Garden Tips for End of February


It has been an exceptionally cold and snowy winter, but Spring is coming and it’s time to start preparing the garden.

garden tips

Although things are somewhat warmer now, the ground can still be pretty cold and hard.  Here are a few late Winter / early Spring garden tips to help it warm up:


  • Warm the soil by covering your beds with black plastic.  This will help capture warmth from the sun transmitting it into the ground underneath.  An added bonus is that it will help suppress weed growth.
  • Prepare raised beds or furrows to encourage the soil to drain away the abundant water that has accumulated during the winter. Raising areas you wish to plant also allows the sun greater access and allows the raised area to warm quicker than the surrounding areas.
  • Consider creating a cloche to create a warmer micro-climate that will allow you to plant earlier and reap later.  If you’re not familiar with the term ‘cloche’, you’ve nonetheless probably seen them around.  They’re simply a low profile plastic tunnel  formed by making a frame raised above the bed high enough to allow your plants to grow, then covering this frame with clear plastic.
  • If your beds are near or under trees or shrubs, prune them to allow more sunlight to fall on the bed.

Here are a few of the seeds you can plant outdoors at this time of year:

  • Peas
  • Fava Beans
  • Garlic
  • Cool weather salad greens
  • Spinach
  • Leafy Asian Greens
  • Radishes
  • Onions

You can also plant perennials such as:

  • bare root fruit trees and bushes

  • Cane fruits
  • Rhubarb crowns
  • Asparagus crowns
  • Horse Radish roots

Now is also the time to prune your fruit trees and spray them with dormant oil.

If you haven’t yet started seeds indoors that can’t be planted outdoors just yet, it’s a great time to get them going.  There are quite a few vegetables you can start indoors now for later transplanting.  These would include:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kholrabi
  • Kale
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes

It’s also time to clean up any winter debri and dead leaves.  Be sure to check that your shrubs and beds are still nicely covered with mulch.  If not, you’ll want to get that done as well.  Mulch helps protect roots in winter from the cold and in summer from excessive moisture loss.  It helps remediate your soil as well.  If tends to be clay like and retain too much water, it will help improve drainage.  If it is sandy and drains too quickly, mulch will help retain water.  It’s an amazing addition to your garden with multiple benefit.

Come in now to find out what seeds, seedlings and plants we have coming in so that you can plan for a spectacular Spring and Summer garden.  Novices welcome!  We have friendly professional horticulturalists who will be glad to help you with advice and practical know how!

Security in Seed Diversity

heritage vegetables

Many of us rarely spare a thought for the vegetables and fruit we eat.

We don’t ever wonder if the many crops that sustain our lives are under threat through shrinking seed diversity.

If the topic is ever mentioned, the first thought that usually comes to mind is ‘climate change’.  However, there’s another serious threat many of us have never heard of: the shrinking number of seed varieties available to farmers.  While some of this might be due to climate change over the past century, there’s no doubt that it’s also a result of corporate seed management.

In the pursuit of aesthetic perfection, lower production costs, longer shelf life and the profitability of farmers having to buy new sowing seed each season, many of the seed varieties known to previous generations have disappeared. A 1983 U.S. study on crop diversity concluded that 93% of fruit and vegetable varieties have disappeared since 1903… a space of just 80 years.

Concern has sparked a huge amount of interest in so-called ‘heritage seeds’, their propagation  and protection. Heritage seeds are varieties which have all but become extinct. You might have seen pictures of exotically coloured and formed vegetables that look quite different to those we buy from our local grocery store? Chances are they’re grown from this type of seed.

Where do these ‘lost’ seeds come from?

Fortunately for us and our children, concerned citizens and agriculturalists recognized the danger facing many of these threatened varieties and have been quietly squirreling away seeds in ‘seed banks’ for decades.  Probably the best known of these seed banks is the ‘Doomsday Vault’, deep in a frozen mountain,below the permafrost in Norway’s Svalbard, north of the Arctic circle.

This is not the only seed bank, or seed library. There are many throughout the world – at last count 1,750. The difference between the Doomsday Vault and the others is that most are regional, collecting and preserving seeds only from their own area.  The Doomsday Vault collects seed from all over the world.  Gary Fowler, co-founder of the Doomsday Vault describes it as a type of insurance policy for the world.

Many urban farmers and gardening hobbyists are making a point of not only growing organic produce for their own use, but also cultivating heritage varieties which otherwise would be lost to the world.  Growing your own food is extremely rewarding. Growing your own vintage fruits and vegetables takes the experience to a new level of sustainability.

More reading:


6 Of The Quickest Growing Vegetables

Flavors of Fall Hands On Cooking Classes

When you first decide to grow your own vegetables it’s always nice to see the fruits of your labour as quickly as possible, especially if you’re gardening with kids.


