The Avant-Garden Shop: Your Garden & Bird Store

Garden Gate: Episode 53 – Once around the shop for Christmas gift ideas

Chex air date: Dec. 19th, 2014 Click link to watch this episode. We have so many beautiful things in the shop, sometimes it’s hard to choose! ?But we are here to help! Guys love our beer glasses, thermometers and rain gauges. Tilley hats and tools too! ?That’s just a start – watch the video for 2.5 minutessteamwhistle of tips!

Garden Gate: Episode 52-Discouraging large birds

CHEX TV airdate: Friday Dec. 12th, 2014 Click link to watch it here! Finch feederFeeding and watching the birds is a wonderful past time. ?You can spend hours watching the chickadees coming in to grab a seed one after another. ?Polite little birds! Then there are the goldfinches. They have such a pretty song, I could listen to them all day. They will come in large flocks and sit all day taking turns eating your Nyger seed. Bright red Cardinals appear and we almost jump for joy! ?When they are courting or have little ones to feed you might enjoy dad helping to pass on a seed or two. ?FUN! Aww, bsb+ut then the fun ends. Sir Squirrel or Gastly Grackle moves in….birds fly away and these two devour everything in site! On this episode of The Garden Gate, I’ll give you some tips on types of feeders that discourage squirrels and grackles as well as bird food that they don’t like. Feel free to drop in to see these feeders or to get more information. We’re here to help and to make your back yard bird feeding more enjoyable! Note: we do not recommend bird food with cayenne. ?If a squirrel gets the cayenne pepper in their eyes they can do serious damage to their eyes. ?Also, it has been shown that it affects birds stomachs. They can’t necessarily taste it, but their little tummies don’t like it. ?

Garden Gate: Episode 51 – Recycled socks. puppets and mittens!

CHEX TV air date: Friday Nov. 28th, 2014 Click link to watch video here. On this episode of the Garden Gate I’m talking about recycled content in some of our products. ?Instead of using new materials, these businesses all use recycled materials to make their products. ?This means less pollution in the environment and also that items are being reused before they are recycled! daffodilOur fun Happy socks for instance are made from recycled cotton T-Shirts! Leftovers are recycled into rags mats and other products. ?If a sock isn’t made quite right then it is made into a hat! You should see these fun and colourful hats! Scarves, mittens, baby and kid socks are also available. We also carry some really cute puppets that are made out of recycled wool sweaters. ?The puppets are made by sewers in Toronto. ?One of the owners (Josh Title) has even appeared on Martha Stewart Living! ?Josh showed Martha how to cut the fabric and put the puppets together. ?Puppies, elephants, cats, birds and even moose can be found in the shop!dog-600x600 ? And most recently we added a line of mittens made in North Bay. ?The owner Josee, has in her first year of business, recycled over 1000lbs of wool sweaters into beautiful mittens! ?She is an excellent sewer matching up patterns from really weird sweaters and turning them into warm and fun mittens that she calls SMITTENS! turquois And closest to home are some crazy metal animals and Christmas trees made out of recycled propane and oil tanks. ?Every one is unique. ?These come from Dog Bite Steel in Uxbridge, Ontario,dog with bone

Garden Gate: Episode 50! – Maxwell pottery & Madoc Rocks

red canoe

CHEX TV air date: ?Friday Nov. 14th, 2014

Click link to watch this episode.

On this episode of the Garden Gate I showcase a couple of items which are great for people who love to entertain, live on a lake or spend time at a cottage!

Dip sets shaped like canoes and stone coasters from Madoc!

In 1991 Daniel Maxwell and his wife Jodi returned home to Northern Ontario to establish their Pottery Studio. Using a strong stoneware clay, all work is made on the pottery wheel or is hand built. With his own recipe of glaze colours, Daniel hand paints each piece in one of his many unique designs.

Daniel attributes his pride of craftsmanship and tasteful use of colour to having studied and worked at Sheridan College School of Craft and Design in Oakville, Ontario for nine years.

Daniel says to his customers “I make funtional pots. I want people to enjoy them for their utilitarian qualities as well as their decorative appeal.”

Daniel’s lead free pottery is dishwasher, microwave and over safe and brings many years of pleasure.

coaster40Nick Butts creates wonderful stone coasters out of rock he mines near Madoc and Nephton. The rocks are cut down to coaster size in sets of four. At this point some stones have designs such as loons or moose added. Then they are coated to protect and bring out the textures and colours.

Again these are terrific items for a cottage, but also a great gift for a man. He can use these in his “man cave!”

Garden Gate: Episode 49 – Outdoor window boxes

CHEX TV airdate: Friday Oct. 31st, 2014 Watch this episode here. DSC_0586[1]It might seem like a strange time of year to talk about window boxes. Afterall, it’s time to put our gardens to bed! Probably by now most of your annuals have been hit by the frost. ?So then why am I talking about window boxes? ?Because I want you to use them 12 months of the year! ?Of course you can fill them with beautiful flowers, but I like to use them in other seasons too. Ours at the shop have looked gorgeous for the last few years. ?I start early in the spring with some beautiful pansies as they are very cold tolerant. Then at the end of May I fill them with a variety of annuals. ?By the end of October they are usually done so I’ll fill them with lovely pine, cedar, juniper and whatever other greens I can get my hands on. teardropOur window boxes are very deep which means they hold a lot of soil. ?This is probably one of the most important characteristics of a quality window box. A deep container that holds lots of soil will help keep your plant roots cooler, hold more moisture and allow for deeper root growth. ?Small containers heat up, dry out and?plants will be less likely to do well or even survive. Note: Coco liners have been difficult to find over the last couple of years so instead we use a double layer of burlap. Our window boxes are made in Ontario by a metal worker with high quality steel, durable welds and fantastic designs. ?Walsh Mountain Ironworks at one time was located in Port Hope. ?The retail shop is now closed and the jigs and patterns sold. ?The new owner is doing a wonderful job and we are very pleased with the quality and designs. A variety of styles can be seen on our website. ?

