Amelanchier foliage glows red for fall

While planting the first 300 of my far-too-many bulbs today, I felt I’d earned the right to pause for a moment and admire the red fall foliage on my serviceberry (Amelanchier). The sun had scooted under the clouds and was making the leaves just glow. Amazing. This year’s glow seems stronger than last year’s. However, when […]

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Live long and garden

It isn’t unusual to see Toronto playing other cities on film or TV. Toronto pretends to be New York in shows like Suits, for instance. But I went Hey! with delight seeing our city cast as a place on a different planet in a recent episode of Star Trek: Discovery. Welcome to a celebration on Vulcan! That accounts […]

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Wow, when clematis met smoke tree!

Here’s a combination to remember! A burgundy-red Clematis (perhaps ‘Nike’? [Ed: My clematis-loving friend Marie suggests it might be C. ‘Mme. Julia Correvon’) clambering over a Japanese maple and then up through the “smoke” of a golden smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria Golden Spirit aka ‘Ancot’). Wow-ow-OW! Let me show you my shoes. I was walking in […]

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A last bit of fall colour

This quick Sunday post on the first snowy day of winter 2016-17 takes me back to the Montreal Botanical Garden and their bonsai collection. It was November, too, the last time I was in the green house there, and this colourful and shapely Ginkgo caught my eye. To me, Ginkgo biloba seemed an odd choice for […]

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What’s missing from this picture?

As I admired the carpet of maple leaves in my yard (Norway maple leaves, she sighed resignedly), wondering if I had time to haul out my shredder, I noticed something. To be exact, I noticed something that wasn’t there. Can you see it? No tar spots. None. Not anywhere. We first wrote about the disfiguring fungal […]

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The secret life of red maple trees

Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name? Of course, I was talking to this beautiful tree in its red cloak, spotted in an East York garden not far from home. Every step slowed as I walked towards it and looked way up. Was it a Freeman maple (Acer x fremanii)? More and more are appearing along Toronto’s […]

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The rosy (and not-so-rosy) Rose of Sharon

A hedge of Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) near us used to look absolutely show-stopping in late summer – a time when flowering trees and shrubs are rare, and rarely so generous with their flowers. Tired of being stopped by people asking what it was, the homeowners resorted to posting a sign: It’s called Althea!* Althea is another of […]

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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 […]

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In praise of tree fungus

I think these lovelies might be the turkey-tail fungus (Trametes versicolor). You’ll correct me if I’m wrong.  There are many (many!) things I don’t know, but I know what I like. Something that falls into both categories is tree fungus. Despite the damage they cause to the forestry industry, I find tree fungi to be […]

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