspiration for that dream garden, especially if you want it to be waterwise, check out these plans. Then make a list of what you’ll need to move and what plants you’d like to see.  Pay attention to creating colour and texture during all the seasons of the year. If you get stuck, or aren’t sure where to start,we’d be happy to help you.

garden tips JanuaryIf you like to start plants off from seed, now’s the time to start getting those seeds – we have a good selection from West Coast Seeds, so be sure to check those out.

Here is an article that will help you with information about how to start off your seeds and here’s an article that gives you information about how to transition your seedlings to the outdoors.

If you really can’t wait to get your fingers into the soil and begin growing something, consider starting an indoor garden.  You can grow edibles and flowers as well as the usual houseplants.

Although you might not get much done outside during January, as you can see, there’s plenty of gardening to be done!

Keeping On Composting During Winter

DIY Compost winter

winterComposting has many benefits. It’s a pity to let it lapse during the Winter.

Composting is good for your garden. It’s good for the landfills because you’re minimizing what you put into them. It saves money – you don’t need to purchase compost!

It can be a bit of hassle developing the composting habit, especially come the winter months, but it is worth it.

The two main components that go into composting are:

  1. Organic, dry material such as dry leaves, hay, wood chips, straw, cardboard and paper
  2. Organic wet material such as food scraps, tea leaves, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels, grass clippings, fresh leaves. (No dairy or meat should be added.)

These two main components combine to supply the necessary elements for the composting process: carbon and nitrogen.  Composting needs 1 part nitrogen to 3 parts carbon.

During winter you’ll mainly be dealing with the nitrogen component provided by the ‘wet’ material.

When it’s cold and it’s wet, the last thing you want to do is traipse out to the compost bin with your food scraps, open it up the bin, put the scraps in and then turn the bin.  That’s enough to put anyone off composting!

Instead what you can do is to take your food scraps, chop them up if necessary and put them in a plastic bag in your freezer.  When the weather warms up, you can simply take out the bags a few at a time, let them defrost and then put them into the compost bin.

This way your composting habit will be reinforced, your compost bin will quickly get back in production and your garden will thank you!  So will the landfills!


Making A Christmas Wreath And Garland

Christmas Wreath Christmas Wreath and Garland

It’s time to get your greens on!

Christmas greens on your door and mantle that is!  Here are a few videos from our friends at Garden Answer which demonstrate very nicely just how to make a Christmas Wreath and Garland.

How to make a Christmas Wreath:


How to make a Garland:


Remember – we have all the fresh greens you need plus lots of trimmings to make the perfect Christmas wreath and garland! If you prefer to buy these ready made, we have them here for you!


Keeping Your Holiday Plants & Greenery Looking Great


You go to a lot of trouble to make sure that your home is bright and welcoming during December. Part of that is adding plants and greenery as part of your holiday decor.

HolidayThere’s nothing brighter and more quintessentially a Christmas plant than Pointsettia.  Keeping it looking good – or even keeping it going so that it’s alive and well for the following year takes a little attention.

First of all, make sure that you don’t forget to water them frequently, but, whatever you do, don’t allow the pot to stand in water. Remove the tray underneath so the pot can fully drain. Pointsettias come from warmer, dryer climates so they like to be warm and dry – cold feet aren’t good for them! Make sure they get plenty of light. They especially like sunlight.

Christmas Greens HolidayEvergreen Christmas wreaths and garlands.  When you purchase the ‘fixings’ to make your Christmas wreath and garlands, choose the freshest possible.  Soak them in water overnight before you make them up.  This helps them to absorb moisture and stay fresher longer. You can also gently mist them every few days to maintain them even longer.

Amaryllis HolidayAmaryllis makes a delightful show at this time of year and they’re popular as hostess gifts too!  Because they’re bulbs you can enjoy them for years to come with just a little care.  Water sparingly – perhaps every 3 to 7 days. Don’t let them get too cold. If they freeze they will die.  When the blooms fade, cut them off to encourage reblooming.  Keep them in a pot as they prefer this to being planted in the ground.

The Evergreen Hedge – Without Conifers!

gardening tips

In B.C. we love to use conifers to provide an evergreen border to our property, but, what about mixing it up a little for more visual interest?

Evergreen Hedge

The key to a great evergreen border is to not insist that everything be evergreen.  That might sound like a contradiction, but stay with me here…

Take a hedge / border that incoporates evergreen boxwood (you can use the single green or variegated variety) teamed with ornamental grasses, red Japanese Maple and Rhododendron.

The Boxwood and Rhododendron provide a solid anchor giving privacy while the ornamental grasses and red Japanese Maple provide color, texture and architecture.

Boxwood and Rhododendron are evergreen and don’t normally lose their leaves here on the West Coast.  Red Japanese Maples do lose their leaves.  They provide height and visual interest throughout the year – first with the foliage and then with the bare branches.