Here are some choices for vegetables that have shorter growing times:

arugula quickest growing vegetablesArugula: this is a fast growing plant wit a slightly peppery taste that’s used primarily in salads and it’s great as a pizza topping or alternative to basil pesto.  It takes less than 4 weeks for the leaves to be large enough to harvest. Best of all, it’s a cool season plant so it’s ideal for spring and fall and it can be grown in a container on your kitchen windowsill from which you can harvest leaves on an ongoing basis!

radish quickest growing vegetablesRadishes: these grow even faster and can be harvested in about 3 weeks from the time seeds are planted.  Radishes are also a good salad ingredient.  They enjoy cooler weather and you can either grow them indoors or start from seeds outside in a protected area.  Sowing radish seeds every 10 to 14 days will provide an ongoing crop.

turnips quickest growing vegetablesTurnips: another ‘no-brainer’ if you want an easy-to-grow, quick harvest which will be ready in just a few weeks.  Turnips are great in stews, soups and roasted.  You can eat both the leaves (which are rich in calcium) and the turnips themselves (which are rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin C).  They’re temperature tolerant though they prefer a cool garden, so you can grow these for the full growing season.

Mesclun Mix quickest growing vegetablesMesclun Mixes: this is a mix of salad greens that are easily grown, even in containers indoors, and are ready for harvest quickly and on an ongoing basis. By planting new seeds every 10 to 14 days, you’ll never run out of lovely, fresh salad greens!



kale quickest growing vegetablesKale: is a great salad ingredient and can be used in a variety of ways.  Kale leaves roasted in the oven make fabulous healthy snacks and are a great alternative to potato chips.  They enjoy cool weather and moist conditions and can be harvested quickly and for a lengthy period of time if you harvest the outside leaves.


broccoli raab quickest growing vegetablesItalian Broccoli: also known as Broccoli Raab has edible leaves, buds and stems.  It’s used quite a lot in Italian cuisine and has a slightly bitter flavour. It’s best to harvest the buds right away before they flower and to harvest leaves and stems when young and tender. Although it resembles broccoli in appearance, it’s actually related to turnips!  It’s another cool season vegetable though you can grow it longer by succession planting.  Some varieties will be ready for harvest in as little as 40 days with others maturing at 60 and 90 days.  You can plant seed directly in the garden.

These are just a few of the choices – feel free to come in and see what we have in stock.  Varieties may vary depending on what’s in season and available.






Upcoming Events 2017

2017 events

Upcoming Events 2017:

Please RSVP for ALL events


Elegant artistic foods & refreshing Limoncello in breezy garden patio lounges & socializing nooks
Listen and dance a little to Quieros band
Amazing Dancers
Artists in the Garden Paint-off

Tasteful living silent auction and art

Help us raise dollars for kids hands-on visual literacy and critical thinking arts and heritage learning

Early Bird tickets until August 19th: $100 per Reach Friend / $125 for Future Friend
Art Entourage of 8 Future Friends:$900
After August 19th $140 pp or Art Entourage of 8: $1000
Purchase at OR at The Reach at 32388 Veterans Way,Abbotsford


JULY 29, 2017 @ 10:00 am to 12:00 pm – MEMORIAL BUTTERFLY RELEASE
Memories Taking Flight…
Buy a butterfly to release in memory of the passing of a loved one. Then release it and enjoy watching it flutter through a summer garden at Tanglebank.
Children will enjoy getting their faces painted before releasing their own butterfly.
Afterwards, enjoy lunch or desert and coffee in the bistro or on the patio.Who:  YOU, Family, & Friends!
What:  Memorial Butterfly Release
Where:  Tanglebank Gardens
29985 Downes Rd, Abbotsford, BC
When:  July 29, 2017 @ 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Why:  To support the Abbotsford Hospice Society while paying respect to loved ones who have died.
Butterflies $25/each
Butterflies must be reserved in advance at more information and to purchase your butterflies, click here..





February 23rd 7pm – Girlfriends  Wine and Cheese Terrarium Night  
Cost is $20 (includes wine, cheese, soils, instructions and decorative touches)  Cost of plants and glass terrarium extra.  RSVP  by calling 604 856 9339 or come into the store.

March 17th  9am – 3pm St. Patrick’s Day Special Menu
The chefs will be cooking up some classic Shepherds Pie as well as. Delicious Guinness Short Rib Stew en croute.  (With a pastry top).   Of course we will have some classic Guinness or Baileys Irish Cream Coffee ☕️ to enjoy with your entree and it wouldn’t be complete without some special desserts as well.  Served 9am-3pm.

