Forget the Wiarton Willie. Gardeners like to see and hear the birds chirping because they want to start exercising their love of flowers and digging into pots.
For most of the summer – when the days are favourable and the rain stays away ushering the warmth of spring and the sweltering days of summer – you can find Ms. Goodfield in her garden.
Before gardening season starts she carefully goes through fliers and also calls around to garden centres to see which have the best products and offerings. She’s somewhat of a bargain hunter too and likes to see which garden centres provide excellent prices.
The ones at convenience stores sometimes have good flowers and special balcony garden mix soil. But, in the last few years she’s found the garden centre at Super Store on Dufferin St. to have the most optimal offerings. Plus the staff are nice, congenial, knowledgeable, and friendly.
She usually takes the Dufferin bus up to The Super Store and cabs it back to her condo. She spends a good 30 minutes at the garden centre perusing the inventory before meticulously selecting what she will choose for her garden. She has an affinity for colour and certain types of flowers to accent her balcony.
Ms. Goodfield has been gardening for years and last summer populated her garden with many varieties. “Last year I was a bit more eclectic I mainly planted impatiens, begonias, hastas, roses, variegated grape ivy, petunias, morning glories and sweet peas.” Quite a collection. “Being surrounded with flowers makes me feel connected to nature and free but still right in the city.”
Here are some tips she provided for anyone wanting to start a garden on their balcony. “First, you want plant to whichever way you’re facing the sun. The more sun, the better is a myth because it depends on the flowers or plants. Basically, you must give ample water depending on the heat and feed them regularly,” she says. Her choice of plant food is Miracle Grow which she gives her plants every two weeks.
Ms. Goodfield further discloses, “Nature’s rain is the best water for your plants to flourish.” She continues, “If you’re the type who does not water plants on a regular basis, gardening might not be for you, because they are going to get dried up and die. And don’t forget to ‘dead head’ which is cleaning off the dried up leaves and dead flowers.”
Gardening, for her, is a form of meditation, a great way to absorb Vitamin D from the sun, plus she loves to become immersed in her garden while relaxing in a chair. That is her true oasis. Her cat Ashleigh also loves to meander amongst her plants. She advices, “Be sure to check which plants and flowers are poisonous to dogs and cats if you happen to have one. For example, begonias are extremely toxic.”