The Avant-Garden Shop: Your Garden & Bird Store

Garden Gate: Episode 38 – Fair Traded Beaded Art

CHEX TV air date: May 30th, 2014
Click link to watch this episode

We strive to carry as much Canadian made product as possible as we feel it is very important to support our friends and neighbours. ?We do however know that there are many very talented artists around the world. ?If we find an item we love and it meets other criteria like Fair Trade, we’ll also add it to our selection of offerings.

frog with tongueThis episode of The Garden Gate highlights just such a product. ?The beaded art from Beadworx is made by artisans from South-East Asia. ?The supplier works directly with the artists giving them ideas of what items and designs would sell best to their buyers and they pay them a fair wage for what they do.

There are many beautiful beaded pieces that the artisans produce including dragonfly’s, birds, butterfly’s, frogs, grasshoppers and geckos!

The beads are glass and the frames are aluminum which makes them very durable if placed outdoors. ?Aluminum won’t rust and the glass beads don’t deteriorate like plastic ones do.

Chimes, garden stakes and large wall pieces are also available.

Orders usually arrive in early spring. Due to limited supply, shop early for the best selection. ?See some of the items on our website.


Garden Gate: Episode 37 – Hummingbirds and Orioles

1_LF-4CHEX TV Air date: May 16th, 2014 Click link to watch this episode Hummingbirds and orioles are almost here. Visit to see where they have been spotted! On this episode of The Garden Gate I’ll help you choose a good quality hummingbird feeder that will last for many years.

I often have customers ask me, despite being diligent about filling their feeders,?why they don?t seem to get any hummingbirds. There could be a few reasons. Here are some tips to help you out.

-choose a quality feeder that has red colour on it -hummingbirds will not feed from feeders with insects in them, so ensure your feeder has an ant moat to keep out ants and bee guards to keep out the bees. -avoid feeders with yellow flowers as this attracts more bees -get your feeders out early (May 1st in our region) -fill with sugar solution of 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. Ensure the sugar is dissolved. It?s not necessary to boil the water as long as the sugar dissolves. -you may also consider a prepared mix as they often include extra?vitamins and nutrients?(like giving the birds orange juice vs. pop) -do not use food colouring -hang your feeder in a visble location but not the full sun -change the liquid weekly (more often in hot weather) -clean the feeder each time -hang a red scarf or red flag nearby initially to attract the bird. They are highly attracted to the red.

Hummingbirds love certain types of flowers. So include a wide variety whenever possible. Here are some of my favourites to attract the hummingbirds: Lantana, Butterfly bush, Lamium, Salvia, Trumpet vine, Morning glory, Columbine, Honeysuckle, Bee Balm, Fushia, Weigela, Petunia?s, Impatiens and even Scarlet runner beans!

Orioles orioleLike hummingbirds are attacted to red, Orioles are attracted to orange. They also drink nectar in the same concentration at the hummingbird.? So pick out a feeder similar to the one recommended above but in orange!? Orioles will also eat orange slices and grape jelly!? Feeders are available for both of these options.

Orioles are a little harder to attract and keep around. They don?t cruise through gardens as easily as the hummingbirds do.? They can be found where tall trees exist, at the edges of forests and along rivers. So not everyone can attract the oriole.

Orioles also tend to move with the bloom. So if flowers have finished blooming in your yard, the bird?may continue to move north to find more blooms to drink the nectar from.

I have been able to keep orioles in my garden but not after being very consistent about providing them with a food source. It took them about 4 years of feeding before they finally stayed for a longer period than normal. So far I have been unable to find a nest, but I have seen the young at my feeder.

windowalertbutAnd one more tip for this time of year. ?Put stickers on your windows to prevent bird strikes.

These Window Alert stickers are made of an ultraviolet product that the birds can see. It acts like a giant stop light for them, but you barely notice the stickers. So if you don’t like those big black bird stickers from years ago, these are for you!

There are 4 stickers in each package. Place them on the outside of your windows. The more you use the better! ?Replace annually.

Garden Gate: Episode 36 – Outdoor wall art

CHEX TV air date: May 2nd, 2014 Click link to watch this episode Wall panels and rustic sculptureAt The Avant-Garden Shop we pride ourselves in offering beautiful wall art that is Made in Canada and high quality. During this episode I’ll highlight a few artists and show their beautiful work, which is now in stock. ?I’ll also discuss what metals are good for the outdoors and what treatment can be done to keep product from rusting. Placement of your wall art is key, so I’ll make a few suggestions on where to locate your pieces as well. For many of the works that we carry, we are the exclusive retailer of these artists works in this area. So please drop by The Avant-Garden Shop often to see what’s new. ?Because we work with artists, often the product offerings are limited they can often take time to get in again. It’s a good thing that we don’t have 100 of any item! It makes your wall art extra special and unique. Visit our website to read some information on some of our artists. We have over 100 artists

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