‘Banish Misfortune’ at the RBG

Scrolling through my photo archive, I came across a set of photos I couldn’t believe we haven’t shared. These are just a taste from two visits made to the Royal Botanical Gardens‘ amazing Laking Garden iris collection in June 2014 and 2015. For many reasons, our opening shot lives up to its name. It’s Iris […]

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Crevice gardens, natural and crafted

We’d spent 20+ years clambering over Nature’s crevice gardens, had we only known it. The natural rock formations below near our former summer home on Ile d’Orléans in the St. Lawrence River near Québec City held exactly the eroded vertical spaces that crevice gardens try to mimic. As they were also naturally photogenic, I have pictures to show you, […]

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Inspiration for mosaic paving

Before the snow or, more likely, the fallen leaves cover the ground, it’s a good time to squint at your paving (what Marjorie Harris calls “creative staring”) to see if there’s anything you can do better. Here are a couple of beautiful mosaic paving designs from the Atlanta Botanical Garden. [Update: Paving design is by […]

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Order in the court(yard)

I love the asymmetrical. Something in the balance of off-balance appeals to me deeply. Yet, the perfect order of a four-square courtyard can also be satisfying, don’t you think? This garden, with its European-style courtyard, has been calling to me for more than two years. We saw it back in September 2014 on a story tour with the […]

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November in Corktown Common

Before the rain began this morning, our walking group headed west for a change. The Distillery District would be our turnaround point, but I never made it that far. Corktown Common and a golden patch of flowering witch-hazel fixed me and my phone camera to the spot. Click the arrows above for the slideshow. What an excellent […]

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Chihuly in the garden

Have you seen the Chihuly glass exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum? I have been meaning to go since it opened, and I’m glad to hear they’ve extended it till January 8, 2017. (Looking up ticket prices this week, I learned you can get a good price by combining it with the Wildlife Photographer of the […]

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Designing with see-through plants

I’m a latecomer* to the term “see-through plants,” new to me until this spring. It was in a presentation on small-space gardening written by another Master Gardener. Her point was that designing with see-through plants is one way to make a small space seem bigger. Hmmm, thought this small-space gardener, interesting. After that, I started to notice plants for […]

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Ideas for designing with vegetables

Houseplants and vegetables are the “gateway drugs” to gardening. They certainly were for me, and I think they are again today. I was a university student with a windowsill full of houseplants when first bitten hard by the gardening bug. Later, Mr TG and I had our first apartment and an allotment garden at the Leslie Street Spit. One […]

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A September evening at the TBG

It’s a lovely day. The evening of the first day of school for 2016/17 and, coincidentally, the night of our first Toronto Master Gardener meeting for the new season. We have a few minutes. Come walk with me through the Piet Oudolf entry garden at the Toronto Botanical Garden. Let’s not worry about plant names. Let’s […]

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In which I do Slow Flowers

Last night, I was presenting at the Newmarket Garden Club – a demonstration on making simple flower arrangements using materials from your (in this case, mostly my) garden. It was a fun 50 minutes, during which I did five designs. The materials weren’t all from my garden. It’s the mini Microgarden, after all. There were five kinds […]

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Sit with me in these gardens

When my mum used to tend our infant son, he’d pick up little expressions from her that, from his baby lips, were particularly cute. One was this, “Let’s sit down and have a little chit-chat.” And wouldn’t this be a lovely place to do it? It’s the charming, Englishy-formal pond courtyard at Squire House Gardens in Afton, Minnesota. […]

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July 2016 in the Microgarden

Coming home to the garden after a few days away feels like seeing nieces and nephews after a break. Except when you say, “My, how you’ve grown!” plants are a bit harder to embarrass. Want to see what’s growing in a small, shady, city garden – maybe a bit like yours? Certainly, I’d like to recall what worked and what didn’t in the Microgarden […]

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