Win tickets to see The Gardener documentary

Did you know? Canada is home to one of North America’s most spectacular private gardens. We’ve written twice about Les Quatre Vents, near La Malbaie, Quebec (here and here) and at last I have an excuse to write about it again. Because it, and its creator Francis Cabot, is now the subject of a feature documentary, The Gardener, playing May 18 […]

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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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Paving the way: One pebble at a time

In the Italianate terrace at Powerscourt Estate in Ireland’s County Wicklow, a journey of 1,000 pebbles (many times over) began in 1843 with the very first stone, placed by a kid aged seven. Look at the finish date above – more than three decades later. And it all happened one pebble at a time. It makes me think of […]

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A flashback to Jane Austen’s garden

A regular reader of this blog might know our affection for Jane Austen. We began our very first post, more than 10 years ago, with one of her quotes. And she does pop up here from time to time. With the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death (aged just 41) coming on July 18th, 2017’s arrival flooded my social media […]

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A short, quirky floral tour of Taiwan

When I first visited Taiwan five years ago, I had no idea it would be the first Asian country I would come to know – and, after four more trips,  come to love, too. Here are a few floral impressions from my introduction to the country. Though it was a business trip, as always my antennae were up for […]

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A pool garden with imperfect symmetry

Sometimes a photographer doesn’t mind a brightly clad garden writer in the shot to add perspective and scale. We were lined up several deep to take this money shot. Patience is a virtue. Huge thanks go to horticultural therapist Margaret Nevett who, years ago at a Master Gardener meeting, suggested that I join the Garden Writers […]

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Every garden needs more dinosaurs

Dippy the Diplodocus outside Pittsburg’s Carnegie Institute near Schenley Plaza. You might be forgiven for thinking (as I did) this was a Brontosaurus aka Apatosaurus. Nope, it’s notasaurus. But we’re right in thinking it’s a grand addition to the gardens.  These large-scaley critters make common-garden lions and angels seem positively, well, prehistoric. Wouldn’t you love […]

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Giving myself a big bunch of bee balm

A bee’s-eye view of scarlet bee balm, Monarda didyma I need cheering up, after nearly ten days of being seriously under the weather. What could be cheerier than the bold blast of colour that comes from our native North American bee balm (Monarda spp.) and its hybrid cousins – many of which are blooming right […]

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Get thee to Buffalo for Garden Walk

The Locke-Irey garden alone (seen here with a hint of Buffalo’s many charming streetscapes), will have as many as 4000 visitors over the Garden Walk weekend. If you’d told us five years ago that we would eagerly visit Buffalo, Buffalo!, as a garden destination, we might have looked at you sideways. That was before, through […]

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