I hereby redefine “Junuary”

According to the Urban Dictionary, Junuary is a word for those cold June days that feel extra-cold because it’s, well, June. Pshaw! I’m co-opting it. Now, when it’s reeeeally cold, we need reminding that spring is a few (just a few, honest!) days away. We need Junuary more on a day like today: not January in June, but […]

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Valleyview Gardens Nursery Has Moved

One of our favourite east-end nurseries, Valleyview Gardens, has sadly moved out of town. Driving to their old location on Kennedy Ave, with my flasher on, waiting to turn into the parking lot, I saw to my horror it had been boarded up. Eek! What happened to one of our favourite garden places? Pulling into […]

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Escape from the cold to Allan Gardens

Good news. If you’re suffering from cabin fever during the first 2018 polar vortex, the Allan Gardens Christmas Show is on till January 7th. It’s a fun way to beat the chills, and it’s free. One of the cool things about this year’s show is the creative use of materials. When you go, have a […]

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Goodbye, 2017

You were the best of times, you were the worst of times, 2017. I’m sorry to see you go, but will be happy to see a new year begin, with all its possibilities. Let’s focus on the good stuff. Other wonderful things happened this year. To name a few: we won awards, were interviewed on […]

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Wordless wonders for the beezy season

A post-Christmas celebration of some of Nature’s busiest creatures, bees and bumblebees (and wasps) in the great big Apidae family. Let’s recognize how essential pollinators like bees are to our planet. Please join me in a wish that human bee-ings do everything in our power to serve and protect them in 2018 and beyond. Click any image for the full-size slideshow.

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Happy Winter Solstice 2017

As I write this, the moment of solstice has passed us by – but only by minutes. Today is the year’s shortest, but each day from here till the summer solstice in June gets longer by seconds. The curious can track the sun’s daily progress, along with the risings and settings of the moon, here. As a bonus, […]

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Meet a few poinsettia cousins

Perhaps, like me, the poinsettiaful Christmas Show at Allan Gardens is still on your to-see list this year. Or perhaps you’re one of the poinsettia haters I’ve tried to convert before. Either way, if you love botany you might be impressed by the sheer diversity – and yet sameness – of the poinsettia’s big family, Euphorbia.  Sameness […]

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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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