About Me

Hey you wonderful Prairie dweller... have you ever wished you could have a garden filled with gorgeous blossom-laden, flowering shrubs that delight the senses. A vibrant array of floral splendour, offering up rich, nostalgic scents that take you on a trip down memory lane. A garden reminiscent of those stunning English gardens you see in magazines and garden catalogues - filled with lush roses, peonies, lilacs, hydrangeas and whatever other plants perennials and shrubs light you up. Imagine being able to grow show-stopping, flowering shrubs that are low maintenance, disease-resistant, able to withstand extreme Prairie Highs and Lows - temperatures that range from 40 above to -40 below. What if these plants were also disease and pest-resistant? What if you could actually grow gorgeous plants that those pesky deer hate? Wouldn't that be wild?

Sounds totally crazy - right? Well perhaps it is - but I am on a mission to find out.

Originally from the UK, I have lived for years on Canada's west coast which mimics the English climate nicely (can you say rain?) Lots of green, massive trees and a solid Zone 6 - 8 which means almost anything will grow here.

But - and for me it's a huge BUT - the cost of living out here has gone completely nuts.

To cut a long story short, I have decided to cash in and move back to the Canadian Prairie - to south-western Saskatchewan to be more exact. You probably think I've gone completely mad (and there are those who would definitely agree 🙂 but hold on a second. I have a house there that's bought and paid for. An old-timer that needs money spending to upgrade for sure, but a place that has one HUGE advantage... it's surrounded by 3 lots. A total area of 9,000 square feet. So less the house, itself, which is about 1200 square feet, I have roughly 7800 feet of garden to use for experimenting, growing mother plants, sticking cuttings, composting to create fabulous potting soil, and generally playing around to my heart's content.

So even though, it's going to be a pretty massive adjustment climate-wise (although truth be told, I've done it before 🙂 I am just about beside myself excited, to get moved, and get going with my very own Backyard Nursery Business. (Fun fact - I'm in my mid 60's 🙂

I'm starting from scratch here... garden has been let go and is completely overgrown, weed-filled and a ton of elm tree seedlings will have scattered themselves far and wide. And here's the kicker, I want to do this without using chemicals (other than perhaps rooting compound) so it's going to mean a lot of back-breaking work to clear the ground and set up propagation beds for mother plants, liners and cuttings. An intermittent misting system for watering which is going to be an absolute must in the hot, dry, always windy prairie summer. Particularly if I grow my cuttings in sand as it drains so fast.

I plan to order heaven-scented (most likely) rugosa roses that will eventually form a 5 foot hedge around most of my property. The idea is to provide loads of cuttings from a variety of sizes, colours and scents for me to pot up and sell. Eventually these rose hedges will also provide a fairly sturdy windbreak which creates a micro climate within my garden. And who knows what beauties that will allow me to try growing 🙂

Right now, I am knee-deep in researching prairie-hardy, flowering plants, writing and tying up a whole load of loose ends prior to starting my nursery. I'm so happy. Thought there might be others out in internet-land that share my interest in plants and growing and would enjoy being part of the adventure. If that sounds like your kind of fun – feel free to take a look around my blog. Please don't hesitate to  Get in Touch if you have suggestions or questions.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Christine

Christine Oakley - owner-operator Prairie Hardy Plants

The Happy Prairie Grower