Phantasmagoria: 1. a shifting series of phantasms, illusions, or deceptive appearances, as in a dream or as created by the imagination. 2. a changing scene made up of many elements. While the second definition is an adequate description of the experience of Toronto’s March Garden event, the first one is more apt, and I’ll explain […]
The Intensive Care Unit
I was watering the plants in my porch/greenhouse when I noticed some long stems of woody geranium stems sitting on the top of my compost bin. I had cut them back about a month ago and they still had live green leaves on the top. I guess they hadn’t heard when I said, “No, I […]
The coming thaw
Spring will be springing briefly next week in January, when temps are predicted to rise to the +10-degree range. Apparently, only a couple of Toronto’s winters over the past 157 years have failed to have a January thaw. What an opportunity to get out there and tidy up the straggly tails of the morning glories […]
Faves: All hail the Amaryllis!
One of the best gifts ever for any gardener is an amaryllis bulb, truly the gift that keeps on giving. For $10-15, and sometimes less, even the most feckless gardener gets the pleasure of watching something grow; something that produces astonishingly beautiful, long-lasting flowers (sometimes with more than one scape or flower stem) – just when […]
Almost All Tucked In
Got all the plants inside, with the exceptions of a few casualties. Sad to see the succulents turn from a healthy turgid puffiness to one-step-away-from-putrefying liquid, but you can’t win ’em all. There were some pots on my sister’s back deck that I forgot about. I still haven’t even checked on them, but after the […]
Down to zero! Gotta bring those plants in from the cold
It’s really time now, although I’ve been saying I’d better do it all month. The weather report says it got down to zero last night. Our neighborhood seems to have a bit of a microclimate, so I didn’t lose anything to frost, thank goodness. Now, I’ve got to figure out what to with with everything […]
Auggh!!! I’ve killed it!!!
It’s Charlie Brown’s cry of guilty anguish as he puts the last ornament on his Christmas tree, promptly causing it to keel over. It is not a happy moment. And it’s precisely how I feel when I kill a plant. There are many ways to kill plants. A lot of them have to do with […]
I am compelled to brag about my tomatoes
I have tomatoes growing on two plants on my deck. Now. In October. They are actually growing leaves and forming tomatoes and flowers and it is October 21st. Both plants are the cherry variety. One of these plants, ‘Gardener’s Delight‘, I grew from seed, sown in April. The other plant was a rescued tomato plant. […]
It ain’t over till the fat lady sings
Fall is the time potted annuals can start to look their absolute best. No longer are they getting fried in their pots during the day, and rescued just in time with the garden hose, the way they usually are in the heat of summer. If plants have managed to hang in there during a scorching […]
Love/Hate those morning glories!
I’m looking out my back window now at the morning glories on the fence. These are the old fashioned kind (possibly a heritage variety: ‘Grandpa Ott’), mostly in deep blue but with the occasional pink and white, all barred or starred in a deeper shade with a bright white throat. How pretty, you say. And […]
Tough As Old Boots
This is a phrase that my dad used to say a lot, as in: “Don’t worry about me, I’m as tough as old boots.” And this descriptor popped into my head while walking through my fall garden this morning. I realized I have a few plants that should be placed in this new category. Plants […]
Toronto Island Girl
When was the last time you went out to the Island? This weekend, I was there for the Terry Fox walk and found it such a spiritual holiday that I made a pact with a friend to do it again; at least once a season. The open-topped ride to Ward’s Island is the skooter version […]