Glads and graphology

Yes, they can look stiff and formal. But I like glads because they remind me of our mother. Not only because Gladiolus is August’s birthday flower, and August 31st – today – was her birthday. It’s because of a piece of art she made, a print of some coral-coloured gladioli. Both our parents were gifted artists. Both were art-school […]

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Twelve views of tulips

A bouquet of tulips from my garden, in light from my window Call this post: I’m going to show you pictures of these tulips until you beg me to stop. Tulips are amazing in a vase. They continue to grow and change for days. One day, the morning light caught the bouquet I’d picked last […]

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The best way to grow tulips

Tulipa ‘Parrot King’ is a kingly parrot tulip Yes, I’ve had problems with squirrels and tulips. Who hasn’t? It almost put me off ever planting tulips again. But I’ve learned that the best way to foil squirrels when growing tulips is to grow more tulips. Like the British way of making tea: Plant “one for […]

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Snowdrop alert 2016. Wow, they’re early.

Hello, little snowdrop! This is our earliest-ever official Toronto Gardens snowdrop sighting – I noticed my usual earlybird snowdrop was up yesterday, February 3, 2016, but it had likely awoken a few days before. Our neighbours S and B have a nice little patch blooming in their front yard, too. Prior to this, the earliest […]

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Miraculously, my clivia bloomed

What is that – a flower spike? Could it be? It is! My Clivia is blooming! This was a year for miracles in the garden. Not only did the Hoya I’d tended for 30 years bloom for the very first time this spring – it did it three more times in succession over the summer! […]

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Your June garden needs more alliums

This Ward’s Island garden whispers to me (loudly): a garden can never have too many alliums. When you invite 70 garden bloggers to Toronto in early June 2015 (after a bitter winter and a long, cool spring), you’d better hope the gardeners have planted alliums – the ornamental onion – to fill the potentially gaping […]

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Snowdrop alert, March 2015

Do a little “Where’s Waldo-ing” on this photo, and you can see masses of happy snowdrops, finally welcoming spring. Yes, Toronto, there are snowdrops! This year, Sarah won the local snowdrops sweepstakes, with a handful blooming by her drive. Mine are mostly hibernating. But look, look, look at these in a Riverdale garden on Saturday! […]

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Star-of-Bethlehem: A little can go a long way

Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) looking dainty among some Hosta ‘Golden Tiara’ Sometimes you need plant thugs like the disarmingly pretty Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum). A difficult spot (dry, maple-root-filled and shady, perhaps) might thank you for the toughness that brings on these bright spring flowers. Luckily, their enthusiasm has been held in check by the sandy, dry […]

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Planter Combo: Spring Orange & Wine

I absolutely love this planter design by Lucy Pelletier of Perrin and Rose garden design. Pairing the ‘Princes Irene’ tulips with the wine-coloured pansies and the traditional variegated ivy works remarkably well, especially with the addition of the red twigs. Instead of pairing the orange tulip with contrasting blues or more in the orange colour […]

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Spring is nigh. Behold, a lone snowdrop!

In a sheltered position, close to the house, one tiny snowdrop defies Winter 2013-4 A little bit of spring has finally emerged from the Polar Voldemortex that was Winter 2013-4 – in the shape of this tiny snowdrop. This is a full ten days later than the latest snowdrop sighting we recorded back in 2008, […]

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