Celebrate July’s profusion in the garden

Think of this as a late-blooming “Wordless Wednesday” – a visual, almost-silent* paeon to the glories of the late-July garden. These are all from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, viewed on banquet day at the Minneapolis Fling. I’m not even going to name the flowers, but you can ask in the comments if you’re interested. Just […]

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What is that white fluff, anyway?

No, it isn’t snow. It’s the fluffy seeds of the eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides). A row of mostly cottonwoods sits on the horizon at Tommy Thompson Park on the Leslie Street Spit. Walking on the Spit last Saturday, my friend Sharon asked, “What is that white fluff, Helen?” I was so glad she did. Because […]

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Your June garden needs more alliums

This Ward’s Island garden whispers to me (loudly): a garden can never have too many alliums. When you invite 70 garden bloggers to Toronto in early June 2015 (after a bitter winter and a long, cool spring), you’d better hope the gardeners have planted alliums – the ornamental onion – to fill the potentially gaping […]

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Plant profile: Echinacea, a cornicopia of coneflowers

I’d call this a jubilation of purple (and not-so-purple) purple coneflowers (Echinacea), wouldn’t you? From mid-July into September, purple coneflowers (Echinacea) are among the bright stars of the garden. Long-lasting and fairly easy to grow, on well-drained soil in full sun or light to part shade, they are a great flower for beginning gardeners. What’s […]

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July 2013 Blooms Day in Toronto

Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ with Heuchera ‘Caramel’ I chuckle when people say “nothing will grow under Norway maples.” Then I point to a scene like the one above, growing in my doubly Norway maple-shaded, root-infested, deeply sandy garden – the indomitable ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea, fattened on a regular diet of chopped leaves and, recently, duck manure. Yes, things […]

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A farewell visit to the Country Gardener

Yvonne Cunnington’s simplified Four Square Garden It took many years and tons of tender devotion aka slog work for Yvonne Cunnington and her husband John to transform their large country property near Ancaster into a horticultural work of art. Now, to simplify life, they’ve left it all behind for a small, rental property – for […]

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Faves: Helenium autumnale

Helenium autumnale  – that’s Helen’s flower, to you. Not sneezeweed. Geez. Enough about me. Let’s talk about Helenium. I don’t know what variety this is (perhaps its short stature points to ‘Ruby Dwarf’ aka ‘Rubinzwerg’), but I wish it were growing in my garden. Despite what they say about the need for full sun and moist soil, […]

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The Singhampton Project: Michael Stadtlander’s Garden, Food & Art Fest

Landscape artist Jean Paul Ganem and creative chef Michael Stadtlander having a laugh on the site of the Singhampton Project, earlier this year. World-renowned local chef, Michael Stadtlander, together with landscape installation artist Jean Paul Ganem spent this summer creating a special event—a gastronomic installation—at his farm north of Toronto this August : The Singhampton […]

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Duelling gardens, Seattle, Washington

Seattle gardeners, Jim and Suzette Birrell (with grand-sprout) The great thing about the private gardens we visited during the 2011 Garden Bloggers’ Fling in Seattle, Washington, was that they were all designed and maintained by the homeowners, themselves. It’s inspiring to see the work of professional garden designers (which some of the homeowners were), but […]

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