Opuntia will come back from the dead

If this seems a gruesome way to begin, it’s because of my “undying” admiration of the paddle cactus or prickly pear (Opuntia spp.). Did you know that southern Ontario has a native cactus (in the wild, it’s endangered)? This is the family, if not the one. And we can overwinter it here in Toronto’s USDA Z5/Canadian Z6. When […]

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A treehouse on the Toronto Islands

No grown-ups allowed! At the 2013 Toronto Islands garden tour in May, we enjoyed a closer look (as close as grown-ups are permitted) at a cool new treehouse. Isn’t it great? I don’t know about you, but I’d trade a few hours of grown-uppiness for a little time at the top of the ladder. Nice […]

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Royal Winter Fair 2013 Preview

Guy McClean directs his team using the slightest touch While cattle mooed in the background, the Royal Winter Fair rep at the new President’s Choice Animal Theatre told us about the attractions at the fair this year. And as we listened, Guy McClean, the Horse Whisperer from Australia, warmed up with his four horse “mates.” […]

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You Grow Girl’s Grow Write Guild: Seeds

An ad in the Yonkers Herald Statesman [PDF], March 30, 1961 1962-3 was a stressful year for our family, full of upsets and changes. We’d moved again. Ten times in my ten (and Sarah’s seven and a half) years. But somehow, that spring, this pair of rootless sisters became owners of a Punch ‘n Gro. […]

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Idea File: Ten from Canada Blooms 2013

Shawn Gallaugher’s new venture Otium Exercise Gardens creates spaces that look like a garden, but act like a gym. A few of the gardens this year incorporated some aspect of fitness and outdoor living. Today’s Friday Idea File brings you ten things of note from this first day of Canada Blooms 2013. With one wee […]

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These onions were made for walking

Upside down in this pic, these onion sets form at the top of the stem There aren’t too many do-nothing perennial vegetables, but one of them is the Egyptian walking onion, Allium cepa var. proliferum. That variety name, proliferum, isn’t because these onions produce well, although they do. It comes from the botanical term proliferation […]

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Garden magic tricks: Lady in a bathtub

Gather round, kids. Now you too can amaze your friends with this simple garden sleight of hand: turn a flower into Dutchman’s breeches or Lady in the Bathtub. Just watch… Nothing up my sleeve. Lookee here: in this hand, one blossom of Dicentra spectabilis, or bleeding heart. Yes, kid, the white works just like the […]

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