Garden Gate: Episode 48 – Flags and Mats

MW35942CHEX TV airdate: Oct. 17th, 2014 Click link to watch this episode. On this episode of the Garden Gate I am talking about the beautiful flags and mats that we carry at the shop. An extremely popular product line from Magnet Works, the garden flags are of the highest quality with beautiful designs printed onto 600 denier polyester. These permanently dyed garden flags are mildew and fade resistant and machine washable. ?Flags come in two sizes. The small (12.5 X 18″) fits on a stand that pierces the soil and the large (28 X 40″) fits on a pole that mounts on your house. MW15942 MatMate? Doormats are Interchangeable and Eco-Friendly! These beautiful printed doormats have an environmentally friendly backing made of recycled rubber tires. MatMates doormats measure 18″ x 30″ and look great when used stand-alone, but they really come to life when they’re used as inserts in one of our stunning MatMates decorative trays. MatMates are permanently dyed using state-of-the-art dye sublimation MW95942printing. MatMates are fade and mildew resistant. Made in the USA Excellent quality! BreezeArt garden flags and MatMates? ?make great holiday gift ideas for those hard-to-buy-for people in your life! Moms love these flags and mats and can receive new ones?for their birthday, Mother’s day, Christmas or just to cheer her up! Get one for each season! ?Matching flags and mats available. See some of our selection on our website. ?

Garden Gate: Episode 47 – Hand made Beer glasses!

steamwhistleCHEX TV air date: Friday October 3rd 5pm Click link to watch this episode. OK, you’re probably wondering how do beer glasses fit in a garden shop!? ?Well, they’re Canadian made and you need refreshment after you’ve been working hard in the garden! Right? Or maybe hubby needs a drink after he’s been digging that new garden for you. ?And how better than to serve it in a fun beer glass actually made out of a real beer bottle! ?And yes, they hold a full beer! On this episode of The Garden Gate I chat with Jenn from Artech glass.

Garden Gate: Episode 46 – Liftlock community garden and the garden bandit!

CHEX air date: Sept. 19th, 2014 To watch this episode, click link here. Years ago it use to be very difficult for apartment dwellers to find a spot to create a little garden plot! ?But thanks to years of hard work and lots of great volunteers, there are numerous places where you can plant a few seeds. Jillian Bishop of the Community gardening network is the woman you need to contact if you’d like to find out more! I recently visited with Jillian at one of these gardens located near the Liftlocks! ?It’s great to see this land producing food. ?When they started the garden a few years ago they were thrilled to find the BEST soil. Over the years waterways staff had pulled loads and loads of weeds out of the water which decomposed where the garden plots are now located creating wonderful rich soil! While I was there, we decided to try out some weeding tools that we?carry at The Avant-Garden Shop. ?We’ve been selling them since the day the store opened. We have sold 1000’s. They’ve been featured in Fine Gardening magazine and are a BIG hit. ?The Garden Bandit and the Telescoping weeders make weeding so easy. They are simple looking tools. But sometimes simple is better! ?Jillian was even able to weed her garden in her heels and dress! ?Check it out on an upcoming episode of The Garden Gate (Sept. 19th, 2014). The Garden Gate appears bi-weekly on The New CHEX Daily between 5 and 6pm on CHEX-TV.

Garden Gate: Episode 45 – Woodstock Chimes for Autism

Woodstock-ChimesCHEX TV Airdate: Sept. 5th, 2014 Watch this episode here. We’ve been carrying Woodstock chimes for years. ?We love the tone, we love the quality and we love the variety! Over the last few years I’ve had a young family drop by about once a year to look at the chimes. ?The two young boys would run around the shop and ring the chimes. ?It could get a little noisy, but we don’t mind. ?How else can you choose the chime you want for your garden!? On the last visit from the family, one of the young sons plunked his “business card” down on my counter and said “That’s me!” ?Sure enough, here was young Tyler’s face on a business card with a special Autism Chime. It’s called the “Woodstock chime for Autism.” Tyler’s dad Sean told me that Tyler hears chimes differently than most others do. He can name all the Woodstock chimes just by listening to?them chime! ?He loves chimes, but they must be Woodstock chimes! ?Sean also told me that he had contacted Woodstock chimes about Tyler and that they were invited to the Woodstock studio?to see how they make the chimes. Tyler was thrilled and became the star of an 8 minute YouTube video. Very cool. Tyler and his family have also been featured on CTV. Check out the video here. Meet Tyler in this episode of The Garden Gate! This special “Woodstock Chime for Autism” is now available at The Avant-Garden Shop and a portion of the sale from our shop will go directly to the local chapter! Plus Woodstock will also donate a portion of profits to Autism research programs and treatments. ? ?

Garden Gate: Episode 44 – Griffins Greenhouses

GriffinsCHEX TV air date: August 22nd, 2014 Click here to watch this episode online. At this time of year, it’s wonderful to visit a garden centre like Griffins. ?Their plants look wonderful (and there are still plenty), the pond out back is so relaxing and there is always someone around who can answer your questions or just spend a few minutes chatting. Griffins Greenhouses are ?members of Peterborough and Area Garden Route ( I will chat with them about their involvement with this group and also about some of their beautiful hanging baskets and containers. ?They’ll have some tips on keeping them good looking through the heat of our summer.

The Avant-Garden Shop