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My Gardening Inspiration, Hacks, and Tips from the Experts!

Hi everyone!! If you follow along with me over on Instagram, you’ll already know that Justin and I have been busy working on our yard and garden for the last few weeks! In fact, I was SO eager to plant our garden this year that I jumped the gun and planted everything before I took off to Vancouver a couple of weeks ago and unfortunately it was WAY too cold overnight and we woke up to some dead plants! GAH!! So, we ended up replanting a bunch of stuff … and yet, another lesson in gardening was learned! LOL!

As I’m sure MANY of you know there is a WEALTH of knowledge out there about veggie gardens … planting flowers … landscaping, etc. In fact, there is SO much to know that it can be a bit overwhelming and it’s one of those topics that you can study endlessly! Every time I head to Bylands to pick up plants I find myself asking a MILLION questions and every time I learn something new!

Today, not only did I want to share my veggie and flower garden inspiration with you along with a few of my hacks but I also wanted to bring the pros from Bylands in here as well to offer up some of their top advice when it comes to planting veggie gardens for beginners! I know this blog is just barely scratching the surface when it comes to this topic but I think it’ll be fun to share my favourite tips and tricks with you along the way as I learn them!

Jillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks Tips

My Favourite Hacks

1. Hanging Baskets

I love to buy hanging baskets for our home but I don’t hang them like you’re supposed to, I actually put the entire basket in a pot and cut the hanging piece off of it and it immediately gives you a beautifully “potted” plant!

Jillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks TipsJillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks Tips

2. Skip the Seeds

Sometimes it’s nice to grow plants from seed BUT if you’re looking to do some fun gardening with your kiddos, or if you want to get your garden looking like a pro in half the time … purchase plants that are already a month or so in! My favourite plants for gardening are the Incredible Edibles plants! We did a mix of these “ready to go” plants and seeds for the garden this year!

Jillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks Tips Jillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks Tips Jillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks Tips Jillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks Tips

My Favourite Plants & Visual Inspiration

1. Colours

It probably won’t come as a surprise to you that I love to stick with whites, creams, light pinks, light purples, light blues and light greens in our flower beds. I usually tend to shy away from dark purples and blues, reds and burgundies. Shocking? Not at all for this girl! LOL!

However, down in our garden is where I’ve allowed more colour as we planted what I like to call an “English Country Garden”. We played around with lots of yellows, purples, oranges, and white’s in this area as we are trying our best to attract bees here.

Jillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks Tips

2. My Favourite Go-To Plants & Flowers

Lately, I’ve been LOVING anything in tree forms such as lilac trees, lavender trees, and rose trees, I feel like they add such beautiful colour and dimension to any yard! Beware though … even though roses are stunning, they are definitely high maintenance and if you don’t know how to prune them and take care of them properly they can get a bit unruly!!

Below is a list of my favourite plants and flowers all of which we have incorporated into our yard with the exception of Foxglove as (unfortunately!!) it’s poisonous to dogs! ? Keep in mind, these are all of the plants and flowers that I love and that work the best in our climate here in the Okanagan. These specific plants and flowers may not be the best varieties for your area but feel free to screenshot this list and bring it into your local garden center and I’m sure they will be able to point you in the right direction!

My Go-To Perennials


Russian Sage



White Roses

White Hydrangeas

Endless Summer Hydrangeas

Peonies (white or pink)

Japanese Primrose

Dwarf Korean Lilac

Ivory Silk Lilac Tree

Lamb’s Ear

My Go-To Annuals

Geraniums (white)

Calibrachoa (pale yellow or white)

Silver Licorice Plant

Dusty Miller

Petunias (white)

Begonias (white)


Shasta Daisy


Jillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks Tips Jillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks TipsJillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks Tips

Things to Remember

1. Annuals vs. Perennials

Because this stuff isn’t confusing enough … there are two different types of plants to keep in mind here, annuals and perennials. Annuals have to be replanted every year and to make it even MORE confusing there are also spring and summer annuals and late summer annuals! This means that those particular annual plants will only flower during those specific seasons. Examples of annuals are tulips, white begonias, snapdragons, eucalyptus, impatiens, etc.

Then there are perennials, these plants come back every year and when they come back they normally come back bigger and better year after year as they mature! Some of my favourite perennials and shrubs are hydrangeas, peonies, lavender, salvia, boxwoods (these are shrubs that we have bordering our home!) delphiniums, lilacs, and echinacea … usually, echinacea is very colourful so I only have this in our veggie garden to attract the bees!

Jillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks Tips

2. Layer Everything

It’s important to make sure to layer your flower bed … you want to have some nice dimension here, there are plants for ground cover, medium layers (shorter plants) then shrubbery and trees.

3. Don’t forget about Fall planting!

That’s right!! When fall hits (around early October) this is the prime time to plant your flower bulbs and your garlic!

Jillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks Tips

Gardening Tips from the Pros at Bylands Garden Centre

If you’re a beginner gardener, you might find the tips below from the pros at Bylands Garden Centre SUPER helpful!

  1. A garden requires at least six hours of sun each day in order for your crops to mature properly.
  2. The soil needs to be fertile as well as having adequate drainage. This can be achieved by either having a raised garden bed or making amendments to the current soil.
  3. Raised garden beds keep weeds from your garden soil, prevent soil compaction, provide good drainage and serve as a barrier to pests such as slugs and snails. By filling in the bed with a 80/20 mixture of planting soil (80%) and compost (20%) (you can buy both in bags at your garden center), you ensure that your soil has adequate fertility.
  4. If you’re using an existing garden bed or even creating a new one, make sure you’re tilling in organic matter in the form of compost, manure or a commercial fertilizer that your garden centre can recommend.
  5. Once you’ve adequately prepared your garden bed, it’s now time to plan the plot. Draw a rough design consulting seed packets, or plant tags for spacing, spread, and height information.
  6. Place tall plants along the northern edge of the plot so they don’t shade short ones. Design plantings in single wide rows, staggered rows or in blocks.
  7. Visit your local garden centre and select your plants. It’s important to select your favourite vegetable to eat so that nothing goes to waste. Look for varieties that are easy to grow and disease resistant. You will find a selection of seeds as well as established vegetables already in pots. Both are great options as long as you’re following your plot design and not overcrowding.
  8. It’s now time to plant! Follow the instructions laid out on the tag or the seed packet. It’s critically important that you keep the newly planted vegetables moist until they’re established. Some crops like tomatoes and beans will require a cage or staking to support the plants future growth.
  9. Most vegetables will continue to benefit from an inch or more of water each week after they’re established. Providing adequate mulch to your garden will ensure moisture retention as well as keeping down weeds.
Jillian Harris Garden Inspo Hacks Tips

There you have it! I hope you found this blog helpful and were able to pull some tidbits of your own from it! What are some of YOUR gardening hacks and tips?? Make sure to share them in the comments section below!



Leave a Reply

  1. Do you know if anyone in the lowermainlnd makes garden beds like this ? I’m just not handy enough to make it on my own!

  2. Loved this! Also wondering if you could tell me what kind of tree that is by your front door?
    Thank you!

  3. I love watching your garden adventures on Instagram as I also love gardening myself. I find growing my own lettuces so fulfilling. Nothing better than having friends over and serving them a fresh salad from your own garden. Hubby built be a raiser garden bed and I have been able to grow lots in just one, including lettuces, herbs, radishes and onions. Herbs and, garlic and all types of onions are great to grow since they naturally repel pests! I’ve got a garden for flowers close by to attracts the pollinators which works out perfectly. I’m trying to include marigolds this year (like you have) for added aphid protection as those little buggers sure do multiply quickly!! Happy gardening!

  4. Pretty sure tulips are perennial. My mom has tulips that come back year after year without being replanted.

  5. Hi Jillian – thanks so much for this full of info post …. I can’t go too crazy on home decor and definitely not fashion but THIS I can do! 🙂 Can you tell me what materials Justin made your white raised garden beds with?? I am wanting to do the same (white) but am curious about your choice and if you’re happy with it …. Thank you!!

  6. Just wondering what kind of organic matter you use. Do you use manure, compost, fertilizer, etc… What brand?

  7. I love your boxwood hedge around your yard! Did you buy the boxwoods already hedge level? If so, I’d love to know where you bought them! Thank you:-)

  8. Gardening is one of my pass time habits but not active for 1 year.
    This article really made my memories back, Thanks 🙂

  9. Hi Jillian,

    Did you make your raised vegetable garden boxes or did you purchase them? If you purchased them, where from? I am interested in doing some raised beds. My husband is pretty handy, so if they are hand made, maybe you can provide the dimensions. Happy Gardening!

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