‘Tis better to give

Plantaholism has a positive side effect. When it leads to a superfluity of plants (as we know it does), it can make one seem very generous. Take the wonderful ‘William Baffin’ Explorer rose seen here. Please. No, actually, you’re too late. After languishing for years with sporadic blooms (mostly on my neighbour’s side of the […]

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June-is-busting-out-all-over.jpg

It’s hard to blog when you are consumed by other passions. Looking at the garden. Looking at other people’s gardens. Taking pictures of the garden. Taking more pictures of the garden – and of other people’s gardens. Occasionally weeding and deadheading. Watering the pots, perhaps too late. Taking more pictures. Reviewing the pictures. You see […]

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Love/Hate in Raccoon City

Toronto, once again standing in for some American city in the movie Resident Evil, was seen bearing the emblem “Raccoon City.” So fitting. Our city has one of the world’s most abundant raccoon populations, or so they say. At least five of them are now living and poohing on the roof of our little cedar […]

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Gnomerology

I was led into the garden by gnomes. Not today’s horror movie refugees, but 1930s pixie-on-toadstool fantasies. I was eight, and they were in my grandmother’s garden in Rhyl, a North Wales seaside town. Gran was a funny little lady, always in her pinny, hair in curlers, squinting into the smoke of a cigarette. But […]

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Our annual pilgrimage

When our mother was alive, the three of us would spend Mother’s Day together at a nursery. Sometimes it was (the recently departed) White Rose Nurseries or Sheridan Nurseries in Unionville. Then we discovered Humber Nurseries on Hwy 50, and it became our garden Mecca. Though Mum died 20 years ago this year, Sarah and […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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