Making a water trough planter

A welcoming way to break in garden equipment – invite it to a party and put it to work This wasn’t why we bought the trough, but as a happy coincidence it arrived at our house just before a Big Birthday. Post-Prosecco we put it (and another just like it) to work in another way: […]

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My experiment with coconut-husk or coir mulch

The “before” picture – a block of compressed coir Coir, which is the fibre from the husks of coconuts, is often recommended as a more environmentally friendly replacement for peat moss (whether it is or not is a topic for a different post). After yanking out some over-enthusiastic periwinkle, I had some bare soil that […]

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Book Review: Taming Wildflowers by Miriam Goldberger

Taming Wildflowers is Miriam Goldberger’s just-launched book from St. Lynn’s Press Between the front cover’s exuberant coneflowers and the back cover’s Piet Oudolf blurb, Miriam Goldberger’s work of passion Taming Wildflowers is the little book that could. Although it appears skinny, this is a highly concentrated primer on knowing, growing and using wildflowers. Toronto-area folk […]

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In which I make a fragrant-ish wreath

My completed fragrant-ish wreath (and a great reflection of the new kindergarten wing across the street) A couple of weeks ago, Twitter started it all with a link to this post by Shannan at Flower Patch Farmgirl. In it, she tells how she dried orange slices to make an orange garland. Cute! It reminded me […]

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What the heck is that silvery plant?

Why, it’s silver thistle (Carlina acaulis). Here’s how I found out. Wish my photo gave you a better idea of its metallic sheen. Don’t know about you, but when it comes to knowing how to identify unknown plants (or bugs or plant diseases or…), I love to play detective. I photograph a lot of plants, and […]

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Drying herbs is easy. Really.

Dried oregano from my community garden You don’t need fancy equipment to dry herbs. All you need is a clean paper bag. Harvest your herbs, pop them inside. Roll the bag’s top closed to keep the dust out. And wait. Then do as I do. Move the bag back and forth on the kitchen countertop […]

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My straw bale gardening failure

My naked bales did grow the cool ink cap mushrooms called Tippler’s Bane. Don’t eat them if you’re drinking alcohol! I’m a failure – or, a bailure – at straw bale gardening. It was a failure months in the making when, from all I’d read, I’d anticipated easy-peasiness. Sadly, not so here. Read my bale […]

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Garden glove review: Ethels (and others)

  My first pair of Ethel gloves held up well, though no longer quite as clean I’m picky about garden gloves, when I do wear them. Usually, I’ve bought the Grip Gloves, a coated knit glove by Canadian glovemaker Watson Gloves, from Lee Valley Tools, Canadian Tire or, lately, from Mark’s Work Wearhouse. Cheap and cheerful, at […]

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Treegator: Like a water bottle for new trees

The Bloor Street Transformation Project included granite planters and about 130 London plane trees Overspilling with colour, the new granite planters on chi-chi Bloor Street are hard to miss. But did you also notice the trees? These pix from September were meant for a post I’d wanted to call a Bloor Street Garden Tour (it […]

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