How to (not) kill a houseplant

Beware! This is a picture of a crime scene. It’s a dumb cane plant (Dieffenbachia), being killed slowly by a combination of too much neglect and too much “love.” How can that be, you ask? Look at the tell-tale signs. Naked stems The first clue is that “palm tree” effect that happens when lower leaves die off […]

Continue Reading

How to over-winter gladiolus

This month, I’ve learned you can’t do everything. Setting priorities means doing what counts most (such as saving the Gladiolus corms that have given me such pleasure), and setting the rest aside (such as NaBloPoMo 2017). Before the unseasonal cold snap this month, I dug up the corms above. What’s a corm? It’s the thickened […]

Continue Reading

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, […]

Continue Reading

I might have to spray-paint my Alliums

I’ve heard this from others about alliums aka ornamental onions – though the Virginia, USA, gardener responsible for these was mystified when I told her. Alliums can self-seed. In my sandy, part-sun and tiny back garden, Allium christophii, though lovely, can be a bit of a pest. So I’m considering spray-painting them. The gardener did it to […]

Continue Reading

Love She Sheds? Win the book

We fell in love with she sheds before we knew she sheds were she sheds! That’s the term for the distaff version of a man cave, but in outdoor shed. In 2012, for instance, we showed you Beacher Michelle Blais’ hand-built creation. In 2015, we peeked into an artsy bunkhouse in Port Hope. And, last August, I mused about […]

Continue Reading

How to stop squirrels digging up bulbs

The pesky squirrel problem makes people want to stop planting bulbs. Those darned critters seem to have radar, and know exactly when and where you’ve planted your bulbs – then they dig them up and either eat them, or plant them in someone else’s garden. Grrrrr. But don’t despair. I used to be one of those people, […]

Continue Reading

Make a woven leaf wreath

Quick! Before all those beautiful fall leaves get crunchy or covered by snow! Run out and gather a handful of the prettiest leaves to make this wreath. I made a leaf wreath yesterday, inspired by online pal and brilliant contemporary basketmaking artist Kari Lønning. (Skip over to Kari’s Facebook page for examples of her work.) Here’s how I did […]

Continue Reading

This is an espaliered Belgian fence

We should be grateful to Philippe Kahn, credited with inventing the camera-phone, back in 1997. (Or not, according to C-Net.) Whomever the mastermind, he (or she!) ensured we could have a camera, all the time and everywhere. So as we walked briskly past this fence near Woodbine Park one evening this May, I could follow up my double-take with the […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading