Growing in the wrong place

Everybody has one of these. Not a Nectaroscordum, though I wish. No, I mean a plant growing in exactly the wrong spot. Too close to something, too far away to be seen. Or, in the case of this pretty cousin of the Alliums, too buried under an ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangea … and mired in too impenetrable […]

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“The lemon lilies are in bloom again…”

At this time of year, the words above go through my mind, and often pass my lips, in a bad Katharine Hepburn accent (with apologies to calla lilies). Old-fashioned lemon lilies (Hemerocallis flava) are among the legacy plants in my garden. Along with the morning glories (Ipomoea purpurea) and purple irises (Iris), the lilacs (Syringa) and mock […]

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Just because it’s June, June, June!

Now that the crazy humidity has eased off, I could actually go out and look in the garden – to discover that, next door, M.’s blood red poppies have popped open. In June of last year, I obsessively photographed their every move. But just look at them. Who could blame me? Oriental poppies (Papaver orientale) […]

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What’s growing in May & June: Alliums!

You don’t like dancing with crazy Ted, he’s always jumping on your head? But, oooooooo, you love onions? Join the club. Now is the time the popsicle-like flowers of Alliums come into their own. I captured the display above on a small street in the Junction. All the neighbours seem to have shared in the […]

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Ingenuity grows in the garden

Last evening, I was down the street admiring “my” pink poppies. These are the poppies I killed by trying to transplant at the wrong time a few hot summers ago. Luckily, like most of the things in the Microgarden, I had given a few away. So there are some growing in the front garden of […]

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What’s growing in May & June: Irises!

The cornu is definitely copious when it comes to irises in June. Even my Microgarden tends to feature a good flush of the intermediate purple irises (above) that came with the house – and which, over the years, have overflown to neighbours’ gardens up and down the street. Albeit, for silly me, the flush of […]

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Smell-o-vision

Too bad this invention doesn’t exist, as this post about garden plants whose smells I love would be a lot easier. How to describe smells? Almost impossible. I suppose there should be some way of doing it, like the way wine experts use descriptive terms to describe the flavour of wine. When I read those […]

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Toronto Garden Tours

Now is the season for all good gardeners to come to the aid of their nosiness. I love garden tours. What great ideas there are for the stealing! Well, not really stealing — but the cost of the tour is usually very reasonable; often as little at $10. Mark your calendar for these dates, and […]

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Faves: ‘Carol Mackie’ Daphne

When you find a shrub that will grow in fairly consistent shade, and has interesting foliage, and will flower, and on top of it all will flower fragrantly, you need to crow about it. Hence this homage to Daphne ‘Carol Mackie.’ I was first introduced to ‘Carol Mackie’ in a fantastic garden during the Riverdale […]

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It’s our little secret

We have a decent crop of gardeners on our street, from ingenious T. up at the top, with his backyard pond surrounded in ferns and flowers, all the way down to G. & W. at the corner, making something lovely from a virgin plot. Last weekend at a garage sale, neighbours S. & B. said, […]

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Green blight: Dog-strangling Vine

For some years now, Toronto’s meadows, ravines, valleys and now, it seems, gardens have been increasingly blighted with a green pestilence: Dog-strangling vine (Vincetoxicum rossicum). You can see it growing in eerie symmetry on the slopes by the Don Valley Parkway, to about a foot in height. Then, it starts to twine; with each other, […]

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