Eating garden tomatoes in November

Back in July, my Microgarden report mentioned some of the tomato cultivars I was growing this year. Now here it is at almost the end of November, and I’m still eating fresh tomatoes, harvested back in October. How did that happen? I picked them while they were still green. Some, I kept in a tightly closed […]

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Coneflower rosette gall mites

The more we plant something, the more something comes along to eat it. Usually something buggy. In the case of coneflowers (Echinacea), this green, tufted centre in the centre of the disk is a sign of some undesirable noshing going on. The culprit is an unnamed type of eriophyid mite, a breed of microscopic, sucking […]

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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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Persian shield, not just for containers

Isn’t this a wonderful combination? Usually, you see the metallic purple patterned leaves of Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) accenting a container. It can also be grown as a houseplant. This time, I found it used as a bedding plant in a public garden in Stratford, Ontario. Loved it! It apparently propagates easily from cuttings. So I […]

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A last bit of fall colour

This quick Sunday post on the first snowy day of winter 2016-17 takes me back to the Montreal Botanical Garden and their bonsai collection. It was November, too, the last time I was in the green house there, and this colourful and shapely Ginkgo caught my eye. To me, Ginkgo biloba seemed an odd choice for […]

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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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What’s missing from this picture?

As I admired the carpet of maple leaves in my yard (Norway maple leaves, she sighed resignedly), wondering if I had time to haul out my shredder, I noticed something. To be exact, I noticed something that wasn’t there. Can you see it? No tar spots. None. Not anywhere. We first wrote about the disfiguring fungal […]

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Little bluestem, a great native grass

Sometimes you can know of a plant without really knowing it. You hear the name often, but wouldn’t be able to pick out the face in the crowd – or in the garden. That’s how it used to be for me with the native grass called little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). Then I saw this display garden in […]

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Book review: Rooted in Design

It may sound hyperbolic, but it’s true. This book has changed my interior landscape. For the better. Since getting my review copy of Tara Heibel and Tassy de Give’s book Rooted in Design last spring, houseplants have been popping up at home all over the place. And, if you read this blog, you know how bad […]

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Pros and cons of fragrant sumac

While camping at The Pinery provincial park a few years ago, I took the green picture below, curious about the shrub. It had “leaves of three,” similar to poison ivy (formerly known as Rhus radicans, now Toxicodendron radicans syn. T. rydbergii) But those berries, if that’s what they were! Fuzzy, kind of like a staghorn sumac (Rhus typina). Turns out […]

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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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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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