Behold the mighty redwood

Who could not love a tree with the multi-barrelled name Metasequoia glyptostroboides, the dawn redwood? It’s among the marvels of the tree world, a deciduous conifer. People typically think of conifers as being evergreens – the kind you put tinsel on. But conifer just means “cone maker.” The redwood makes cones, but it also sheds […]

Continue Reading

It’s all my fault

“That’s man for you; blaming on his shoes the faults of his feet ” – Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot) Okay, I admit to a certain culpability. I complain about the Norway maples, but many of my problems are of my own making. The hours I spent de-mapleifying my garden today might have something to […]

Continue Reading

A beautiful day in the neighbourhood

 In “picture is worth thousand words” mode, here are a few plants of note in the garden today. The most impressive is at left, this little-seen (at least, by me) native wildflower with the charming name of merrybells (Uvularia grandiflora). Great for a moist shady garden. Not mine, needless to say. Over the garden fence, […]

Continue Reading

Love/Hate, maple-flavoured

Meet the bane of my existence right now: a forest of Norway maple seedlings. The conditions must have been so right for maple seed germination this year. In all my years gardening under Norway maples (Acer platanoides), I’ve never seen such an abundance. A veritable pro-leaferation! If they were worth money, I’d be a gazillionaire. […]

Continue Reading

Coxwell Avenue, I

Sarah & I started this blog because we were interested in real gardens by real people – not in adventures in hardscaping. Though, frankly, if either of us had a few hundred thou to spare for hardscaping, we wouldn’t quibble, Sybil. Hardscaping, of course, is the expensive part of the garden, usually requiring tonnes of […]

Continue Reading

Sarah is greenhouse goddess

A quick post in praise of my sister’s ingenuity. While houseplants and seedlings wither and die in my hands, Sarah makes potted things grow. Invention is the necessity of mothers. And this little mother can invent up a storm. Here is her crazy-but-it-works idea for a “roof garden” greenhouse. First, an inexpensive plant stand with […]

Continue Reading

Thou shalt not covet, II

Ah, Magnolia stellata, the aptly named star magnolia! I like this early little bloomer even better than its May-flowering cousin, Magnolia x soulangeana. The loose petals have a nonchalance that that suits an informal garden like mine much better than the other’s more upright, tulipy-shaped blooms. The stellata is more compact, too, but still has […]

Continue Reading

Pardon my tarda-ness

A big pile of work, a billion Norway maple seedlings – sometimes things conspire against you and enjoyment of your garden. That doesn’t mean you can’t pause for a little adoration of a few special sparkles. And speaking of sparkles: Tulipa tarda – everyone should have these species tulips in their garden! First come lots of […]

Continue Reading

Too few crocuses, too little time

After such a looo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooong, cold spring how nice to see the crocuses finally arrive. Those blasts of colour amidst the detritus of fall and winter. Opening wide to capture the sunlight. Then came the sudden summer last weekend, and all the little darlings plopped on their sides and expired. Still, they were glory itself for […]

Continue Reading

Stop and Smell the Hyacinths

Annoying. I can’t do this right now. Not because I’m too busy, but because I’ve been nasally challenged for the entire month of January. Felled by a virus at the beginning of the month and still drooping now because of it. Thing is I have my own little potted garden miracle that has been happening […]

Continue Reading