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. […]

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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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Using black and brown in a garden

Sometimes, I feel bad about filtering the experience of being in a garden through a camera lens. Am I like one of those people who walk around seeing the whole world through the screen of their iPads? But the magic of photography can turn a frantic, 45-minute garden visit into hours of contemplation at home – letting me zoom in, identify hidden treasures, and […]

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You’ve been seen, ultramarine

Since visiting the garden of Linda Hostetler in The Plains, Virginia, I’ve spent a long time trying to feel blue. I mean feel it – to understand the science behind why gardeners love this eye-popping blue called ultramarine (and sometimes Majorelle blue, after the painter and his garden). As my camera and I slowly explored Hostetler’s interesting […]

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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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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 […]

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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, […]

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Garden bloggers, come Fling in D.C.

On October 15 (that’s today), registration opens for the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling in Washington, D.C. and the Capital Region. My sister Sarah and I are both gonna be there, and we hope to see you there, too. We’ve written before about why we Fling. So much of it is the people we’ve met, some are now friends for […]

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Preserving our garden heritage at Parkwood Estate

Fellow Toronto Fling organizers Veronica Sliva and Lorraine Flanigan on our scouting mission to Parkwood Estate With Mr. TG reading Roch Carrier’s Montcalm and Wolfe, I’m reminded how little Canadians know (or care) about the history of their own country. That goes for local history, too. How many Torontonians give a second thought to the […]

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How do you look at a collector’s garden?

A shady entrance to the garden of plantswoman Marion Jarvie Marion Jarvie’s seasonal open gardens are a bit of an event among Toronto-area garden aficionados. But, although I’d seen pictures and even taken a class from Marion at the Toronto Botanical Garden, I’d never actually visited until we took the Toronto Fling bloggers there, the […]

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Formal gardens don’t have to be stuffy

The formal herb garden at Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens (with Savvy Gardening gals Amy and Tara) The act of garden making is an attempt to impose a human’s sense of order on the natural world. Even a native garden or, the latest trend, the messy, bedhead garden (a trend that I’ve been following for years), actively assembles […]

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Your June garden needs more alliums

This Ward’s Island garden whispers to me (loudly): a garden can never have too many alliums. When you invite 70 garden bloggers to Toronto in early June 2015 (after a bitter winter and a long, cool spring), you’d better hope the gardeners have planted alliums – the ornamental onion – to fill the potentially gaping […]

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