I keep telling my friend D that she can give these to me We’ve had a word or two or even three to say about squirrels on this blog. Yet, for a gardener who wages a constant (non-violent) war on squirrels, I must confess to having a perverse squirrelophilia. For example, I always claim the […]
Love/Hate: Lily of the Valley
Oh, sure. They look cute, their nodding white flowers, crimped and curled at the edges, like fairies’ cloche hats. In May, they shake those little bells, and perfume fills the air. Plus, they’ll grow anywhere, in sun, shade, wet or dry, with minimal attention. What’s not to like? Grrrrr. Lily of the valley. Convallaria. Muguet […]
Wordless Weedsday: Acer platanoides
Yes, weedsday; you read that right. Norway maples, Acer platanoides, Toronto’s most dominant (in so many senses) street tree. You can’t garden in Toronto, especially its east end, without grappling with these non-native giants; trees that are as voracious as they are fecund. But, gee, they have pretty flowers. They’re all chartreuse and fluffy-y. From […]
Love/Hate: Soapwort opera
This pretty double soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) has been sharing my Microgarden for more than 22 years. I say “sharing” because soapworts have this wacky idea that the garden belongs to them. They have, after all, lived here longer than me. We tussle over ownership for a while, but they usually give in without much of […]
Love/Hate: Tawny Daylilies
I’ll own to being lazy. It’s mostly on account of my curmudgeonly front yard. I say “English cottage garden” and it snarls back with sieve-like feet upon feet of inert yellow sand. (Thank you, Lake Iroquois.) I think “peonies” – it hands me a thirsty webwork of impenetrable Norway maple roots. And shade. Lots of […]
Baby raccoon season in Toronto
They’re out of the nest with Mum and starting to explore. Hang on to your everything movable. They’d be evil if they weren’t so darned cute. Be very, very… um, what would be a good word?
Poetry: Morning Inglorious
The first of the year’s bazillion morning glory seedlings have just popped up in my garden. To celebrate my love-hate relationship with this weed in my garden, I’m posting my little ode to the odious. Enjoy. morning inglorious by Helen Battersby The gate-crashing has begun. They’re prying cloven-footed through the gaps, glad-handing all invited guests, […]
Good defenses make good neighbours
If you plant lily of the valley, you had better love lily of the valley. And your neighbour had better love it, too. If not, your neighbour had darned well better love you. Lily of the valley (Convallaria) is a plant that doesn’t do things by halves, and it’s no respecter of fences. Given the […]
Going squirrely: Caught in the act
Just a quick one, which I’d like to caption: No. I. Think. Not. Feeder now indoors. However, this begs the question: will feeding the squirrels keep them away from beheading my tulips? Add your voice here.
HGTV Show Backlash – Putting the “G” back in HGTV?
Gardeners are mad as hell, and….not going to take it any more? Recently we wrote about the show Dirty Business on HGTV which chronicles the projects of the landscaping firm earth.inc. I’ve started watching the show since the episodes started up again. It is entertaining: The earth.inc guys appear to be great (and funny) people, […]
The good thing about Norway maples
Sarah and I do gripe and moan and complain about the Norway maples (Acer platanoides) we’re each forced to share our gardens with. In the city’s urban forest, Norway maples represent 26% of Toronto’s street tree population; likely higher in the old city of Toronto (as it was before amalgamation). That’s not counting the volunteer […]
A feast of snow
Will it never end, Doctor? This compulsive diet of snow and ice and icy snow. And ice. I must confess, I’ve had my fill of it. Come on, winter, smarten up! There are snowdrops under there! Somewhere. I think. There should be snowdrops. There must be snowdrops. The snowdrops that usually tell me and the […]