It’s now the Toronto & Golden Horseshoe Gardener’s Journal

This year was unusual for our family, full of exciting, challenging, time-consuming, positive-but-discombobulating changes. Frankly, it kept us from blogging as often as we’d like. But one change was easy: deciding to rename the garden tool that, three years ago, my sister, Sarah, and I adopted from its creator, Margaret Bennet-Alder. No longer is it the Toronto Gardener’s Journal. For […]

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Scilla ‘Pink Giant’ is a dry-shade survivor

Some plants survive all odds – I include myself as one of those odds – and this small bulb is one. It has stuck steadfastly with me and my sandy, dry-shade garden since 2000. 2000! This only became clear after hunting through my old Lee Valley 10-year gardener’s journal to recall the name of one of my daffodils (which […]

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See the cherry blossoms here, instead

In 2020, if a cherry blossom blooms in the city, and there’s no one to see – will it still look pretty? Yes. It will. But you won’t be there this year, will you? Even Sakura Watch is on pause to discourage folks from social the-opposite-of-distancing when the cherries bloom in High Park. So, while you’re home […]

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An Asian garden in North Rosedale

Every year, though perhaps not in 2020, I see more gardens than I have time to share. That’s why our armchair garden tour brings us close to home with this small but standout garden in North Rosedale from Through the Garden Gate 2017. I got the impression that this lovely garden is a DIY. As the […]

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Armchair garden tour: The gardens of Alcatraz

Forget that COVID-19 has us housebound. Instead, let’s take off for a garden tour – in the safety and comfort of our favourite seats. Where better to begin our jailbreak than the gardens of Alcatraz! I’ve wanted an excuse to show you them since way back in 2013 after the San Francisco Garden Bloggers Fling. To me, the name “Alcatraz” went with movies like “The Bird Man […]

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The Pollinator Victory Garden helps you help the world

As gardeners during two world wars knew, even during a major crisis you can do your bit to make things better. Victory gardens were designed to boost food productivity during the wars, one little garden plot after another. The benefits spread far beyond individual garden gates. And gardens need pollinators. Their work, done mostly by insects, is behind one […]

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Canada Blooms 2020, a look at the cancelled show

If I’d known that Canada Blooms 2020 would be cancelled, yesterday when I previewed the show as tour-guide, I’d’ve taken lots more pictures. But that news didn’t arrive till after I got home. And, really, had anyone known, I most likely wouldn’t have been there at all. Yesterday, was the day before the grand opening, so most of the exhibits […]

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Get the jump on spring with Get the Jump on Spring 2020

Not so long ago, I was inspecting the white-topped spears of snowdrops (Galanthus) poking through the bare earth. Now most of those snowdrops are back sleeping under a blanket of snow. But spring IS on its way. Meteorological Spring is even closer! Plus, this Saturday, Feb. 22nd, the Toronto Botanical Garden lets you think green thoughts at Get the Jump on Spring & Seedy Saturday. […]

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A reminder about taking cuttings

I’m never ruthless enough when taking cuttings of geranium (Pelargonium). For one thing, I can never bear to remove the flowers, the blooming of which distracts the cutting from root production. But when they look like this, who can blame me. The truth is, though, there’s no real mystery around the process of propagation for […]

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Wild Bees Need Goldenrod

This summer I talked to wild bee expert Sheila Colla, a scientist from York University, about wild bees and what we as gardeners can do to help them. One of the first things Sheila made clear was that wild bees are native bees and we must make a distinction between them and honeybees, which are not […]

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