The greatest satisfaction in our work comes from you. When our readers write to say that we made a difference, they always have our attention. Sometimes we hear criticism but more often we hear that a plant worked that we had recommended or some gardening tactic. 

A couple of weeks ago we were very encouraged to hear from Don and Cathy Westcott of the Washago Garden Club. They had read a column that we wrote in the Toronto Star about Hope Is Growing: planting yellow gardens to acknowledge the tough times created by COVID 19 and our mutual journey out of it. 

The idea is a simple one: plant a yellow flowering garden and tell the world that you wish to encourage “positive, peaceful change in the world”. 
"The Washago Garden Club and, as a group of almost 20 volunteers, plant and maintain the Washago Community Gardens.

Don sought out a vintage door which was donated by a neighbour near the Gardens. With a bright yellow coat of paint and the words “Door of Hope”, added by a local artist, the door is now displayed in our Community Gardens for all passersby to see and enjoy. 

This Door will mean something different to anyone who sees it but, to Don it means happiness for the future.” ~Cathy Westcott
The garden at Washago was special, as you can see by the pictures. But more than just planting yellow flowers and letting them speak for themselves, Don also painted a door, a “door of hope” that made clear to all who saw it that Washago is a community with a future. 
The people of this community embraced the idea of planting hope and recognize that our gardening experience is one of hopefulness.
After all, when we sow a seed or plant a plant, we are investing faith in the future. Nature will produce flowers or food and we will be relied upon to nurture that plant. We form a partnership with nature in a mutual effort to enhance the communities in which we live.

We must thank the good people at Communities in Bloom and their partners, including Garden Centres Canada, Scotts Canada, the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) and their more than 4,500 members across the country for making a difference in participating communities.

To the people of Washago, our thanks for engaging in an idea that we thought had a lot of merit from the beginning.

And guess what, it isn’t too late for you to join in the fun. There are many fall flowering plants that feature the colour of yellow including chrysanthemums, rudbeckia, helianthus (perennial sunflowers) and of course goldenrod (the new “milkweed” according to our hero Douglas Tallamy). Perhaps you would consider painting a door as they did in Washago and invite people to walk through it into a world of hope. The world of gardening.

Thank you so much Don and Cathy (who wrote the memo).
We think that the idea of Hope Is Growing can live on for years to come. After all, when is a bad time for us to be hopeful?

Go to https://www.hopeisgrowing.ca/ for details. 
Mark and Ben Cullen
Merchants of Beauty and Beans
Dig and divide. Perennials that flowered in early to mid summer can be dug up and divided. Replant the divisions around your yard in the appropriate places or give them away if you have run out of space. Be sure that the soil is moist when you dig up the mature perennial.

Plant spring flowering bulbs. The boat has arrived from The Netherlands, and we recommend that you check out the selection at your favourite retailer for the best selection of the season. Fact is, they don't replenish the 'hard to find' varieties of tulips, daffodils, narcissus, hyacinths and the like later in the fall season. Even if you just store your new purchases in your garage for a few weeks, at least you have the varieties and colours that you really want.

Compost: a. empty b. fill. Not to oversimplify this, but your garden needs the natural goodness that is contained in your backyard composting unit and your now-empty composting unit will provide a valuable service this autumn when the leaves fall and you yank your spent annuals and veggie plants out of the ground.

Cut and bring indoors. Many of the flowering plants in your yard, annual and perennial, are in perfect shape for sharing. Cut your monarda, phlox, rudbeckia and the second coming of Veronica that is showing off in your yard. Bring them indoors to bloom on the table. Enjoy the colour and fragrance where you live. Change the water every second day to keep them fresh longer.
What a summer it has been. Ontario growers of black, kidney and navy beans are optimistic about their yields. Where some fields are spotty from standing water which drowned out the crop with earlier season rain fall, the heat and humidity throughout the summer has otherwise served the crop well.

The chickpea and lentil growers in Saskatchewan are reporting a very different story, where Cullen’s chickpea growers are likely to lose up to 75% of their combined yield to drought. Our thoughts are with them – this is a very difficult year in the prairies.
This week on Green File we have our first new episode since summer sabbatical – Ben speaks with Tony DiGiovanni, Executive Director at Landscape Ontario!

Tony has spent his life elevating the green professions, and has some interesting things to say about our favourite features including Trees for Life, Communities in Bloom, Toronto Botanical Garden and Canada Blooms.

Tune in - on Apple, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts.
We write a weekly column for the New In Homes & Condos section of the Saturday Toronto Star.
In case you missed it, these are the exciting gardening/environment columns we wrote in August.
Fall Birding Season Has Arrived!
By: Jody Allair
Don’t let the warm weather fool you – fall migration is here for millions of birds across Canada. Fall is far and away my favourite season for birding. To find out why, check out the following excerpt from an essay I wrote in 2020 about this topic:
“As a young birder growing up in the 90s in Peterborough, Ontario, I was always enamoured with fall. There was just something about those cool crisp nights, the amazing colours on display in the forests, and the lakes filled with waterfowl. And as I began to know more about birds, I started to see that fall is one of the birdiest times of year. I seemed to find raptors; the first northern finches; and loads of warblers, thrushes, and sparrows everywhere there was natural habitat. This was especially true at bird migration focal points, such as Presqu’ile Provincial Park on Lake Ontario and Long Point on Lake Erie. In fact, volunteering at Long Point Bird Observatory during fall migration as a teenager helped lay the ground work for my career with, and passion for, birds. Seeing dozens of migrating Black-and-white, Blackburnian, Yellow, and Chestnut-sided warblers was a feast for the eyes. And realizing that each morning would bring some new avian surprises is a feeling that continues to excite me to this very day.”
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Photo credit: Jody Allair
“What was also apparent on those fall days was the lack of people out birding – even at migration hotspots. Sure, you would still see many of the local birding stalwarts, but it was nowhere near the numbers that you would see in similar locations in early May. So why aren’t more people birding in the fall?”
To read the rest of my essay on fall birding please visit: https://www.birdscanada.org/dont-hold-back-fall-for-birds/.
Happy Fall Migration!
Jody Allair
Director, Community Engagement
Connect with me on Twitter at: @JodyAllair
Campfire Brie with Grilled Corn Salsa

Corn, pomegranate seeds, onion, and brie goat cheese... what else do you need to make the perfect summertime salad? Harrowsmith magazine shares one of our favourite easy recipes sure to please your family and guests.

This dish will explode all over your taste buds with an intensity that is a surprise each and every mouthful.
Don’t miss an issue of Harrowsmith’s gardening, cooking, sustainable living and DIY tips. Find the 100% Canadian Fall Almanac on newsstands now or download your digital copy here: https://www.zinio.com/ca/harrowsmith-m34129.