In 2021, our garden journal is 29 years old!

Toronto and Golden Horseshoe Gardener's Journal 2021 thumbnails

Sometimes I think we’re bonkers. Four years ago, we inherited an annual garden journal that was already a hit, and yet we keep on trying to make it better. Three years ago, we introduced an interactive digital version of the immense gardener’s source directory. Last year, we laminated the print book’s covers to stand up to soiled […]

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Plant a Flower Patch to Save the wild Rusty-Patched Bumblebee

I’m SO excited to discover this free eguide on helping our endangered wild bees, including the rusty-patched bumblebee. Written by bee scientist Sheila Colla, wildflower garden writer Lorraine Johnson, and illustrated by science illustrator Ann Sanderson, this little ebook gives you all the info and tools to create your own habitat for this endangered wild bee, and others. A wild […]

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Chester Station bursts into everlasting bloom

Floral mosaic by Canadian artist Katharine Harvey in Chester TTC Station

When a garden friend told me about this mosaic installation by Canadian artist Katharine Harvey, I rushed right over to Chester subway station for a new installment of our TTC Garden Tour. Wow. These glorious panels of hand-glazed ceramic tile depict native plants that might have grown in and around the old Chester Village or Don […]

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Forest bathing and how nature has kept me sane

Bruce Trail near Dundas Ontario

How have you been holding it together? For me, it’s being outdoors. Often. Back in June, I wrote about walking around the nabe in a love letter to my neighbours. But it’s not only out in my yard or on city streets. Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe, that wide band sweeping around Lake Ontario’s western tip, both offer many other ways […]

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Pictures are easier than 1000 words

I’ll be frank. The whole “COVID Thing” has had me tongue-tied, blogwise. It has been a lot easier to post regularly on my Instagram feed than to write blog posts this year. The result is bite-sized eyecandy, easy to share, and easy to digest. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll get an almost daily eyeful […]

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Even small gardens can have a cutting garden

Way back in winter 2019/20, I decided to turn some of my bigger planters from vegetables to flowers. Yes, I made a cutting garden in the Microgarden. With no regrets. Not one. When the Plague of 2020 had everyone else scrambling to buy up veggie seeds, I already had my seeds – for Zinnia, Calendula, Cosmos, and other long-blooming flowers […]

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I’m sharing my herbs with caterpillars

Days after I was moaning about seeing no butterflies in my garden, a big rain came – and soon afterwards came three butterflies. One was an Eastern Black Swallowtail, and I watched her lay eggs in a small pot of parsley. My first thought was: I’m gonna need a bigger parsley! Because, last year, I got […]

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Have you noticed fewer pollinators in 2020?

Have you noticed fewer butterflies in your garden in 2020? For me, the bees have been plentiful, including the native ones, but butterflies of any sort? Remarkably few. It’s probably not just in my garden, or just in Toronto. A garden friend in Washington, D.C., commented on the same thing. And another Facebook commenter noted that […]

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Scilla ‘Pink Giant’ is a dry-shade survivor

Some plants survive all odds – I include myself as one of those odds – and this small bulb is one. It has stuck steadfastly with me and my sandy, dry-shade garden since 2000. 2000! This only became clear after hunting through my old Lee Valley 10-year gardener’s journal to recall the name of one of my daffodils (which […]

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See the cherry blossoms here, instead

In 2020, if a cherry blossom blooms in the city, and there’s no one to see – will it still look pretty? Yes. It will. But you won’t be there this year, will you? Even Sakura Watch is on pause to discourage folks from social the-opposite-of-distancing when the cherries bloom in High Park. So, while you’re home […]

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An Asian garden in North Rosedale

Every year, though perhaps not in 2020, I see more gardens than I have time to share. That’s why our armchair garden tour brings us close to home with this small but standout garden in North Rosedale from Through the Garden Gate 2017. I got the impression that this lovely garden is a DIY. As the […]

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