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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12 things to like about 2016

By many measures, 2016 was one of the most deplorable of annus horribilis-es. The Grim Reaper was unusually busy, and some things did not turn out as hoped. But let’s try to bright-side it. A look back: January One thing to like, every year, is Toronto’s skirt hem along the great freshwater sea that is Lake Ontario. A […]

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Sculpture elevates a Swansea hillside garden

Sculptors Wojtek Biczysko (barefoot) and Ania Biczysko in the Swansea garden that has showcased both their works. How would you put a price on artwork? Some artists may command high prices for anything they produce, though many can’t. The Canada Council for the Arts notes the median income for a visual artist in Canada is […]

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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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The power of wrought-iron and stone

Through the balustrade, stonework and wrought iron create instant history in this Lawrence Park garden. The long architectural heritage of Ashlar stonework and wrought iron can give your yard immediate garden cred. You can do them in a major way, like this garden does so majestically. Or you can be like Mr. TG and I, who “got […]

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A contemporary hedge with panache

Now this is a bold way to turn tradition on its ear – or at least turn it 90˚ – when it comes to a hedge that will complement contemporary architecture. Seen at Through the Garden Gate in Lawrence Park, June 2015. I sincerely appreciate all the work that goes into the planning and delivery […]

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A rain garden in Hogg’s Hollow

This lush rain garden was on the 2014 Through the Garden Gate tour in Hogg’s Hollow Hogg’s Hollow is set in a (surprise!) hollow – a steep-sided ravine – in some places steeper than others. The lucky homeowners who live in this charming setting aren’t always so lucky during heavy rains. Water scoots down the […]

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Oh yeah, Summer! I remember you.

A modest entry marks one of my favourite garden experiences from 2013’s Through the Garden Gate – because the reveal was such a surprise, combining formal elements with quirky details. If you read our blog, you know: Quirk R Us. P’raps that wasn’t one of those headlines. You know. The crawler-friendly ones that neatly index […]

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Idea File: Large leaves for big impact

The bold, blue leaves of sea kale (Crambe maritima) anchor a collection of planters – and sea kale is actually edible. Sea kale also produces clusters of white flowers. With less-attractive large leaves, its cousin colewort (Crambe cordifolia) outdoes sea kale with its billowing clouds of small, white flowers. Sometimes you need to sweat the […]

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