The Toronto Gardener’s Journal, 20th Edition

A confession: until the 2012 Toronto Gardener’s Journal arrived today, I hadn’t known the story behind its beautiful cover girl – an iris; each year a different view.

Perhaps I’ve been asleep. Ssomehow I missed both the detail – and its significance. Just as the daffodil has come to represent cancer groups around the world, the iris has for years been the floral symbol for those with schizophrenia.

Here, the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario [Update: in 2016, this link is no longer active] tells the story of how that came to be… starting with Vincent van Gogh, his iris painting, and the therapeutic benefit he found in art-making.

The Toronto Gardener’s Journal author and publisher Margaret Bennet-Alder showcases the iris for her son David, who developed schizophrenia as a university student but now acts as the indispensable computer expert for her book.

Hard to believe it’s been 20 years. Even if you don’t use this book as a garden journal, it’s packed with useful weekly garden tips and regional garden-related information. I often find myself turning to the Toronto area frost maps, for example. And the resources section is exhaustively exhaustive.

Perhaps there’s a Toronto gardener with a wish list in your life? This would be a welcome gift. It’s available online through the link in this post. You can also buy it through Book City and Sheridan Garden Centres, or order it through many fine garden retailers in the Golden Horseshoe area.


  1. Hi, JWLW, The first paragraph contains the link to the book's website (and here, I hope, is a direct link to their order form – you might need to copy and paste it into your browser: ), and the last paragraph tells you which Toronto-area garden stores carry it. More info is available through the links and tabs on the book's website, too. Although we did receive a complimentary review copy, we don't benefit in any other way. We just believe in it.

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