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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The scent of spring

In every season, you’ll find many pretty things to see, hear, and even touch in the garden. But after a long, hard winter, the forgotten sense that comes back to life in spring is the sense of smell. My nose reminded me as I passed a planter outside a client’s office. Suddenly, I was whisked back […]

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Identifying a Bag of Mystery Dahlias

Are you inexorably drawn to the gardening department of a big box store when you go in to buy light bulbs? I am. Admit it, you are too. Especially after the winter we’ve had. Back in early March, I needed to get an injection of growing things. And, while Home Depot’s garden section doesn’t always represent fine […]

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2019 Snowdrop alert! At last.

My first snowdrop of 2019 revealed itself this morning, on St. Patrick’s Day. Here and there are more nubs of up-pushing Galanthus foliage, too. For me, the first snowdrop is a sign that, despite this long winter of our discontent, beneath the soil surface the garden is growing. Press on, says Nature, nothing in this world can take the place […]

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Happy Meteorological Spring!

After February 2019’s unreasonable insistence on winter weather, today’s evidence above, I’m all too eager for spring. To have it happen three weeks earlier than the Vernal Equinox – around March 21st – would be psychologically uplifting, right? Guess what? March 1st is the first day of meteorological spring. Yip-yip-yippee! Spring starts today! Perhaps you knew […]

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Get the Jump on Spring – with us!

Come meet up with Sarah and I this weekend when the Toronto Botanical Garden hosts its free Seedy Saturday and Get the Jump on Spring events. Break the spell of this very snowy, icy February – and think springy thoughts! Free talks, free inspiration, and free seeds. How can you lose? We’ll be there on Saturday, February 23, […]

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Yes, Toronto often has snow in April

Our trees were the plants most damaged by this week’s April snow and ice storms. We see the evidence in bits and pieces on the ground all around us – or, if we’ve been unlucky, on top of our cars and fences. Hopefully, not on top of us! Sometimes, fruit trees can have their flower […]

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Love-in-a-mist is one cool, hardy annual

So you’re desperate to get out and do something in the garden? In our Canadian Zone 6 (USDA Zone 5), you’ll be happy to learn some annual seeds are okay to scatter right now. Some may have already scattered themselves last fall – and early spring is a second chance to do it yourself. Provided you’ve picked the right spot, […]

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Snowdrop alert 2018

Sarah wins the Snowdrop Sweepstakes this year [Ed: At least, on our street.]. Her prize is the chance to crow over these adorables sticking their tongues out at winter. And at her sister, because my 250 newly planted Galanthus and the 50 or so already in my garden are way behind. On the other hand, when […]

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Should have forced some paperwhites

While waiting for a meeting to begin at the Toronto Botanical Garden this week, something clucked at me for not doing something last fall. No, not a chicken. It was a pot of paperwhite Narcissus. Forcing bulbs is so easy. Yet fall can be so busy that even easy things can be neglected. Not this fall, I hope. Perhaps if I […]

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