RBG’s coming up (sustainable) roses

The 50-year-old Rose Garden in the Royal Botanical Gardens’ Hendrie Park has had a 21st-century makeover. Gone are the hybrid tea roses – which are always intensive-care patients, but particularly so after Ontario’s cosmetic pesticides ban. Instead, the 2-acre garden has been completely reinvented, from the soil chemistry upward. Designed in consultation with sustainable rose garden […]

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Long Branch by the Lake Garden Tour 2018

On Saturday morning, June 23, 2018, I’ll be in Long Branch opening up the event that bills itself as “Toronto’s biggest free self-guided garden tour.” Hope you’ll be there to check it out. Besides my short talk on “eating your garden” before the tour begins, and a plant propagation talk by Jennifer Arnott of The […]

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Good Morning Toronto! Let’s talk Peonies!

This week I had the pleasure of talking with Matt Galloway, at the CBC Metro Morning studio, about one of my favourite things: peonies. The link to the peony interview is here. Why am I a self-confessed peony nut? Well, growing ‘Festiva Maxima’ peonies was my first garden success. Waaay back, thirty years ago when […]

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A red tree garden in Cabbagetown

The Hidden Gardens of Cabbagetown is one of my favourite Toronto neighbourhood garden tours. Partly, it’s because Cabbagetown, a cornucopia of shady lanes and diverse Victorian architecture, is one of my favourite Toronto nabes. This year, after a morning accosting people to talk about plants volunteering as a Master Gardener in one charming garden, I had time to explore […]

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What’s new at Through the Garden Gate 2018

The first new thing about 2018 edition of the Toronto Botanical Garden’s annual tour of private gardens is the name – and the reason for it. It’s now a sponsored event under Mark Cullen’s Mark’s Choice brand. It’s now Mark’s Choice Through the Garden Gate. Two reasons. First, the Cullen’s have a long history with the […]

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Spring, season of fragrant trees and shrubs

Next time you walk down the street in May and wonder, “What’s that wonderful smell?” look up. It might be coming from above, and flowering trees and shrubs. These are just three. One of the underestimated smelly (in the best way) shrubs is the Viburnum – not all with fragrance, but some that make you want only […]

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Creative, repurposed garden art

Our 99-year-old windows are being replaced today. Much as I love the original look, I live with the downside all winter as I sit at my office keyboard with the window view – wearing mittens. It is hard to type wearing mittens. Mr TG just came to ask, “Do you want to keep the weights?” He laughed […]

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Yes, Toronto often has snow in April

Our trees were the plants most damaged by this week’s April snow and ice storms. We see the evidence in bits and pieces on the ground all around us – or, if we’ve been unlucky, on top of our cars and fences. Hopefully, not on top of us! Sometimes, fruit trees can have their flower […]

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