Lessons from the Danger Garden

Since my earliest days with the long-lost, late-lamented Blotanical, I’ve been a reader of Loree Bohl’s The Danger Garden. With a focus on her passion for spiky plants, Loree has been a regular and prolific blogger since 2009. Get to know her through this interview. Now the growing conditions in Portland (USDA Z8) and Toronto (USDA Z5/Canadian Z6) […]

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What Toronto needs is a Chinese garden

Google “classical Chinese garden Toronto” and here’s what you’ll discover: we have a lot of Chinese restaurants with “garden” in their name. Digging deeper might get you this link to the lost Chinese garden once-upon-a-time on Spadina Avenue. But do we have an actual, gardeny Chinese garden in T.O.? Not yet. And I wish we did. Classical Chinese […]

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Paving the way: One pebble at a time

In the Italianate terrace at Powerscourt Estate in Ireland’s County Wicklow, a journey of 1,000 pebbles (many times over) began in 1843 with the very first stone, placed by a kid aged seven. Look at the finish date above – more than three decades later. And it all happened one pebble at a time. It makes me think of […]

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A flashback to Jane Austen’s garden

A regular reader of this blog might know our affection for Jane Austen. We began our very first post, more than 10 years ago, with one of her quotes. And she does pop up here from time to time. With the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death (aged just 41) coming on July 18th, 2017’s arrival flooded my social media […]

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‘Banish Misfortune’ at the RBG

Scrolling through my photo archive, I came across a set of photos I couldn’t believe we haven’t shared. These are just a taste from two visits made to the Royal Botanical Gardens‘ amazing Laking Garden iris collection in June 2014 and 2015. For many reasons, our opening shot lives up to its name. It’s Iris […]

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Crevice gardens, natural and crafted

We’d spent 20+ years clambering over Nature’s crevice gardens, had we only known it. The natural rock formations below near our former summer home on Ile d’Orléans in the St. Lawrence River near Québec City held exactly the eroded vertical spaces that crevice gardens try to mimic. As they were also naturally photogenic, I have pictures to show you, […]

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Inspiration for mosaic paving

Before the snow or, more likely, the fallen leaves cover the ground, it’s a good time to squint at your paving (what Marjorie Harris calls “creative staring”) to see if there’s anything you can do better. Here are a couple of beautiful mosaic paving designs from the Atlanta Botanical Garden. These are big – but […]

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Order in the court(yard)

I love the asymmetrical. Something in the balance of off-balance appeals to me deeply. Yet, the perfect order of a four-square courtyard can also be satisfying, don’t you think? This garden, with its European-style courtyard, has been calling to me for more than two years. We saw it back in September 2014 on a story tour with the […]

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November in Corktown Common

Before the rain began this morning, our walking group headed west for a change. The Distillery District would be our turnaround point, but I never made it that far. Corktown Common and a golden patch of flowering witch-hazel fixed me and my phone camera to the spot. Click the arrows above for the slideshow. What an excellent […]

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Chihuly in the garden

Have you seen the Chihuly glass exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum? I have been meaning to go since it opened, and I’m glad to hear they’ve extended it till January 8, 2017. (Looking up ticket prices this week, I learned you can get a good price by combining it with the Wildlife Photographer of the […]

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Designing with see-through plants

I’m a latecomer* to the term “see-through plants,” new to me until this spring. It was in a presentation on small-space gardening written by another Master Gardener. Her point was that designing with see-through plants is one way to make a small space seem bigger. Hmmm, thought this small-space gardener, interesting. After that, I started to notice plants for […]

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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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