2017 was a great year for Hydrangeas

In 2017, we’ve had rain, we’ve had rain, we’ve had more rain. It’s raining now! My annuals are slow to bloom, probably due to lack of sunshine. But one thing for sure seems to be doing well around Toronto. Hydrangeas! The smooth hydrangea or Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ in my dry-shade front garden (above) is mammoth! Lots of rain and […]

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15 container ideas and why I love them

I could give you a play-by-play, but on an almost-Wordless Wednesday I’ll just say this about why I love them: Inventive plant combos, cool containers and display ideas, great scale (from very-very big to very-very small), a mix of enthusiasm (by some) and restraint (in others), and steal-worthy ideas. All seen in the mild climes of Virginia, Maryland […]

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Using black and brown in a garden

Sometimes, I feel bad about filtering the experience of being in a garden through a camera lens. Am I like one of those people who walk around seeing the whole world through the screen of their iPads? But the magic of photography can turn a frantic, 45-minute garden visit into hours of contemplation at home – letting me zoom in, identify hidden treasures, and […]

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Wow, when clematis met smoke tree!

Here’s a combination to remember! A burgundy-red Clematis (perhaps ‘Nike’? [Ed: My clematis-loving friend Marie suggests it might be C. ‘Mme. Julia Correvon’) clambering over a Japanese maple and then up through the “smoke” of a golden smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria Golden Spirit aka ‘Ancot’). Wow-ow-OW! Let me show you my shoes. I was walking in […]

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Shoreline, What Shoreline? 

The heavy rains in Toronto have really done a number on Toronto’s shoreline beaches and parks. One of the dog parks that I walk in regularly has become a little bit like Venice, where we are literally walking on land surrounded by little temporary lakes. And it is the same throughout the entire coastline of Lake Ontario in Toronto. […]

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You’ve been seen, ultramarine

Since visiting the garden of Linda Hostetler in The Plains, Virginia, I’ve spent a long time trying to feel blue. I mean feel it – to understand the science behind why gardeners love this eye-popping blue called ultramarine (and sometimes Majorelle blue, after the painter and his garden). As my camera and I slowly explored Hostetler’s interesting […]

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A cunning plan for your cutting garden

I didn’t realize as I hastily took this shot (on my way to our group photo for the Garden Bloggers Fling in Washington D.C.) that I was looking at a clever gardening technique. It simply seemed like a handsome steeple in the sweet spot of a colourful garden. It’s the outer edge of the cutting garden at Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens, […]

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Happy Canada Day & Happy Gardens

I think this garden represents the best part of Canada, as it is a blended front-yard garden. Why does it represent Canada? Because so many cultures, starting with our two original ones, French and English, blend together so well. [Ed: We are correctly reminded that the French and English, along with other Europeans, were relative newcomers […]

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I might have to spray-paint my Alliums

I’ve heard this from others about alliums aka ornamental onions – though the Virginia, USA, gardener responsible for these was mystified when I told her. Alliums can self-seed. In my sandy, part-sun and tiny back garden, Allium christophii, though lovely, can be a bit of a pest. So I’m considering spray-painting them. The gardener did it to […]

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