Tending our urban forest

There aren’t many native sugar maples on our street. Most are Norways. So I like to check in with our sugars from time to time, as you would an elderly neighbour. About a week ago, I was horrified to note that the trunk of one across the street, whose rich leaf colours I’d photographed last […]

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Alas, the American Ash

The Toronto Star today contained this article about the sad and coming total demise of the city’s ash tree population over the next ten years. It’s all thanks – or no thanks, depending on your perspective – to the beautiful but deadly emerald ash borer. Through a tree course I took at Ryerson some years […]

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A Bad Case of Scale on the Monstera – and why Dollar Stores are great gardening resources

  I have a split-leaved “Monstera” Philodendron, those shapley 50s style climbers that have such an architectural presence. They’re beautiful house plants. The leaves, when mature, are quite thick and leathery – just the kind of plant, for some reason, that scale insects love. Here’s a photo of a Monstera. These armour covered insects are […]

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Love thy (scary) neighbour

There’s no two ways about it. The most beneficial bugs for your garden are often the least, well, good-looking. Spiders, centipedes; it’s all those legs! All that unpredictable scurrying! All those alien body parts. Nevertheless, I repress my instinctive shudder when they appear because I know they really do provide a useful service: pest control. […]

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Angelique, or the Wandering Tulip

Tulipa ‘Angelique’ is a beauty – one of the first “peony-flowered” varieties on the market. I planted half a dozen of them in my garden a few years ago from bulbs purchased through the Beach Garden Society. And this one is really plumped-up and gorgeous. Trouble is, this one isn’t in my garden anymore. It’s […]

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Squirrel Pie, and other temptations

Ah, the anticipation of springtime. Waiting for the blooms to unfold after a long and trying winter. I look out over my domain at the sea of green and notice the garden is punctuated… by spikes; yes, once again, spiky stems of snapped-off tulips. Alas, lopped in their prime, before the buds burst into bloom. […]

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Raccoons!!!!!!!!!!!!

I seem to have perfected a raccoon-scaring hiss. It sounds like something Linda Blair woud say on one of her better days when under the influence of you know who. Two of the fiends this morning were mucking about on my deck, and causing general havoc. They’d broken a pot yesterday and uprooted my freshly […]

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The Flutter-bying of Monarch Butterflies

Just popped out to get some fresh air and a break from the computer and was thrilled to see a Monarch butterfly on my milkweed. [Ed: Of course, the flowers in these shots are goldenrod or Solidago, not milkweed – but when the camera is missing, the blogger improvises.] It fluttered away when I came near, […]

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