England meets Texas in the Rock Rose Garden

It’s easy for me to be a breathless fangirl when I truly love a garden. I wanna show you this and this and this and isn’t it all amazing? But then I take a deep breath. Helen, I say, control yourself. This garden is in Austin, Texas. Texas! What would that mean to garden people in Toronto? And I have the answer. Lots! […]

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Recycled glass is a garden shrine to sunshine

We can’t all have the Rose Window at Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral in our gardens. But that doesn’t mean we can’t glory in the power of sunlight illuminating stained glass – as the garden of Donna and Mike Fowler in Hutto, Texas, proves beyond doubt. A long lunch stop on the Austin Garden Bloggers Fling gave us plenty […]

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A red tree garden in Cabbagetown

The Hidden Gardens of Cabbagetown is one of my favourite Toronto neighbourhood garden tours. Partly, it’s because Cabbagetown, a cornucopia of shady lanes and diverse Victorian architecture, is one of my favourite Toronto nabes. This year, after a morning accosting people to talk about plants volunteering as a Master Gardener in one charming garden, I had time to explore […]

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Creative, repurposed garden art

Our 99-year-old windows are being replaced today. Much as I love the original look, I live with the downside all winter as I sit at my office keyboard with the window view – wearing mittens. It is hard to type wearing mittens. Mr TG just came to ask, “Do you want to keep the weights?” He laughed […]

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Making the garden your happy place

In trying times, we need our own sanctuary. Don’t we? It could be real or a place we magic up in our mind. A place of refuge from anxiety or fear; or a place that simply brings us pleasure, in the moment or in our memory. For inspiration, here’s a happy place I’ve been wanting to share since […]

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Here there be dragons

If things have been quieter on the Toronto Gardens blog recently, it’s because one of us has been travelling and the other is now back teaching. The traveller (me) is in Ireland, being distracted by – among many other things – dragons. While the ones at the top were “captured” in a local antique shop, I’m […]

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You’ve been seen, ultramarine

Since visiting the garden of Linda Hostetler in The Plains, Virginia, I’ve spent a long time trying to feel blue. I mean feel it – to understand the science behind why gardeners love this eye-popping blue called ultramarine (and sometimes Majorelle blue, after the painter and his garden). As my camera and I slowly explored Hostetler’s interesting […]

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I might have to spray-paint my Alliums

I’ve heard this from others about alliums aka ornamental onions – though the Virginia, USA, gardener responsible for these was mystified when I told her. Alliums can self-seed. In my sandy, part-sun and tiny back garden, Allium christophii, though lovely, can be a bit of a pest. So I’m considering spray-painting them. The gardener did it to […]

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Chihuly in the garden

Have you seen the Chihuly glass exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum? I have been meaning to go since it opened, and I’m glad to hear they’ve extended it till January 8, 2017. (Looking up ticket prices this week, I learned you can get a good price by combining it with the Wildlife Photographer of the […]

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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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Milkweedy curbside art in Parkdale

Thankful to be passing by, and spotted this little art piece by the sidewalk in someone’s garden Think of this as an Almost-Wordless* Wednesday-on-Saturday. Love the use of milkweed seed here. Gratitude to the internet and search engines for satisfying my curiosity: The fluffy, parachute-like structure at the top of the milkweed seed, or achene, […]

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