The happy day finally arrived May 26. 
Welcome to this world baby Peter Mark Cullen.
And congratulations Ben and wife Sam. What a treasure. What an adventure.
I anticipate that he will have demands of you that are, shall we say, not always convenient. He was born at 4:20 in the morning after keeping you up the whole night, sending signals that it was time for him to come out and say hello. Maybe a sign of things to come. 

Just a reminder that babies don’t think of anyone other than themselves for a while, regardless of what time of day they were born.

It is spring and more than a few people have already pointed out that this is a wonderful time of year to have a newborn bouncing on your knee as there is loads of good weather ahead. Think of the confining space of the indoors during winter and you understand the advantage.

Ben, you might find yourself having an urgent need to cut the grass or pull some weeds more often than usual. To get outside.
This is normal.

In fact, what felt normal before this, like quiet time to read a book or choosing your own time to go for a walk is not normal anymore. Chaos is normal. Being overtired and not communicating with your spouse for stretches that are longer than a professional baseball game will seem normal. 

All of this is for the good, because on balance you will focus on the high points.  
Not to be too corny, but raising a child is a bit like growing a garden. 
It is fraught with ups and downs: weather that does not cooperate, competition from weeds, attention to details like watering and feeding. They add up and in the end you get a harvest. Or you get to smell the roses. 
Either way, you win.

And we are delighted for you and wife Sam.
And for us too.
Happy spring. Happy life Peter. 
Somewhere out there is a rabbit looking for a playmate who shares your name. 

With love and affection to you, Sam and baby Peter. 
A sigh of relief for growers across Ontario as a nice heavy rainfall (and in some places, snowfall) dampened the ground for those that had already planted this year’s crop of beans.

Keep an eye out where Cullen’s organic beans are available in more than 500 locations across Canada, including home delivery through Sobey’s Voila service for those in Southern Ontario as well as Mama Earth Organics, Homefield Organics in Guelph and On the Move Organics in London.

Keep an eye out for Cullen’s Green Lentils hitting shelves late summer, organically grown in Saskatchewan. The family keeps growing.
Plant all hot crops. Corn, zucchini, squash (all cucurbits), peppers, potatoes: virtually every crop that requires heat to thrive are ready to plant in the first week of June. 

Mulch. June is mulch month because May is planting month. After you get most of your plants in the ground you can save yourself up to 70% in watering and 90% in weeding by laying down a 5 cm layer of shredded cedar or pine bark mulch. Mark uses shredded cedar or pine bark mulch, and Ben uses straw. To each their own.

Herbs. Plant them. Harvest them as needed. Don't over water them. With the exception of basil, they love to get dry between watering.

Tomatoes. Stake with a spiral stake and never tie them up again. Get them off the ground and double your crop. Mid-June start applying Bordo Mixture to prevent early and late blight.

Fast growing flowers can be sown now wherever you have a blank space in the garden. There are lots of great wildflower mixes out there that can bring pollinators to your garden. An easy way to plant these is by pouring the seed mix into a bucket with some dry potting mix, sand or vermiculite (one packet/25 sq ft). Pour the seed/sand or soil mixture back and forth between two buckets until they are fully mixed. Broadcast the seed by hand over a bed of soil and rake it in.

Roses, peonies and clematis will start flowering this month - get out there and make sure they are supported before they fall over under the weight of their massive blossoms!

Containers can be planted up now with tender annuals. Feed them once with a feed-and-forget fertilizer (slow release), and add a healthy amount of compost to the potting mix for season-long performance.
2021 marks the 25th Anniversary of Canada Blooms!
Introducing the Canada Blooms inspiration series of 8 videos.
Topics include: Colour, Play in the Garden, Art in the Garden, Food Gardening, Water Features, Pathways & Pavers, Outdoor Rooms, and Fresh Bouquets.
Stay tuned for more Canada Blooms inspiration videos throughout the spring, then get in the garden, take some shots, and share your gardens with us using the hashtag #CanadaBlooms​

Thank you to Cullen's Foods and Unilock for supporting the Canada Blooms Inspiration Video Series.
Enjoy a trip down Canada Bloom’s Memory Lane in this special online magazine, available at Canada Blooms 25th Anniversary Magazine | Canada Blooms
After 25 years of consecutive support we are pleased to present this amazing magazine that celebrates the history and pedigree of Canada’s largest flower and garden festival. Canada Blooms.
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 May.
BIRDS IN FOCUS: Gardening For Birds
By: Jody Allair
Creating habitat for migrating and nesting birds around your home is one of the best ways to make a positive conservation impact for our feathered friends. Last month, Birds Canada launched an amazing new resource to help Canadians design and establish gardens that will be beneficial to birds.
Below is an excerpt from a Birds Canada blog post written by my colleague and Project Lead for our Gardening for Birds Program, Natasha Barlow. – Jody Allair

We all know that nature is under threat. Habitat loss and degradation is still one of the main drivers of bird population declines globally. Birds need your help, and you can be part of the solution. Transform your garden or yard into a beautiful outdoor space that you can enjoy, while also re-creating habitat for birds. We are excited to launch our Gardening for Birds website, video series, and resources that will help you help birds by making it easy for you to design and plant a garden that is great for birds. Whether you have an existing garden that could use a few tweaks or an expansive lawn that you’re hoping to transform for the benefit of nature, the website, videos, and associated resources will give you a head start on welcoming more birds to your place!
Cape May Warbler
Photo credit: Sean Jenniskens
On the website, you will find details on 500 plant species from which you can select those most compatible with your area and your garden plan. To help you further, we’ve created Bird Garden Zones that span across Canada. Depending on where you live, and what conditions exist in your area, you can maximize your gardening successes by choosing plants that fall within these Bird Garden Zones. Once you’re done, you can print out or email yourself a list of plants that will help you successfully garden for birds! Start gardening for birds today by visiting

Happy gardening for birds, everyone!

Jody Allair
Director, Citizen Science and Community Engagement
Connect with me on Twitter at: @JodyAllair
By Steve Maxwell
“A solid potting bench is a great thing for any gardener, and key to taking your gardening to the next level. The design I created here uses standard thicknesses of lumber and simple construction techniques to make a solid bench that lasts for years.”
Click here for more info.