Just wild about Allan (Gardens)

Every child who grew up in or near Toronto probably has a memory of Allan Gardens. Even if it’s a “child at heart” like me who visited for the first time in my early 20s when my yet-to-be-husband and I were lucky enough to live a block away. Since then, my sister Sarah and I […]

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Vermiculture: or, we love worms!

Our Aunt Beryl, a hardy gardener transplanted from the north of England to the north of Canada, turned me on to worms. In one of her guises she ran a daycare centre and composted organic waste from lunches using vermiculture, or worm composting. The kids just loved the worms. “How do you do it?” I […]

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Bargain Books: Two great finds

I’m trying to control my addiction to books. Especially garden books. There’s only so much space on the shelves. Plus, with an astounding wealth of info on the Internet at the end of a few keystrokes, I try to buy only those books I’ll refer to again and again. Yet, sometimes I’m faced with an offer […]

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Canada Blooms: Why we go, 5

5. Flower Power Don’t forget that Canada Blooms is about blooms – and equal partners with Landscape Ontario in the show is the Garden Club of Toronto. This is a not-for-profit group of amateur (in the true “loving” sense of the word) and often insanely talented floral designers and horticulturists. They are the force that […]

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Canada Blooms: Why we go, 4

4. Grand larceny You might be unable to afford all that limestone hardscaping or the wrought-iron fencing or the brilliant “exterior designers”. But there’s one thing every gardener can afford at Canada Blooms: free ideas to steal. Wantonly and with abandon. To wit: the watering can fountain in my own garden, pictured on the right; […]

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Canada Blooms: Why we go, 3

Next in line in our Canada Blooms reasons why series: 3. Escape from winter The Ides of March are approaching. The snowdrops and bluebells are buried under the foot or more of snow on the ground in Toronto. And then there is Canada Blooms; Canada Blooms, where the hyacinths fly for the winter. We go […]

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Canada Blooms: Why we go, 2

This continues our series about why, despite everything, we keep returning to Canada Blooms: 2. Rekindling the passion Within the spidery network of the Internet, I’ll probably regret using this term, but one thing you’re always sure to get at Canada Blooms is what I call “garden pornography.” We go to get all lathered up […]

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Canada Blooms: Why we go

I’ve visited Canada Blooms almost every year since it began; often as a volunteer, sometimes as a civilian. After a few start-up pains (like that first year way out by the airport) and a few glory years (remember Janet Rosenberg’s spectacular garden designs for Loblaws?), Canada’s largest indoor garden show has settled into something of […]

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The Island in winter

Everyone loves that ferry ride to Toronto Islands in the summertime. It’s the perfect antidote to city heat. Who but its residents visit the island in winter? Last September 2007, some friends and I met on Ward’s Island to do the Terry Fox 10K and we made a pact — Let’s visit the islands at […]

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