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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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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Near-sighted camera meets colorblind gardener

A weird thing happened on my recent visit to this exuberant Buffalo garden. Almost every picture (almost every one!) was out of focus. But only in this one garden, out of 15 that day! It’s as if my camera knew that the man who’d created this particular garden had a vision impairment, and it was fuzzing out in sympathy. Ha. In fact, the fuzzy […]

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Happy Canada Day & Happy Gardens

I think this garden represents the best part of Canada, as it is a blended front-yard garden. Why does it represent Canada? Because so many cultures, starting with our two original ones, French and English, blend together so well. [Ed: We are correctly reminded that the French and English, along with other Europeans, were relative newcomers […]

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Designing with see-through plants

I’m a latecomer* to the term “see-through plants,” new to me until this spring. It was in a presentation on small-space gardening written by another Master Gardener. Her point was that designing with see-through plants is one way to make a small space seem bigger. Hmmm, thought this small-space gardener, interesting. After that, I started to notice plants for […]

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July 2016 in the Microgarden

Coming home to the garden after a few days away feels like seeing nieces and nephews after a break. Except when you say, “My, how you’ve grown!” plants are a bit harder to embarrass. Want to see what’s growing in a small, shady, city garden – maybe a bit like yours? Certainly, I’d like to recall what worked and what didn’t in the Microgarden […]

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Creating a focal point at Hearts + Ivy

The small studio garden of Hearts + Ivy designer Donna Hamilton is like a jewelbox, sparkling with gems. With colour everywhere, everywhere, you feel like a bee, wanting to flit from flower to flower to flower to flower. This got me thinking about focus. I don’t usually post people pictures from garden tours, but this one makes […]

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Gabion fences at Canada Blooms 2016

Canada Blooms 2016 may be over, but my mind keeps returning to this show garden from Jacob’s Gardenscape. I don’t know which criteria earned it the Most Innovative Garden award, but the gabion fences were really interesting. If you’ve spent time on the trails along Toronto’s Don or Humber rivers, you’ve probably noticed the original […]

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An artist’s garden in Port Hope

I’m truly thankful for the ideas that come home from our visits to artists’ gardens. Simple leaf cut-outs and a can or two of window frosting will get you this one. Much more fitting than curtains for balancing privacy and light in a garden shed! July 2015 was our first visit to the Port Hope […]

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