Getting ready for the big chill

Today’s cold snap reminds us. Winter is coming! The first frost for Toronto statistically falls around October 29th. But when overnight temps dip into the low single digits, like now, we know that anything could happen. So today, in honour of Cathy’s In a Vase on Monday (IAVOM) over on Rambling in the Garden, I took pity on some […]

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Zinnia, the gift that gives and gives

Heaven knows why I resisted growing Zinnia for so long. I think I assumed my garden was too shady, or that I didn’t have enough room. This year, I had a packet of red-and-white ‘Canada Day’ zinnia seed mix from Renee’s Garden. When it was fairly late, the first week of July, I thought, what […]

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Plough the field you’re given

A small garden. A small vase. A few minutes with the scissors. It’s amazing what can pass for bounty when you set your mind to it. Although I whine a lot about the Microgarden, it can often be counted on to produce a pretty nice bouquet, even in different seasons. This one, I gave to my […]

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Make yourself a “deadhead bouquet”

If you think of deadheading as a garden chore, it’s because you’re doing it too late! Doing it after the flowers fade gives you all the work and none of the benefits. In many cases, cutting flowers to enjoy indoors is actually a form of deadheading. Yes! And it often gives you exactly the benefit you want from […]

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A cunning plan for your cutting garden

I didn’t realize as I hastily took this shot (on my way to our group photo for the Garden Bloggers Fling in Washington D.C.) that I was looking at a clever gardening technique. It simply seemed like a handsome steeple in the sweet spot of a colourful garden. It’s the outer edge of the cutting garden at Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens, […]

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Invaders I wish I’d never planted

This is not a picture of a spring garden. No, it’s a stand-off between the Hatfields and McCoys, with Prokofiev’s ominous Dance of the Knights as the sound-track. To the left, the Hatfields, wearing purple. To the right, green-clad McCoys. Each creeps towards a battle in the middle – and takeover of my garden. What is an invasive plant? […]

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A bouquet of poppies

On Remembrance Day, we remember all who served and sacrificed – and who survived – with the symbol of the red corn poppies that bloomed on the fields of Flanders after the First World War. None of these are corn poppies. Some are Oriental poppies, some are Iceland or opium poppies. Some are perennial, some, […]

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My ‘Wasabi’ coleus did a little too well

Take a look at that bright green or chartreuse shrub in my front garden above. It isn’t a shrub. It was (once) a single pot of ‘Wasabi’ coleus that I bought from Plant World this spring for my large container. A ‘Wasabi’ intent on taking over the world. Now, ‘Wasabi’ is an amazingly tough and beautiful […]

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July 2016 in the Microgarden

Coming home to the garden after a few days away feels like seeing nieces and nephews after a break. Except when you say, “My, how you’ve grown!” plants are a bit harder to embarrass. Want to see what’s growing in a small, shady, city garden – maybe a bit like yours? Certainly, I’d like to recall what worked and what didn’t in the Microgarden […]

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Creating a focal point at Hearts + Ivy

The small studio garden of Hearts + Ivy designer Donna Hamilton is like a jewelbox, sparkling with gems. With colour everywhere, everywhere, you feel like a bee, wanting to flit from flower to flower to flower to flower. This got me thinking about focus. I don’t usually post people pictures from garden tours, but this one makes […]

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Red and white garden for Canada Day

A cottage garden feel in the colours of the Canadian flag (with sunshiny touches of yellow). And a matching red door. Just in time for Canada Day, a Leslieville garden full of ephemeral red poppies and what look like common ox-eye daisies. This stopped me in my tracks as I passed. Happy, happy Canada Day! […]

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Not all Ipomoeas look alike

The one with the red star and the feathery foliage is Ipomoea quamoclit Oh, botanical names. How you confuse us! These two climbing cousins have a network of colliding names. One (with star-shaped flowers) can be called cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit but also Quamoclit pennata). The other one (with multiple tubular florets) can be called […]

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