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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Cabbagetown’s Wellesley Cottages

In the many times I’ve walked through Cabbagetown, I’d never stepped into the secret corner that’s home to the Wellesley Cottages – until last month’s garden tour. What a revelation! But stick around to the end of the post. You’ll see that one cottage kept the biggest secret of all in its back yard. Hover over any image to […]

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Long Branch by the Lake Garden Tour 2018

On Saturday morning, June 23, 2018, I’ll be in Long Branch opening up the event that bills itself as “Toronto’s biggest free self-guided garden tour.” Hope you’ll be there to check it out. Besides my short talk on “eating your garden” before the tour begins, and a plant propagation talk by Jennifer Arnott of The […]

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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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Jimi Blake’s Hunting Brook Gardens, Ireland

As giddy as a schoolboy. (Picture Alastair Sim skipping around as Scrooge on Christmas morning.) That’s how my husband described me when we finally arrived at Hunting Brook Gardens on Lamb Hill near Bellington in the Wicklow mountain foothills. It had been a long time coming. Four years ago, I’d tried, tried hard, to persuade my travelling buds in Ireland […]

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Win tickets to see The Gardener documentary

Did you know? Canada is home to one of North America’s most spectacular private gardens. We’ve written twice about Les Quatre Vents, near La Malbaie, Quebec (here and here) and at last I have an excuse to write about it again. Because it, and its creator Francis Cabot, is now the subject of a feature documentary, The Gardener, playing May 18 […]

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November in Corktown Common

Before the rain began this morning, our walking group headed west for a change. The Distillery District would be our turnaround point, but I never made it that far. Corktown Common and a golden patch of flowering witch-hazel fixed me and my phone camera to the spot. Click the arrows above for the slideshow. What an excellent […]

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Will fine plastic netting deter deer?

The Minneapolis gardener who installed this sash of mesh netting across her front garden bed (can you see it?) told me it was to discourage deer. I don’t have a deer problem, but it looked simple and cool. I neglected to ask her one question: Does it work? Have you tried this technique? And how would you […]

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Red and white garden for Canada Day

A cottage garden feel in the colours of the Canadian flag (with sunshiny touches of yellow). And a matching red door. Just in time for Canada Day, a Leslieville garden full of ephemeral red poppies and what look like common ox-eye daisies. This stopped me in my tracks as I passed. Happy, happy Canada Day! […]

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A checkerboard and a chair

The patio in the garden of sculptor Birgit Piskor was actually used to play checkers when this was her childhood home. I love how she kept it when she returned home and made her garden. When the rain and sleet and snow come tomorrow, this is where I’ll be sitting in my mind. Join me?

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Garden Design Tips from Garden Walks : A Convertible Greenhouse

Convertible, moving-wall greenhouse, with back wall open for summer. In Buffalo this summer, while Helen and I toured the city’s must-see Garden Walk, I became deliriously envious (I mean, inspired) of a design solution for convertible greenhouse. Buffalo gardeners Arlan and Dom had transformed their greenhouse into four-season use. A greenhouse that doesn’t turn into the fiery […]

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