Love/Hate: Helen’s sense of snow

It isn’t every year that Toronto is blessed, yes blessed, with such an agglomeration of snow. With the storms of the last week, I know it feels like the snow has been here forever. But think about it. As recently as January 8th, the Toronto Star had this to say about our typical post-New-Year weather: […]

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Winter desk accessories

What’s on your desk? Computer? Check. Hi-lighters? Check. Fresh flowers? Ummmmmm. Valentine’s Day is coming up. But why wait for cupid, stoopid! Get yourself some flowers! Every day can be Valentine’s Day with something petally at your side. Roses are rosy, but most of the ones you can buy at your local corner shop lack […]

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Nose Candy. No, not that kind.

What is there to inspire the gardener in the sterile outdoor environment that is winter? I remembered yesterday, when Sarah brought over a sprig of my favourite of all scented geraniums, Pelargonium ‘Rober’s Lemon Rose’. I put it to my nose and inhaled one long, deep breath. Ahhhhhhh. That’s what “smell” smells like! (The covergirl image […]

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The Intensive Care Unit

I was watering the plants in my porch/greenhouse when I noticed some long stems of woody geranium stems sitting on the top of my compost bin. I had cut them back about a month ago and they still had live green leaves on the top. I guess they hadn’t heard when I said, “No, I […]

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The coming thaw

Spring will be springing briefly next week in January, when temps are predicted to rise to the +10-degree range. Apparently, only a couple of Toronto’s winters over the past 157 years have failed to have a January thaw. What an opportunity to get out there and tidy up the straggly tails of the morning glories […]

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Faves: All hail the Amaryllis!

One of the best gifts ever for any gardener is an amaryllis bulb, truly the gift that keeps on giving. For $10-15, and sometimes less, even the most feckless gardener gets the pleasure of watching something grow; something that produces astonishingly beautiful, long-lasting flowers (sometimes with more than one scape or flower stem) – just when […]

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Almost All Tucked In

Got all the plants inside, with the exceptions of a few casualties. Sad to see the succulents turn from a healthy turgid puffiness to one-step-away-from-putrefying liquid, but you can’t win ’em all. There were some pots on my sister’s back deck that I forgot about. I still haven’t even checked on them, but after the […]

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Auggh!!! I’ve killed it!!!

It’s Charlie Brown’s cry of guilty anguish as he puts the last ornament on his Christmas tree, promptly causing it to keel over. It is not a happy moment. And it’s precisely how I feel when I kill a plant. There are many ways to kill plants. A lot of them have to do with […]

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I am compelled to brag about my tomatoes

I have tomatoes growing on two plants on my deck. Now. In October. They are actually growing leaves and forming tomatoes and flowers and it is October 21st. Both plants are the cherry variety. One of these plants, ‘Gardener’s Delight‘, I grew from seed, sown in April. The other plant was a rescued tomato plant. […]

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