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 […]

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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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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 […]

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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, […]

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Treated myself to a tulip (photo) safari

Corner store tulips, taken with Camera+ app – cropped as Golden Rectangle; Miniaturize filter applied. What could be an easier than treating myself to an afternoon walk down the Danforth, looking at corner-store tulips through the eye of my iPhone? Then taking a few self-indulgent minutes with neat camera apps, making pretty pictures – prettier? […]

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What the heck is that silvery plant?

Why, it’s silver thistle (Carlina acaulis). Here’s how I found out. Wish my photo gave you a better idea of its metallic sheen. Don’t know about you, but when it comes to knowing how to identify unknown plants (or bugs or plant diseases or…), I love to play detective. I photograph a lot of plants, and […]

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My straw bale gardening failure

My naked bales did grow the cool ink cap mushrooms called Tippler’s Bane. Don’t eat them if you’re drinking alcohol! I’m a failure – or, a bailure – at straw bale gardening. It was a failure months in the making when, from all I’d read, I’d anticipated easy-peasiness. Sadly, not so here. Read my bale […]

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Worth repeating: Be water wise

It’s another heat wave. So we thought it worthwhile to repeat these tips for water-wise gardening from May 2009 – still useful, even as we enter July: Okay, the picture exaggerates. But today we’ll get a taste of it, and tomorrow’s forecast is 30˚C and full sunshine. On hot days like tomorrow, it’s smart to […]

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Battle of the bulb-planting tools

 When you have 350 bulbs to plant – and your soil wears bulletproof armour in the form of impenetrable Norway maple roots – you’ll try anything to make your life easier. So when I noticed this inexpensive, ergonomic Y-Grip Trowel on the Botanus website, I wondered how it would stand up to my long-handled bulb planter. I added it to […]

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