The Pollinator Victory Garden helps you help the world

As gardeners during two world wars knew, even during a major crisis you can do your bit to make things better. Victory gardens were designed to boost food productivity during the wars, one little garden plot after another. The benefits spread far beyond individual garden gates. And gardens need pollinators. Their work, done mostly by insects, is behind one […]

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A reminder about taking cuttings

I’m never ruthless enough when taking cuttings of geranium (Pelargonium). For one thing, I can never bear to remove the flowers, the blooming of which distracts the cutting from root production. But when they look like this, who can blame me. The truth is, though, there’s no real mystery around the process of propagation for […]

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Wild Bees Need Goldenrod

This summer I talked to wild bee expert Sheila Colla, a scientist from York University, about wild bees and what we as gardeners can do to help them. One of the first things Sheila made clear was that wild bees are native bees and we must make a distinction between them and honeybees, which are not […]

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How To Pick the Best Shrubs – from Expert Sean James

At a recent Toronto Botanical Gardens talk, Sean James gave us the lowdown on how he uses shrubs. Sean, who’s been gardening since he was four, is an entertaining speaker with tons of knowledge. Sean graduated from Niagara Park school and he now runs Sean James Consulting and Design. He’s an award-winning environmentalist, who is passionate […]

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How to (not) kill a houseplant

Beware! This is a picture of a crime scene. It’s a dumb cane plant (Dieffenbachia), being killed slowly by a combination of too much neglect and too much “love.” How can that be, you ask? Look at the tell-tale signs. Naked stems The first clue is that “palm tree” effect that happens when lower leaves die off […]

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How to over-winter gladiolus

This month, I’ve learned you can’t do everything. Setting priorities means doing what counts most (such as saving the Gladiolus corms that have given me such pleasure), and setting the rest aside (such as NaBloPoMo 2017). Before the unseasonal cold snap this month, I dug up the corms above. What’s a corm? It’s the thickened […]

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A cunning plan for your cutting garden

I didn’t realize as I hastily took this shot (on my way to our group photo for the Garden Bloggers Fling in Washington D.C.) that I was looking at a clever gardening technique. It simply seemed like a handsome steeple in the sweet spot of a colourful garden. It’s the outer edge of the cutting garden at Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens, […]

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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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Love She Sheds? Win the book

We fell in love with she sheds before we knew she sheds were she sheds! That’s the term for the distaff version of a man cave, but in outdoor shed. In 2012, for instance, we showed you Beacher Michelle Blais’ hand-built creation. In 2015, we peeked into an artsy bunkhouse in Port Hope. And, last August, I mused about […]

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How to stop squirrels digging up bulbs

The pesky squirrel problem makes people want to stop planting bulbs. Those darned critters seem to have radar, and know exactly when and where you’ve planted your bulbs – then they dig them up and either eat them, or plant them in someone else’s garden. Grrrrr. But don’t despair. I used to be one of those people, […]

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