April 8th  10am – Spring container workshop Saturday
Create a beautiful spring container to welcome Spring using a combination of spring bulbs,annuals, perennials and more. Learn how to care for and change it over to a summer planting when the time comes.  Cost determined by the plants you chose.   Bring your own container or purchase one here.

April 15th 10am-12pm Kids Potted Plant and Easter Scavenger Hunt  – $10per child

April 18th  6:30 pm – Girlfriends Cheese & Wine String art Planting ‘ Kokedama’ Night
Learn How to make a Japanese Moss Ball
$20 plus cost of plant. All other supplies included.

April 22 10am – Kids Pop Bottle Terrarium  – $10 per child

April 29 10am – Moss Hanging Basket Workshop    Phone for prices.

May 13th Saturday 10am Kid’s Mother’s Day Workshop
Children can pot up a cute flower pot with flowers and decorate it for mom
Cost $5.00 per RSVP

May 14th  Sunday  9am / 11am / 1pm – Mother’s Day Brunch
Call for reservations and more info. Cost is $25 for adults and $15 for children 3-13 and 2 and under free.

Indoor Gardening Plant Choices

grow culinary herbs indoor gardening

Growing plants inside can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Which plants are best are really a matter of personal preference, but there are a few guidelines to bear in mind:


  • the size of the plants should be appropriate for the space in which they are being grown
  • group plants with similar requirements together e.g, lighting, humidity, temperature, watering
  • decide on the type of things you want to grow: fruits, vegetables, flowers, decorative plants, herbs etc. There’s no reason you can’t have multiple indoor gardens.

Some popular herb choices are:

  • Cilantro
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Lavender
  • Chives
  • Mint
  • Peppermint


Some popular vegetable choices are:

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Beans
  • Peppers

Some popular fruit choices are:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Dwarf Citrus
  • Dwarf Apples

Many flowers can be grown indoors as well including:

  • Begonia
  • Mums
  • Petunia
  • Marigold
  • Daisies
  • Pansies
  • Violets
  • Zinnia
  • Roses

lavender is a drought tolerant plant

Here is a link to an article we published previously on plants that are great to improve your indoor air quality and remove common toxins found indoors: “Plants that detoxify indoor air

Tip: Remember that indoor plants are grown in containers, and just like outdoor container plants, they tend to dry out quickly. Be sure to check the growing medium moisture level frequently. When you water the plants, use room temperature water.

Indoor Gardening – Growing Mediums

indoor gardening growing medium

As we discussed in Getting Started With Indoor Gardening, growing plants inside is not only a way to enjoy fresh fruit, vegetables and greenery throughout the winter months – it’s also a great way to obtain a healthier indoor environment year round.

When it comes to growing mediums, outside soil is not the best choice. It can be contaminated and it’s very heavy. Fortunately, there are a few other options available that you might want to consider.

Organic Indoor Potting Medium

You’ll want to choose a potting medium that drains well and doesn’t clump up and get hard. It should also have enough organic composition that it can hold enough moisture to nourish the roots of the plant and provide enough nutrients to maintain healthy growth. You will find the right potting medium at your local garden center.


Hydroponics is another option available as an indoor growing medium. This option will take more setting up and therefore cost more than an organic potting medium. Hydroponics is a technique whereby you grow plants in a water rather than soil based medium.

Some people prefer this method for growing fruits and vegetables as the nutrients are more readily available to the plants. The other advantage of growing plants hydroponically is that you don’t need as much space.

Here’s a video showing a DIY PVC pipe hydroponic set up:

In our next article we’ll discuss the most popular plants for indoor gardening.

Getting Started With Indoor Gardening

bring the outdoors in

Winter can be a long, dreary, grey time of year when your garden seems to be a complete non event. Besides planning ahead for a gorgeous winter garden, you can turn those green fingers to another pursuit… indoor gardening.


Indoor gardening provides multiple benefits:

  • organic fruit and vegetables direct from plant to plan
  •  welcome greenery when all outside is grey
  • air cleansing – as we discussed here


It’s a fascinating hobby and it doesn’t take much space. If you grow your own produce, it can also pay for itself! It’s also perfect for people with not much indoor or outdoor gardening space as it doesn’t need to take a lot of room.

Here are some typical indoor gardening spaces:

  • windowsills
  • near glass doors and windows
  • kitchen counters or on top of cabinets
  • bookshelves
  • decorative shelving units
  • tables

In fact anywhere there’s a bit of space and enough light is probably good for growing something… just be sure that the floor underneath is protected from any water spills and overflows!

Here are some tips to help you have a successful indoor garden:

Make sure there is enough light. In the winter months, especially in northern climates like ours, even a window may not provide enough light exposure and your plants may not thrive.


