Meet my new pal, the bold jumper

Holy smoke, that’s a big spider! Take a look the maple key in the picture below for scale. Fat and furry, it surprised me in the garden yesterday. Naturally, I wanted to know: friend or foe? Friend, as it turns out! It’s the bold jumping spider (Phidippus audax), and it’s more interested in stalking the bugs […]

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Baptisia for Garden Days 2017

Look at these yellow wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria). When Sarah and I saw them at dusk a week ago at the Toronto Botanical Garden, they were glowing like candles in the dimming light. Immediate crush! But I fall in love easily, it seems. It has been an unusual spring, cool and wet. We’ve had late […]

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30 years, 30 gardens, Through the Garden Gate 2017

I was (regretfully) away for the 2017 preview of Through the Garden Gate. So I (regretfully) can’t show sneak peeks into the 30+ (yes, that’s thirty-plus!) gardens selected for the 30th anniversary of the Toronto Botanical Garden‘s annual garden tour, this weekend June 10 & 11. But I can tell you a few facts: It happens in North Rosedale […]

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A garden is no place for ageism

The garden is about every passage of life. Youth, adolescence, old age. Even death. ~ Princess Peggy Abkhazi Today’s weather has chilled, but the sudden heat of the past two days put a definite frizzle in my long display of tulips. Before the forecast wind and rain (that never came), I went out last night to deadhead […]

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‘Green Spice’ is a fabulous Heuchera

A shade gardener who values foliage design, someone like me, needs a healthy appreciation for the huge coralbells family (Heuchera). Hybridizers have created a ridiculously wide array of choices in coralbell leaf shape, colour, patterning, and size. Some have even put the “coral” back in the coralbell flowers. When you add crosses with Heuchera cousin Tiarella you get many more […]

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Win tickets to see The Gardener documentary

Did you know? Canada is home to one of North America’s most spectacular private gardens. We’ve written twice about Les Quatre Vents, near La Malbaie, Quebec (here and here) and at last I have an excuse to write about it again. Because it, and its creator Francis Cabot, is now the subject of a feature documentary, The Gardener, playing May 18 […]

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What’s wrong with my ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea?

Last year around this time (late April or early May) I noticed something strange about the leaves on shoots of my old, reliable ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas. They looked glued together into a puffy, leaf-shaped balloon. What was wrong? In fact, they were “glued” or rather tightly stitched together at the edges. Turns out the culprit was the larva of […]

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It’s a rainy spring day, and I’m expecting

Today’s rain has been pretty relentless. But, no matter how it buckets down, I just can’t stop myself from going out, staring at the garden… and expecting things. Expecting the reappearance of a plant planted last fall. Is that it? That? No, just another Norway maple seedling. Drat. Expecting those colour-coordinated tulips I added in 2016 […]

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Double bloodroot blows me away

Every spring, a small, white, puffy flower explodes on the shady north side of my garden – and every year, it’s pure excitement, all over again. It never fails, and it never fails me. In fact, this double version of the native Sanguinaria canadensis has multiplied constantly, ever since it came as a gift from Cold […]

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An Icky Honeydew You Don’t Want

For the last few months I’ve been battling scale on an large indoor-wintering abutilon, or Flowering Maple. I’d been occasionally picking the scale off by hand, or with a microfiber cloth, (which works quite well) and I was (sort of) keeping them at bay. I’m a pretty experienced scale squisher, and I thought I had […]

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