Flowers for the fallen

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.” ~ Laurence Binyon, For the Fallen   This is an Oriental poppy, Papaver orientalis ‘Beauty of Livermere’, rather than […]

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Another rainy day, another century

Coal wagon stalled on muddy Ashdale Avenue, a photo by Toronto History on Flickr. When you consider this photo, taken just over a century ago, you realize that Toronto isn’t much beyond its infancy. This is on Ashdale Avenue, just a few blocks from where my home would be built — a couple of decades […]

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Lust List: Seeing Trees (Contest, too)

This Lust List item isn’t a plant (which, for me, is usually a tree) – it’s a book. About trees. I’ve lusted for it ever since seeing the teasers. Last weekend at the Garden Writers Symposium in Indianapolis I held it briefly in my hot little hands, and let me tell you: Seeing Trees from Timber […]

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Stop and smell the roses

What a glorious day. It’s a gift to every father in Toronto – wrapped up in roses, which are blooming their heads off all over the city. Happy Father’s Day, gentlemen! Nature is telling you (and each of us) to stop and smell the roses. Take pleasure in these small moments: the gift of the […]

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Trouble on the urban homestead: Is Canada safe?

A battle is waging in the green community south of the border. It isn’t about chemical versus organic or genetically modified versus heirloom. It’s about words, and who has the right to use them. The words are urban homestead and urban homesteading – commonly applied to the growing movement (no pun) that covers front-yard veggies or back-yard […]

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That Wonderful Smell? It’s Fall

We are well into fall now and careening into winter, but I can’t let the season pass without noting some of fall’s favourite smells. No matter how long ago you were a student, a new school year always lends fall a special personality: an odd contrast of something starting up, while the growing season is screeching […]

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Giving thanks for Thanksgiving

I’m thankful there are still stars in the sky. You’re apt to forget about stars when you live immersed in  the light pollution of a city. This Thanksgiving, Sarah’s family and mine celebrated together at her one-room schoolhouse in the country. Urban glare is starting to creep in at the corners of her sky, but […]

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Dude, Where’s My Obelisk?

Do garden sneaks arrive in the night wearing slippers? You could have sworn it was there when you went to bed last night. A beautiful—and pricey—metal obelisk for a clematis to scramble up. This morning: only a empty space where the garden designer installed it.  Obelisk? Gone, baby, gone. You had planned on watering the […]

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Wordless Wednesday: Irony

If you’ve consulted Baldrick’s Dictionary, you know the definition of Irony. It’s like goldy or bronzy, only it’s made out of iron. I pass these neat examples of irony on my way to my Ryerson class every week. The wonderful coraline railing is on Granby Street, and the archway is between Carleton and Granby. Here […]

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