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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Wow, when clematis met smoke tree!

Here’s a combination to remember! A burgundy-red Clematis (perhaps ‘Nike’? [Ed: My clematis-loving friend Marie suggests it might be C. ‘Mme. Julia Correvon’) clambering over a Japanese maple and then up through the “smoke” of a golden smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria Golden Spirit aka ‘Ancot’). Wow-ow-OW! Let me show you my shoes. I was walking in […]

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The rosy (and not-so-rosy) Rose of Sharon

A hedge of Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) near us used to look absolutely show-stopping in late summer – a time when flowering trees and shrubs are rare, and rarely so generous with their flowers. Tired of being stopped by people asking what it was, the homeowners resorted to posting a sign: It’s called Althea!* Althea is another of […]

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Wordless Wednesday: Catalpa trees

  Campanula and Veronicastrum against the golden leaves of Calalpa bignonoiodes ‘Aurea’, VanDusen Botanical Garden The same garden from beneath the fretwork of the branches A basketload of May/June blooms on the species of this North American native tree Now, in close-up And from a distance in an east-end Toronto parkette Helen and Sarah and […]

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Towers of flowers

I’d intended to write on another subject tonight. But, at the moment, my living room is filled to overflowing with the scent from a massive bouquet of lilacs. So guess what is top of mind. Sarah’s little schoolhouse in the country sits in a near-forest of lilacs that bloom later than ours. In two weeks, […]

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