Big News About The Toronto Gardener’s Journal

We are excited to announce that the long-time publisher of the Toronto Gardener’s Journal & Source Book, Margaret Bennet-Alder, has handed the publishing reins to us. This extremely useful journal has always been a favourite with us, and it’s been on the Toronto garden scene for over 25 years. 2018 will mark birthday number 26. Not only […]

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Making the garden your happy place

In trying times, we need our own sanctuary. Don’t we? It could be real or a place we magic up in our mind. A place of refuge from anxiety or fear; or a place that simply brings us pleasure, in the moment or in our memory. For inspiration, here’s a happy place I’ve been wanting to share since […]

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What have we been up to?

Phew! Life has been a whirl of whirliness since we received our shipment of the printed Toronto Gardener’s Journal. Orders had been piling up, and we wanted to rush them to the stores that had pre-ordered and get the individual orders made at the Journal’s website into the post. Now people have started to receive […]

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November in black and white

It doesn’t cost much to open your eyes in new ways. A $49 Toronto Parks & Rec course in photography, for instance. Ever since our parents put their Brownie box camera into my hands at the age of three, I’ve taken a ton-lot of photographs. Thousands and thousands and thousands. This course nudges us off Auto or Priority modes. […]

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The meek shall inherit the vase

Digging up gladiolus corms wasn’t the only thing I ran around doing before the recent cold snap. All the tender annuals were cut off at the ankles, and brought indoors by the armload, just in case. Just in case I wanted to root some cuttings (like coleus or purple tradescantia) – or try Gayla Trail’s cool recipe […]

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How to over-winter gladiolus

This month, I’ve learned you can’t do everything. Setting priorities means doing what counts most (such as saving the Gladiolus corms that have given me such pleasure), and setting the rest aside (such as NaBloPoMo 2017). Before the unseasonal cold snap this month, I dug up the corms above. What’s a corm? It’s the thickened […]

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The reason I planted 250 snowdrops

October and November have been so busy, I had to go back to look at my spring pictures to see aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall those bulbs in bloom. Just to remind myself that it’s worthwhile planting bulbs now, despite the fact that the weather is getting grim and life is unusually hectic. In spring, when my appetite was biggest, […]

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More bee hotels for your collection

Wherever I travel, my eyes are sharply on the lookout for housing. Housing for birds and bees and butterflies, that is. This summer, my little eye spied this big bee and, perhaps, butterfly condo in the Smithsonian Gardens in Washington, D.C.. With all those living options, it would be the perfect home for all kinds of solitary, […]

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Amelanchier foliage glows red for fall

While planting the first 300 of my far-too-many bulbs today, I felt I’d earned the right to pause for a moment and admire the red fall foliage on my serviceberry (Amelanchier). The sun had scooted under the clouds and was making the leaves just glow. Amazing. This year’s glow seems stronger than last year’s. However, when […]

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Pachypodium, the monster on my windowsill

My reputation as Helen the Houseplant Killer might be at risk. I keep discovering plants that resist my planticidal tendencies. Like the one above, which arrived as a gift from our son three years ago. It still lives! Not only that, if it lives longer, it might qualify as a killer itself, or at least as a […]

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Battle of the bulbs on CBC Radio

Subtract 5 minutes from my 15 minutes of fame after I was interviewed by Matt Galloway in the closing segment of Metro Morning today. It came about pretty quickly yesterday afternoon, with a tweet from – and pleasant 20-minute chat with – a show producer. We talked about one of my favourite (spring bulbs) and non-favourite (squirrels who […]

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Do your grasses have catchew disease?

You might want to categorize this under “pets and diseases.” That first word isn’t a typo. Some disfiguring plant problems have nothing to do with bugs or fungi. Some “pests” are considerably larger. For example, if your lovely Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’) is supposed to look like this. And, instead, it looks like […]

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