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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Danforth East Tree Tour

It was quite a crowd last Sunday when arborist Todd Irvine and LEAF organizer Susan Gulley got us together to fall in love with trees. I learned plenty about the East Danforth treescape. And now I’m trying to see how it all fits in with my own garden. My own garden, if you’ve read one […]

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Danforth East Tree Tour, Preamble

Yesterday, I want on a fabulous Toronto Tree Tour, sponsored by LEAF, and the Toronto Public Space Committee, this one of the trees of Danforth East. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to talk about all I learned just now. So more on this soon. However, I did want to quickly post a pic of […]

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Doors Open Toronto – Gardens

This weekend, May 24 and 25, Doors Open Toronto 2008 gives you free access to a number of spaces in the city. The theme this year is Sacred Spaces, Sacred Circles, so churches and other spiritual edifices are highlighted. All gardeners know that gardens are amongst the most sacred of earth’s spaces. Some of the […]

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Garden Centres – East of Eliza

Although it’s safe to plant out many perennials as soon as the ground can we worked in spring, Victoria Day weekend is Toronto’s traditional “safe” planting day. So it’s natural that today a friend asked me where I get my plants. Not that I have room for more plants, of course. I gave her four […]

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Towers of flowers

I’d intended to write on another subject tonight. But, at the moment, my living room is filled to overflowing with the scent from a massive bouquet of lilacs. So guess what is top of mind. Sarah’s little schoolhouse in the country sits in a near-forest of lilacs that bloom later than ours. In two weeks, […]

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Angelique, or the Wandering Tulip

Tulipa ‘Angelique’ is a beauty – one of the first “peony-flowered” varieties on the market. I planted half a dozen of them in my garden a few years ago from bulbs purchased through the Beach Garden Society. And this one is really plumped-up and gorgeous. Trouble is, this one isn’t in my garden anymore. It’s […]

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Squirrel Pie, and other temptations

Ah, the anticipation of springtime. Waiting for the blooms to unfold after a long and trying winter. I look out over my domain at the sea of green and notice the garden is punctuated… by spikes; yes, once again, spiky stems of snapped-off tulips. Alas, lopped in their prime, before the buds burst into bloom. […]

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