What Not To Wear (For Gardens)

You probably know of What Not To Wear, where some poor schmuck has her (or his) wardrobe made over from scratch. I just realized that one of WNTW’s tenets applies to gardening. More on that in a sec. My revelation came about because Sarah and I recently joined Blotanical, a great online directory of garden […]

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Show your curb some enthusiasm

I’ve no idea what these city-owned strips of (sometimes) grass or (too often) weeds between the sidewalk and the street are called: swales? easements? Anyone know? [Ed: Technically, they’re called “boulevards” but the common name for them is “hellstrips.”] All I know is that more and more gardeners in our neighbourhood have started to cultivate […]

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HGTV’s Dirty Business – Behind the glamour

After writing a post about the mind-bogglingly expensive projects featured on Dirty Business, the landscaping show which follows the earth.inc designers around as they whip up tired gardens, I watched an episode that peeled back the curtain a little bit. I guess it falls into the category of: shoemaker’s children syndrome.* One highlight of Dirty […]

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Rosedale Valley Road’s bluebell glade

Seen on the road today: the field of bluebells, Siberian squills or Scilla siberica that blankets the corner of Rosedale Valley Road and Park Road every spring. Did someone plant them here? Or, more likely, did they tumble down the slope from the houses above, wantonly self-seeding into this amazing early spring display. (Always carry […]

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Throw your garden some curves

We’re in that in-between stage in our Toronto gardens: not quite winter; doesn’t feel like spring. If yours is like mine, the garden’s disheartening brown drabness feels like the morning after a big party. The fun part seems too long ago; all you can see is what needs tidying. But it’s the perfect time of […]

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The importance of being urn-y

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s an on-again, off-again winter-spring thing happening this year. What’s more, the winter weather isn’t just wintery, it’s Antarctic. It may be March, but it has been too cold outside even for cold-hardy pansies or early bulbs. So nice to see something decorative that won’t be destroyed by the sub-zero […]

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Toronto and Region Conservation Website

The wintertime is all about dreaming and planning, and a good deal of this is done on the web, since we can’t get to our gardens under all that snow. Tons of snow!! Sections of my neighborhhood look faintly ridiculous at the moment, with trees looking like lollipops stuck into pointy piles of mashed potatoes. […]

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Rosetta McClain Gardens

This little paean to one of Toronto’s hidden garden gems is long overdue. Set at the edge of the Bluffs near where Kingston Road merges with Danforth Avenue, Rosetta McClain Gardens¬†[link updated 11/21/15] is a beautifully manicured space, or should I say: series of spaces. All of them are worth a visit. At the centre […]

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Lessons from English gardens 3

What a simple idea for preventing your monkshood from toppling: large open baskets composed of twigs and string. Rather than the unsightly stake, or the rigid rings, create something organic that almost disappears in the foliage.¬†This one works, regardless of your continent or zone. It’s a keeper.

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