Busy as a little bee

Sheesh. It was one of those weeks. I would’ve needed a whole hive of mees to cover all my bases in the last few days. Just know that we have posts in the works, including some honeys, so do stay tuned! Till then, this worker bee will get Bzzzzzzzzzzy…

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Coreopsis makes its own sunshine

Yesterday’s frigid winds had me dreaming of summer – and sunshine. And reminded me that America’s National Garden Bureau (wish Canada had a similar organization) has the perfect “Plant of the Year” for a day like that. Coreopsis or tickseed. Sunshine on a stick! As usual, here am I, the shady gardener, yearning for plants I […]

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Wordless wonders for the beezy season

A post-Christmas celebration of some of Nature’s busiest creatures, bees and bumblebees (and wasps) in the great big Apidae family. Let’s recognize how essential pollinators like bees are to our planet. Please join me in a wish that human bee-ings do everything in our power to serve and protect them in 2018 and beyond. Click any image for the full-size slideshow.

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More bee hotels for your collection

Wherever I travel, my eyes are sharply on the lookout for housing. Housing for birds and bees and butterflies, that is. This summer, my little eye spied this big bee and, perhaps, butterfly condo in the Smithsonian Gardens in Washington, D.C.. With all those living options, it would be the perfect home for all kinds of solitary, […]

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Yarrow

Pink yarrow in the garden of Barbara Katz, #GBFling2017 on the TorontoGardens.com blog

Yarrow or Achillea millefolium is a reliable but kinda plain-Jane flower that’s easy to take for granted. That is, until you notice it used skillfully – as I did in the garden of U.S. landscape designer Barbara Katz on the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling. Wow, I thought, looking at the vignette above, Great colour echo between the Echinacea and coleus. And, oh. […]

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2017 was a great year for Hydrangeas

In 2017, we’ve had rain, we’ve had rain, we’ve had more rain. It’s raining now! My annuals are slow to bloom, probably due to lack of sunshine. But one thing for sure seems to be doing well around Toronto. Hydrangeas! The smooth hydrangea or Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ in my dry-shade front garden (above) is mammoth! Lots of rain and […]

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The long, lovely season of Helleborus

Hellebores (Helleborus spp) are fabulous, long-blooming spring flowers for a dry-shade garden like mine. Although I’m hoping to incorporate more native plants in my garden, this gorgeous Eurasian will likely stay – not only for its months-long show of flowers, but as an early-spring pollen and nectar source for pollinators. In fact, an interesting tidbit […]

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On ants, aphids and mutualism

[Update: Thrilled to announce that this post won Gold for Best Digital Writing at the 2018 GWA Media Awards from the Association for Garden Communicators. It was an unexpected honour, especially since the competition was very worthy.] I’d wanted to tell you a cool thing about ants and aphids. These are Norway maple aphids (Periphyllus lyropictus), one of 4,000+ aphid species. (Who […]

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Up close and personal with pollen

An almost-wordless Wednesday post from my photo archives – in the days when I could shoot these things freehand, simply by breathing out and holding my breath. My hands aren’t quite as steady without a tripod today. Blame the heavy lens. No idea what the bee species is, but it was really getting into the […]

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