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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Battle of the bulbs on CBC Radio

Subtract 5 minutes from my 15 minutes of fame after I was interviewed by Matt Galloway in the closing segment of Metro Morning today. It came about pretty quickly yesterday afternoon, with a tweet from – and pleasant 20-minute chat with – a show producer. We talked about one of my favourite (spring bulbs) and non-favourite (squirrels who […]

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Memento flori in a vase

Are you thinking, What a hot mess! when you look at my opening shot? Listen, kid, it’s late October. Everything in the garden was a tad weather-beaten when I cut the Pyracantha berries I knew would glow in an arrangement. But my theatre training tells me something about those raggedy edges and hail-pockmarked leaves. Like stage makeup: It won’t read from […]

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Thanksgiving flowers and revasing

Our guests were almost here for our first new-tradition of Thanksgiving brunch on Monday. Then I noticed the beautiful arrangement my Number One Dot had gifted me for my Big Birthday. Oops. It really needed retiring. Once the flowers were pulled from the vase, though, it was clear that some were up for a second round. The blue […]

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Here there be dragons

If things have been quieter on the Toronto Gardens blog recently, it’s because one of us has been travelling and the other is now back teaching. The traveller (me) is in Ireland, being distracted by – among many other things – dragons. While the ones at the top were “captured” in a local antique shop, I’m […]

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Plough the field you’re given

A small garden. A small vase. A few minutes with the scissors. It’s amazing what can pass for bounty when you set your mind to it. Although I whine a lot about the Microgarden, it can often be counted on to produce a pretty nice bouquet, even in different seasons. This one, I gave to my […]

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Make yourself a “deadhead bouquet”

If you think of deadheading as a garden chore, it’s because you’re doing it too late! Doing it after the flowers fade gives you all the work and none of the benefits. In many cases, cutting flowers to enjoy indoors is actually a form of deadheading. Yes! And it often gives you exactly the benefit you want from […]

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Let’s call it “Wandering Dude”

The trailing houseplant with the unpleasant common name “wandering jew” (such as Tradescantia zebrina in this post) has wandered in and out of my home over a lifetime of killing houseplants. If you’re curious how it came to earn this name, my go-to houseplant expert Mr. Subjunctive at Plants are the Strangest People gives you […]

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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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