Rai-ai-ai-ain, I don’t mind

The rain is pelting down on the crocuses in my neighbour G.’s garden; the crocuses that stopped me in my tracks the other day — before I’d realized spring had really sprung. A small patch of organic sunshine at the corner of the street, these little guys have boisterously multiplied in the two or three […]

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Signs of Spring: What’s under the leaves?

It must be spring. The day before yesterday, Sarah and I had our first official Walk Around the Garden with a Cup of Tea. This puts the 2008 season at least two weeks behind schedule in Toronto. Usually, this first walk happens in mid-March. Typically, it involves gently prying apart the mat of maple leaves […]

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Guerrilla Gardeners take note

We do a little unofficial guerilla gardening in our neck o’th’woods. But I’m now on Toronto Public Space Committee mailing list, so am apprised of the activities of this official unofficial movement. Here are the details, in case you’re interested in doing a little subversive sowing: Guerilla Gardeners 2008 Spring Event Dates Announced: – 2008 […]

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Signs of Spring: Yes, we have snowdrops

The first snowdrop sighting on our street actually happened on Saturday. But this picture, snapped yesterday, really shows the tenacious nature of these little guys. Even snow doesn’t stop them. Unless there’s a mile of it sitting on top. Until neighbour M. transplanted a huge unwieldy shrub for me, I had one tiny patch of […]

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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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