The good news is that gardening supply stores have special grow lights that supplement the available natural light. These lights provide exactly the right kind of light for plant growth. Be sure to check that you purchase the correct type of grow light for the plants you’re growing. Compact flourescent lights are also a good option and they’re more energy efficient than the High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps. They can be used for most plants.

Most grow lights come with instructions on placing the light so that it is the correct distance from the plant. You’ll need to run the light for roughtly 14 – 16 hours per day for optimum plant growth. Less than this and you’ll find the plant won’t flower or produce fruit.

You can see when the plant is not getting enough light because the color will be off. Greens will be a little yellow. You’ll also notice that it is growing lanky and thin as opposed to nice healthy bushy growth.

Here’s a video that discusses the various grow lights:

Temperature control.

In most instances 18 degrees Celcius to 24 degrees Celcius is the optimum temperature for plant growth.

Humidity control.
Most plants require a reasonably humid climate. In winter with the heating on, even when it’s rainy, the air can dry out. If you notice that the plants leaves are turning brown on the tips, it could be that the indoor climate is too dry. This is an easy fix. Simply put a dish of water close to the plants. Grouping plants also helps preserve the humidity.
In our next article, we’ll discuss the various growing mediums you can use for your indoor garden.

A Year Well Spent!

Tanglebank customers

Looking back at 2016, our 20th Anniversary, it was a year well spent and we’re excited about 2017!

We are grateful to all our wonderful customers and friends who’ve made this such a wonderful year.  It’s been busy!  We’ve had even more events and workshops than ever!  Each one has been received with enthusiasm and everyone who attended had fun and went home with wonderful memories – and often their own unique handmade items!

Here are just a few images from our recent Ladies Soiree:

Ladies Soiree 2016Ladies Soiree 2016





Recipe: Butter Chicken BurgerLadies Soiree 2016





Ladies Soiree 2016


And here’s one from our Wreath Workshop:





We also had lots of fun events for the whole family, including kids.

Santa’s Pancake Breakfast and Elves Workshop was a blast!  














As was the Fairy Garden Workshop!

Miniature Gardens Fairy Gardens








We had so much fun this year that we’re going to have an even busier year of events in 2017, so stay tuned!



We wish you a wonderful New Year – may 2017 bring you great joy!  We look forward to seeing you soon.

Recipe: Butter Chicken Burger

Recipe: Butter Chicken Burger

Here’s another fabulous recipe from our Ladies Soiree!

Recipe: Butter Chicken Burger

A great idea for a quick dinner during this hectic season and a delicious change from the everyday!

Serves 4

1lb ground chicken
1 whole egg
1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 inch knob fresh ginger – grated
2 Tablespoons Japanese Garam Curry Masala BlenZ* mixed with 1TBSp water
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

* Order by phone or email from Chef Pamela E.
Tour our website and take your tastebuds on a voyage of discovery!


Place the chicken in a large bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients and combine well.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

Divide the mixture into 4 and form into patties.

Pan fry or grill over medium high heat, turning once.
Use a meat thermometer to ensure internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (10 – 12 minutes)

Serve topped with shredded lettuce and sliced tomato.  Add a dollop of hummus or chutney. Tzatziki works great too!

** Globally inspired Farm to Fork Culinary Adventures.

RECIPE: Chicken & Caramelized Onion Gruyere Bites

Chicken & Onion Gruyere Bites

A celebration treat that’s great to serve all year long!

Chicken & Onion Gruyere Bites

Bake the bites the day before your gathering, cool and refrigerate.  The next day, reheat at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.  After Christmas, substitute left over Turkey for Chicken.


4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached, cooled and diced.
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Teaspoon Faux-Tisseriez Spice BlenZ*
2 Granny Smith apples cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh chives minced
1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary
1 large egg beaten
* Order by phone or email from Che Pamela E.  Tour our website and take your tastebuds on a voyage of discovery!


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside
Remove puff pastry from the refrigerator
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the onions and saute for approximately 20 minutes, stirring often until golden.
Remove from skillet and set aside in a bowl.
In the same skillet, add butter and saute the poached chicken with the Spice BlenZ for 5 minutes.
Add in the cubed apples and the sugar.
Stir together and cook for 7 minutes.
Remove from skillet and add to onions.

Add the cheese, dried herbs and chives to the onion mixture in the large bowl.
Season to taste with pepper.
Stir well to combine and then set aside.

With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the puff pastry into 2 inch squares and place them on the parchment lined baking sheet.
With a pastry brush, brush each square with some of the beaten egg.

Place approximately 1 Tablespoon of the filling onto the centre of each pastry square.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 30 – 40 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden and filling is hot.
Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
Remove carefully to a cooling rack and allow to rest another 5 minutes, then enjoy!

** Globally inspired Farm to Fork Culinary Adventures**