‘Green Spice’ is a fabulous Heuchera

A shade gardener who values foliage design, someone like me, needs a healthy appreciation for the huge coralbells family (Heuchera). Hybridizers have created a ridiculously wide array of choices in coralbell leaf shape, colour, patterning, and size. Some have even put the “coral” back in the coralbell flowers. When you add crosses with Heuchera cousin Tiarella you get many more […]

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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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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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Hakone grass: Fall in love with foliage

For amping up your foliage design palette, there’s nothing quite like the flowing texture of Hakone or Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra). The cultivar with the gold and green stripes above is likely H. ‘Aureola’) First, my confession. For me, Hakone grass is a case of I can’t always – maybe ever – get what […]

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Yellow leaves on my hydrangea

Green veins, yellow between them – a symptom of chlorosis It was on a lot of hydrangeas I saw around town this year – yellowing leaves, with the classic green veins that signal chlorosis or lack of chlorophyll. Unsure why this happened more often in 2014, but when it did on my own Hydrangea ‘Quickfire’ […]

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Dotty for Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’

Endearingly polka-dotted and charmingly shaped, the plate-sized leaves of Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ Another reason to thank Marie the Gardenbug: she introduced me to this cool plant, known only to me by name before. It’s an exotic hybrid cousin of our native may-apple called Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’. For info on this dramatic family of plants, see […]

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Go, go Begonia ‘Escargot’

Look at that face, just look at it! Who could resist Rex begonia (Begonia rex-cultorum) ‘Escargot’? Not me, it seems. Despite her better judgement, Helen the House Plant Killer has become the owner of a slightly fussy Rex begonia ‘Escargot’. The showy leaves with their whorled, snail-shell centres wooed her, that is, er, me. In […]

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The pure pow of green-on-green

All-green fall planters at Allan Gardens A little almost-wordless wow for another grey Wednesday in November. Don’t you love the textures here? And these babies will take a little nippy weather, especially here where they’re a little sheltered. It was hard to choose between them but this one might be my favourite after all.  

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Garden colour without flowers

The Toronto Botanical Garden on a rainy (but clearly not grey) day in November Think November is drab? It doesn’t have to be, if you play your cards right. Look at the lusciousness in the photo above, without the use of a single flower – well, discounting the dried heads of a red-tinged oakleaf hydrangea […]

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