Where do you get your...??

Clients often ask us this question; "where do you get your...??

Whether it's plants, soil, mulch, rock material or tools; people want to know where Earthshine Gardens is shopping. As a small business with ecological values, we support local whenever possible. We are proud to have a stellar network of local suppliers here in South Shore, Nova Scotia. Here is a list of some of our favourite suppliers along with why we love them. We hope this helps you shop local too!

Name: Land Care Nursery (1436 HWY 10, Cookville), Why we love them: Great selection of high quality plants at truly affordable prices.

Name: The Village Nursery (430 New Cumberland Rd, Pleasantville), Why we love them: Their plant collection includes extensive veggies, herbs and hanging baskets. They've got a long-standing good reputation and it's pleasure to walk through.

Name: Cosby's Garden Centre and Concrete Creations (4122 HWY3, Liverpool), Why we love them: This is a truly inspiring place that merges unique sculptures with nature in an outdoor gallery walk. Ivan's flowing creations make great garden art, and they have lots of other garden supplies too.

Name: One Sky Now (7657 HWY3, Mahone Bay), Why we love them: A small operation that is one of the only nurseries with a selection of organic plants.

Name: Oceanview Nursery (4392 HWY3, Chester), Why we love them: This is where we go when we are looking for a specific plant that we can't find elsewhere. They also have a growing selection of native plants. The garden art and ornamentation is beautiful and extensive. This one is a bit pricey so we usually visit it last.

Name: Medway Moss (Port Medway), Why we love them: This small company fits our ecological values perfectly. Tim rescues native mosses from the Medway Community Forest before the sites are clear cut. Mosses can be a nice option for shady or wet corners of the garden. They also often come with other native forest plants seeded within them that mature over time- bonus!

Name: Wile's Lake Farm Market (3254 HWY325, Wileville), Why we love them: We love any nursery where you can shop for plants while eating a danish! This is a sweet spot with a seasonal plant selection, a bakery and a local grocery section. Also it is one of the only places we can get Fertilo (our favourite granulated chicken manure product) in our town.

Name: Maughan's Construction  (RR#1, Bridgewater), Why we love them: Maughans has high quality garden soil, mulch, pea gravel and river rock. Their service is always friendly and the prices are great. Turnaround time is quick, and we can often get a same day delivery if needed.

Name: Bear Cove Resources  (142 East Berlin Rd, East Berlin), Why we love them: Storm-cast compost is the best quality compost around and it makes our gardens grow! This family operation has been sustainably harvesting and composting local kelp to create their black gold for decades. Plus they're a joy to work with.

Name: Yonder Hill Farm (Laconia, NS), Why we love them: Chris and family produce high-quality, heritage vegetable, flower and herb seeds. They are local, sustainable, organic and locally-adapted. Plus they have an almost 100% germination rate in my experience!

Name: Halifax Seed (Halifax, order online), Why we love them: They have a great seed selection and the ordering process is quick and convenient.

Name: Gow's Home Hardware (450 LaHave St, Bridgewater), Why we love them: The manager had me when she offered me 'aggressive discounts' for Earthshine Gardens. The service is always great and returns are never a problem. Plus they won best Home Hardware in Canada (2017) and they're expanding soon [larger garden section?!].

Name:  Details Event and Design Studios (mobile business based in the South Shore), Why we love them: Shanna has been a key part of developing Earthshine Gardens' brand. She did an excellent job with our logo and promotion material. It's eye catching and unique. Plus we hear she does weddings too!

Name: Fundy Textile and Design (Dartmouth), Why we love them: These folks literally gave us the shirts on our backs! They've done a great job with our team shirts two years in a row, and oh how we love that royal blue.

Managing Knotweed Organically

Modern folk tales abound in Nova Scotia about the indestructible plant that grows like a weed all over our shorelines, dominating other plants with its giant bamboo-like stalks. I’m talking about Japanese knotweed, which is a problematic invasive plant across the province and beyond.  Japanese knotweed was once a prized garden plant, which is how it arrived on our shorelines. Over time, it became less popular because of its invasive quality. There is also some evidence that Japanese knotweed has hybridized with giant knotweed in Nova Scotia, making it an even more formidable foe. Knotweed is a pioneer plant that thrives in disturbed areas. It loves water and roots, spreading along shorelines and wet areas via floating root clumps. The main concern with knotweed is that is creates a monoculture by out-competing all other plants. This monoculture worsens shoreline erosion, decreasing biodiversity and creating an unsightly brown view throughout much of the year. Read more about Japanese knotweed in Nova Scotia here.

Japanese knotweed

Many a gardener has tried to tackle this plant, only to find it re-sprouts seemingly larger than before. Some have resorted to pesticides, which only further deteriorate our shoreline ecosystems. At Earthshine Gardens, we have been experimenting with organic knotweed eradication and have found our method to be extremely effective; having created diverse and beautiful shoreline gardens in what only a few years ago were knotweed monoculture jungles.  Our method is simple and achievable, using the following steps:

1.       Cut all the stalks and leaves off of the knotweed, prior to flowering if possible. The non-flowering aerial plant parts can be used to build biomass in the area and will not re-sprout if there are no roots attached.  The green plant parts can be laid down in the area to decompose, providing valuable nitrogen to build the soil as a foundation for other plants.

2.       Dig or cut out as many of the root clumps (called rhizomes) as you can. This is the main way that the plant reproduces. These are very hard and will take some muscle to uproot.

3.       Bag all rhizomes and seed heads in black garbage bags for disposal, to ensure they don’t sprout elsewhere.

4.       Lay a thick tarp over the entire knotweed area and weight it down well. The tarp will deprive the rhizomes of light and water, which will cause them to come closer to the surface over time so you can dig them out.

5.       Lift the tarp once per month for 1-2 years to remove any green sprouts and dig out rhizomes, using the same process as above. Over time, you will see less rhizomes, and eventually none at all. Walking on the tarp once per week or so will ensure shoots break and the tarp is not damaged.

6.       Create a sheet mulch over the entire area using thick cardboard topped by brush materials, compost, soil, woodchips etc. This will allow new soil to be created for plants to establish.

7.       Plant hardy perennials or shrubs over the area. Ensure that you use a diversity of different plants that are strong competitors but allow diversity. Add 2-3 inches of straw or bark mulch over top of the area.

8.       Keep an eye out for knotweed re-sprouting and pull it as soon as possible. If possible, work with other natural plants that are establishing in your new garden. This will allow a diverse, low-maintenance ecosystem to develop in your new garden.

I recommend folks try this method and let us know how it goes.  If you need help, we’re here for you. Just call Earthshine Gardens, the South Shore’s holistic ecological land care team.

Contact us to book your complementary site-visit today.