Welcome to the new Toronto Gardens


With the 10th Anniversary of Toronto Gardens coming up in October 2016, we saw this as the perfect time for a change. Welcome to our redesign! Our whole site has a fresh new look on WordPress using our custom URL. You can quickly find posts by the category you like – such as design or plants. And we will now have a […]

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My ‘Wasabi’ coleus did a little too well


Take a look at that bright green or chartreuse shrub in my front garden above. It isn’t a shrub. It was (once) a single pot of ‘Wasabi’ coleus that I bought from Plant World this spring for my large container. A ‘Wasabi’ intent on taking over the world. Now, ‘Wasabi’ is an amazingly tough and beautiful […]

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Here, admire this waterfall


Hasn’t 2106 been a mixed-up year in Toronto for precipitation? I was begging for rain when summer was at its hottest. Now, when I’m eager to be out planting bulbs, rain. And I’m complaining. Toronto had three months of drought in 2016. But look at California. According to the Pacific Institute, California might be beginning its sixth […]

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Garden bloggers, come Fling in D.C.


On October 15 (that’s today), registration opens for the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling in Washington, D.C. and the Capital Region. My sister Sarah and I are both gonna be there, and we hope to see you there, too. We’ve written before about why we Fling. So much of it is the people we’ve met, some are now friends for […]

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What’s that orange bug on your milkweed?


It’s simple. Those orange bugs on your milkweed are milkweed bugs! And these little fellas (or gals) above are one of the later-stage nymphs of the insect. Milkweed bugs come in two versions. Large Milkweed Bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus) and Small Milkweed Bugs (Lygaeus kalmii), both of which feed on the seeds of milkweed plants. You can […]

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Book review: High-Value Veggies


Whether you’re a bona fide homegrown vegetable gardener or, like me, simply grow veggies on a small scale, right now you’re probably taking stock of what worked this year and what didn’t. You probably roughly know your yields. Perhaps, like Margaret at Homegrown, you’re fairly rigorous about it. But have you calculated your return on investment (ROI) […]

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Plant Profile: Japanese anemones


Late summer and early fall often belong to the enormous daisy or aster family (Asteraceae or Compositae, for those looking for plant surnames). But one perhaps underused group of plants can be pretty Wow! at this time of year. They’re in the same family as buttercups or clematis (with another mouthful of a family name, […]

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Ideas for designing with vegetables


Houseplants and vegetables are the “gateway drugs” to gardening. They certainly were for me, and I think they are again today. I was a university student with a windowsill full of houseplants when first bitten hard by the gardening bug. Later, Mr TG and I had our first apartment and an allotment garden at the Leslie Street Spit. One […]

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Gardening is a conversation


Gardening is a conversation. That’s what I’ve been ruminating on since spending an enjoyable hour last month talking to the Oshawa Garden Club about Gardening in Shade. What do I mean? Well, of course, a conversation is a sharing of thoughts, ideas and opinions with other people. After I spoke to the lovely folks in Oshawa about shade gardening, […]

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Gorgeous native azure blue sage


My sad story is that I constantly fall in love – with plants that I can’t grow. But if your garden (unlike mine) is sunny, hooray! Here’s a great one for you. The delightful name azure blue sage (Salvia azurea) refers to its sky-blue flowers in late summer and early fall. Right about now, for instance. It gets big bonus points for being a […]

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A September evening at the TBG


It’s a lovely day. The evening of the first day of school for 2016/17 and, coincidentally, the night of our first Toronto Master Gardener meeting for the new season. We have a few minutes. Come walk with me through the Piet Oudolf entry garden at the Toronto Botanical Garden. Let’s not worry about plant names. Let’s […]

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Glads and graphology


Yes, they can look stiff and formal. But I like glads because they remind me of our mother. Not only because Gladiolus is August’s birthday flower, and August 31st – today – was her birthday. It’s because of a piece of art she made, a print of some coral-coloured gladioli. Both our parents were gifted artists. Both were art-school […]

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Enormous hardy hibiscus is not a pest


The first time I saw hardy hibiscus or swamp mallow flowers (Hibiscus moscheutos), it almost caused whiplash. Mine. We were driving through St-Laurent on Ile d’Orleans near Quebec City when I spied what looked like a tropical hibiscus. Only the flower was huge. HU-U-U-UGE. What the heck, I thought, this is Zone 4B (Canadian Zone 4B!), for […]

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