15 container ideas and why I love them

I could give you a play-by-play, but on an almost-Wordless Wednesday I’ll just say this about why I love them: Inventive plant combos, cool containers and display ideas, great scale (from very-very big to very-very small), a mix of enthusiasm (by some) and restraint (in others), and steal-worthy ideas. All seen in the mild climes of Virginia, Maryland […]

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Lessons from the Danger Garden

Since my earliest days with the long-lost, late-lamented Blotanical, I’ve been a reader of Loree Bohl’s The Danger Garden. With a focus on her passion for spiky plants, Loree has been a regular and prolific blogger since 2009. Get to know her through this interview. Now the growing conditions in Portland (USDA Z8) and Toronto (USDA Z5/Canadian Z6) […]

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Persian shield, not just for containers

Isn’t this a wonderful combination? Usually, you see the metallic purple patterned leaves of Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) accenting a container. It can also be grown as a houseplant. This time, I found it used as a bedding plant in a public garden in Stratford, Ontario. Loved it! It apparently propagates easily from cuttings. So I […]

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St. Augustine grass for containers

Ever experience a strange coincidence? Like mine, years ago, when backpacking around Europe, I met two Australian girls who gave me that old line: Oh, you’re from Canada? We know someone from Canada. Uh huh, I thought, sure you do. Then they named my ex-boyfriend. This week I read that, statistically, coincidences like this aren’t really […]

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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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Ideas for designing with vegetables

Houseplants and vegetables are the “gateway drugs” to gardening. They certainly were for me, and I think they are again today. I was a university student with a windowsill full of houseplants when first bitten hard by the gardening bug. Later, Mr TG and I had our first apartment and an allotment garden at the Leslie Street Spit. One […]

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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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Making fish box troughs

Let’s focus here on just one of many reasons to love the garden of Lee and Jerry Shannon on the Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling*: Alpine troughs made from recycled fish coolers. Yes, that’s right. Fish troughs. Even while photographing them, I had no idea they weren’t concrete, stone or hypertufa, but styrofoam. This row of troughs […]

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Great, great-big ‘Gryphon’ begonia

My photo is not exactly tack-sharp, but you get the idea. Begonia hybrid ‘Gryphon’ is a fabulous foliage plant Thank you to Proven Winners for introducing me to the fabulous ‘Gryphon’ begonia, which they sent me to trial in 2014. It looks like Proven Winners has since applied its own trademarked brand name ‘Pegasus’ to […]

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Dipladenia is Mandevilla is pretty nice plant

Who’d bother planting geraniums (Pelargonium) in planter boxes, when you could get a show-stopping display like this one at a Leaside pub. These are Mandevilla. And, in fact, so are dipladenias. Not till after I got a Dipladenia ‘Rio’ to trial, from Toronto Fling sponsor Fernlea, did I learn the difference between Dipladenia and Mandevilla. There […]

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