Fall can surprise you

Despite our best efforts, as gardeners and as just plain folks, we never know for sure what can happen in a season. There I was, walking west on Lake Shore in mid-October and a flutter among the hawthorns caught my eye. Could it be? Yes, it was! The little fella above, left behind by the […]

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Goodbye, 2017

You were the best of times, you were the worst of times, 2017. I’m sorry to see you go, but will be happy to see a new year begin, with all its possibilities. Let’s focus on the good stuff. Other wonderful things happened this year. To name a few: we won awards, were interviewed on […]

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Yarrow

Pink yarrow in the garden of Barbara Katz, #GBFling2017 on the TorontoGardens.com blog

Yarrow or Achillea millefolium is a reliable but kinda plain-Jane flower that’s easy to take for granted. That is, until you notice it used skillfully – as I did in the garden of U.S. landscape designer Barbara Katz on the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling. Wow, I thought, looking at the vignette above, Great colour echo between the Echinacea and coleus. And, oh. […]

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On ants, aphids and mutualism

[Update: Thrilled to announce that this post won Gold for Best Digital Writing at the 2018 GWA Media Awards from the Association for Garden Communicators. It was an unexpected honour, especially since the competition was very worthy.] I’d wanted to tell you a cool thing about ants and aphids. These are Norway maple aphids (Periphyllus lyropictus), one of 4,000+ aphid species. (Who […]

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Today, we need smiling bugs

These colourful bugs have long been replaced by huge mural on the railway underpass on the south end of Monarch Park in Toronto’s east end. As much as I’m in love with the replacement (and do intend to write about it one day), I’m also glad I preserved these smiling faces for a day like today. It’s election night 2016 in the […]

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Sadly, my monarch did not hatch

Before I left for Minneapolis, this little guy caused me some excitement. I always turn over the leaves of the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) looking for potential babies. Every once and a while, like this time, a Monarch makes me an expectant parent (or expectant foster parent). But, sad to say, when I got back […]

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Butterfly weed: One weed you want

Wow, wow, WOW!  The pre-sunset “golden hour” lights up butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) Stopped in my tracks on the streets of East York. That’s the only way to describe my reaction to this plant just after 7 pm on Wednesday evening, and thank the photo gods for my iPhone. Capturing the last of the sunlight […]

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