What’s new for 2019 in Echinaceas

My title is a bit misleading, because our covergirl (or coverboy) photo of Echinacea Sombrero® ‘Adobe Orange’ happens to be the right size to crop for today’s feature image. But although s/he’s a couple of years old, isn’t s/he a stunner? This was only one of an Echinacea (aka coneflower) near rainbow on display for show and trial […]

Continue Reading

Native plants and the colour purple

When Pantone named Ultra Violet its “Color of the Year” 2018, native plants were way ahead of them. Pollinating bees and butterflies love the colour purple – because that’s how butterflies’ and bees’ eyes are made. So it’s unsurprising that many native plants can be found at this end of the spectrum. It’s especially true for fall plants striving […]

Continue Reading

Amelanchier foliage glows red for fall

While planting the first 300 of my far-too-many bulbs today, I felt I’d earned the right to pause for a moment and admire the red fall foliage on my serviceberry (Amelanchier). The sun had scooted under the clouds and was making the leaves just glow. Amazing. This year’s glow seems stronger than last year’s. However, when […]

Continue Reading

Baptisia for Garden Days 2017

Look at these yellow wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria). When Sarah and I saw them at dusk a week ago at the Toronto Botanical Garden, they were glowing like candles in the dimming light. Immediate crush! But I fall in love easily, it seems. It has been an unusual spring, cool and wet. We’ve had late […]

Continue Reading

Double bloodroot blows me away

Every spring, a small, white, puffy flower explodes on the shady north side of my garden – and every year, it’s pure excitement, all over again. It never fails, and it never fails me. In fact, this double version of the native Sanguinaria canadensis has multiplied constantly, ever since it came as a gift from Cold […]

Continue Reading

Seedy Saturday at the TBG

My sister is the seed-starter in our family. She’d tell you all the great reasons to start plants from seed, beginning with the joy of seeing a wee plant unfold from the soil – an everyday miracle I never get tired of. Cost-effectiveness is another one. Seed-started plants make it all the more affordable to create a scene like the one above, a […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Not a native plant (but it sure looked like one)

When Gail of Clay and Limestone reminded me about her upcoming Wildflower Wednesday meme, I got all excited. I’d been saving the shot above for a post with the working title “lesser-known native plants.” Trouble is, the more I looked, the more I saw it isn’t the plant I’d thought it was (Uvularia grandiflora or merrybells) – though at […]

Continue Reading

Coneflower rosette gall mites

The more we plant something, the more something comes along to eat it. Usually something buggy. In the case of coneflowers (Echinacea), this green, tufted centre in the centre of the disk is a sign of some undesirable noshing going on. The culprit is an unnamed type of eriophyid mite, a breed of microscopic, sucking […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Little bluestem, a great native grass

Sometimes you can know of a plant without really knowing it. You hear the name often, but wouldn’t be able to pick out the face in the crowd – or in the garden. That’s how it used to be for me with the native grass called little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). Then I saw this display garden in […]

Continue Reading