Ornamental grasses can be added between or in front of the Boxwood, Rhododendron and Japanese Maples providing softness and movement.

Throw in a Goldy™ euonymus as an inner border along the edge of the hedge for added pizzazz. This is a very versatile and showy, glossy gold-leafed plant can be used as a ground cover, climber, or even a small shrub.

Voila! An evergreen hedge with colour and interest!  Plus, it’s low maintenance!

Fall Or Winter Gardening Projects For Kids

Tanglebank's History

Just because it’s getting colder doesn’t mean that you can’t entertain and educated kids with gardening projects.

Because kids have short attention spans and like instant gratification it’s a good idea to do a variety of projects – some with immediate payoff and some where they’ll learn patience as they wait for results.

Here are a few ideas to keep kids busy and engaged:

Immediate results:

    1. A miniature garden / fairy garden
      Both boys and girls will enjoy putting together a miniature garden if you gear it to their interests.  Here are some suggestions:
      – fairy garden
      – leprechaun garden
      – hotwheels garden
      – dinosaur garden
      – a beach garden
      There are no limits when it comes to miniature gardens. The requirements are fairly simple. You can purchase fairy garden accessories from us and you can also utilize your child’s own toys.  All you need is a a suitable container, potting soil, your container plants of choice and the accessories.
    2. A indoor herb garden

    1. An indoor planter using plastic bottles

    1.  A worm farm


Planting patience: teach your kids about the virtues of patience while you teach more about how nature works with these projects:

  1. Plant bulbs for spring flowers
  2. Container indoor vegetable garden
  3. Planting seeds

Fall Foliage For Fall Colour

fall container gardening 1

Perhaps your garden doesn’t yet have a good mix of colour for all seasons.  No problem.  Bring colour into your landscape and around your home by planting Fall colour containers.

Fall is a beautiful season so why not enjoy it to the fullest?

There may not be too many colourful flowers at this time of year, but you can still create a show by combining plants with colourful foliage, texture and shape. Look for plants with interesting bark, berries, shapes and foliage. When it comes to containers, you’ll find lots of choice for colourful Fall foliage.

Here are a few ideas for plants that provide colour:

  1. Heuchera – there are many varheucheras fall containerieties, each with its own distinctive coloured foliage. Although they dies down somewhat in winter, they can still provide colour and are pretty hardy.  They work well in containers paired with ornamental grasses.
  2. Heucherella Brass Lanterns – similafall containerr to Heuchera, their rich warm bronzy orange colour can add a glow in a Fall container
  3. winter heather Fall ContainerWinter heather – while heather is normally planted directly in the ground, small winter heather plants in containers can add an element of bright colour.
  4. Fall ContainerVariegated ivy – provides a softness as it drapes over container edges.  Ivy is extremely hardy and will winter well.
  5. Ornamental grasses – the beauty of ornamental grasses isFall Container that they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours.  They add movement, texture and interest to containers. There are varieties that show well in winter – ask your garden center for advice on which will work best in your specific situation.
  6. Bergenia Bressinghawinter interest plants Fall Containerm Ruby which is great in both spring and winter.  It has pink flowers in early spring but in winter the green glossy leaves turn rich red.
  7. Skimmia RubellaSkimmia Rubella is a small shrub that will also do well in containers. It boasts beautiful clusters of deep red buds in September right through to March when the buds open to reveal creamy pink fragrant blooms.

To get the best results from your Fall container gardening, here are some tips on the planting process

If you are not sure how to choose compatible container companion plants, our friendly and talented horticulturalists can help you by offering suggestions and laying out these suggestions in groupings so that you can see what they would look like in a container.

They’ll also be happy to give you information on how to take care of your containers so that they continue to provide visual interest all year long.

What’s In Store – Gift Giving Guide


Tanglebank Store is the home of unique, special and coveted gifts for everyone on your list.


Here are just a few of the wonderful gift choices in store:

gourmet vinegars giftgourmet preserves giftGourmet Vinegars and Preserves

Thymes Frasier-FirThymes Frasier Fir gift






The ever popular Frasier Fir from Thymes – Fragrances, Candles, Soaps and more

Thymes GingerbreadThymes simmered cider










Mistral soaps for menmistral-soap-black-amber

Michel Design Works Into the WoodsHome fragrances, soaps, candles and more from MichelDesignWorks










Cucina by Fruits and Passion












Decor for the season:








from IngeGlas, Christian Ulbricht and more

christmas decor gifts

Inge Glas Ornaments1









Handbags, jewellery and scarves:

handbag gifts







Plus Rogers Chocolates for everyone!









And plenty for the kids as well:

giftsbooks giftsmaileg-rabbits







Maileg Doll House Furniture







Paper Whites and Amaryllis

paper whitesAmaryllis Holiday







Remember to collect your Holiday Dollars and redeem them in December!

holiday dollarsAnd if you still can’t decide… these gift certificates suit everyone!

Tanglebank gift certificate

So many choices… so little time!