Gifts for tree-huggers

On first hearing about Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo and photographer Robert Llewellyn (Timber Press) I positively salivated. For dendrophiles, the book’s beautifully rendered cover image promises a new level of beauty and intimacy. First, though, a confession: I’m not just a dendrophile (tree lover), I’m a treek (tree geek). I […]

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Battle of the bulb-planting tools

 When you have 350 bulbs to plant – and your soil wears bulletproof armour in the form of impenetrable Norway maple roots – you’ll try anything to make your life easier. So when I noticed this inexpensive, ergonomic Y-Grip Trowel on the Botanus website, I wondered how it would stand up to my long-handled bulb planter. I added it to […]

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Concrete art for the rest of us

My son’s hand at age 12 still waves to me in my garden My first “concrete” art-making experience involved 250 kids, a stack of take-out trays, latex gloves, and a cement truck. My idea was to have each kid make a stepping stone with their hand print and name. We’d use the stones to repave […]

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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, […]

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Contest alert: Concrete Garden Projects

Reykjavik’s soaring Lutheran Hallgrimskirkja, tallest building in Iceland Icelanders build cathedrals out of concrete. Striking, creative and – most crucially in that seismically excitable area – resilient ones. That’s why you shouldn’t turn your nose up at this adaptable, inexpensive material when it comes to the garden. I’ve been itching to make some garden art […]

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Book Review: Yes, You Can by Daniel Gasteiger

  If you cross-pollinated the computing and home canning worlds, you might not expect the result to be so delicious. Yet, this is what makes Yes, You Can!, Daniel Gasteiger’s modern guide to food preservation, such a useful addition to the kitchen bookshelf. We were impressed with our review copy as soon as it arrived. Gasteiger is […]

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Frugal Tomato Seed Starting

A tomato plant is indeed a beautiful thing. Don’t throw out that coffee cup! Don’t even toss it in the blue bin! They make great seed starting pots. Poke a hole in the bottom, fill with soil, and plant a few tomato seeds, or anything you want to start from seed. At planting time I […]

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Independent Garden Centres in Toronto

Cornus kousa ‘Summer Fun’ from Reeves last year   We’ve had a lot of hits to our blog recently looking for the now sadly closed Reeves Nursery, which we wrote about when it opened on the Danforth in our east-end neighborhood last spring. Makes me think that we are sorely in need of another independent […]

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Book Review: “No Guff Vegetable Gardening”

Sarah and Helen tag-team for a She Said/She Said review of No Guff Vegetable Gardening by Donna Balzer and Steven Biggs (all illustrations used here are © Mariko McCrae). Sarah: My first impression was, Wow, I love these illustrations! The graphic designer in me really appreciated Mariko McCrae’s fun, whimsical drawings. It sets a friendly tone that […]

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Companion books to get you growing

Heard of companion planting? It’s the concept of putting plants together – ones that attract pollinators, let’s say, with fruiting plants that need pollinating. In that spirit, I’ve just read two books on vegetable growing that make perfect companions. The first is Garden Rant-er Michele Owens’ Grow the Good Life: Why a Vegetable Garden Will Make You […]

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