Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Green Start: Growing a Garden for Healthier Living


by Lacie Martin

While a well-groomed yard may impress the neighbors, the true benefits of gardening are best found within. If you’ve never mowed the lawn, planted a tree, or struggled to keep a cactus alive, then fear not. Getting started is easy, and you’ll soon find there are plenty of health benefits.

Image by Pexels

Benefits of Gardening

Physical Benefits

Gardening tasks like shoveling, raking, and weeding offer great physical benefits by burning calories and toning muscles. Just 30 minutes spent in the garden contributes to your workout quota for the week, allowing you to kill two birds with one stone. To add to this, gardening is a lot less repetitive than an average session at the gym, which can make it far more rewarding.

Mental Benefits

Spending some time away from the stress of everyday life in the serenity of your garden can do wonders for your mental health. It gives you the opportunity to unwind, without relying on a vice or a screen to do so. Using the time for introspection or meditation can also help you to work through your stressors in a healthy and constructive way.

Dietary Benefits

Eating well is a critical part of revitalizing your physical health, but buying organically grown food can be expensive. Planting fruit and vegetables that you enjoy means that you have total control over the methods used to grow the produce and you can cook healthy and delicious meals from the harvest affordably — often you may not even need to pay for seeds since there are a number of herbs and plants that can be propagated from food scraps.

Property Value

A home’s curb appeal is a major contributor to its overall worth. As such, by landscaping and cultivating a luscious garden, you’ll be adding to the property value at your next appraisal. If you’re planning on selling in the near future, be sure to track the changes you’ve made by taking pictures and keeping a record of all receipts and invoices.

Gardening for Beginners


When starting a new hobby, it’s easy to get carried away by the initial excitement and make unnecessary purchases. Consider the space you have and the extent of the work that will need to be done to transform it. This makes it easier to choose basic tools to begin landscaping with. Once you’re certain that gardening is the right hobby for you, you can begin to consider more advanced tooling. 


Some plants require a lot more finesse and expertise to grow successfully, so if you haven’t had much luck in this department in the past, it may be best to choose simple and low-effort options. Spend time learning about the climate and soil types at your location so that you’re not setting yourself up for failure. Employees at gardening depots will often give great advice on which seeds and saplings work best for the season.


The layout of your garden is imperative in preventing threats like pets, weeds, and overcrowding from ruining your hard work. Identify areas with loose soil and loads of sunshine to start your first bed. If you’re concerned that your dogs will interfere with your plants, consider raised beds or fencing to work around this. Doing this work yourself can help you to develop your landscaping skills and adds a personal touch to the space.

Gardening is a hobby that has the potential to transform your mind, body, and soul, but without the proper effort and planning, it can also lead to frustration. Spend time researching the best methods for your garden and you’ll soon have a slice of paradise right in your backyard.

The Windsor/ Essex County Community Garden Collective aims to support members of the community in starting, maintaining, and transforming their gardens. We believe that each garden is unique, and provide the right resources and information to help homeowners make the most of the space they have. Find out more at

Friday, March 5, 2021

We need your feedback

Hello, gardeners and supporters of community gardens!

Our friends at the City are working on a project, which involves a grant application, that would be an enormous benefit to our network of community gardens. The effort to secure this project's funding would benefit quite a great deal if it were accompanied by some accounts from those our gardens serve.

If you have the time and inclination, I would love to receive letters from you or your organization by noon this Monday, March 7. I will compile them and forward them to the person leading this project.

Our gardens serve individuals and the communities they form in so many ways. If we can collectively express how the gardens in our communities underlie and support the issues of community cohesion and building, food security, and wholesome and healthful activity I believe our case for approval will be made stronger. And approval of this project - which I will shout details of from the rooftops when and if we end up being a "GO" - could be a productive precedent for further support. Please email or use the Contact Us form at the bottom of this site and let us know how community gardens have made your world a better place.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Thanks for plant donations!

We would like to thank The Allie Sunshine Project and the St. Clair College Landscape Horticulture program for donating a substantial amount of plants to us this year.

Despite the obvious challenges we're all facing, these two organizations were still able to produce an enormous amount of herbs and pollinator-friendly plants for us to distribute to community gardens and gardeners.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Community Gardens Are (Almost) Open!

The Province of Ontario recently deemed community gardens an "essential source of fresh food for some individuals and families" (source: The WECCGC, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit and the City of Windsor have been coordinating to craft and plan the adoption of guidelines that will ensure safe operation of community gardens for the 2020 season.

We will release more information when appropriate; but we are at this time circulating a poster that will be placed in all of our gardens. (No one needs to go printing any of these themselves - we're working on coordinating their printing and posting now...)

... And here are some more detailed guidelines from the WECHU:

Thursday, March 19, 2020

DWFM Plant Day

[UPDATE] Due to measures we've all undertaken to combat the spread of COVID-19 the Downtown Windsor Farmers Market has had to cancel Plant Day. If and when an update is issued it will be reflected here.

On May 9 the Downtown Windsor Farmers Market will be hosting a "Plant Day" buy-sell-swap.

They'll be closing down Maiden Lane to have a #DWFM Plant Sale and Swap from 9am-1pm.

More more information please see their Facebook Event page.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Gardener Mark Cullen to Visit Essex

The Town of Essex will welcome world-renowned gardener and Order of Canada winner, Mark Cullen, for a free event on Wednesday, June 19 starting at 7:00pm.

Cullen, a garden communicator and horticultural consultant for Home Hardware Canada, will bring his expertise to the McGregor Community Centre (9571 Walker Road).

The event will include a presentation followed by a question and answer period and signing of Mark’s new book “Escape to Reality: How the World is Changing Gardening, and Gardening is Changing the World.” Books will be available to purchase for $25, with $10 of each sale supporting the Town of Essex Communities in Bloom committee.

The visit comes as part of the recognition for the Town’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Community Involvement, received at the National Communities in Bloom event in 2018.

"Mark’s visit is yet another reminder of the work accomplished by the Town’s Communities in Bloom committee, its dedicated volunteer, and the amazing gardeners in our community,” said Doug Sweet, Director of Community Services. “They have helped to put Essex on the map when it comes to local beautification and volunteerism.”

While the event is free, space is limited. Doors will open at 6:30pm, with the presentation starting at 7:00pm.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Butterflyway Project

The Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative is partnering with Windsor residents and institutions to create a "butterflyway" downtown Windsor!

A butterflyway is a neighbourhood-scale corridor of habitat for butterflies, bees and beneficial insects. These habitats are being created in the form of butterfly gardens, each certified as a "Monarch Waystation" by the organization Monarch Watch. This butterflyway is important because some of our native bees and butterflies, like the Monarch butterfly, have become endangered due to loss of habitat. Butterfly gardens are also beautiful and vibrant additions to the neighbourhood!

Our short term goal is to help create a dozen butterfly gardens within our project area, in order to become recognized by the David Suzuki Foundation.

Want to join the butterflyway? You can plant a butterfly garden in your yard and the Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative can help. Contact
Following is map of our habitats; some are new and in-development while others are thriving already.