Mar 21, 2014

This spring, consider paying a bit more attention to your garden! We've got the perfect person to get you started, Frank Ferragine, aka Frankie Flowers! Frank Ferragine reaches over 1 million Canadians each week as the gardening expert for BTToronto, CityLine and City TV News. He is also a columnist for Canadian Gardening, the Toronto Sun, Chatelaine and Walmart’s LiveBetter magazine. Frank has authored three bestselling gardening books, Get Growing, Pot it Up! and his newest, Power Plants, on sale everywhere this March! 

Catch Frank's fresh take March 22 and 23 on the Main Stage at the National Home Show! Check out Show Manager Tina Holmes' interview with him below...

Where do you go for Garden inspiration! 
I find garden inspiration almost everywhere, it could be driving down a street in Toronto during winter admiring the structure of a corkscrew hazel planted outside a small semi, or it could be travelling to Arizona in fall to learn about better ways to conserve water when gardening, I love scanning the pages of Houzz online to look at unique and interesting concepts in landscapes many done by local members of Landscape Ontario but most of my inspiration comes from within the greenhouses of my family business Bradford Greenhouses where we always got something growing!!

What  gardening trend or item are you presenting this season?  
Power Plants: How to grow your own health!
The 49 best plants you can grow and find in your own garden to supercharge your health.
With your new book launch in March "Power Plants " you bring to life Natural remedies and how we can harness the powerful healing of plants.  Out of the forty-nine Power plants -- which is your favourite? My favorite and easiest to grow is Aloe Vera, indoors during the winter outdoors in a container anyone can and should grow Aloe it can be used for topical burns and have you seen the growth in Aloe drinks in the market..the reason it’s wonderful when ingested for overall health!!

What’s happening in gardening / trends for the upcoming 2014 season: 

So many things going on in the world of gardening and landscape for 2014, Growing your own veggies, herbs and fruits continues to surge with the development of unique varieties including dwarf pixie grapes, grafted tomato plants (bringing you earlier, and great yields of tomatoes), and of course the popularity of plants that help improve your health (kind of like your garden is almost an outdoor pharmacy for health!).  Blue is big in the garden for 2014 and not just any blue “facebook” blue you will see this in brightly coloured blue pots, patio chair cushions, umbrellas and thru the use of plants like delphiniums, ageratum and heliotrope.  The use of fire outdoors in the landscape sparks in 2014 with gas fired outdoor lamps, and even small water features that spit fire out of them too!!  The overall trend is maximize outdoor enjoyment while minimizing work, the most bloom for your fact I’m testing an Easy by Frankie line of annual plants with a major Canadian retailing in 2014...I do the work of choosing and selecting the best varieties all you have to do is plant them in the right location and presto...a blooming great garden!

If you could wave a magic wand over the gardens of Ontario what would you change? 
Pride of homeownership!!  It doesn’t take a lot to have a well maintained outdoor environment.  This isn’t just gardens it is the front door out!!  People focus on their bathrooms and kitchens but often leave budgets for outdoor landscapes last.  Your landscape is your first and last impression and feeling you’ll get when leaving and arriving at home.  A little effort goes a long way in landscaping!!

What advice have you got for aspiring new gardeners:  
Start small, ask questions and have a budget.  We've all been new gardens at some point in our life, we've all killed plants.  The key is to take some time, get to know your needs, then figure out your soil type and amount of sun your receive and finally select plants that fit your needs and your location.  I created my first book “Get Growing” by Frankie Flowers as a guide for new gardeners.  I would totally selfishly (LOL) recommend it!!

What is the most common question you receive? 
How do you get rid of dandelions in the lawn!

What’s your personal mantra? Live life in colour and live life outdoors!
What is your favourite part about our Home Shows and Canada Blooms!  The people, the ideas, the hope for spring and the buzz of activity!!

What is your gardening pet peeve? Dead plants left in a garden!!
What is your favourite garden-related phone app? Houzz ...just for inspiration!!

What songs are on repeat on your iPod?  
Stevie Wonder “Sir Duke”, Earth Wind and Fire “September”, Boys II Men “Mowtown Philly”,  Drake “We Started from the Bottom”, and many more!

    Don't miss Frank Ferragine March 22 & 23 LIVE on the National Home Show Main Stage! 
    Special thanks to Show Manager Tina Holmes a.k.a@TinaLovesPinot, for sitting down with Frankie Flowers and getting the dirt!