So, where can you find exotic vegetable seed?

If you’ve read our review of two books on growing not-the-usual vegetables, you might be curious about where to find the seeds to grow them. By coincidence, a couple of leads fell into my hands last month, and sent me into a digging expedition for more.  Like the cute little mouse melon above? Read on to find seeds. […]

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Want to win the Gardener’s Gratitude Journal?

Yes, we publish our own gardener’s journal, but we think there’s room for all of us. Read on and find out how you can win a copy of the new one from B.C. garden writer Donna Balzer and her daughter Chelsie Anderson, The Three-Year Gardener’s Gratitude Journal. Balzer’s journal announces its attitude right from the cover, with fun […]

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Should have forced some paperwhites

While waiting for a meeting to begin at the Toronto Botanical Garden this week, something clucked at me for not doing something last fall. No, not a chicken. It was a pot of paperwhite Narcissus. Forcing bulbs is so easy. Yet fall can be so busy that even easy things can be neglected. Not this fall, I hope. Perhaps if I […]

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Native plants and the colour purple

When Pantone named Ultra Violet its “Color of the Year” 2018, native plants were way ahead of them. Pollinating bees and butterflies love the colour purple – because that’s how butterflies’ and bees’ eyes are made. So it’s unsurprising that many native plants can be found at this end of the spectrum. It’s especially true for fall plants striving […]

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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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