Love-in-a-mist is one cool, hardy annual

So you’re desperate to get out and do something in the garden? In our Canadian Zone 6 (USDA Zone 5), you’ll be happy to learn some annual seeds are okay to scatter right now. Some may have already scattered themselves last fall – and early spring is a second chance to do it yourself. Provided you’ve picked the right spot, […]

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Snowdrop alert 2018

Sarah wins the Snowdrop Sweepstakes this year [Ed: At least, on our street.]. Her prize is the chance to crow over these adorables sticking their tongues out at winter. And at her sister, because my 250 newly planted Galanthus and the 50 or so already in my garden are way behind. On the other hand, when […]

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Remember to grow some edible flowers

Have you ever eaten a begonia? I hadn’t even thought about eating one until a tour with the National Garden Bureau introduced me to a Pink Lady garnished with one, courtesy of plant breeder Benary. It was the flower of one of their BIG series (Begonia x benariensis) and its lemony flavour was a complement to […]

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So, where can you find exotic vegetable seed?

If you’ve read our review of two books on growing not-the-usual vegetables, you might be curious about where to find the seeds to grow them. By coincidence, a couple of leads fell into my hands last month, and sent me into a digging expedition for more.  Like the cute little mouse melon above? Read on to find seeds. […]

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Should have forced some paperwhites

While waiting for a meeting to begin at the Toronto Botanical Garden this week, something clucked at me for not doing something last fall. No, not a chicken. It was a pot of paperwhite Narcissus. Forcing bulbs is so easy. Yet fall can be so busy that even easy things can be neglected. Not this fall, I hope. Perhaps if I […]

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Native plants and the colour purple

When Pantone named Ultra Violet its “Color of the Year” 2018, native plants were way ahead of them. Pollinating bees and butterflies love the colour purple – because that’s how butterflies’ and bees’ eyes are made. So it’s unsurprising that many native plants can be found at this end of the spectrum. It’s especially true for fall plants striving […]

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I hereby redefine “Junuary”

According to the Urban Dictionary, Junuary is a word for those cold June days that feel extra-cold because it’s, well, June. Pshaw! I’m co-opting it. Now, when it’s reeeeally cold, we need reminding that spring is a few (just a few, honest!) days away. We need Junuary more on a day like today: not January in June, but […]

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Valleyview Gardens Nursery Has Moved

One of our favourite east-end nurseries, Valleyview Gardens, has sadly moved out of town. Driving to their old location on Kennedy Ave, with my flasher on, waiting to turn into the parking lot, I saw to my horror it had been boarded up. Eek! What happened to one of our favourite garden places? Pulling into […]

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Meet a few poinsettia cousins

Perhaps, like me, the poinsettiaful Christmas Show at Allan Gardens is still on your to-see list this year. Or perhaps you’re one of the poinsettia haters I’ve tried to convert before. Either way, if you love botany you might be impressed by the sheer diversity – and yet sameness – of the poinsettia’s big family, Euphorbia.  Sameness […]

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How to over-winter gladiolus

This month, I’ve learned you can’t do everything. Setting priorities means doing what counts most (such as saving the Gladiolus corms that have given me such pleasure), and setting the rest aside (such as NaBloPoMo 2017). Before the unseasonal cold snap this month, I dug up the corms above. What’s a corm? It’s the thickened […]

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The reason I planted 250 snowdrops

October and November have been so busy, I had to go back to look at my spring pictures to see aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall those bulbs in bloom. Just to remind myself that it’s worthwhile planting bulbs now, despite the fact that the weather is getting grim and life is unusually hectic. In spring, when my appetite was biggest, […]

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Amelanchier foliage glows red for fall

While planting the first 300 of my far-too-many bulbs today, I felt I’d earned the right to pause for a moment and admire the red fall foliage on my serviceberry (Amelanchier). The sun had scooted under the clouds and was making the leaves just glow. Amazing. This year’s glow seems stronger than last year’s. However, when […]

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