More bee hotels for your collection

Wherever I travel, my eyes are sharply on the lookout for housing. Housing for birds and bees and butterflies, that is. This summer, my little eye spied this big bee and, perhaps, butterfly condo in the Smithsonian Gardens in Washington, D.C.. With all those living options, it would be the perfect home for all kinds of solitary, […]

Continue Reading

A day to love plants that die well

If you find the chore of deadheading scary, don’t fear. For some plants, deadheading has been dead for a decade and more. Dutch plantsman Piet Oudolf woke us to the beauty of plants in all their stages, including the end of their lifecycle. In other words, dying and dead. Confession: I’d never absorbed the Oudolfian phrase, “plants that […]

Continue Reading

RBG’s Rock Garden rocks in October!

If you only think “spring bulbs” or “rock garden plants” when you think of the Rock Garden at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, you haven’t seen it lately. In the last couple years, it has undergone a major transformation. I can’t believe it took me so long to visit, but being carless is my excuse. Even […]

Continue Reading

Yarrow

Pink yarrow in the garden of Barbara Katz, #GBFling2017 on the TorontoGardens.com blog

Yarrow or Achillea millefolium is a reliable but kinda plain-Jane flower that’s easy to take for granted. That is, until you notice it used skillfully – as I did in the garden of U.S. landscape designer Barbara Katz on the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling. Wow, I thought, looking at the vignette above, Great colour echo between the Echinacea and coleus. And, oh. […]

Continue Reading

30 years, 30 gardens, Through the Garden Gate 2017

I was (regretfully) away for the 2017 preview of Through the Garden Gate. So I (regretfully) can’t show sneak peeks into the 30+ (yes, that’s thirty-plus!) gardens selected for the 30th anniversary of the Toronto Botanical Garden‘s annual garden tour, this weekend June 10 & 11. But I can tell you a few facts: It happens in North Rosedale […]

Continue Reading

What Toronto needs is a Chinese garden

Google “classical Chinese garden Toronto” and here’s what you’ll discover: we have a lot of Chinese restaurants with “garden” in their name. Digging deeper might get you this link to the lost Chinese garden once-upon-a-time on Spadina Avenue. But do we have an actual, gardeny Chinese garden in T.O.? Not yet. And I wish we did. Classical Chinese […]

Continue Reading

‘Banish Misfortune’ at the RBG

Scrolling through my photo archive, I came across a set of photos I couldn’t believe we haven’t shared. These are just a taste from two visits made to the Royal Botanical Gardens‘ amazing Laking Garden iris collection in June 2014 and 2015. For many reasons, our opening shot lives up to its name. It’s Iris […]

Continue Reading

Crevice gardens, natural and crafted

We’d spent 20+ years clambering over Nature’s crevice gardens, had we only known it. The natural rock formations below near our former summer home on Ile d’Orléans in the St. Lawrence River near Québec City held exactly the eroded vertical spaces that crevice gardens try to mimic. As they were also naturally photogenic, I have pictures to show you, […]

Continue Reading

Inspiration for mosaic paving

Before the snow or, more likely, the fallen leaves cover the ground, it’s a good time to squint at your paving (what Marjorie Harris calls “creative staring”) to see if there’s anything you can do better. Here are a couple of beautiful mosaic paving designs from the Atlanta Botanical Garden. [Update: Paving design is by […]

Continue Reading

A last bit of fall colour

This quick Sunday post on the first snowy day of winter 2016-17 takes me back to the Montreal Botanical Garden and their bonsai collection. It was November, too, the last time I was in the green house there, and this colourful and shapely Ginkgo caught my eye. To me, Ginkgo biloba seemed an odd choice for […]

Continue Reading

Little bluestem, a great native grass

Sometimes you can know of a plant without really knowing it. You hear the name often, but wouldn’t be able to pick out the face in the crowd – or in the garden. That’s how it used to be for me with the native grass called little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). Then I saw this display garden in […]

Continue Reading

Chihuly in the garden

Have you seen the Chihuly glass exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum? I have been meaning to go since it opened, and I’m glad to hear they’ve extended it till January 8, 2017. (Looking up ticket prices this week, I learned you can get a good price by combining it with the Wildlife Photographer of the […]

Continue Reading