This week in The Gardener, we take a walk through the garden of Shannon Gage, well, at least through the garden in her mind’s eye as we are locked down once again. Shannon has been gardening since she was a girl. And for her post secondary school, she studied landscape design at Olds College in Alberta. Since then, she has created a jewel of a garden in her backyard in River Heights, and she shares some of the lessons she learned.

It is a small garden which means that the are limitations on what you can plant that will not get away on you. Shannon tells the tale of the giant Joe Pye weed that grew up to the eaves of her garage. She learned not to plant invasive plants such as saponaria or false sunflower. She tells us about her pond and how she keeps it easy care. She also lights the garden at night, turning it into a fairy tale place.

At the Gage camp at the lake near Kenora, Shannon has also created a lakeside garden that has become a showstopper. She has introduced many native plants that do very well there and ft in perfectly under Shannon’s artistic guidance. Each spring she plants vegetables and annual flowers in her city garden, and she has devised some interesting ways to keep her home babies healthy while she and is out of town. One of those methods involves diapers!

In the second segment, Shannon and I share our concerns about the artificial scents used in so many cleaning and laundry products and Shannon tells us about a wonderful product she has for sale. Called Thieves, it is all essential oils with no noxious chemicals. She swears by the cleaning products which, she says, work like magic.