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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It’s a rainy spring day, and I’m expecting

Today’s rain has been pretty relentless. But, no matter how it buckets down, I just can’t stop myself from going out, staring at the garden… and expecting things. Expecting the reappearance of a plant planted last fall. Is that it? That? No, just another Norway maple seedling. Drat. Expecting those colour-coordinated tulips I added in 2016 […]

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Coping with Spring Envy

On the weekend, I FaceTimed with our youngest daughter, who currently lives in the UK. She was telling me about her life there. You know. Hopes, dreams, fears. But I was eager to get on to the important stuff. “I’ll bet you have daffodils.” “What?” She sounded confused by my non-sequitur. “Daffodils. I’ll bet they’re blooming now. Or […]

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12 things to like about 2016

By many measures, 2016 was one of the most deplorable of annus horribilis-es. The Grim Reaper was unusually busy, and some things did not turn out as hoped. But let’s try to bright-side it. A look back: January One thing to like, every year, is Toronto’s skirt hem along the great freshwater sea that is Lake Ontario. A […]

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A short, quirky floral tour of Taiwan

When I first visited Taiwan five years ago, I had no idea it would be the first Asian country I would come to know – and, after four more trips,  come to love, too. Here are a few floral impressions from my introduction to the country. Though it was a business trip, as always my antennae were up for […]

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Look at this crazy sunflower

Like this mixed-up sunflower, my November 2016 NaBloPoMo has developed a hiccup in its middle. An extra-busy weekend, a tech update for the blog that took longer than expected, and a day escorting my beloved mother-in-law to cataract surgery have meant that I missed yesterday, and have almost missed today. Well, nevertheless, I’ll continue to try to post […]

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