Off you Deadheads! Best Garden Pruners: Fiskars Micro-Tip Pruners

Deadheading can be strangely satisfying. Unlike indoor chores, dishwashing, for instance, where you do the same thing over and over and get the same result—clean dishes—deadheading has a double reward. One, the wonderful cleanup effect Ugly seedheads are off so your garden looks less forlorn and…dead. There’s nothing that perks up a garden like deadheading. […]

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‘Tis better to give

Plantaholism has a positive side effect. When it leads to a superfluity of plants (as we know it does), it can make one seem very generous. Take the wonderful ‘William Baffin’ Explorer rose seen here. Please. No, actually, you’re too late. After languishing for years with sporadic blooms (mostly on my neighbour’s side of the […]

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Love/Hate in Raccoon City

Toronto, once again standing in for some American city in the movie Resident Evil, was seen bearing the emblem “Raccoon City.” So fitting. Our city has one of the world’s most abundant raccoon populations, or so they say. At least five of them are now living and poohing on the roof of our little cedar […]

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Gnomerology

I was led into the garden by gnomes. Not today’s horror movie refugees, but 1930s pixie-on-toadstool fantasies. I was eight, and they were in my grandmother’s garden in Rhyl, a North Wales seaside town. Gran was a funny little lady, always in her pinny, hair in curlers, squinting into the smoke of a cigarette. But […]

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Love/Hate, maple-flavoured

Meet the bane of my existence right now: a forest of Norway maple seedlings. The conditions must have been so right for maple seed germination this year. In all my years gardening under Norway maples (Acer platanoides), I’ve never seen such an abundance. A veritable pro-leaferation! If they were worth money, I’d be a gazillionaire. […]

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Sarah is greenhouse goddess

A quick post in praise of my sister’s ingenuity. While houseplants and seedlings wither and die in my hands, Sarah makes potted things grow. Invention is the necessity of mothers. And this little mother can invent up a storm. Here is her crazy-but-it-works idea for a “roof garden” greenhouse. First, an inexpensive plant stand with […]

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Pardon my tarda-ness

A big pile of work, a billion Norway maple seedlings – sometimes things conspire against you and enjoyment of your garden. That doesn’t mean you can’t pause for a little adoration of a few special sparkles. And speaking of sparkles: Tulipa tarda – everyone should have these species tulips in their garden! First come lots of […]

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Too few crocuses, too little time

After such a looo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooong, cold spring how nice to see the crocuses finally arrive. Those blasts of colour amidst the detritus of fall and winter. Opening wide to capture the sunlight. Then came the sudden summer last weekend, and all the little darlings plopped on their sides and expired. Still, they were glory itself for […]

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Stop and Smell the Hyacinths

Annoying. I can’t do this right now. Not because I’m too busy, but because I’ve been nasally challenged for the entire month of January. Felled by a virus at the beginning of the month and still drooping now because of it. Thing is I have my own little potted garden miracle that has been happening […]

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Not everyone has your passion for dead leaves

Not everyone has your passion for dead leaves. – Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility What is it about Canadians and dead leaves? The spurning of them, I mean. To my utter horror, I’ve just discovered that my new downstairs neighbour has carefully raked and stuffed into plastic garbage bags every single decaying leaf in the […]

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